Intestacy and partial intestacy 3. Devolution of household chattels 4. Spouse or child or both to be entitled to one house 5. Intestate survived by spouse and child 6. Intestate survived by spouse only 7. Intestate survived by child only 8.
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Inheritance tax and inheritance law in Ghana January 21, The Global Property Guide looks at inheritance from two angles: taxation , and what inheritance laws apply to foreigners leaving property in Ghana: what restrictions there are and whether making a will is advisable.
Ghanaian inheritance laws affect everyone who owns property in Ghana. The High Court in Ghana is competent to deal with inheritance issues. The High Court has jurisdiction to take decisions about property in Ghana owned by foreigners. The Circuit and District Courts may also deal with inheritance issues if the value involved does not exceed their statutory limits. The special facts or merits of each case determine how long the Court proceedings last, but inheritance cases are, on average, disposed of within three months.
Intestate succession laws in Ghana apply to foreigners. However, experience shows that many Ghanaian families do not follow the provisions of PNDC Law , fearing it would dissipate their property.
Most families still rely on the dictates of customary law. Under the rules of PNDCL , in the absence of a will, the entire estate of the deceased devolves to the next of kin. The compulsory beneficiaries are the children, spouse and parents of the deceased. The fraction of the estate distributed to each heir varies according to the numbers and categories of heirs involved in the distribution.
The Accountant-General, in turn, informs the Attorney-General, who publishes the accounts, announces the completion of the administration of the estate, and calls on claimants to present their petitions to court on legal, equitable, or moral grounds.
Equitable or moral claims refer to those of dependants of the deceased or other persons for whom the deceased might reasonably have been expected to make provision. Claimants have two years to make a claim by petition to the Attorney-General, unless the court fixes a shorter time. Any order made by the court in relation to the petition is published. The reserved portion must be catered for in a will.
There is a reserved portion of the estate, to ensure that some categories of people are not excluded from the will. The rules are complex. The portions depend on the numbers and existence of each category of heir. If the deceased failed to make provision in his will for a financial dependent, that person can apply to the High Court for provision. Foreign wills are upheld in Ghana The will of a foreigner is usually upheld by Ghanaian law if the formalities of execution comply with either the laws of Ghana, or with the national law of the country where the will was made.
The applicable law for the execution of a will is influenced by the personal law of the testator, such as customary law; Mohammedan law if Muslim; Common Law; or the law of another jurisdiction. In the absence of any specific provision as to which laws should govern the devolution of property in Ghana, Ghanaian law is the applicable law. The Courts Act, Act provides that the applicable laws governing any issues arising between such married couples are the relevant rules of their different systems of personal law, with a view to achieving a result that conforms with "natural justice, equity and good conscience".
It is normal to make a will in Ghana. It is advisable for a foreigner who has property governed by Ghanaian jurisdiction to make a will in Ghana. The advantage is that once proved and admitted to probate, the administration of the estate can commence immediately. On the other hand, a foreign will admitted to probate in the jurisdiction in which it was made must also be proved and admitted to probate in Ghana, before the estate to which it applies can be administered.
The physical presence of a foreign testator in Ghana is required to make a written will. The testator must sign or acknowledge his signature in the presence of two or more witnesses who are present at the same time.
The witnesses are also required to attest and sign the will in the presence of the testator, but no legal form of attestation is necessary. Gifts can be made during the lifetime of the property-owner. Most property in Ghana can be given freely to anyone during the lifetime of its owner.
The requirements are: the donor must be the legal owner of the gift; the donor must have the age, mental capacity, and intention to make the gift; and the gift must be delivered to and accepted by the donee during the lifetime of the donor. Household chattels, except those used exclusively for commercial purposes, may not be given to anyone, since they are reserved for the surviving spouse and children.
The giving of property to which other people have interests is restricted by law, and cannot contravene co-ownership arrangements. In the case of a malicious disposition of a gift, a surviving spouse, children or family member can apply to Court to challenge the gift after the death of the donor. Title deeds confer legal property ownership, but Ghanian law also recognizes trusts. Title Deeds confer the legal title of property to named individuals, but other persons, such as minors and other legal incompetents, may have equitable interests, and trustees may hold equitable interests in property for other persons.
The Court, where necessary, looks beyond Title Deeds to establish ownership of property. Property rights of husband and wife are separate. In Ghana, any properties acquired by spouses in their own right remain separate throughout their marriage and do not become jointly owned.
If a husband buys property in the name of his wife, the husband is presumed to have intended the property as a gift for his wife. This can, however, be rebutted by cogent evidence to show that a gift was never intended, and the husband wanted to retain a beneficial interest.
If a husband can show that he made a substantial contribution to the acquisition of property in the name of his wife, he could obtain an order of the Court decreeing that his wife holds the Title Deeds to the property in trust for himself.
Minors can inherit property. A trustee can be appointed in the will by the testator to protect the interests of minors or persons not of legal age who inherit property in Ghana. The Court can also appoint trustees over property intended for minors and other legal incompetents. Ghana - More data and information.
The law and your property: Intestacy
In the said decision, the High Court granted all the reliefs endorsed on the amended writ of summons and statement of claim taken against the defendants therein by the plaintiffs on 29th of June The Learned High Court made this pronouncement; a. The respondents, who were the plaintiffs in the court of 1st instance, commenced an action which was subsequently amended against the defendants, the appellants herein for these reliefs: a. He brought them to stay with him, treated them very well, took very good care of them and saw them through their education.
Intestate Succession Law, 1985 (PNDCL 111).
Inheritance tax and inheritance law in Ghana January 21, The Global Property Guide looks at inheritance from two angles: taxation , and what inheritance laws apply to foreigners leaving property in Ghana: what restrictions there are and whether making a will is advisable. Ghanaian inheritance laws affect everyone who owns property in Ghana. The High Court in Ghana is competent to deal with inheritance issues. The High Court has jurisdiction to take decisions about property in Ghana owned by foreigners.
Ankomahyi and Another v Buckman and Others (J4/43/2013) GHASC 130 (26 February 2014)
Ghana Intestate Succession Law (with amendment)