Succession is the transfer or redistribution of the property of the deceased, to the person or persons entitled, either by will or by operation of law. The law of succession is concerned with the legal consequences flowing from death on the deceased person’s property. This is dependent on whether the deceased died testate (having made a will) or intestate (not having made a will). The rules and principles relating to wills and the procedures for distribution of the deceased’s estate in Kenya are found in the Law of Succession Act. 

In the case of testate succession, the estate of the deceased, after satisfying all existing obligations, is distributed in the manner set out in the will. In the case of an intestate succession, the estate is distributed according to the laws of intestacy.

Testate succession involves the personal representative or executor needing to obtain a grant of probate to prove that the will is genuine. The probate allows the executor or personal representative to distribute the estate of the deceased accordingly.

While in the case of intestate succession, one must apply for letters of administration in order to be able to distribute with the estate.

An advocate is under a legal duty to ensure that:

  • The will accurately captures the instructions of the client.
  • The testator has capacity to make the will.
  • The testator intends to make the will.
  • The will meets the requirements of the laws in force.


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