Testate succession: this is the disposition of a deceased‟s estate in accordance with his will as approved the court.
(i) Spouse and child or children: under section 35 (1) of the Act, where the intestate is survived a spouse and a child or children the surviving spouse is entitled to:
• Personal and household effects of the deceased absolutely.
• A life interest in the residue of the net intestate estate. This life interest terminates upon the remarriage of a spouse if she is a widow.
• Power of appointment: this is the power of a person to distribute another‟s property. The surviving spouse must exercise the power fairly and without undue delay. If the spouse takes too long or exercises the power unfairly any child may apply to the court to compel the spouse to exercise the power for a variation.
Spouse but no children:
under section 36 of the Act where the intestate is survived bya spouse but no child or children the surviving spouse is entitled to:
• Personal and households effects or the deceased absolutely
• First Kshs. 10,000 out of the net intestate estate or 20% thereof whichever is greater.
• Life interest in the remainder. The life interest terminates upon the remarriage of the spouse if she is a widow.
Child (ren) but no spouse:
where the intestate is survived a child or children but no spouse, the net intestate estate devolves upon the child or the children and is held in trust for it or for them in equal shares until they attain the age of majority.
No spouse or children:
under section 39 of the Act, if the intestate is survived neither spouse, nor child or children, the net intestate estate devolves upon the relatives in the following order of priority:
• Father, if dead
• Mother, if dead
• Brothers and sisters and any children of deceased brothers and sisters in equal shares, and if none,
• Half brothers and half sisters and any children of deceased half brothers and sisters in equal shares and if none.
• The closest relative upto and including the 6th degree of consanguinity is equal shares, if none,
• It devolves upon the state and is paid into the consolidated fund.
Polygamous married –
under section 40 (1) of the Act, if the intestate was polygamous married, the net intestate estate devolves upon all the houses and is divided between them on the basis of the number of children and adding one unit in the case of a surviving spouse.