ABSA trust can't get hold of Master of the High Court

Okty

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Some background:
My dad passed away end of 2019 and his estate is being handled by ABSA Trust. They received authority in 2020 from the then MotHC of Mpumalanga to handle/manage the estate.

Throughout the years, the estate has finally reached a point where the remaining funds can be paid/transferred to my account (SARS clearance received, advertisement placed in the government gazette etc). ABSA just need the final signature from the MotHC to finalize/close the estate.

However, it has been almost a year where they are struggling to get in contact with the MotHC to sign-off. They have a 'runner' who apparently goes once a week to inquire (ABSA trust only has a main office in Pta), but so far no luck.

I recall someone else had this problem on the forum a few yaers ago, but can't find the post.

Are there any suggestions of anyone experiencing the same thing (maybe in another province etc)?

At this stage I am considering trying to drive trough to the High Court in Nelspruit to try and "visit" the MotHC about the issue (even paying 'grease' money to get the signature).

Thanks
 
You should get them to transfer jurisdiction to a different region.

Here is the thread about that:


@nicroets or @W@P may have some additional advice on the matter.

Also, you can potentially look up progress here:


PS: I hope you sue the crap out of everyone involved in the delays.
 
Some background:
My dad passed away end of 2019 and his estate is being handled by ABSA Trust. They received authority in 2020 from the then MotHC of Mpumalanga to handle/manage the estate.

Throughout the years, the estate has finally reached a point where the remaining funds can be paid/transferred to my account (SARS clearance received, advertisement placed in the government gazette etc). ABSA just need the final signature from the MotHC to finalize/close the estate.

However, it has been almost a year where they are struggling to get in contact with the MotHC to sign-off. They have a 'runner' who apparently goes once a week to inquire (ABSA trust only has a main office in Pta), but so far no luck.

I recall someone else had this problem on the forum a few yaers ago, but can't find the post.

Are there any suggestions of anyone experiencing the same thing (maybe in another province etc)?

At this stage I am considering trying to drive trough to the High Court in Nelspruit to try and "visit" the MotHC about the issue (even paying 'grease' money to get the signature).

Thanks
Eish my bru. Sorry to hear about your experience.

I think the first thing to take from this imo is to never make use of the banks to handle your estate. There is no incentive for them to get your stuff sorted in the shortest time possible.

I am almost certain that Absa are the ones dragging their feet here and not the master. I would definitely explore the option of greasing a palm here or there to get this expedited. Problem is where to find someone that can assist you.

I googled "MOTHC Nelspruit runners" and found this page. There are a lot of guys dealing with the master etc daily and have all the contacts. Maybe start there.
 
Yes, these delays are ridiculous: Some assets loose value, underperform or require maintenance. Even if assets that don't loose value, then the heirs have less time to use the assets (getting older).

There are a few law firms that have a good track record of taking the Master to court. Willem Bouwer Prokureurs comes to mind. Even if they don't go to court, they can still exert pressure (place the Master on terms).

Only the executor can start legal action against the Master.

My story:

The Master in Pretoria appointed the executor 18 months after my dad's death.

The executor transferred some assets to me and my sister a couple of months later.

Executors are usually cautious when paying out money to heirs: If there's a disagreement with SARS, they may need some of that money back.
 
Last edited:
You should get them to transfer jurisdiction to a different region.
Thanks! If I knew one could do that I would have insisted it be transferred to Gauteng where ABSA trust offices are located :oops:

Only problem now is, to do that will have to get hold off and get a signature from the Nelspruit MotHC, which means they can anyway then just sign off the final 'release' form :(

Also, you can potentially look up progress here:


Masters Office Web Portal - Index
Once again thanks! Found at least the case/file numbers for my dad, so can use that for later. :)

Eish my bru. Sorry to hear about your experience.

I think the first thing to take from this imo is to never make use of the banks to handle your estate. There is no incentive for them to get your stuff sorted in the shortest time possible.

I am almost certain that Absa are the ones dragging their feet here and not the master. I would definitely explore the option of greasing a palm here or there to get this expedited. Problem is where to find someone that can assist you.

I googled "MOTHC Nelspruit runners" and found this page. There are a lot of guys dealing with the master etc daily and have all the contacts. Maybe start there.
Thanks, you too.

Agree on that, this experience has opened our eyes to have wills/estate handling done by other institutions for mine and other family members.

Thanks for that info, I am going to try and contact that company tomorrow and see if they can get hold of the MotHC with my dad's case number (to hopefully send final approval to ABSA).

I think I will also try and phone the MotHC tomorrow - maybe I am lucky and get through.

Yes, these delays are ridiculous: Some assets loose value, underperform or require maintenance. Even if assets that don't loose value, then the heirs have less time to use the assets (getting older).

There are a few law firms that have a good track record of taking the Master to court. Willem Bouwer Prokureurs comes to mind. Even if they don't go to court, they can still exert pressure (place the Master on terms).

Only the executor can start legal action against the Master.

My story:

The Master in Pretoria appointed the executor 18 months after my dad's death.

The executor transferred some assets to me and my sister a couple of months later.

Executors are usually cautious when paying out money to heirs: If there's a disagreement with SARS, they may need some of that money back.
Thanks for the info and sorry to hear you also had to go trough this crap.

I think I will keep the lawyers as a last resort - first going to see if I and/or that other company (mentioned by W@P) can get hold of the MotHC and get the final approval out the door. If I have to I'll contact Bouwer Prokureurs to see what they say.
 
I think I'll post some updates here as this saga progress, maybe it can help others in the future, or be Greek tragedy for people to enjoy.

This week was a bit of roller-coaster ride.

  • Contacted the Mobeni Runner company to explain my situation.
  • Send trough emails/documents that I had from ABSA etc - also typed the whole 'history' of this debacle from 2020 up until now.
  • They at least got into contact with the person from ABSA who deals with my father's estate.
  • Apparently, ABSA made a mistake with the 'LD' form/documents they sent in October of 2023 to the MotHC (which was ironically accepted by the MotHC) This is the documentation to show the MotHC that SARS is happy, advertisements have been placed (gazette, newspapers), money to be paid out and fees etc.
  • ABSA send an revised 'LD' form, but have not received any feedback from the MotHC.
  • Unfortunately , Mbobeni runners can't get access to the MotHC this week, since the court/building does not have any power (cable fault apparently), so hopefully next week they will be back in operation. :/

I'll give an update if anything happens in the meantime.
 
so @Okty what would you do differently if you could reverse time,
for those of us without all of this life insurance, estate stuff right now.
 
so @Okty what would you do differently if you could reverse time,
for those of us without all of this life insurance, estate stuff right now.
At this stage, what W@P said in post #3:

I think the first thing to take from this imo is to never make use of the banks to handle your estate. There is no incentive for them to get your stuff sorted in the shortest time possible.

I would have tried and convinced my dad to specify and appoint a different company to handle his estate - one that is incentivized to get it sorted as soon as possible so they can get paid their commission.

Another point that was stated above, was to ask the estate handler (if they did not do it already) to transfer jurisdiction from Mpumalanga to the province where the estate handler's office are located - seems better 'flow' between the estate handler and the MotHC if they are in the same city/province.
 
Update time.

So the lady at Mobeni Runner company got hold of the 'ABSA runner' and forwarded me his info. I called him, but I do not have much confidence in him. Unfortunately, he apparently does all ABSA's enquiries at the MoTC, so Mobeni Runner can't do anything else for me. So essentially I am back at stage one. He apparently has an appointment with the secretary/MoHC sometime this month to get old enquires done, but no guarantee that they will uphold the meeting request.

He states that the MoHC is just way behind on paper work, and the problem seems they do priorities existing queries - they just process new stuff coming in. The apparant 3 weeks with out electricity has now further expanded the back log.

The guy for ABSA suggested I also start emailing the MoTC about my case, did that, secretary replied that I must forward my email to the actual MoTC with proof that they received all the documents from ABSA last October. That has been two weeks ago with no reply - therefore I forwarded the message again today.
 
While we waited for the appointment letter, our executor arranged a meeting with us, him and a former assistant master.

She said the staff at the MoTC is overwhelmed by queries coming from all angles that are poorly informed.

The best way is if the executor sits down with someone who knows the MoTC requirements well. Make sure everything is perfect and then contacts the MoTC.

So rather work with Absa Trust and let them contact the MoTC.
 
It's a well known fact that Masters' offices all over the country are in complete chaos. Law firms have been complaining for years now that they can't wind down estates because of the chaos.
 
It's a well known fact that Masters' offices all over the country are in complete chaos. Law firms have been complaining for years now that they can't wind down estates because of the chaos.
Also, a friend was the executor of his late father's estate and he had plenty dealings with the Master in JHB. Had to go armed with a cold drink or similar, else nothing could get done.
 
Also, a friend was the executor of his late father's estate and he had plenty dealings with the Master in JHB. Had to go armed with a cold drink or similar, else nothing could get done.

If law firms whose bread and butter is estate administration struggle with the Master of the High Court, imagine how difficult it must be for a layperson to get right.
 
Some background:
My dad passed away end of 2019 and his estate is being handled by ABSA Trust. They received authority in 2020 from the then MotHC of Mpumalanga to handle/manage the estate.

Throughout the years, the estate has finally reached a point where the remaining funds can be paid/transferred to my account (SARS clearance received, advertisement placed in the government gazette etc). ABSA just need the final signature from the MotHC to finalize/close the estate.

However, it has been almost a year where they are struggling to get in contact with the MotHC to sign-off. They have a 'runner' who apparently goes once a week to inquire (ABSA trust only has a main office in Pta), but so far no luck.

I recall someone else had this problem on the forum a few yaers ago, but can't find the post.

Are there any suggestions of anyone experiencing the same thing (maybe in another province etc)?

At this stage I am considering trying to drive trough to the High Court in Nelspruit to try and "visit" the MotHC about the issue (even paying 'grease' money to get the signature).

Thanks

A frequent problem with large executors whom you are just another number, another reason not to go for those "free wills" offers from the banks.

I highly doubt it's the version of events put forward by ABSA... The Master across the country are well known for taking their time and not being precisely concerned about these matters, but it should not take a year, unless something is not right. Things go back and fourth endlessly from them

Here are your options in my opinion:

1. Petition to remove/change the executors, it won't be easy and you should give just cause why they can not be tasked with administrating the estate. It's a long process in of itself, but not that costly. Appoint your self or a trust family member.

2. Ask to speak to the person in charge at ABSA about this matter. Get precise details, maybe get your attorney to write to them including all your siblings/heirs.

Overall count yourself lucky these matters usually stretch on for more than 5-15 years.
 
Update time.

So the lady at Mobeni Runner company got hold of the 'ABSA runner' and forwarded me his info. I called him, but I do not have much confidence in him. Unfortunately, he apparently does all ABSA's enquiries at the MoTC, so Mobeni Runner can't do anything else for me. So essentially I am back at stage one. He apparently has an appointment with the secretary/MoHC sometime this month to get old enquires done, but no guarantee that they will uphold the meeting request.

He states that the MoHC is just way behind on paper work, and the problem seems they do priorities existing queries - they just process new stuff coming in. The apparant 3 weeks with out electricity has now further expanded the back log.

The guy for ABSA suggested I also start emailing the MoTC about my case, did that, secretary replied that I must forward my email to the actual MoTC with proof that they received all the documents from ABSA last October. That has been two weeks ago with no reply - therefore I forwarded the message again today.
Jus man that sucks.

With my mother's estate, which was handled by Capital Legacy, shameless punt, CL requested the master of MP that the case be transferred to JHB master. Had to sign a document and it was done. Her estate was finished within a year of her passing away.

My thread is quoted a few posts above that document our experience.

Good luck.
 
1. Petition to remove/change the executors, it won't be easy and you should give just cause why they can not be tasked with administrating the estate. It's a long process in of itself, but not that costly. Appoint your self or a trust family member.

2. Ask to speak to the person in charge at ABSA about this matter. Get precise details, maybe get your attorney to write to them including all your siblings/heirs.

Overall count yourself lucky these matters usually stretch on for more than 5-15 years.

Thanks, but the problem is, to transfer you would need the MoHC from Nelspruit to approve it - therefore, I can just as well try and get the 'final approval' from them. :(

I'll maybe try the second option at the end of this month, but I have a feeling it is going to be the same thing, i.e. 'we use a runner to enquire at the MoHC to do blah blah'.
With my mother's estate, which was handled by Capital Legacy, shameless punt, CL requested the master of MP that the case be transferred to JHB master. Had to sign a document and it was done. Her estate was finished within a year of her passing away.
Yip, as I said, if I knew one could do this, I would have requested this in 2020. :(
 
Thanks, but the problem is, to transfer you would need the MoHC from Nelspruit to approve it - therefore, I can just as well try and get the 'final approval' from them. :(

I'll maybe try the second option at the end of this month, but I have a feeling it is going to be the same thing, i.e. 'we use a runner to enquire at the MoHC to do blah blah'.

Yip, as I said, if I knew one could do this, I would have requested this in 2020. :(

If you can afford it, get a proper lawyer who specialises in estate administration involved and make it their problem.
 
Thanks, but the problem is, to transfer you would need the MoHC from Nelspruit to approve it - therefore, I can just as well try and get the 'final approval' from them. :(

I'll maybe try the second option at the end of this month, but I have a feeling it is going to be the same thing, i.e. 'we use a runner to enquire at the MoHC to do blah blah'.

Yip, as I said, if I knew one could do this, I would have requested this in 2020. :(

They wont help you unfortunatly, in the Masters eyes you have no authority over the estate, you not the executor, yourequesting feedback from the Master even personally it would be like me asking the Master for all details of your late father's estate. You have no standing.

Option 2 is the best way to go, there is something going on that you are not being told about
 
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