There is a popular phrase that goes, ‘Nothing in life is certain but death and taxes’. While the statement holds true, it does so to some extent especially when it revolves around the subject of taxes.
Taxation is typically the primary source of state revenue for many countries globally and as such, it is usually mandatory to contribute towards it through a predefined percentage of one’s income.
However, there is usually a form of selective enforcement that provides avenues of tax evasion either through corruption or establishment of offshore accounts.
On the other hand, death is inevitable and in essence resonates with everyone regardless of social status and can occur at any time with/without warning.
In Kenya, a deceased may leave behind property that is unknown to his/her dependents. Such property can range from dormant bank accounts,deposits, benefits, dividends, interest, annuities, lotteries etc
In the event of the above scenario, holders of such assets i.e banks, businesses, insurance companies are required by law to make considerable effort in notifying the owner regarding the assets through a written notice at the last known address as well as report the same to the unclaimed financial assets authority.
However, before the holders can embark on the above actions, the said assets must have attained the necessary duration in which they can be classified as unclaimed. These include:
- One year for unpaid wages
- Two years for money orders, cheques, insurance policies, deposits for utility services, assets from dissolved business, repositories or held by trustees.
- Three years for ownership interest.
- Five years for deposits, shares, savings, unit trusts held in any financial institution.
How To Know Whether A Deceased Has Unclaimed Assets
If you are unsure of a deceased person’s undisclosed assets, you can make an inquiry via the UFAA portal. To do this, you will be required to complete registration by following the below steps:
Register Via USSD
- Dial *361#
- Select preferred language i.e English or Kiswahili
- Accept the terms and conditions by selecting option 1 for ‘Yes’
- Enter your first and second name
- Select the ID type to be used for registration i.e National ID or passport
- Enter the document number for the ID type chosen above
- Confirm the details before submission and select option 1 to proceed.
- You will receive a message confirming that your registration has been accepted and you will receive your PIN once the details have been validated.
Register Via Portal
- Go to the UFAA Portal
- Click on ‘Sign Up’
- Provide your personal information such as names (first & last), phone number, email address, residence (Kenyan/Foreign), national ID/Alien ID/Passport number.
- Once the above have been filled, generate & confirm your password as well as type the verification code to finalize the registration process.
- You will therefore receive an email with a verification link to verify your account.
Once you are logged into your account, proceed to click on ‘Search for Assets’ and search either by name or ID
How To Claim A Deceased Bank Account In Kenya
To claim a deceased bank account in Kenya, one has to meet the basic requirements which includes submission of;
- Duly filled beneficiary claim form ( Form 4B)
- Duly filled Indemnity agreement ( Form 5 ).
- Duly filled bank details form
- Confirmation letter from holder regarding remittance of unclaimed assets to the UFAA.
- Copy of national ID or passport.
- Copy of KRA PIN certificate.
- Copy of death certificate.Certificate of Confirmation of Grant/ Certificate of Summary Administration.
- Copy of recent bank statement
While there is no limit for lodging a claim, it usually takes a duration of three months for a decision to be made by UFAA through a written notice.
If a claim is approved, UFAA will transfer the assets to the claimant and if disapproved, the claimant has the option to sue the authority.
How To Track Your Claim
On the left of your dashboard, click on ‘My Claim’ to view the claims filed by you. The claims page will list all your claims indicating the category, application date and status.
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