Kenya enacts law blocking Side Chicks, kids outside the wedlock from family inheritance

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Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Succession Bill Amendment on Wednesday; Courtesy Photo

Secret lovers and children born outside the wedlock as well as distant dependants in Kenya will no longer have a right to inheritance in the event of a benefactor’s death.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday assented to the Succession (Amendment) Bill under which, inheritance is only limited to legally married husbands and wives and their legal children.

The dependants entitled to inherit property are limited to only the spouse and children of the deceased —whether or not maintained by the deceased prior to death.

The new law also permits husbands to automatically manage their wives estates without having to prove dependence on their wives.

The law further prohibits secret partners to storm a funeral to demand recognition and a share of the departed person’s property when a person dies.

Sponsored by Homa Bay Town MP, Peter Kaluma, the new law seeks to streamline succession matters after concerns were raised that long lists of dependants sow confusion.

During the debate on the Bill in the National Assembly, MPs argued that once a person dies, their families should not be compelled to continue helping those whom the deceased was helping or sharing their wealth with.

North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood said supporting somebody out of goodwill does not mean the person automatically becomes part of one’s relatives, and that entrenching the habit is likely to be abused by the intended beneficiaries.

Previously, the law included the deceased’s parents, grandparents, grandchildren, stepchildren, children whom the deceased had taken into his family as his own, brothers and sisters as well as half-brothers being maintained by the deceased prior to death, as beneficiaries.

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