Individuals that are incapable of managing their own affairs and estates can be placed under curatorship. A curator is then appointed in an effort to safeguard that person’s financial and personal matters. There are many reasons why a person would need to have a curator appointed. The individual might be suffering from a mental illness, a physical disability or a substance addiction; it could also be that the individual has a gambling problem or that they have simply become too old to manage their own affairs. In some cases, minor children are also placed under curatorship as they are too young to manage their own estates effectively.
The High Court has the authority to issue an order declaring an individual incapable of managing their affairs in accordance with Rule 57 of the Uniform Rules of Court. The High Court also has the power to appoint a curator to the estate of such a person. A request for the application of curatorship is usually brought by a family member, a close friend or a caregiver. The High Court will then place an individual under curatorship if it finds sufficient evidence to prove that said individual is in need thereof.
What are the Responsibilities of Curators?
Curators are responsible for the administration of the estate of the person that is incapable, which includes the management and control of this individual’s assets. This means that curators have the power to purchase or sell movable or immovable property, subject to any law which may be applicable, for the benefit of the estate as a whole. Curators can also be granted control of the finances of someone that has been placed under curatorship. Curators decide how much money will go towards the support and maintenance of the individual and how much will be invested for the future.
The powers and responsibilities of a curator are subject to the approval of the Master of the High Court. Curators have to submit an annual report of the account to the Master which details the income generated and the expenses incurred during the year. This report is then examined by the Master of the High Court to verify that the information is correct and to ensure that the estate is being managed effectively.
Curatorship is often a sensitive issue that many families, unfortunately, have to face. When you have sound legal advice throughout, it can make the process a lot less daunting. Contact Cawood Attorneys today for professional legal assistance in Gauteng! Book a consultation with one of our qualified attorneys to find out how we can best assist you.