What is the hold-up at the Master’s office all about?
This is a great question and one that we get asked on a regular basis.
Is it back log of processing due to COVID-19? Is it staff shortages? Is it system challenges? Is it lost documents? Is it logistic issues once these amendments have been lodged?
Don’t blame it all on COVID
Well, the truth is that it is a combination of the above, but this has been an ongoing issue long before Covid-19.
The Major issue we are having to overcome at the moment is the detrimental effect that the pandemic has, and is still having, on an already failing Justice Department.
The Justice Department is following strict covid-19 protocols which means, among many other rules and regulations, working with skeleton staff, members of the public not being allowed to enter the Master’s offices to do follow ups or deliver documents and the worst of all having to close offices for 2 – 3 days at a time to do a deep clean when one of the staff members test positive for COVID-19.
Following up vs preparing submissions
The amount of time spent on following up on these registrations and amendments far exceeds the amount of time taken to prepare these for submission.
The Office of the Master is there to serve the public in respect of:
- the regulation and supervision of the administration of Deceased Estates
- the regulation and supervision of Insolvent Estates (Liquidations)
- the administration of the Guardian’s Fund
- the registration and supervision of Trusts
- the supervision of Curators, Tutors and Administrators
- the appointment of impartial and capable persons as executors, trustees, curators and liquidators
- the safeguarding of all documentary material received by the Master in respect of estates, insolvencies, liquidations, trusts, etc
You’re not alone
We share your frustration and would like to assure our clients that we are being proactive in our approach to get these registrations and amendments finalised as soon as we possibly can.
We have processes in place and are following up regularly with the Master’s Offices.
Should the situation require, we contact the Chief Master directly. We appreciate your patience while we work under these difficult conditions.