Frequently Asked Questions

Key information on how to secure your family’s future

Are women allowed to inherit property?

Yes! Both men and women can inherit property, according to the law. There is no distinction between sons and daughters’ capacity to inherit land, and no distinction between married and unmarried daughters.

Why is it important for my family's future that my wife can inherit property?

When a wife can inherit land, she and her children are protected from being left homeless and poor if her husband dies. This also ensures that complicated land disputes may not arise after a husband’s death, and that families live in peace and harmony in our communities. This also recognized that women have a right to own property either individually or in association with others and inheritance is one of the ways of obtaining property

What do I need to do to ensure my family's land rights are secured?

You can begin by ensuring that your marriage(s) is registered, obtaining a title for land you acquired by way of inheritance, including your wife or husband in the land title you hold or intend to acquire (co-registration of the land), making a will, encouraging the settling of land disputes through mediation and spreading the word to others! Learn more here BEGIN TODAY!

How can I talk to my husband or father about land inheritance?

Having open discussions about family property with your husband and father will help you all secure the future of your family. More and more fathers and husbands in our community have come to feel it is their moral responsibility to provide some land for their wives, and their daughters, as well as their sons, to help preserve family and community peace, harmony and well-being. You can also share with them the resources here: OUR RESOURCES or the information on this website.

How does owning land for a woman help secure my family's future?

Land is an important resource in our society. Land ownership by a woman ensures that she and her children continue to have a home and land if her husband dies. She can also use it to further her economic welfare and leave it behind for her loved ones in case she dies. It also helps preserve family and community peace, harmony and well-being. If she has a land title, she can also protect the land from interference by non-owners.

Marriage and property

Why does registering my marriage matter?

It is very important that every marriage should be supported by a marriage certificate for purposes of securing rights within the marriage. If a husband were to die or if there was a divorce and a need for the distribution of assets, many families will lose their properties because they did not have a marriage certificate.

How do I register my marriage?

You will need:

  1. Passport pictures of each person
  2. Proof of their ages
  3. Identification document
  4. Letter from chief
  5. Acknowledgement from registrar
  6. Registration fee


  1. Notify the registrar of marriage
  2. Registrar issues a 14 days’ notice inviting any objections
  3. If objection is received, they are determined by the registrar
  4. The registrar issues the parties acknowledgement
  5. The parties submit the documents and pays the registration fee
  6. Issuance of marriage certificate.

Please find more information in our brochure on marriage here: REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE (ENGLISH). Find other languages of the document here: BEGIN TODAY

How can I co-register land with my partner?

You will need the following documents:

  • Identity cards of both parties
  • Colored passport pictures
  • Original tittle deed
  • Stamp duty payment (not required after succession)
  • Valuation report
  • Rates / rent clearance certificate
  • Transfer form duly filled

Take the documents above to the land’s office governing your area and obtain a receipt. The title will be processed in both names or as applied.

Please find more information in our brochure on land registration here REGISTRATION OF LAND

Can one inherit a partner’s property if they were cohabiting at the time of death?

We encourage you to register your marriage in order to secure your family’s future.

Cohabitation is not a form of marriage according to the marriage law. However, for purposes of inheritance, the person claiming to be a spouse must provide proof that they were in a union that resembles marriage in order to be considered for inheritance. Proof would include: a general reputation in the community that the two were cohabiting as man and wife.  This is not always easy to prove.

For more information on how to claim property when your spouse/cohabitee dies, please look at our resources in this link: BEGIN TODAY!

Does a husband or wife have any rights over property registered in the name of either of them?

A husband/wife has a right to the property registered in the name of the other if the property is matrimonial (acquired during the marriage or the other contributed to its acquisition or improved it in the course of their marriage.) This means that, for example, in order to sell the land or use the matrimonial home as security for a loan, you must seek consent of your partner.

Please have a look at our booklet on matrimonial property. PROPERTY OWNERSHIP BY MARRIED COUPLES

Is Community land part of matrimonial property?

No. Community land is held in trust for the future generations therefore it is not part of matrimonial property. No individual can claim community land and therefore it cannot be inherited by either men or women.

Children and other dependants

What do I need to do ensure my daughter(s) and son(s) can inherit my property?

Daughters and sons have an express right to inherit property on the basis that they are considered dependents. During the succession process, one only needs their birth certificate if minors and identity card and consent if over 18 to ensure they are included in the process of seeking inheritance rights.

Is a child eligible to inherit from the step-parent?

Children are eligible to inherit from a step-parent if they are dependents of the step-parent for their survival. Also, step-parents can provide for them through a will. Children born to parents who were not married at the time of birth are also entitled to a share of their parents’ property.

Can I include non-family members to my will?

Yes! You can make a will that includes non-family members to inherit whatever property you desire to pass on to them. In such situations, it is important to clearly describe the property to ensure accurate identification.

More Questions

When should someone write a will?

A will can be written by anyone (man or woman) who is an adult of sound mind and owns any kind of property. A person writing a will is known as a testator. A written will must be witnessed by at least 2 people who are not beneficiaries of the will. The death of a witness doesn’t affect the validity of a will. Because the property and wishes of the testator can change any time, a will can be changed by the testator anytime during their lifetime. A testator is free to consult anyone when writing a will but the will can only be disputed once the testator dies. For more details on wills, please check our resources tab at

Is there a marriage superior to another?

All marriages have equal legal status in Kenya, for example, both customary marriages and Christian marriages bequeath the same rights to the parties. However, the process of registration and divorce may be different depending on the type of marriage.

Can a widow keep the inherited home once she remarries?

If the deceased husband during his lifetime wrote a will giving her absolute interest in the house and other property, a widow can keep the inherited property. However, if the husband did not write a will giving her the property, she will only use the property to her benefit until she gets remarried.

What happens to joint property when a marriage breaks down?

The court can order that the land be distributed between the parties depending on the level of contribution of each or order one party to compensate the other if the land is not to be divided.