Enormous power vests in the office of the Master of the High Court. But with power comes responsibility. The Master’s Office administration of deceased estates been beset with chronic problems for years and things have become so bad that not only have senior officials been suspended for fraud, but the Special Investigating Unit has launched a probe into possible malfeasance.
This presents a plethora of problems for Appleton, but most importantly for our clients and their heirs. While we accept that the Covid lockdown has created a unique set of challenges, we cannot accept the lack of care, professionalism and attention that has come to characterise elements of the Master’s Office. This is not the case across the board of course, and there are still some cases of exemplary service, but this begs the question: why is it that some staff provide good service in some Master’s Offices across the country when many others in the same office not?
Warwick clients holding a Will with Appleton should be assured that we at Appleton are working tirelessly to bring you optimal service under trying circumstances. All our senior administrators are members of the Fiduciary Institute of South Africa (FISA) and we have been working closely with the Institute to try and find immediate and suitable solutions to the crises in the Master’s Office. I have engaged personally with the Minister of Justice, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Parliament’s Justice Committee and indeed the Chief Master to try and get relief for our clients. Notably, all of the above VIP stakeholders have been responsive and have undertaken to try and tackle the myriad problems besetting this key institution and for this we are grateful.
We will update clients each month on key developments in the fiduciary services sector, but please do not hesitate to contact your Warwick Wealth Specialist or IFA for any specific questions or queries we can assist with.
Until next month, please take good care and stay safe.