In Summary
  • The judge noted that if the deceased wanted to give the plot to Ms Wambui’s husband, he would have done so during his lifetime.

Taking care of a parent in old age does not give one added advantage to inheritance, the High Court has ruled in a property row involving eight siblings.

Justice Florence Muchemi held that the Law of Succession Act mandates equal distribution of the estate of the deceased without discrimination, mostly where there is absence of a valid will.

She was ruling in a case where a woman wanted her husband to get a stake of her deceased father’s estate because he had taken care of him at old age.

Ms Jerusha Wambui claimed that her husband, Mr Moses Mbogo, took care of the deceased, Kubuta Kamara, by giving him a goat for soup.

Kamara died in 2001 at Mwea Hospital. The eight children had already shared out the estate of the deceased save for a plot in Wang’uru Mwea, which was the subject of the dispute.

CONSPIRACY UNRAVELLED

When the succession proceedings began, the plot was left out of the list of the deceased’s assets.

Ms Wambui, who was the administrator of the estate, testified that she was advised to leave it out when commencing the probate proceedings by her advocate.

But Justice Muchemi found the move deliberate with an intention to later sneak it in so that the benefit may go to Ms Wambui and her husband in exclusion of all other beneficiaries.

“This is confirmed by the fact that Ms Wambui did not serve the application on her siblings even after the court so directed on May 6, 2019. On May 28, 2019, she came to court alone just for the court to remind her again to serve the application,” said the judge.

Ms Wambui filed the matter seeking to have the disputed plot registered in Mr Mbogo’s name.

COMPENSATION

In her testimony, she said the deceased had bequeathed the plot to his son-in-law Mbogo as a gift prior to his death.

The judge noted that if the deceased wanted to give the plot to Ms Wambui’s husband, he would have done so during his lifetime.

Ms Wambui claimed her husband paid the cost of subdivision of the deceased’s land, LR. Ngariama/Lower Ngariama/10, and was to be compensated with the plot.

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