Denying beneficiaries their right to inherit from a deceased person is punishable by law – Minkah-Premo
Private lawyer Sheila Minkah-Premo warned against depriving surviving parents, especially spouses, of their rights to a deceased person’s estate.
According to her, it is a crime punishable by law to remove, destroy or interfere illegally with the property of the deceased person and to deprive the beneficiary of the use of the property.
Speaking on JoyNews‘ The lawMs. Minkah-Premo said, “As a practitioner, some 30 years later, we still have people coming to our office, telling us that as soon as the husband dies, they [deceased’s family] come lock the door, take the private car, to the family house.
She told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Sunday that “people always do these things. So if you deprive a beneficiary of any part or interfere, you are breaking the law. “
The Chairperson of the Executive Council for Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa (LAWA Ghana) has stated that if a person commits such an offense, he or she is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine of at least 700 penalty units and no more than 1000 penalties. units in accordance with the Intestate Succession Act 2018.
They could also be punishable by imprisonment for at least two years or more than four years or both (fine and imprisonment).
This means that a person will be fined around GHS 8,400 minimum and GHS 12,000 or be jailed for a minimum of two years or a maximum of four years or both, Ms. Minkah-Premo explained.
In addition, she clarified that the court can also ask for the reinstatement of the person who was expelled or the reimbursement of the goods.
In addition, before the distribution of the estate of a highway, if a person locks up and / or takes possession of household property in the matrimonial home after the death of one of the spouses, they are also committing a crime, Ms. Minkah said. -Premo.
“Household assets belong to the surviving spouse and children, so if you take one of them you are liable to summary conviction with a fine of at least 250 penalty units and at most 500 penalty units and also a prison term of not less than two years and not more than four years, ”she added.
However, she said that for both crimes, many experts have argued that the sentence must be much harsher or greater than what currently exists under interstate law.
Ms Minkah-Premo explained that this is because the practice of taking advantage of surviving spouses is endemic in society.
“Maybe if it is further improved, hopefully, in the 2021 version of the Intestate Inheritance Bill, I think it will be good. It’s really very common. It is a time when a person is most vulnerable, you have lost the spouse, you are vulnerable and the family comes to you.