Woman wins battle for family land against her three married daughters

A woman has won a battle against her three daughters over a piece of land.

Justice Yuvinalis Angima ruled that parents have no obligation to bequeath their properties to their children, and that Ruth Macharia did nothing wrong by disinheriting her daughters.

“The mother had no obligation to hold the land in trust for her children. They had no legitimate reason to interfere with her decision to sell the land since she was the beneficial owner and justified to dispose it,” ruled Angima.

The three sisters sued their mother for selling the one-acre land in Gilgil Town in April 2017 at Sh1.3 million without their consent.

According to Jane Wangui, Alice Wambui and Mary Wangui, their mother inherited the land from their grandfather Onesmus Njuguna and she was supposed to hold in trust for all her children since it was the family’s ancestral land.

They argued that they were beneficial owners of the land and that their mother should have consulted them before dealing in the property.

The mother, however, told the court that there was no law that required parents to seek the consent of their children.

Married with homes

While admitting that she inherited the land from her father, she denied holding it in trust for her children, arguing that she is not obliged to distribute her properties to her grown-up children when she is still alive.

She added that the daughters were already married and had established their homes in other parts of the country and should not come back to fight with her over what she inherited.

Justice Angima agreed with the mother, ruling that the sisters failed to demonstrate and prove that their mother was holding the land in trust for them.

“They were claiming the property on the basis that their mother inherited it from their grandfather, but they were not legally entitled to it. They were supposed to prove existence of a trust, which they failed to do and the court cannot fault their mother for selling her property,” ruled Angima.

According to the judge, the sisters only relied on information from their uncle.

“There is no evidence to denote the presence of customary or family trust. The mother got the land from the estate of her father as a beneficiary and nothing should compel her to transfer it to her children,” the judge said.

The court ruled that the buyer, Catherine Wangechi, be given possession of the property.