In a judgment passed on Friday by Judge Alfred Mabeya on behalf of Judge Francis Tuiyott, the Nairobi Supreme Court ruled that her mother Dorcas Pedelai Ntimama, who died in June 2021, is the sole owner of the funds.
The court said Dorcas was the owner of the joint account and not her son-in-law, who was married to her daughter Vivian Talash Ntimama (also dead).
Dorcas was co-owner of the investment account with Vivian as a joint draftsman. The signing and operating mandate of the account opened in January 2018 was either Dorcas or Vivian.
However, Vivian died in January 2020 at the age of 42 and her husband Erick Kimani claimed a stake in the administration of her estate.
Court records show that her estate held the view that Vivian was not only a signatory to the account, but also a signatory and owner.
Dorcas had also decided to part of the inheritance that she had received from Ole Ntimama, who died in September 2016, to invest in Vivian.
The decision was allegedly shaped by the late politician’s intention that whatever he left him would become a wife to Vivian, his last daughter. In relation to her siblings, she was in a special place.
According to his will of June 24, 2015, the other properties that Dorcas inherited and that were to be returned to Vivian include two properties in the Lavington Estate and Another country in the CIS Mara / Olopito.
Comfort and maintenance
For this reason, Ole Ntimama had instructed Vivian to look after his wife Mama Dorcas for maintenance, comfort and maintenance Care throughout her life.
In the meantime, Dorcas struggled with dementia and memory loss. Eventually, some of their five children (Amos, Timothy, Sanau, Lydia and Sanaipei) were appointed to be their legal guardians and managers of their affairs.
Through attorney Omwanza Ombati, the siblings opposed their brother-in-law, arguing that her sister Vivian was not a co-investor or owner of the funds held by Britam, but was “only a signatory in support of her mother Dorcas”.
Given the competing claims, Britam Asset Managers (Kenya) Limited was in a dilemma. She decided to go to the court for help in determining who is entitled to the funds between the Vivian and Dorcas estate.
The dispute arose out of the family’s disagreement over the estate The operation and management of the funds, and Britam was left with a dilemma as to whose instructions to follow.
Justice Tuiyott found that the joint account opening form (filled out by Vivian and Dorcas) did not contain any details as to theirs respective interests should be treated in the event of death.
In addition, there was no evidence that Vivian and Dorcas had reached an agreement in this regard. In addition, after surviving Vivian, Mama Dorcas remained the sole owner of the funds in the account.
“The court therefore assumes that Mama Dorcas is the sole owner of the funds in the bank account. This is because Vivian Mama Dorcas died before death, “said the judge.
He stated that the law assumes that, unless expressly stated otherwise, the survivors have full ownership of a joint bank account Co-owner passes death of co-owner.
Vivian’s estate had requested the court to determine that the funds in said account were probably transferred to Vivian.
However, the court stated that while Ole Ntimama’s will shows everything that his wife Dorcas should bequeath to Vivian, the will does not show that the funds inherited from Dorcas would revert to Vivian.
“Evidence was found that while Mama Dorcas invited Vivian to be a co-signatory and second subscriber to the account, the balance on the account belonged solely to Mama Dorcas,” said Judge Tuiyott.
The court has that too Estate Burdened by Vivian with the litigation costs Britam insisted on getting something that wasn’t included.
“If the party not owning the funds wouldn’t have it passed, then Britam would not have gotten into trouble. It is this party that caused Britam to bear expenses and costs. It is this party that will bear Britam’s costs in this proceeding, “said the judge.
Children of the late politician and Vivian’s estate will bear their own costs.
During the manufacture In In the decision on costs, the judge found that the parties “are members of a family and, as the dispute shows, there is already a wedge between them”. A statement of costs cannot help to resolve the differences, said the judge.