What Is The Process For Claiming Inheritance Of Land In Kenya?

What Is The Process For Claiming Inheritance Of Land In Kenya?

What Is The Process For Claiming Inheritance Of Land In Kenya?

The process for claiming inheritance of land in Kenya involves several steps, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Obtain the deceased person’s death certificate: This is issued by the registrar of births and deaths of the respective sub-counties and serves as proof of their death.
  • Determine if there is a will: If the deceased left a will, it outlines how their property will be distributed after their death.
  • Apply for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration: If there is a will, the executors of the deceased person’s estate are required to file a petition in the High Court for a Grant of Probate. If there is no will, an application for Letters of Administration must be made.
  • Advertise the petition: Upon filing and payment of the requisite fees, the petition is advertised in the Kenya Gazette, allowing any person with an objection to the grant to raise their concerns.
  • Obtain the signed and sealed Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration: Thirty days after Gazettement, an application will be made to the High Court for the extraction of the signed and sealed Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration, which will indicate the executors or administrators as the lawfully appointed representatives.
  • Distribute the estate: The executors or administrators will then have the authority to transfer the estate’s assets to the beneficiaries as per the mode of distribution endorsed by the court.

Land Inheritance Laws In Kenya

Land inheritance laws in Kenya are primarily governed by the Kenyan Constitution and various statutes and regulations. It’s important to note that land laws in Kenya have undergone significant reforms in recent years, with the most notable changes brought about by the 2010 Constitution.

Here is an overview of some key aspects of land inheritance laws in Kenya:

1. The Constitution of Kenya:

– The 2010 Kenyan Constitution recognizes and protects the right to own property, including land. It prohibits discrimination in land ownership on the basis of gender, ethnicity, or any other grounds.

2. Succession Laws:

– The Law of Succession Act (Cap. 160) governs the inheritance of land and other property in Kenya. This law provides guidelines on how property, including land, is distributed when a person dies without a will (intestate) or with a will (testate). It addresses issues like the rights of surviving spouses, children, and other dependents.

3. Customary Laws:

– In many parts of Kenya, customary laws play a significant role in land inheritance. These laws vary among different communities and may determine how land is passed down from one generation to the next. The Constitution recognizes and protects customary laws as long as they are not inconsistent with the Constitution.

4. Gender and Land Rights:

– Gender discrimination in land inheritance has been a significant issue in Kenya. The Constitution and various laws, such as the Matrimonial Property Act, have sought to address these issues by ensuring equal rights for men and women in property and land matters.

5. The Land Act:

– The Land Act of 2012 regulates the management, administration, and land transactions in Kenya. It provides provisions on land succession, including the rights of family members to inherit land, protection of vulnerable groups, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

6. Land Registration:

– The Land Registration Act, 2012, governs the registration of land titles in Kenya. Proper land documentation is essential for the efficient transfer of land, including during the inheritance process.

7. Dispute Resolution:

– The Land Disputes Tribunal and other bodies provide a means for resolving disputes related to land inheritance and ownership.

It’s important to consult with a legal professional or local authorities to understand the specific land inheritance laws and practices in a particular region of Kenya, as customs and traditions may vary.

Additionally, individuals are encouraged to make wills to ensure their land and property are distributed according to their wishes, as this can simplify the inheritance process.

 

Family Land Inheritance In Kenya

Family land inheritance in Kenya is governed by a combination of statutory laws, customary practices, and religious laws, which can sometimes lead to inconsistencies and disputes.

The Law of Succession (Amendment) Bill, 2019, also known as the Act, was assented to by the President on 17th November 2021.

This Act sought to streamline the administration of succession matters in Kenya by redefining who can inherit the deceased’s property. In the absence of a Will, the deceased’s spouse and children, or next of kin, will inherit the property.

However, a dependant may petition the court if they believe that the deceased did not make reasonable provision for them in their Will. The court may then order that such reasonable provision be made for that dependant out of the deceased’s net estate.

However, there are challenges and inconsistencies in the application of these laws, particularly when it comes to women’s rights to inherit. Several cultural groups in Kenya have customary inheritance practices that favor males over females.

This has led to inconsistent rulings by Kenya’s courts on women’s rights to inherit due to the opposing principles in the Constitution’s recognition of customary law and the provisions of the Succession Law.

A notable case was that of Lerionka Ole Ntutu, who was survived by multiple wives, sons, and daughters. His sons filed an application asking the High Court to issue them the letters of administration to administer their father’s estate.

Their sisters and stepsisters filed an objection and claimed their inheritance. The sons contested the objection, arguing that the distribution of their father’s estate was governed by Masai customary law, which did not recognize the right of daughters to claim an inheritance from their father’s estate.

The High Court ruled that any tenet of such customary law that would abrogate the right of daughters to inherit the estate of a father would be repugnant.

In terms of succession planning, a good succession plan gives one a measure of control over matters of administration of his estate upon death. Without a proper succession plan in place, important decisions over one’s estate are usually left up to a court determination with the attendant delays and costs

What Are The Legal Requirements For Inheritance Of Land In Kenya

The legal requirements for inheritance of land in Kenya are governed by the Law of Succession Act. This law provides for both intestate (without a will) and testamentary (with a will) succession and administration of estates of deceased persons.

When a person dies, the first step in land acquisition is to obtain the deceased person’s death certificate as proof of their death. This is usually issued by the registrar of births and deaths of the respective sub-counties.

If the deceased left a will, it outlines how the person’s property will be distributed after their death, identifying who shall manage the property, including their financial interests, until its final distribution.

In the absence of a will, the deceased’s spouse and children, or next of kin, will inherit the property. However, a dependant may petition the court if they believe that the deceased did not make reasonable provision for them in their will.

The court may then order that such reasonable provision be made for that dependant out of the deceased’s net estate.

The Law of Succession (Amendment) Bill, 2019, also known as the Act, was assented to by the President on 17th November 2021. This Act sought to streamline the administration of succession matters in Kenya by redefining who can inherit the deceased’s property.

However, it’s important to note that customary law continues to govern inheritance of agricultural lands, crops, and livestock in Kenya. In rural areas, it is a widespread practice for fathers to leave land to their sons with the expectation that their daughter’s husband will care for them.

While the Law of Succession Act does not differentiate between male and female and married or unmarried children, in practice, the courts have, on occasion, ruled to disinherit married daughters

 

 

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