How to Transfer Land and Other Property After Losing Loved One

A signpost showing land for sale
A signpost showing land for sale.
Land in Kenya

After the death of a loved one, many Kenyans are often thrown into the grueling process of attempting to recover land and property that was owned by the deceased.

While wading off land grabbers, the beneficiaries find themselves in long-winding court cases - mostly challenging the wills left behind by the deceased individuals yet the process to recover the property can be minimal when proper documents are lodged in a timely manner.

Here is a step by step process of transferring the property as advised by the Judiciary.


Known as the Grant of Probate, individuals named in the will by the deceased as the successors are often required to apply for the right to execute the will.

Applicants are expected to possess:

  • The deceased original will and two copies.
  • The death certificate of the deceased
  • P&A 78-Petition
  • P&A 3-Affidavit

Every application for the Grant of Probate must consist of the full names of the deceased, the date and place of his death, last known place of residence and the relationship of the applicant(s) to the deceased and a full inventory of the properties of the deceased.

A file image of the judiciary
A file image of the judiciary

Full Process

Applicants are advised to file all the above-mentioned documents at the court nearest to them for approval and assessment of fees.

After approval and issuance of an invoice by the deputy registrar, they should proceed to make two separate payments for the court fee and gazettement fee at the specified banks and present the bank slips at registration to obtain receipts.

Once the notice is published in the Kenya Gazette, the applicant is directed to wait for 30 days to allow for any objections (If a person had been left out of the list of beneficiaries, he/she can apply to the court to be included).

Issuance of Grant of Probate

30 days after gazettement, if there is no objection, the court then issues grant of probate to the applicant. Errors in names, descriptions, place and time of death may be rectified before or after the confirmation of grant.

Note: If the error is fundamental and likely to interfere with the rights of parties, then the parties should apply for the grant to be cancelled after which the court will direct the parties to re-apply.

In cases where the applicant is not seeking for transfer of huge assets but access to transact for a specific reason such as the payment of school fees or rent, they are advised to apply for a Limited Grant.

How to Apply for Limited Grant

The applicant must possess a letter from the area chief listing all the beneficiaries to the property, present copy of the death certificate, applicant's identity card, those of the beneficiaries, a P&A 85-Petition form as well as P&A 19-Affidavit form.

The application process follows the same procedure as that of the Grant of Probate.

Six months after gazettement, if there is no objection, an application to confirm the grant of letters of administration and distribution of estate must be applied for (issued).

Important notes

  1. The number of persons applying for grant of probate should not exceed four.
  2. If the value of the deceased person's property is greater than Ksh20 million, then the documents should be filed at the High Court.
  3. If the value of the deceased person's property is less than Ksh20 million, then the documents should be filed at the Magistrate's court.
A court Gavel.
A court Gavel.


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