Inheritance laws in Kenya: A few years ago, married women were prevented from inheriting their fathers’ property on the basis of the marital status.
The society would disinherit them by claiming that they had moved away from their primary family and would now inherit from their husbands’ family side. This line of thought and unfairness is no longer valid.
Today, married women have an equal right to inherit their parents property as their brothers. This landmark shift is represented well y a court ruling that forced two brothers to share their parent’s estate, which is valued at more than Sh. 80 million, equally with their three married sisters.
In the court ruling, Justice Teresiah Matheka directed Mr Francis Wambugu and Mr Sammy Mathangani to ensure the estate of their mother Esther Wangui Kamuhia (deceased) will devolve in equal shares among all the five children.
The estate comprised more than 10 acres of prime pieces of land on the Nyeri-Karatina road.
The brothers sought to share the estate equally between them. They said their mother had made a will dated January 2, 2010.
Mr Mathangani produced the said will in court. In his proposed mode of distribution, Mr Mathangani said his sisters — Bance Wangechi Wachira, Mary Wanjiku Kahu and Rose Waigumo Ndeere — were married with their own homes.
He added that Waigumo was deceased. Justice Matheka said the issue of married daughters not inheriting from their parents is a dead horse.
“The law of Succession Act does not know sex or gender. It knows the deceased’s child. The parcel of land belonged to the mother of all the parties herein.”
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