Do you have a will, does your clan have a say on your property, and what laws govern property inheritance?
Based on the lengthy details in regard to the law of succession, we have broken it down into three parts:
- An introduction (Which is covered below)
- Types of wills recognized in Kenya
- Absence of a will
The series will be rolled out within the next three days.
Inheritance in Kenya is guided by the Law of Succession Act Cap 160 of the Laws of Kenya, which not only cover’s property under a will but also stipulates how property will be distributed or managed in the absence of a will. Issues surrounding inheritance can be very complicated and difficult to understand, so I’ll break them down and simplify them for you.
A person is said to have died ‘testate’ when they leave a valid will and they are said to have died ‘intestate’ when they haven’t left a valid will.
Under the Law of Succession Act, a person of sound mind may distribute all or any of their free property using a will. The will can be formulated with reference to any secular or religious law that one chooses. The Law of Succession Act recognizes a valid will that was formulated under reference to any secular or religious laws.
To give you a test of what to expect, here are some pointers in regard to Kenya’s law of succession:
Did you know that in situations where a dependent is left out of a will, section 26 of the Law of succession Act allows for them to apply for reasonable provision out of the estate of the deceased?
Did you know that Section 3(2) of the Law of Succession defines adopted, legitimate and illegitimate children as children for the purposes of inheritance. This means that they have a right to inherit the property of their parents on an equal footing with children born within wedlock. This means the Law of Succession Act recognizes inclusion of your illegitimate or adopted children in the will.
In case you have relatives who depend on you, it is important to include them in your will as to protect their interests. It is though important to note that your dependents can make an application to the court through section 26 of the Act, as your dependents, though such an application can only be made while you are still alive.
In the absence of a will, the Law of Succession has provision that sets out a list of persons who should take charge of the estate of a deceased person. We shall cover that on day three of our series, but before that, did you know that you can have an oral will? Find out more about this tomorrow.
We hope you will find this series informative.