Succession: How to handle the property of a deceased person

As an owner of a beneficial interest in the land property, you can be part of making decisions involving the property, including how it is used and developed, and get a share of any income that is distributed from the property.

Intestate succession is where there is no will left by the deceased. It applies where the deceased has left ONE surviving spouse and a child or children. In this regard, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to:-
• The personal and household effects of the deceased and,
• The intestate property but cannot sell this property. This is because the spouse is only holding it on behalf of the children. If the spouse remarries, he/she loses her entitlement to the intestate property.

Testate succession is where the deceased leaves a written or oral will. It is important to note that the deceased must have had the capacity (sound mind and off age) to make the will at the time of making the will. In other words, the deceased must have had the knowledge and approved the contents of the will.

On one hand, immovable property in Kenya of a deceased person whatever the residence of that person at the time of his/her death will be regulated by the Kenyan law on succession and on the other hand, movable property of a deceased person is regulated by the law of the country of the residence of that person at the time of his/her death.

The Law of Succession is the law regulating the inheritance of property. The Law of Succession Act applies universally to all Kenyans. This is basically the substantive law dealing with matters succession in Kenya. It’s important to note that this law has to be quoted first before other laws that might equally be affecting matters succession.