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CHRAJ warns against arbitrary sharing of deceased properties

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The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has warned family heads against arbitrary distribution of property of deceased without recourse to the law.

“Without the acquisition of a Letters of Administration from a competent court of jurisdiction, any attempt by family heads or siblings of the deceased to share the property amounts to an illegality,” declared Mr. John Ato Breboh, Senior Principal Investigator, Tema Regional Office of CHRAJ.

Mr. Breboh made the recommendation while speaking on the Ghana News Agency, Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform about the “Interstate Succession Law.”

He said the PNDC Law 111, which is presently being reviewed, established a method to distribute the estate a deceased, adding that, the law gives a larger percentage of the holdings to the spouse and children.

The remaining four portions, according to the Principal Senior Investigator of CHRAJ, would be split two ways among the deceased parents and extended family.

He added that if the deceased was only survived by a spouse without children, he or she was entitled to half of the property, with the remaining half divided equally among the family and parents.

“If a person dies without children and a spouse, the parents and family will take half of his or her property; if they die without a family, spouse, parents, or children, everything goes to the state,” he said.

He urged persons whose spouses died without a will to apply the Interstate Succession Law and seek remedy in the legal system.

Mr. Breboh stated that despite the fact that the law has been in effect since 1985, most spouses, particularly women, were being evicted from their homes by family members.

According to him, the law provides for the sharing of a deceased person’s property; so, the practise of relatives taking over such properties to the detriment of a husband and children is illegal and punishable by law.

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