When a person dies, the family must report the death to the Registrar of Births and Deaths at the Department of Home Affairs. They must do this as soon as they can practically do so.
As soon as the Registrar is satisfied that everything is in order, he or she will give the family a burial order. This is a certificate that says the dead person can be buried. Usually a burial cannot take place without a burial order.
The family must also report the death to the Master of the High Court within 14 days if the person who died left any property or left a will.
When people die, their belongings and property are given to people called their heirs. These are usually members of their family. The way this is done depends on whether or not the dead person left a will. A will is a document setting out how someone wants to share out his or her property after death.
The property a dead person leaves is called an estate.