Kenya's High Court on Wednesday ruled that children delivered by a widow more than nine months after the death of her husband are not entitled to inherit the deceased's property.
In her ruling, Justice Lucy Gitari said such children cannot be regarded as having survived the deceased as stated by Section 29 of the Law of Succession Act, Cap 160.
The judge said such children should be excluded in succession as they are also not considered as dependents of the deceased’s estate.
She also said such these children are not entitled to the inheritance since the deceased had not taken them as his own and was not maintaining them before he died.
Justice Gitari made the ruling in an inheritance dispute pitting Ms. Milka Wanjiku and her step-mother Ms. Rose Wangechi.
Wanjiku and Wangechi were fighting over sharing of the estate left behind by Wandimu Munyi who died in 1985. Munyi was father to Wanjiku and husband to Wangechi.
Wangechi wanted three other children she got after the death of her husband included in the list of beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate.
The court heard that Munyi had three children with his first wife (deceased) and only one child with Ms. Wangechi.
In her ruling, Justice Gitari ordered the estate be shared in five equal portions among the four children Munyi sired before his death. The fifth portion belongs to Wangechi, the widow.
“The (other) four children are excluded as beneficiaries. The distribution should be in accordance with the number of children. The widow is an additional unit,” she ruled.