Succession

When someone dies, issues of inheritance and succession arise. The distribution of the deceased person's property may either be according to the deceased person's will (testate succession), or according to a prescribed set of laws for property division if the person died without leaving a will (intestate succession).

The law in Uganda protects women's equal right to inheritance. However, in practice, women's inheritance rights are often violated. Widows are often denied the right to inherit their deceased husband's property, especially land. Sometimes they are even denied the right to look after their own children. Sometimes widows are chased out of the matrimonial home or deprived of the right to use the family land to grow food for their families. Girl children are sometimes denied the right to inherit their father's property.

The main laws that govern inheritance are:

  • The Constitution of Uganda
  • The Succession Act
  • The Administrator General's Act

ULA trains community rights workers to be able to articulate inheritance rights during their community activities. Key issues of focus include:

  • How having a will can protect a person's family and prevent conflicts
  • Women can own property that is given to them in a will and wills re a means to protect family members, especially women and girls, from property grabbing
  • How to make a will

It is envisaged that the above messages will lead to:

  • Increased awareness of the importance of wills
  • Knowledge and services to write and witness wills
  • Support to follow correct and legal procedures in managing property of the deceased