Intestate Succession Act, 1989
- Commenced on 19 May 1989
- [This is the version of this document at 31 December 1996.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Title and commencementThis Act may be cited as the Intestate Succession Act.
3. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"administrator" means a person to whom a grant of letters of administration has been made and includes the Administrator-General;"Administrator-General" has the meaning assigned to it by section six of the Administrator-General's Act;[Cap. 58]"brother or sister" includes a half-brother or half-sister and brother or sister by adoption;"child" means a child born in, or out of marriage, an adopted child, a child who is conceived but not yet born;"common property" in relation to a polygamous marriage, means all personal chattels of the deceased which were used in common by him, his wives and children of every household to which the deceased was connected by his marriage, not being household property;"Court" means the High Court, subordinate court or a local court;"death duty" means estate duty chargeable under the Estate Duty Act and any other duty payable on death;[Cap. 334]"dependant" in relation to a deceased person means a person who was maintained by that deceased person immediately prior to his death and who was—(a)a person living with that deceased person; or(b)a minor whose education was being provided for by that deceased person; and who is incapable, either wholly or in part of maintaining himself;"estate" means all the assets and liabilities of a deceased, including those accruing to him by virtue of death or after his death and for the purposes of administration of the estate under Part III includes personal chattels;"family property" means any property, whether movable or immovable, which belongs to the members collectively of a particular family or is held for the benefit of such members and any receipts or proceeds from such property;"homestead property" in relation to a polygamous marriage means all personal chattels of the deceased and used by him, his wife and children of a particular household to which the deceased was connected by his marriage, not being common property;"intestate" means a person who dies without having made a will and includes a person who leaves a will but dies intestate as to some beneficial interest in his movable or immovable property;"issue" in relation to any person means the children, grandchildren and other remoter descendants of that person;"local court" means a court recognised or established under section four of the Local Courts Act;[Cap. 29]"marriage" includes a polygamous marriage and "husband", "surviving spouse", "wife" or "widow" shall be construed accordingly;"minor" means a person who has not attained the age of eighteen years;"near relative" means issue, brother, sister, grandparent and other remoter descendants of the deceased;"parent" includes a guardian who has been responsible for the welfare and education of the deceased;"personal chattel" means clothing, articles of personal use or adornment, furniture and furnishing, appliances, utensils and all other articles of household use or decoration, simple agricultural equipment, hunting equipment, books, motor vehicles and consumable stores but does not include chattels used for business purposes, money or securities for money;"priority dependant" means a wife, husband, child or parent;"subordinate court" means a court constituted under section three of the Subordinate Courts Act;[Cap. 28]"syndic" means a person deputed to represent and transact the affairs of a corporation.
Part II – Succession
4. Intestacy and partial intestacy
5. Distribution of estate
6. Distribution where intestate survived by no spouse, etc.Where an intestate leaves—
7. Distribution where intestate survived by spouse, etc.Where an intestate leaves—
8. Devolution of personal chattels in monogamous marriagesNotwithstanding section five where the intestate in the case of a monogamous marriage is survived by a spouse or child or both, the spouse or child or both of them, as the case may be, shall be entitled equally and absolutely to the personal chattels of the intestate.
9. Surviving spouse or child or both to be entitled to house
10. Devolution of homestead and common property in polygamous marriageNotwithstanding section five where the intestate is survived by more than one widow or a child from any of them, then, each widow or her child or both of them shall be entitled—
11. Small estatesNotwithstanding section five, where the total value of the estate does not exceed K30,000 the estate shall—
12. Minister to alter value of small estatesThe Minister, may by statutory instrument, vary the maximum value of the estate prescribed under section eleven.
13. Transfer of share in estate to priority dependantNotwithstanding anything in this Act, any person entitled to share in the estate may transfer his share in the estate to a priority dependant.
14. Offences against an entitled personAny person who—
Part III – Administration of estates
15. Letters of administration on intestacy
16. Number of administrators
17. Attorney of person entitled to administrationWhere a person who is entitled to letters of administration is absent from Zambia, and there is no other person equally entitled who is willing to act as administrator, letters of administration may be granted to a lawfully constituted attorney, of the administrator ordinarily resident in Zambia, limited until that administrator obtains letters of administration himself and in the meantime to any purpose to which the attorney's authority is limited.
18. Appointment of administrator pending litigationPending the determination of any proceedings for obtaining or revoking any grant of letters of administration, the court may appoint an administrator of the estate of the deceased person, who shall have all the rights and powers of a general administrator other than the right of distributing the estate, and an administrator so appointed shall be subject to the immediate control of the court and shall act under its direction.
19. Duties and powers of administrator
20. How powers of several administrators to be exercisedWhere there are several administrators, their powers may, in the absence of any direction to the contrary contained in the letters of administration, be exercised by the majority of them.
21. Trust propertyWhere a person dies leaving property of which he was the sole or surviving trustee, or in which he had no beneficial interest on his own account and leaves no administrator or leaves one who is unable or unwilling to act as such, letters of administration, limited to that property, may be granted to the beneficiary, or to some other person on his behalf.
22. Grants with exceptionWhenever the nature of the case requires that an exception be made, letters of administration shall be granted subject to that exception.
23. Grants of excepted partWhenever a grant with exception of letters of administration has been made, a further grant may be made of the part of the estate so excepted.
24. Effect of grant of letters of administration
25. Death of one of several administratorsWhere letters of administration have been granted to more than one administrator and one of them dies, the representation of the estate to be administered shall, in the absence of any direction in the grant, accrue to the surviving administrator.
26. Death of sole or surviving administratorOn the death of a sole or surviving administrator, letters of administration may be granted in respect of that part of the estate not fully administered, and in granting the letters of administration the court shall have regard to the original grants.
27. Expiry of limited grant when estate not fully administeredWhere a limited grant has expired by effluxion of time, or the happening of the event or contingency on which it was limited and there is still some part of the deceased's estate unadministered, letters of administration may be granted to those persons to whom original grants might have been made.
28. Guarantees on granting letters of administration
29. Revocation of grants and removal
30. Payment of or to administrators whose grants are revoked
31. Surrender of revoked grants
Part IV – General
33. Expenditure on care and managementAn administrator or guardian may incur expenditure on acts necessary for the proper care and management of any property belonging to the estate of a deceased person or to a minor.
34. Administrator or guardian not to derive benefit
35. Offences by administrators and guardians
36. Beneficiary causing death of deceasedAny beneficiary who intentionally causes the death of the deceased shall forfeit the right to inherit any part of the property of the deceased.
37. Receiver pending grantA court may appoint any person it considers fit to be a receiver of the property of an intestate pending a grant of letters of administration if it appears on the application of any person—
38. Sale by order of courtA court may, on application by a receiver of property appointed under section thirty-seven or any person interested in the estate, order the sale of the whole or any part of the property, if it appears to the court that the sale will be beneficial to the estate.
39. No suit against receiverNo suit shall be brought against a receiver appointed under section thirty-seven in relation to anything done or intended to be done by him in respect of the property of the deceased in the intended, purported or actual exercise of the powers vested in him; but a person aggrieved by anything so done or intended to be done may apply to the court which appointed the receiver, for directions in the matter, and the court may make such order as is just.
40. Uncertainty regarding survivorshipFor the purpose of this Act where two or more persons have died in circumstances rendering it uncertain which of them survived the other or others, the deaths shall, for all purposes affecting rights in, to or over property, be presumed to have occurred in order of seniority, and accordingly the younger shall be deemed to have survived the elder.
41. Rectification of errorsErrors in the names and descriptions, or in setting forth the time and place of the deceased's death, or the purpose in a limited grant, may be rectified by the court, and the letters of administration may be altered and amended accordingly.
42. DisputesOn application in the prescribed manner, by an interested person, a court shall have jurisdiction in relation to a deceased person's estate—
43. Jurisdiction of courts
44. Transfer of applications for orders relating to succession to High Court
45. Appeals to High CourtAn appeal shall lie to the High Court in respect of any order or decree made by a subordinate court or a local court and the decision of the High Court on it shall be final.
46. RegulationsThe Minister may make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Act.
47. Practice and procedureThe Chief Justice may, by statutory instrument, make rules regulating the practice and procedure of the court under this Act.
48.Except as is expressly provided, nothing in this Act shall affect—
History of this document
31 December 1996 this version
19 May 1989
|Intestate Succession Rules, 2023||Statutory Instrument 38 of 2023|
Cited documents 0
Documents citing this one 5
- Bonar Travel Limited v Susa (S.C.Z. Judgment 13 of 1994)  ZMSC 22 (6 September 1994)
- Charity Oparaoccha v Murambiwa (Appeal 158 of 2002)  ZMSC 110 (11 June 2004)
- Malenga and Anor v Malenga (Appeal 115 of 1997)  ZMSC 66 (15 February 1999)
- Moobola v Muweza (S.C.Z. Judgment 3 of 1991)  ZMSC 10 (18 June 1991)
- Mununkha v Nyirongo (SCZ Appeal 53 of 1993)  ZMSC 91 (17 December 1993)