Understanding Bequests in Real Estate in Kenya
By understanding the legal framework, following proper procedures, and seeking professional advice, individuals can ensure that their real estate assets are distributed according to their wishes.
In Kenya, bequests play a significant role in estate planning and the transfer of real estate assets. A bequest refers to the act of leaving property or assets, including real estate, to someone through a will or testamentary document. It allows individuals to specify how their real estate assets should be distributed after their demise.
Bequests in Kenya are governed by the Law of Succession Act, Cap. 160, which outlines the rules and procedures for the administration of estates. This legislation provides guidelines on how bequests should be made, the requirements for a valid will, and the rights and responsibilities of beneficiaries.
1. Drafting a Will:
To make a bequest, it is essential to have a legally valid will. Engaging the services of a qualified lawyer or legal professional is advisable to ensure that the will complies with the legal requirements and accurately reflects your intentions.
2. Specific Bequests
When making a bequest, it is crucial to clearly identify the real estate property being bequeathed. This includes providing accurate descriptions, such as the property's location, size, and any relevant title deeds or registration details.
Bequests allow individuals to designate specific beneficiaries who will inherit the real estate property. It is important to clearly identify these beneficiaries and include their full names and relationship to the testator (the person making the will).
4. Contingent Bequests
In some cases, individuals may include contingent bequests, which specify alternative beneficiaries if the primary beneficiaries are unable to inherit the property. This ensures that the property is not left unallocated in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
5. Legal Advice
Seeking legal advice when making a bequest is highly recommended. A lawyer can provide guidance on the legal implications, tax considerations, and potential challenges that may arise during the execution of the will.
Bequests in real estate form an integral part of estate planning in Kenya. By understanding the legal framework, following proper procedures, and seeking professional advice, individuals can ensure that their real estate assets are distributed according to their wishes. Properly executed bequests contribute to a smooth transfer of property and provide peace of mind for both the testator and beneficiaries involved.
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