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Barend B.
Barend B., Legal Consultant
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1361
Experience:  BLC LLB (Pret) LLM (Augsburg)
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My elderly Mother has been asked to provide proof of her Fathers

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My elderly Mother has been asked to provide proof of her Father's Deceased' Estate, that is to say Proof of Who his Heir/s Inheritors are/were in connection with a claim against the Serbian Govt for confiscation of her parents property in 1947. They fled to SA where her Father died penniless. No Will or any Legal Process gives the value of his estate. Ideally the Serbian lawyers want a court judgement! How can we conjure up what is required more than 50 years after his death?!
Good morning,

Will an affidavit (sworn statement) not help? If I understand it correctly, her father died in the current Serbia before they came to SA?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi, Thanks.Would a sworn affidavit be sufficient here? As I say he died in SA (South Africa). The Serbian advocat says that in Serbia a court judgement is the norm. So I guess we would need some letter from a solicitor in SA to say that court judgements are not the norm here & explain what happens when someone dies intestate. We could find witnesses, not just our Mother, surviving who could give an affidavit. Maybe additional affidavits would add weight??

If he died here, you could contact the Master of the High Court and find out if his deceased estate had been reported. Normally all deceased estates must be reported to the Master of the High Court, whether there are any assets or not. If there are no assets the deceased estate is treated as an insolvent estate. But I also know that many people do not bother to report the deceased estate if there is no money. It would make your search a lot easier if the deceased estate was reported, so your first step should be to enquire at the Master of the High Court whether it was reported. If it was reported, then there should be a record of the assets and liabilities in the estate and what was done about it. You could request a notarised copy of the content of the file and that should be sufficient. If it wasn't reported, you should request the Master of the High Court to confirm in writing that the estate was not reported. Then your next step would be to get affidavits from witnesses who can attest to who the heirs or beneficiaries were and whether any of them received anything. And then also get an affidavit from a specialist attorney in deceased estates to explain the South African Law and that there would not be a court order and that many deceased estates are not reported to the Master of the High Court when there is no money. I think that is about all that you can do.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Barend.Much appreciated. Before we finish, can you refer me to a specialist attorney in deceased estates please?

My pleasure. Unfortunately we are not allowed to do referrals, but you are welcome to contact the Law Society for a referral.

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