Malawi government has warned its officers and the public against abuse of deceased estates, saying the law is now strict on protecting such estates.
Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice Janet Banda and Administrator General Reyneck Matemba issued the warning in Mzuzu on Monday during the opening of a two-day sensitisation workshop on the new law on the deceased estates.
The workshop was aimed at sensitising various stakeholders who handle deceased estates, on the new law so as to ensure proper and effective implementation of the act.
Banda, who opened the workshop, said government was aware that officials at Treasury and other department were engaging in fraudulent acts of the deceased estate, thereby depriving beneficiaries access to funds.
She said undeserving beneficiaries were also claiming property, a thing the deceased would not have loved to see.
“Some notable changes in the new legislation relate to the protection of estates of the deceased persons pending the grant of probate or letters of administration. It was realised that the law was not stringent enough to protect property during this period.
“This gap exposed deceased estates to the manipulation of unscrupulous claimants or applicants. The new legislation also enhances the punishment for a person who unlawfully takes possession of any property forming part of the deceased estate,” said Banda.
Matemba said government will ensure that the deceased estate is protected and right beneficiaries access property.
He said the new law prioritises immediate family beneficiaries before looking into other dependants. He said the immediate family comprises spouses and children.