Succession battles top the list of cases filed in court as records indicate that a contributing factor is the lack of written wills.
According to High Court Executive Officer Joseph Morema, most of the cases are being handled by the magistrate's court, with only a handful being registered at the High Court.
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Gideon Nyambati, an advocate of the High Court, said the high number of successioncases could be due to ignorance among affected parties.
“Most polygamous families have had long battles in succession cases. Wives and sons have had to settle such matters in court and some have even led to murder,” said Mr Nyambati.
The advocate explained that the law of succession was clear on who the dependents were, including the wife or wives, or former wives, and the children of the deceased whether or not maintained by the deceased immediately prior to his death.
Law Society of Kenya South Nyanza Chairman Denis Nyatundo said some of the succession cases ended up as criminal matters because 90 per cent of title deeds and successions certificates were forgeries.
“We are handling succession cases that should have been resolved more than 40 years ago,” he said, adding that most litigants in the cases ended up being murdered by their kin.
Quantity surveyor Lameck Nyariki argued that families should arrange for the disposal of money and property while testators were still alive.
“This is the only way to eliminate uncertainties over the administration of a confirmation and maximise the value of such property,” Mr Nyariki said.
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“There is a trend in Kisii where most parents are afraid to open up on the wealth they own. Proper estate planning could end some of the issues we face as a community, including murder, and even reduce the number of court cases, which take years to be resolved.”