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Widowers face risk of losing family estate

By Brian Otieno | March 6th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Widowers who remarry after the death of their wives will lose their marital inheritance if a new Bill becomes law.

The Succession Amendment Bill seeks to amend various sections of the Succession Act that only put widows who remarry at the risk of losing the inheritance.

It proposes amendments to Sections 29, 35 and 36 of the Act to repeal provisions that talk of widows by substituting it with the word “spouse” to rope in widowers as well.

The Bill sponsored by nominated Senator Abshiro Halake (right) also proposes amendments to Section 39 of the Act. She seeks to repeal a provision that lists a father of a deceased with no surviving spouse or child as the primary heir of property and proposes that parents share the inheritance equally.

The Bill aims to cure discrimination in property matters by ensuring that the succession law applies both ways.

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“The Bill, in amending the Law of Succession Act, seeks to ensure that the Act provides for gender equity with regards to succession matters,” Ms Halake proposes.

The proposed law also seeks to exclude community land from succession matters through amending Section 32 of the Act.

The current Act only excludes agricultural land in some former 12 districts that have since been recalibrated into counties. They are Tana River, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Marsabit, Isiolo, Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Narok, and Kajiado.

Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma had also proposed amendments to the Succession Act that sought to lockout partners, former wives, and children born out of wedlock from inheritance.

The Bill that aims to restrict inheritance to legally married couples, legitimate children and the extended family is at the Committee Stage at the National Assembly.

Earlier this week, Mr Kaluma’s absence from a sitting of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee saw deliberations on the Bill fail to take off.

Widowers Bill Succession Amendment Bill Remarriage Inheritance
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