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Ask the Expert : Writing a Will to Secure your Assets

writing a will, secure your assets

Q: If I die before writing a will, what will happen to my assets and my family’s inheritance?

Nairobi Counsel Wanjiru Muthundo responds:

If one dies without writing a will (intestate), their assets will be distributed to their family by the rules of intestacy governed by the succession laws of Kenya.

The general principles of inheritance in Kenya are:

It is difficult to advise without the specific facts but generally your assets will be distributed by the courts to your husband, if no spouse to your children, if no children to your parents and so on based on the law. The Law empowers the immediate and extended family members of a deceased person to inherit his/her estate and clearly specifies the circumstances under which each category of relatives may benefit from the deceased’s estate.

It is important that you inform the person who you appoint as an Executor of your estate  of what assets you own and exactly where they are held. Your family will not automatically receive them if nobody knows where they are! An Executor can be a family member or an independent person.

Numerous other factors must be taken into consideration such as presence of step children. What happens if the surviving spouse remarries, and tax implications, to name a few?

Other options are available such as creation of trusts, passing of property during one’s life-time etc.

Please do not hesitate to contact Wanjiru Muthondo for assistance in matters relating to wills and will drafting.

Editor’s Note:  A Prominent Senior Counsel in Kenyan Law advised the following:

Related: Why is saving now important for your Child’s Future?

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