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What if the Seller/Purchaser dies before the Transfer of a Property?

A deed of sale will remain valid and enforceable, should the seller or the purchaser die before transfer has been registered. The executor of the deceased’s estate would have to act on behalf of the estate.

When a person dies, the Master of the High Court appoints an executor to administer the deceased’s estate.  

Last Will and Testament - Lawyers Cape Town

Executor of Estate

A person may appoint a person to be his/her Executor in a will, but such appointment must be confirmed by the Master by the issuing of Letters of Executorship. The executor is the only person who is lawfully allowed to act on behalf of the deceased’s estate and is empowered to wind up the financial affairs of the deceased.

Power of Attorney

This includes the signing of the power of attorney to pass transfer of property from that estate. The Executor cannot sign any documents on behalf of the estate, until Letters of Executorship have been issued by the Master of the High Court. Documents signed before the Master of the High Court has issued the letters of executorship will be void.

Until such time that an executor is appointed, the transfer process is suspended.

More complications may occur where the deceased was the purchaser, who obtained a bond in order to finance the transaction. The banks who provide financial assistance may withdraw the bond, as there would be no income to ensure the repayment of the bond. A bond is often a suspensive condition of the offer to purchase, and by withdrawing the bond, the offer to purchase lapses.

Velile Tinto Cape – Property Conveyancers & Attorneys Cape Town

Deceased estate transfers are complex, and are best dealt with by an experienced conveyancing team. We at VTC Attorneys Cape Town can ensure that the transfer process is as smooth as possible, and that you are kept up to date throughout the entire process.

Contact us for more information about our conveyancing services.

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