Gender and Land Rights Database


Mecanismos legais de herança/sucessão


The Intestate Succession Law, 1985 amended by the Intestate Succession (Amendment) Law, (PNDCL 264),1991:
 - Emphasizes the importance of the nuclear family and provides spouses with equal rights of inheritance.
 - Provides for equal shares of inheritance for both spouses.
 - The matrimonial home and possessions therein shall go to the spouse and children in equal shares. The law provides that the residue shall be distributed in specified percentages to the spouse, children, parents and the customary family (8).
 - Section 12 states that if the value of the estate is considered small then the estate should devolve entirely to the spouse or the child, or if there is not spouse or child, to the parent.
 - Section 16[a], under the 1991 amendment, prohibits any person from ejecting a spouse or child from the matrimonial home prior to the distribution of the estate, irrespective of whether the deceased person died testate or intestate. Anyone who attempts to or succeeds in ejecting the surviving entitled spouse, or deprives her/him of the use of the property or any part thereof, or interferes with the property in any way, is liable to a large fine and imprisonment not exceeding one year (9).
 - Due to the fact that the term spouse is used in the singular, polygamous marriages are not addressed. In addition, the law does not cover de-facto, non-formalized unions (15).

The Administration of Estates Law, 1985, amended in 1998:
 - Protects women and children by stating that when the value of the estate is equal to or less than 10 million cedis, it should be devolved entirely to the spouse or the child in order to protect the needs of beneficiaries (14).

The Marriage of Mohammedans Ordinance, 1907:
 - Section 10 provides that succession of an intestate spouse registered under the Ordinance shall be regulated by Islamic law (9).

The Wills Act, 1971:
 - Provides for freedom of testacy, but subject to customary law applicable to testator (18).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography