Foreign Deceased Estates Update

As a proclaimed state, Lesotho is empowered by the Master of the High Court of South Africa to dissolve moveable and immovable assets present in South Africa upon the death of a Basotho. We underline the respective processes for a Basotho deceased estate with assets in South Africa.

Foreign Deceased Estates: South Africa

 The Master of the High Court empowers an executor to manage a deceased estate in South Africa. An applicant seeking to manage an estate worth less than R250 000 will apply for Letters of Authority and those managing an estate worth more than R250 000 will apply for Letters of Executorship.  However, when it is a foreign deceased estate, the foreign appointment letter of such an estate may be signed, authenticated, and submitted to the Master of the South African High Court for approval.


Reporting a Foreign Estate: South Africa

Notably, an applicant who applies for the signing and sealing of an appointment issued in a foreign state must be capable of taking up such an appointment and not prohibited from doing so in the Republic of South Africa.

The following documents must be lodged before foreign letters of appointment can be signed and sealed In South Africa:

  1. Death Notice – J 294 form.
  2. Death certificate.
  • Authenticated copy of the letters of appointment granted in the foreign State.
  1. A duly certified and authenticated copy of the will of the deceased.
  2. Inventory (J 243) reflecting all property known to belong to the deceased within the Republic of South Africa
  3. An affidavit declaring that letters of executorship have not already been granted or signed and sealed by any other Master in the Republic of South Africa.
  • Where the person applying is not a resident in the Republic of South Africa, an authenticated document choosing a domicilium citandi et executandi within the Republic of South Africa is required.
  • A certified copy of the Power of Attorney must be lodged where the foreign executor is represented by an agent in the Republic of South Africa.


Reporting a Basotho Deceased Estate: Lesotho

The Administration of Estates Proclamation Act, 19 of 1935 states that the estate of the deceased must be reported within 14 days of their death, and the following documents are required for submission:

  1. Death Certificate.
  2. Deceased’s ID.
  3. The letter requests to be appointed Curator Bonis where there is no will.
  4. Will document, if applicable.
  5. Filled out Death Notice form (Form D.C. 14) obtainable from the Masters’ office in Lesotho.
  6. A duly certified Marriage certificate, if applicable.
  7. Written submission indicating how the deceased lived as provided for in section 3(b) of the Proclamation.


In both South Africa and Lesotho, an executor will attend to the transfer of all movable and immovable property, estate liabilities, and debts. Once the executor provides the Master of the High Court with proof that all the creditors have been paid and all assets have been distributed, awarded, or transferred, the Master grants the executor authority to close the estate. This marks the end of the administration process.