When you become the beneficiary of a deceased estate in South Africa, the will's executor will contact you to arrange for the transfer of your inheritance to you.

He or she will ask you a series of questions about when you left South Africa, your status in terms of foreign exchange control and the administration of deceased estates act.

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Transferring your South African inheritance overseas

If you live overseas and are the beneficiary of an inheritance or a trust from within South Africa, we know it can be difficult and frustrating to send those funds out of South Africa. South African foreign exchange regulations are complex and moving money out of the country requires expert knowledge and understanding. As fully regulated legal, financial and tax experts in South Africa, we can make sure you can get access to your bequests no matter where you are in the world.

We work with many accounting and law firms, deceased estate practitioners, administrators and executors, as well as trust companies assisting with the transfer of inheritances and trust distributions to overseas beneficiaries. We have been supporters of the FISA (Fiduciary Institute of South Africa) for several years now and many FISA members use our services to assist with transfers to overseas beneficiaries.

With us, you can rest assured that you’ll never be tripped up by red tape when transferring money from South Africa. We’ll also always ensure that we get you great exchange rates and exceptional service on every transfer.

Questions about transferring your inheritance from South Africa?

Inheriting money from overseas as a South African expat

If you are living overseas and you receive an inheritance from a South African estate, you will fall into one of the three categories below.

  1. South African resident temporarily abroad

    This means that you have not completed formal financial emigration (before 1 March 2021) and are considered a resident “temporarily abroad” by SARB. You are subject to the same exchange control and financial regulations as people living in South Africa.

    If this is your situation, you can transfer your funds using your R1 million discretionary allowance (SDA) or your R10 million foreign investment allowance (FIA). The FIA requires a tax clearance certificate (and a valid SARS tax number) and your green barcoded South African ID book or ID card. We can obtain your tax clearance certificate for you, as well as transfer your foreign investment allowance at the best possible exchange rate and lowest fee.

    Financial emigration is no longer an option for South Africans living overseas as this was removed from exchange control on 1 March 2021. For South Africans inheriting, financial immigration has been replaced by a requirement to demonstrate being a non-tax-resident as well as a resident in another country. At Sable, we are experienced in the complexities of the scenarios our clients face and we will find a solution to ensure you receive your inheritance as quickly as possible.


  2. You have financially emigrated from South Africa (pre-March 2021) and are a non-resident of South Africa

    The inheritance funds can be transferred to you, provided that you have proof or confirmation of your financial emigration. This involves providing the South African Reserve Bank with your reference number (also called the ECA number) which you would have received when you originally emigrated from the bank at which the emigration was done. We can assist you should you wish to verify your financial emigration status.


  3. You were never a South African citizen

    This is a straightforward process of providing evidence of your non-residence status and transferring your funds overseas. You will then be able to send any South African inheritance out of the country with relative ease.

Why our clients love our forex service

Great rates

We transfer your money at excellent rates. All of our fees are disclosed up front, so you never have to worry about unexpected costs.

 

Fully regulated

We are fully compliant with the South African Reserve Bank, Financial Services Conduct Authority and South African Revenue Services.

 

No obligation consultations

We offer all prospective clients complimentary no obligation consultations on their personal or business forex needs.

 

Expert advice

We always provide a personalised service and all our solutions are tailored to our clients’ needs.

 

Let us answer your questions about transferring money

You may have some questions about transferring your hard-earned money, and we understand. You are right to want to know more about our service before you choose to transfer with us.

Below are the answers to the questions we get asked most regularly.

If you still have questions after reading the FAQs below, you can contact our South African based team on +27 (0) 21 657 2153. If you’d rather keep things online, you can email saregistrations@sableinternational.com and we’ll help you out.

1. Once registered, how long does it take to activate my account?

As soon as we have received your compliance documents, your account will be activated within 24-48 hours.

If your remittance request exceeds R1 million, you will need to obtain a tax clearance certificate (we can assist with this) and provide us with a PIN.

2. How long does a transfer take to be processed?

Once we have received all the necessary documentation associated with the transaction and your funds have cleared in your account, we will quote you a rate for your transfer. The converted funds will be credited to your nominated overseas account within two to three working days.

3. What are the minimum and maximum amounts that can be transferred?

Our minimum transfer amount is R100,000 to be able to benefit from our services. As a South African resident, you are able to remit R1 million under your discretionary allowance and an additional R10 million per year with the aid of a tax clearance certificate for foreign investment. We can help you apply for this certificate from SARB.

If you are a South African non-resident (this means that you have never been issued with a South African ID book or ID number) there is no limit to the funds that you may remit from South Africa, provided that you can prove the source of the funds. Please contact us on saregistrations@sableinternational.com for more information.

There are certain benefits to sending larger amounts. To find out more about the benefits of sending larger amounts pop us an email, or give us a call, and tell us how much you’d like to send, and we’ll walk you through the currency conversion process.

4. How much money can I transfer into South Africa?

While there are several limits on sending money out of South Africa, there are no limits as to how much money you can send into South Africa.

5. What methods of payment can I use to transfer the funds to your account?

We accept internet banking payments. You will be supplied with a bank account in your own name to which you will transfer the funds. Proof of payment must be emailed to us at saforex@sableinternational.com, so that we can confirm receipt of payment and allocate your funds for transfer.

6. Are there any hidden charges or receiving bank charges?

Not at all. Our transfers carry a shared swift fee of R250, which ensures that the South African bank charges are covered. When the funds clear in your recipient account, the intermediary and receiving bank may charge a bank fee to depending on whom you bank with and this is generally £15. Alternatively, we charge R500 which ensures that all bank charges are paid for. We also make a margin on the exchange rate, which is disclosed and agreed upon up front.

Get in touch

Fill in your details below and one of our consultants will be in touch as soon as they are able.

In the section "How can we help you?", please include the following information:

Do you have a South African ID?

Do you have a SARS tax number?

What Rand amount would you like to send?

Are you sending money to your own account or a third-party account?









Compliance and regulations


Our forex service is registered with all of the relevant authorities globally. Sable International is a trading name of Sable International FX Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (Sable International FX [PTY] Limited - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (Sable International FX Pty ltd - AFS License number 335 126). We are registered as a Money Services Business with FinCEN in the USA (1st Contact Money Ltd/1st Contact Money Ltd - registration no. 31000174356061). Visit our compliance page.