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Below follows a practical step by step guide of what to do, following the death of a person. 


Support the surviving spouse, children and loved ones.  The absolute first option must be to make eye contact and to give that much needed hug of condolences.  Only of you cannot pay a personal visit, then opt for second prize and make the telephone call or send an sms.


  1. Making the funeral arrangements
    1. Contact a Funeral Agency (eg AVBOB)
    2. The Funeral Agency will arrange to collect the deceased (from hospital or mortuary)
    3. Advise them of special arrangements (eg cremation, town for funeral, time frame etc)
    4. Contact the Pastor / Priest / Church for funeral arrangements
    5. Get written confirmation of the details from the Funeral Agency, such as the date, time and place of the funeral
    6. It is usually more cost effective to order flowers from a florist than the Funeral Agency
  2. Advise family and friends of funeral arrangements
  3. Get Death Certificate from Funeral Agency (eg. AVBOB)
  4. If you have ATM or internet access to bank accounts, then withdraw money from accounts for the dependants to live from and for payment of the funeral costs.  Keep written records of all transactions
  5. Get details of Funeral, Life Insurance and other Policies from an Insurance Broker
  6. Get the Last Will and Testament


  7. The Executor appointed in the Will must report the Estate. Schedule an appointment and take along all relevant documentation (see list below)
  8. If no Will schedule an appointment with an Attorney to assist with finalization of the Estate
  9. Contact the Insurance Companies for payment of benefits to the beneficiaries
  10. Contact the Employer for balance of salary / leave / bonus / group life
  11. Contact Financiers (eg Westbank, Bankfin) for Credit Life Insurance on HP Agreements
  12. Contact Bondholder for Credit Life Insurance on outstanding bond
  13. Contact Pension Fund for payment of benefits
  14. Make sure the surviving spouse and children are properly cared for, eg with meals and emotional support


  • Death Certificate original
  • Last Will and Testament original
  • Original Identity documents of deceased and spouse
  • Certified copy of Marriage Certificate and Ante Nuptial Contract
  • Full names, dates of birth and contact details of children, parents and previous spouse of deceased
  • Contact details of the heirs to the Estate
  • Income Tax reference number of the deceased
  • Inventory of all movable and immovable assets with estimated value of items
  • Details of all liabilities Copies of recent statements
  • Bank account, investment and credit card details Copies of recent statements


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The views expressed should not be regarded as specific legal advice, as the circumstances may differ from one individual to the other. 

For specific advice regarding individual circumstances, contact us HERE by e-mail, or schedule an appointment with an Attorney.


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