Chairman of the Executive Council of LAWA Ghana, says a living spouse can not be hindered from inheriting the property of a deceased spouse irrespective of the duration of the marriage.

Sheila Minkah-Premo, speaking on JoyNews’ The Law on Sunday, noted that regardless of the deceased dying testate or not, the widow or widower per the new Intestate Succession Bill, if passed into law, is entitled to a share of the property in question.

“About a man who has been married a long time to his wife, and she dies or divorces him, and he gets married to someone for three months and he dies – too bad, under the law, that person is your new spouse and would inherit the property.

“As to the labels you want to give to the person… It is just fate. I don’t think the person came in with a plan to finish the spouse. Unless it is the person’s plan and you can prove some murder or manslaughter, that’s another thing.

“But so long as the person is the spouse, it doesn’t matter how short the time is. It can even be within a month,” she told host, Samson Lardy Anyenini.

Per the new bill, an estranged spouse (i.e a spouse who has been separated but not divorced) can benefit from the distribution of the property of the deceased spouse once it is passed into law.

Discussing individuals who by law are entitled to inherit the assets of a deceased, Sheila Minkah-Premo explained that children. either conceived out of wedlock or not, have a legitimate share of the property of the deceased parent.

“The children will benefit. Remember, the definition of children is children, whether born within or outside a marriage. So the children will benefit,” she stated.

However, persons she noted are not considered by law as automatic beneficiaries of a deceased are ‘Baby mamas’ and ‘side chicks’.

Such individuals can only be considered if they are captured in the deceased’s will.

“The big question of whether the mothers of children who were not married to the fathers can benefit, unfortunately, in this current draft, no provision is made for it…..if you look at Article 22, it talks about spouses, it doesn’t talk about anything else,” she said.

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