Be like Mwai Kibaki, rather than Gicheru

In Summary

• President Kibaki died last year leaving a will drawn up in 2016 leaving his estate equally to his four children.

• Lawyer Paul Gicheru died last year without a will and now his widow is alleging that her in-laws have hijacked his estate.

Image: FILE

Everyone should make a will. It prevents a lot of problems arising after your death. That has been well illustrated by two recent cases in Kenya.

Former President Mwai Kibaki died last year but he left a will drawn up in 2016 leaving his estate equally to his four named children. Now a man and his sister have popped up claiming to be Kibaki's other children.


But their claim will remain flimsy because they are not named in Kibaki's will. Assuming hypothetically that they were his children, Kibaki was not obliged to include them in his will. The will ensures that Kibaki's wishes will be honoured after his death.

By contrast, lawyer Paul Gicheru died last year but left no will. Now the widow is in court alleging that his family have taken over his estate, leaving her unable to pay the school fees of three children in the UK.

The case will probably drag on indefinitely, leaving Gicheru's widow in dire financial straits. But if Gicheru had made a will, this mess could have been avoided.

We should not fear provoking fate. We should all make wills. In this respect, we should be more like Kibaki than Gicheru.

Quote of the day: "I landed in the USA with $2.50 in cash and $1 million in hopes, and those hopes never left me."

Charles Ponzi
The Italian swindler was born on March 3, 1882

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