PROBATE & ADMINISTRATION
Mr. & Mrs. Black Panther were driving home after enjoying their Valentine’s dinner. They began reminiscing about their wedding forty years ago at St. Bakita Chapel when all of a sudden they saw a lion lying in the middle of the road. This frightened Mr. Black Panther, who swerved to avoid hitting the lion but hit the guard rail which penetrated the wind screen of the vehicle hitting Mr. Black Panther who died on the spot. Mrs. Black Panther was rushed to a nearby hospital. She was treated and discharged.
Mr. Black Panther was buried two weeks later at their matrimonial home in Sokure Mitu County which he owned with Mrs. Panther as joint tenants. Mr. Black Panther at the time of his death owned the matrimonial home, two cars, a Lexus and a Range Rover, fifty 50 acres of land in Zambarau County, two hotels, ten vintage cars, Simba TV Station, Fish Farm measuring 50 acres and an apartment block in Bululu County attracting rental income. He held several bank accounts.
Ten years ago Mr. and Mrs. Black Panther had visited their Advocate’s Chambers with instructions to prepare their Wills. Mr. Black Panther’s instructions were as follows:
“(i) That he was bequeathing all his properties to his lovely wife Mrs. Black Panther if she survives him.
(ii) That if she fails to survive him or if she dies in close proximity to him then the properties were bequeathed to his biological children in equal shares. He listed his children as A, B, C, D & E.”
Mrs. Black Panther’s will contained reciprocal provisions to that of Mr. Black Panther. Mr. Black Panther reviewed and signed the will in the presence of two of his children and two receptionists at the office who all signed the will as witnesses. Mrs. Black Panther was in a hurry and promised to return with witnesses to sign which she never did. Mrs. Black Panther had refused to talk to her husband until he had agreed to write his will. Mrs. Black Panther owned her own apartment block in Farasi County. The apartments attract rental income which is deposited into a trust account in her name. It is a life policy trust investment account and she has listed her sons as the nominees.
Mr. and Mrs. Panther were blessed with another child five years ago. They jokingly referred to her as their “retirement baby”.
Three weeks after the burial of her husband, Mrs. Black Panther isited the hospital for what was to be a routine check-up. Doctors informed her that she had developed a blood
clot that required immediate surgery. She called her two best friends and her children and directed orally that all her property be distributed to her children in the following shares:
50% to her first born son (A) so that he could take care of the “retirement baby”. The remaining 50% to be shared equally between the other children.
She directed one of her friends to reduce her instructions into writing. Mrs. Black Panther died during surgery.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Black Panther have now visited your chambers for legal advice.
You have visited the home of Mr. Mrs. Black Panther and recovered three written wills as follows:
- Written will made by Mr. Black Panther ten years ago. However, the will is burnt and only the date is legible.
- The written will prepared for Mrs. Black Panther ten years ago but not signed or attested to.
- A written will made and signed by Mr. Black Panther three years before his death attested to by two of his friends; the instructions remain the same and are reciprocal to the will he made ten years ago with the addition of “retirement baby’s” name as one of his children.
Advise the children of Mr. Mrs. Black Panther on the following:
(a) The different types of wills in the narrative. (3 marks) (b) The validity or otherwise of the wills in the narrative under the Law of Succession,
Act, Cap. 160, Laws of Kenya quoting relevant case law. (6 marks) (c) Whether the children of Mr. Mrs. Black Panther are entitled to inherit their parents’ estates and the 50% per cent share that had been bequeathed to their late brother. Discuss having regard to the relevant statutes and case law.
(3 marks) (d) Whether the woman who claims to have been married to Mr. Black Panther under Customary Law is entitled to inherit as well as her son. Discuss having regard to the relevant statutes and case law. (4 marks) (e) Draft a sample Codicil amending the will made by Mr. Black Panther ten years ago had he approached your law firm to include the name of “retirement baby” as his child in the will. (4 marks)PROBATE & ADMINISTRATION-1