There’s an attractive offer on the table and the surviving spouse wants the executor who was nominated in the Will, to sign the offer to purchase before it is too late. Can he just proceed? A nominated executor must first establish his or her authority to act on behalf of an estate by applying for and obtaining Letters of Executorship from the Master of the High Court, before he can deal with any estate assets.
If the executor has not yet been formally appointed by the Master, a purported sale will be invalid and the subsequent signature of the nominated and later appointed executor will not ratify it. Once the executor has been appointed and is in a position to sign a sale agreement, it is necessary to include a special condition regarding the Master’s approval, i.e. “Subject to the consent of the Master of the High Court in terms of Section 42.2”, and the written consent to such a sale always has to be obtained from all the heirs who have a specific interest in such an asset.
Contact STBB for assistance before you put pen to paper.