Land Succession Process in Kenya.

What is Land Succession Process in Kenya?

In Kenya, the land succession process involves the transfer of property ownership from a deceased person to their legal heirs or beneficiaries.

The process begins with the executors of the deceased person’s estate obtaining a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration with the will annexed.

The Grant of Probate is issued by the court when the deceased person had a valid will, and the named executor(s) are still alive and willing to act.

The Letters of Administration with the will annexed, on the other hand, are issued when the deceased person had a valid will but did not name an executor, or when the named executor(s) are unwilling or unable to act.

Once the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration with the will annexed is obtained, the executors of the deceased person’s estate are authorized to manage and distribute the deceased person’s assets, including land.

They are required to file a petition in the High Court, which oversees the land succession process.

The petition should include a list of the deceased person’s assets, liabilities, and the proposed distribution plan.

The court may then issue a Certificate of Confirmation, which confirms the appointment of the executors and authorizes them to transfer the land to the legal heirs or beneficiaries.

It’s worth noting that the land succession process can be complex and time-consuming, and it’s advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer to ensure a smooth process.

What Are The Steps In Land Succession?

The land succession process in Kenya involves several steps that must be followed to transfer property ownership from a deceased person to their legal heirs or beneficiaries. These steps include:

  1. a) Petition in the appropriate form: The first step is to file a petition in the High Court in the appropriate form, seeking authorization to administer and distribute the deceased person’s estate, including land.

The petition should include details such as the deceased person’s name, date of death, assets, liabilities, and proposed distribution plan.

  1. b) Certificate of death: A certified copy of the deceased person’s death certificate must be obtained from the relevant authority, such as the Registrar of Births and Deaths, and attached to the petition. The certificate must be certified by a commissioner for oaths.
  2. c) Affidavit in support of the petition: The petition must be supported by an affidavit duly executed by the petitioner(s), affirming the accuracy of the information provided in the petition.
  3. d) Letter from the chief or any authority confirming beneficiaries: The petitioner must obtain a letter from the chief or any other relevant authority confirming the beneficiaries of the deceased person’s estate.

The letter should provide details such as the names, ages, and relationships of the beneficiaries.

Once all the required documents are obtained and the petition is filed, the court will review the petition and decide.

If the court is satisfied that the petition is in order and that the proposed distribution plan is fair and equitable, it may issue a grant of representation, such as a grant of probate or letters of administration, to the petitioner(s).

The grant of representation will authorize the petitioner(s) to administer and distribute the deceased person’s estate, including land, to the legal heirs or beneficiaries.

What Documents Are Needed For Succession?

To apply for succession in Kenya, certain documents are required to be presented to the court. The documents needed for succession include:

  1. Letter from the chief or any authority confirming the beneficiaries of the deceased estate: This document confirms the legal heirs or beneficiaries entitled to inherit the deceased person’s estate.
  2. Evidence of ownership of assets: This includes copies of title documents for any land, property or assets owned by the deceased person.
  3. Consent from adult beneficiaries not applying in cases of intestate succession: If the deceased person had a valid will, any adult beneficiaries who are not applying for succession must provide written consent.
  4. Original Will in matters of testate succession: If the deceased person had a valid will, the original document must be presented to the court.

Additional documents that may be required depending on the circumstances include the death certificate, national identity cards of the legal heirs or beneficiaries, and any other relevant legal documents.

It’s important to seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer to ensure that all the necessary documents are obtained and presented to the court correctly.

How Much Does It Cost To File For Succession?

The cost of filing for succession in Kenya can vary depending on the value of the estate and other factors. Generally, the cost of filing a succession petition in Kenya is around Ksh. 3,000 to Ksh. 4,000.

It’s important to note that there may be additional costs associated with the succession process, such as legal fees and court fees, which can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the legal services required.

It’s advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer to understand the costs associated with the succession process and to ensure that all the necessary steps are taken correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions On Succession And Inheritance.

Succession and inheritance are complex legal matters that can be difficult for many people to navigate. Here are some frequently asked questions on the topic:

What Is Succession?

Succession is the legal process of transferring the rights and obligations of the deceased to their heirs, according to the law of inheritance.

Why Is Succession Important?

Succession ensures that the property of the deceased is transferred to the rightful heirs, identifies the beneficiaries, and provides tools for dispute resolution in case of any disputes.

Who Has The Right To Inherit A Deceased Person’s Property?

Under the Law of Succession Act Cap 160, dependents, including the wife or wives, children, parents, step-parents, grandparents, grandchildren, stepchildren, children whom the deceased had taken into their family as their own, brothers and sisters, and half-brothers and half-sisters, are eligible to inherit the property of a deceased person.

Can Women Inherit Property?

Yes, both men and women have equal rights to inherit property, and there is no distinction between sons and daughters or married and unmarried daughters.

Can Parents Inherit The Property Of Their Deceased Child?

Yes, parents can inherit their deceased children’s property if the child included them in a will as beneficiaries and/or dependants, or if the parents prove that they were dependants of their child before their death.

If the deceased has no surviving wife or children and no will, then the parents will be given the first priority.

What Is Intestate Succession?

Intestate succession is when a person dies without making a will or the will is invalidated.

How Is Intestate Succession Done?

The distribution of the property of the deceased person under intestate succession depends on whether the deceased was married, had children, or was unmarried and had no children.

If the deceased was married and had children, the surviving spouse will be entitled to personal and household effects absolutely and a life interest in the remaining property of the deceased person.

If the deceased was unmarried and had no children, their entire estate will go to their living relatives or to the state if there are no living relatives.

What Is The Importance Of A Will?

A will allows a person to have control over their property even after death. It enables the person to determine how their estate should be distributed and ensures that their wishes are respected.

Without a will, the estate will be distributed according to a legal formula, which may not reflect the person’s intentions and can cause complications and delays for their heirs.

Do I Need A Lawyer To Write A Will?

No, any person can write a will, but to write a valid will, the person must be in a good state of mind to understand the nature of their actions. A lawyer can be present to witness the will, but it is not required.

 

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