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 three categories below. Simply click the heading to read more about each case.

1. South African resident temporarily abroad

This means you have not applied for financial emigration from South Africa and are considered as a resident “temporarily abroad” by SARB. You are subject to the same tax laws and financial regulations as people living in South Africa.

If this is your current status, you can transfer your funds out of the country using your R10 million foreign investment allowance. You will need a SARS tax clearance certificate and your green bar-coded South African ID book. We can apply for and receive your tax clearance certificate on your behalf. As well as transfer your foreign investment funds at the best possible exchange rate and lowest fee.

As a South African living abroad there are benefits to completing formal financial emigration. You will be able to transfer any inheritance funds without being subject to the resident exchange control processes. Your citizenship status will not be affected if you do choose to financially emigrate and you can become a resident again.

Financial emigration also allows you to access and withdraw your South African retirement annuities before the age of 55. If you have no intention of returning to the country, it would tidy up your tax affairs with the SARB and SARS.

To get started, fill out our questionnaire and we will contact you to begin your complimentary assessment.

Start your assessment

2. You have financially emigrated and are a non-resident of South Africa

The inheritance funds can be transferred to you, provided you have proof or confirmation of your emigration. This involves providing the South African Reserve Bank with the reference number you received when you originally financially emigrated. We can assist you to verify your financial emigration status.

3. You were never a South African citizen

You will just need to provide evidence of your non-residence status to transfer your funds overseas. You will then be able to send any South African inheritance out of the country with relative ease.

As per the first two cases above, you have two options to transfer your inheritance income out of the country:

  1. You can fill in our assessment form and get started on your financial emigration.
  2. You can remain South African resident temporarily abroad and make use of your R1 million and R10 million investment allowances every year.*

*If you are looking to invest these funds internationally, speak to our financial planning division for offshore investment advice.


Transferring your South African inheritance overseas

If you live overseas and are the beneficiary of an inheritance or a trust from within South Africa, it can be difficult to send those funds out of the country. Foreign exchange regulations are complex and moving money internationally requires expert knowledge and understanding.

We are fully regulated legal, financial and tax experts in South Africa and can ensure you can access your bequests no matter where you are in the world.

We take care of the red tape when transferring money from South Africa. We’ll also always ensure that we get you great exchange rates and low fees on every transfer.

The key benefits of our RA encashment service include:

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We are registered with the FCSA (South Africa) and HMRC (UK).


We are an established player in the financial services and immigration industries.

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Individual service

You will have a dedicated specialist who will take care of you throughout the process.

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Tax services

Experienced tax experts will ensure that we find the most tax-efficient solution possible.

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Easy withdrawals

Our good relationship with insurance houses will ensure a straightforward fund withdrawal.

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Forex experts

You will have access to great currency rates when you transfer your funds abroad.

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Investment advice

Our wealth division can help you invest your funds in the UK or anywhere else.

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Complimentary report

Receive a report on your position with regard to financial emigration and pension recovery.


Find out more about financial emigration



Please do not act in reliance on information published or advised without consulting a suitably qualified independent legal or other professional adviser of your own choosing. Sable International will not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of their use or reliance on any of the advice provided by any one, or all, of the professional advisers identified by Sable International.