FAQ: I live overseas and I’m the heir of my parents’ estate, is there anything I must know on how to go about receiving the inheritance?

If you live overseas and are likely to be the beneficiary of either an inheritance or a trust distribution from within South Africa careful consideration should be given to your status from the perspective of the South African authorities, given the potential impact of exchange control regulations. Without some advance planning there is a risk that payments due to you from either an inheritance or trust source cannot be effected without making retrospective application to the Reserve Bank, and there is no guarantee that the necessary approval will be granted.
The below cited the requirements from the SARB

Inheritance allowance

In terms of South African exchange control, if you’re living overseas and you have received an inheritance from a South African estate you will fall into one of 3 categories:

1. South African Resident Temporarily abroad – most people fall into this category and your options are to:

  • Transfer funds using your R10 million foreign investment allowance which will require tax clearance and a green bar coded SA ID book.
  • Place your emigration on record with SARB – this is a very straight forward emigration application which we can assist you with.

2. You have already emigrated in terms of exchange control (financially emigrated) and are therefore classified as a non-resident.

  • Funds can be transferred to you provided you can provide proof or confirmation of your emigration – this involves providing a South African Reserve Bank reference number or approval which you would have received when you originally emigrated. This process is quite straight forward.

3. Non-resident – you were never a South African citizen

  • This is straight forward process of providing evidence of your non-residence status and transferring funds overseas.

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