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Restructuring of Cape Town Master’s Office

FISA received the communication below from the Master of the High Court: Cape Town, Ms Zureena Agulhas. The communication was circulated to industry attendees of a stakeholder meeting held on 9 February 2024 at the Master’s Office for their input before finalisation. FISA was represented at the meeting by Brenton Ellis, Karen Lötter, Chris Murphy and Louis van Vuren.

“Good day

The following arrangements will be implemented to ensure uniform and efficient service:

1. A Professional assistant is assigned to each deceased estate Team who will be responsible for inter alia;

a) capturing manual registration of new estates, or amendments to Letters of Authority; all liquidation and distribution accounts; applications in terms of section 42(2);

b) assist candidate attorneys/ messengers/runners by verifying whether their unlimited requests are captured on the backlog list concerned, and if not on the list to add same to the list to be attended to by Estate Controllers;

c) arranging consultations with Assistant Masters in complex matters or where a consultation is required, except to follow up on outstanding matters. Such meetings may be arranged preferably via e-mail with the specific professional assistant.

2. Administrative staff / Registry Clerks will be responsible for inter alia;

a) drawing of files and ensure that incoming post is placed on the correct file;

b) assist the ordinary members of the public;

c) make files available for viewing in respect of limited interests, whether submitted post is on file etc.;

d) ensuring as far as possible that the file/s are available for arranged meetings with either Estate Controller or Assistant Master concerned.

3. Online Registration of deceased estates:

a) Stakeholders are encouraged to make use of the online registration process. In this regard, it is requested that stakeholders should capture the information accurately to avoid unnecessary reworks.

b) More staff will be allocated from 1/04/2024 to deal with online applications.

4. Stakeholders should provide consolidated lists from their members for verification against the Masters backlog list as soon as possible and not later than Friday, 16 February.

5. An automated e-mail response will be activated to the effect that backlogged matters will be attended to during the period 12 February till 15 March. Any outstanding matters may be followed up from 18 March.

6. Stakeholders are requested to withhold any new correspondence during the period 18/03/2024 – 31/03/2024. Staff re-allocation to various units will take place during this time.

7. Uncollected mail should be collected from Registry Counters until 29/2/2024. Any further uncollected post will be placed in the respective MO Boxes from 1/03/2024.

8. Future correspondence, i.e. Letters of Authority in deceased estate matters, Query Sheets and ordinary correspondence will be e-mailed to stakeholders.

9. Letters of Authority in respect of Trusts, requests for certified copies and power of attorney’s in respect of Section 42(2) applications will be placed in MO Boxes. The Masters Office will not be responsible for lost or stolen documents from MO Boxes.

10. Trust Team

A professional assistant will be made available to the Trust Team to arrange consultations with the Estate Controller and or Assistant Master concerned.

11. We are looking forward to an improved relationship with all.

Kind regards

Master of the Western Cape High Court

Dullah Omar Building

45 Castle Street


FISA was invited to submit a consolidated list of long outstanding matters for attention. Three spreadsheets are available and should be sent to Breton Ellis for consolidation and submission to the Master.

Please note the following:

  • Only matters submitted prior to 1 December 2023 is to be recorded.
  • The spreadsheets are to be completed by FISA members and returned to Brenton Ellis by close of business on Tuesday, 20 February 2024. (
  • All companies with more than one estate administrator/trust administrator are to collate all their matters on to the specific spreadsheet and not supply us with spreadsheets for each staff member.
  • Data is to be captured exactly as per the spreadsheets and all spreadsheets that are captured incorrectly will not be sent to the Master.

Click here for the LE list.

Click here for the L&D list.

Click here for the trust list.

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