Section 18(3) of the Administration of Estates Act, 66 of 1965, permits the Master to appoint a representative to administer an estate where the value of the estate is below R250,000.00 (Two hundred and Fifty Thousand Rand).  In other instances where the value of an estate is above such value it is necessary for an Executor to be appointed. An Executor is required to follow a more regulated process when administering an Estate as opposed to a representative appointed by the Master in terms of S18(3).

The appointment of a representative in terms of Section 18(3) permits such representative to liquidate and distribute proceeds by:

  • taking control of the assets of the estate;
  • paying the debts of the estate; and
  • transferring the residue of the estate to the heir/s entitled thereto by law.

The above provisions do not permit the representative to sell any property including immovable property of the estate.  In this regard the powers of the administrator are less than thoseof an Executor who does in fact have the authority to sell immovable property.

In practice, the position is that a representative appointed in terms of a Section 18(3) estate will obtain a further directive from the Master authorising the representative to sell the property.

Such application to the Master follows the same procedure as an application for a Section 42(2) application when acting as an Executor.  Furthermore, the same form is used save that the reference to Section 42(2) in the form can be changed to that of Section 18(3).

Lastly, in those cases where the purchase price relating to the sale of such immovable property is in excess of R250,000.00, the Master is required to withdraw the Letter of Authority in terms of Section 18(3) and issue a Letter of Executorship, in which case the sale of the property requires the Master’sendorsement in terms of Section 42(2).

In those cases where the representative is only required to transfer the property to an heir or heirs, it is not necessary for the Master to issue a Section 18(3) endorsement as the Letter of Appointment of the representative already authorises such person to transfer the immovable property to the heir/s.