by Eleanore Hiralall: Attorney/Legal Services Division
The system will allow members of the public to register deceased estates either in the comfort of their homes, offices or anywhere in the world, without having to visit a Master's office (except for the lodgement of original wills). Online registrations will also speed up the registration process and ensure quicker availability of the particulars of the beneficiaries and trustees.
The system will also enable clients to book appointments electronically, in instances where they need to physically visit a Master's office. The client will be able to choose a suitable date and time slot for their appointment.
The system will also allow clients to track the progress of their deceased estates online through the ICMS Master Web portal. This will provide them with transparency and accountability on how their estates are being managed by the Master's office.
The new online system is part of the department's efforts to migrate most of its services to digital platforms, in line with the government's vision of a modern and accessible justice system for all.
How does the system work?
All members of the public can access and use the system. Once you click on the link you will be required to register as a user and complete your personal details. Once completed, access will be provided to you to use the system. You will find useful information, including the estate reporting forms, which can now be completed online.
How will this system improve efficiencies?
- Travel costs: Members of the public will no longer have to commute long distances to attend on Masters offices. This will save on time and costs to complete and lodge the estate reporting forms. Note however, whilst the reporting forms can be completed at any time online, there is still a requirement to attend on the Masters office to lodge the Original Will (if there was one).
- No more Queues: Since the reporting information will now be captured online, say goodbye to long queues. You simply complete and submit all required documentation by the click of a button.
- Turn-around times: The online system enables South Africans to transact with the Masters’ offices from anywhere, anytime and in a cost-effective manner with quicker turn-around times.
- In office Appointments: Other than the lodgment of original Wills which requires your physical attendance at a Masters office, should there be any other reason to visit the Masters office, an electronic booking for an appointment will need to be made. A suitable date and time slot for the appointment can be made. The system will display the available slots, allowing you to pick one most appropriate for you.
- Progress Updates: Users will receive status updates of their applications via SMS or email depending on the chosen method of communication you selected.
- Service Kiosks: Should you have no access to technology/internet or a suitable device to use the system, you can avail of the Master’s self-service kiosks at their offices. This will enable members of the public to still report estates online at the Masters office, with or without the assistance of legally trained personnel.
Which Jurisdictions of the Masters Office have this new system?
For now, the system has been rolled out and is currently live at the Master of the High Court offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Thohoyandou.
It will be gradually rolled out further to other parts of the country in due course.
Who to contact for queries / support?
Register and Login today to navigate through the system and familiarise yourself with same.
If you are encountering any issues on the system please send your enquiries to: DojDEOnlineSupport@justice.gov.za