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Master’s Office services under Level 4 lockdown

FISA submitted proposals on an expansion of the services the Masters’ Offices deliver once South Africa moves from Level 5 to Level 4 lockdown on 1 May 2020.

Click here for the submission.

The Acting Chief Master communicated the below italicised message by email on 29 April 2020.  Please channel all your suggestions through FISA by email to FISA vice-chairperson, Angélique Visser, ([email protected]) or by posting in the blog of our previous post.

As you are aware new regulations pertaining to level 4 lockdown will be issued soon. I have received input from SARIPA and FISA, which I am thankful for. Services performed by the Master will be extended however it will be performed as per protocols which we issued before lockdown and which we are in the process to revise to include the additional service that will be rendered.

It has however come to my attention that stakeholders are losing sight of the fact that we are indeed still in a lockdown albeit be it level 4 and probably other levels in other districts. I have copied members of LPIIF and I humbly request that you refer this mail to the correct persons to enable LPIIF to ensure that all attorneys are informed of our protocols as well.  I wish to clarify the following:

–           Only limited services will be performed as per draft regulations that was publicized for input.

–           Only a third of the staff will on rotation basis resume duty.

–           I have received many mails which the senders email to all and sundry. Please take note that those mails will go unanswered as officials were not on duty and we publicized on our website which emails addresses should be used.

–           It is not business as usual come 4 May 2020 and we are trying to minimize the number of Public members that will visit the office. For this reason the protocols must be followed for the safety of the public as well as our own officials. 

–           Even though we will have limited services it will be within the discretion of each Head of Office to address any other urgent matter brought before him/her. As far as possible people visiting the office , not referring to walk-in clients, should make an appointment with the relevant official they wish to meet with if a problem cannot be sorted out by way of mails.

–           The offices will also address, as quickly as they can the backlog created by the lockdown.

–           All offices will indicate persons whom are to be contacted by way of mails and  we will send you this as soon as possible. This will also be in regards to L&D accounts to be examined.

As soon as I can I will send the protocols to all, hopefully by close of business tomorrow.

If any stakeholder has any burning issue please raise it with me. In this regard I am finalizing my input to the Minister regarding the issue with wills.

Please be patient and considerate as we are trying our best to deliver a service in very difficult times.

3 thoughts on “Master’s Office services under Level 4 lockdown

  1. The Master refers to limited services. Does anyone know exactly what that entails? i.e. issuing of Letters of Executorship, query sheets, Section 42 endorsements, etc.?

  2. I reiterate those sentiments from Paula will Letters of Executorship be issued and will leave to distribute now be addressed. Further how will people be seen to i.e. must we drop off and then communicate via email as to when we may collect.

  3. Sec 35(5) advertisements for L&D Accounts lying for inspection was bluntly ignored during the Level 5 lockdown period (adverts and L&D Accounts were submitted just before the lockdown announcement).

    What is the position now for Level 4? Delays in finally winding up an estate could be quite costly in terms of opportunity costs (currently looking at a R 4,8 million estate where lost income is adding up to R 400/day or R 12 000/month. Must the L&D Accounts be re-advertised or is it an automatic period of 21 days running as from 4 May 2020 for all Sec 35(5) adverts with inspection periods within or partly within the period 27 March – 30 April? Alternatively if inspection of accounts will not be entertained during Level 4, at which level can it be anticipated?

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