Married women can now inherit their father's property - High Court rules

Verdict made over succession of property

The Kenyan Judiciary

An Environment and Land court in Nyeri County ruled that married women qualify to inherit properties that belong to their father.

Justice Lucy Waithaka stated that married daughters had the right to acquire the property and should not be excluded during the partition of the property.

Waithaka explained that the decision made was based on the Law of Succession that, “Disregards customary law and allows all the deceased’s children, inclusive of married daughters, whether or not maintained by the deceased prior to his death, to benefit from his estate”.

Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (Fida) Chairperson Josephine Mong’are pointed out that the verdict given was a confirmation of what the law stated.

“Since 2010, the Bill of Rights in the Constitution trumps customary laws and children have been able to inherit their fathers’ properties.

“Even children born out of wedlock have a right to inherit their parents’ property,” stated Mong’are.

The judgment was passed during a case of distribution of estate for Ibrahim Wathuta Mbaci whose step daughters had been excluded from the process.

Equal sharing

In 2017, the High Court allowed a married woman to inherit her father’s property after she applied for confirmation letters of grants issued in regards to the estate.

The letters had stated that two parcels of land in Kericho County that belonged to Zakayo Chepkwony’s were to be shared among his two sons.

The court had further stated that any family member that was not interested in his or her share had to file an affidavit renouncing the interest.

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