Why you should not purchase property in your personal name

by Johan Oosthuizen

Personal Property

Buying immovable property can be a daunting undertaking with a vast number of practical, legal and tax implications to consider. With all things considered, property was, and will forever be one of the safest and most profitable businesses to conduct.

We will consider the pitfalls related to the outdated but favourite method, currently still used by thousands of people, namely, purchasing property in your personal name.


Unlike a trust, a natural person will certainly cease to exist at some point in time, and in the certain event of death, winding up of a deceased person's estate is a lengthy and complicated process.

How does this relate to property investments?


  1. The time implication

    Any heirs entitled to the property will not have full use and enjoyment of the property until the property has been finally transferred to their names. This may only happen in the final stages of the winding up of the estate and after the liquidation and distribution account has been drafted and approved by the Master of the High Court.

    After the above burdensome process has been complied with, the conveyancer appointed to attend to the transfer will first have to acquire permission from the Master to finalise transfer by means of a lengthy application known as a 42(2) endorsement, which is regulated by Section 42(2) of the Administration of Estates Act No. 66 of 1965 (as amended). This application for the Master's endorsement delays the process even more and may cause incredible hardship for those left behind. 

  1. The financial burden

    The executor's fees are paid out of the estate and the executor is entitled to remuneration up to 3.5% of the entire estate's value.

    The 3.5% does not include fees payable to your conveyancer, who will be responsible for the transfer of the property.