According to the breakdown, of the deceased or testators wealth, the surviving spouse or spouses will take 20 per cent, the dependant relatives take 4 per cent, the linear descendants or biological and adopted children take 75 per cent while the customary heir will take 1 per cent. The repealed act provided for only 15 per cent for the spouse.
Parliament has passed a new legislation; the succession Bill seeking to ensure equality and equity in the distribution of the deceased estates. The bill repeals that succession law traced back to 1906.
The Bill's main objective is to provide for the rights of women and also ensure equality between the spouses in the distribution of property or estates of the deceased. It among
other things make it compulsory for testators to
provide for spouses, lineal descendants, and dependent relatives in their
the breakdown, of the deceased or testators wealth, the surviving spouse or spouses will take 20 per cent, the dependant
relatives take 4 per cent, the linear descendants or biological and adopted children take 75 per cent
while the customary heir will take 1 per cent. The repealed act provided for only 15 per cent for the spouse.
However, the new law emphasizes that the principal residence of the person writing the will shall not form part
of the property to be disposed of in a will, except where he or she
makes another reasonable accommodation provided for the children and the
Monica Amoding, a member of Uganda
Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), says the percentages were decided after
wide consultations with women, the government, and several actors. She says that 20 per cent of
the estates or wealth, will be taken off the 75 per cent, in cases where
there are school-going children aged below 18 and those with disabilities to ensure that their needs are not disrupted.
But in cases where there are estates or sources of
income that comes periodically, the 20 per cent for educating the children and taking
care of the disabled can be got from here. Amoding adds the law banned the sale of the official residence of deceased persons.
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In circumstances where a surviving spouse who separated
from the deceased returns after the demise of a husband or wife, he or she is not entitled to anything
according to the new law. This also refers to when the marriage between the
two is suspended by agreement or by judicial order, but it will not apply if the surviving spouse
was on an approved course of study, and if the deceased is the one who
separated from the surviving spouse.
Amuru Woman MP Lucy Akello says the bill repeals
the definitions of legitimate and illegitimate children and replaces the age of
the minors from 21 years to 18 years as per the Constitution. This
means that all children are legitimate and therefore will be catered for. She says the bill also created penalties for those who try to evict rightful owners of the deceased estates.
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The bill provides for the appointment of testament
guardians by a will or statutory guardians by a parent or customary guardian by
family. Termination of guardianship automatically happens when the child
reaches 18 years, or when either the guardian or child dies.
Now following the passing of the bill, members of the succession amendment
round table including Women Human Rights Activists, Uganda Women's
Parliamentary Association (UWOPA), Landnet Uganda and Women's Land
Rights Movement among others celebrated what they called a milestone. According to the team, both men and women are catered for equitably in the bill.