A Gavel Photo:HKM Legal

Succession is the governance of a deceased individual’s estate. An estate is essentially property owned by the deceased, both movable like money, shares and immovable properties like land, and other permanent features.

A will is a legal document written for a property owner called a testator, by a lawyer, on the wishes of the testator. The document spells out how the estate(s) and properties of the testator, who is deceased, shall be distributed. A will also takes care of the deceased’s beneficiaries, next of kin and the estate. 

There are two types of succession. Testate succession and Intestate succession. Testate succession is where a person the deceased left behind a will.  Here, the succession duty is to implement the will of the deceased. 

Intestate succession, on the other hand, is where a person dies without leaving a will. In this case, the interested parties and beneficiaries will need to file a succession case in a court of law. 

In a will, the testator acknowledges properties he has and directs who gets what value. Beneficiaries are usually, but are not limited, to blood family and relatives. Other beneficiaries or interested parties like friends or persons who depended on the deceased, can also provide proof, to show how they are entitled to the deceased estate.