The Fiduciary Institute of Southern Africa (FISA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola that a rescue plan for the Master’s Office has been approved.
The FISA Chairperson, Dr Eben Nel, and FISA Council member, Mr Ricky Opperman, attended a meeting with the deputy minister and various stakeholders earlier in November.
The plan aims to fix backlogs and improve digitisation, notably through an initial online registration system for deceased estates which is currently being piloted in five provinces.
This should free up staff to attend to other matters such as the administration of deceased estates, the setting up and liquidating of trusts, and managing the Guardian’s Fund. The aim is to improve turnaround times from 65% to 80% relating to matters that need to be finalised in four months.
Dr Nel said: “FISA has traditionally maintained a good working relationship with the Master’s Office and we will support the recently announced plan and assist wherever possible and practical, to smooth processes for FISA members and the public.”
FISA is the only professional body focusing solely on fiduciary practitioners in Southern Africa. FISA is a non-profit organisation that represents fiduciary practitioners and sets high minimum standards for the industry.
FISA members come from trust companies and banks, as well as the legal, accounting and financial planning professions. Members do estate planning, draft wills, administer trusts, deceased estates, and beneficiary funds, supply tax advice and compliance services, and administer client assets.