ONGWEDIVA, Aug. 23- Over the years Namibian families have fought over inheritance, more often due to a lack of understanding on procedure, leaving their loved ones without a cent.
In many cases Traditional Authorities and lawyers will inform a person that the most bitter disputes they have to deal with concern inheritance.
In 2003, the high court of Namibia instructed government to harmoniously and effectively review the matter of inheritance and administration of deceased estates by June 2005. By November 2005, after government failed to meet its initial deadline, an extension was granted until 31 December 2005, which saw the passing of the Estates and Succession Amendment Bill without debate just the closure of Parliament.
Previously, Estates owned by Namibians were administered by magistrates, while the estates of white people were administrated by the Master of the High court.
However, the new law stipulates that, irrespective of race, all deceased’s estates shall be administrated in terms of the Administration of Estates Act, by the Master of the High Court.
Yet, many Namibians still fight over inheritance or are excluded from inheritance under most customary systems in Namibia, despite the civil law stating that the surviving spouse and children of the deceased are entitled to the inheritance in the absence of a will.
The Chairperson of Namibia Chamber Of Commerce and Industry Northern branch, Thomas Koneka Iindji said that people should be made aware of the importance of a Will and Testament.
“It is critical that we give advice on the benefits of having Wills and some possible consequences of not having a Will.”
Iindji said that having a last Will and Testament will ensure that the beneficiaries are not left out, as there will be a problem of obtaining a grant letter.
“Making a last Will and naming your beneficiaries and executor would solve a potential disaster from happening. It will also help with resolving arising issues,” said Iindji. – Maria Abraham
Photo:Contributed : The Chairperson of Namibia Chamber Of Commerce and Industry Northern branch, Thomas Koneka