A landmark judgment which held that grandchildren are not entitled to inherit property owned by their grandparents has been upheld by a Kirinyaga High Court Justice Lucy Gitari.
According to the judge, grandchildren who want to share in their grandparents’ estate, must prove they were being maintained by the grandparent before death or if the grandparents had made a legal oral or written will stating so , otherwise, whatever is presented before the court is void.
Ms. Purity Muthoni, the plaintiff who was seeking a share of the estate owned by her late grandfather Kiriungi Karani, presented the case before the Judge in Kerugoya High Court. What prompted her to move to court were the wrangles between her three uncles and three aunts fighting about the mode of distribution of the estate and she wanted her deceased mother to also be considered as a beneficiary whom she said was a daughter to Karani in an affidavit.
“Muthoni and her siblings do not live on the estate of the deceased. Based on these provisions, Muthoni and her siblings, who are grandchildren of the deceased, are not entitled to a share of the estate,” the court ruled.
The said rightful surviving beneficiaries through a letter of Administration seen by the area chief were supposed to share the estate equally, but they consented to some getting a smaller share than others. But one of the beneficiaries, opposed the distribution formula, saying the estate should be shared equally.
Justice Gitari declined to allow her application to suspend execution of the judgment on the grounds that she failed to demonstrate that she will suffer a substantial loss if the judgment is executed.