Legal practitioner Maurice Ampaw says immediately people die, they become personal assets of their families.
According to him, families aren’t obliged to obey the wishes of a dead person on where they may want to be buried or even how to be buried; a family does what they think is good when it comes to the funeral of the deceased.
Mr. Ampaw made the point as guest on “Me Wo Case Anaa”, a legal education show on Adom TV when they reviewed the case of one Vida Mensah.
Vida’s parents lived in the United Kingdom for 23 years where the mother died only for information to get to the family the deceased woman’s husband had organised her funeral in the UK without the consent of the family.
According to Vida, her father passed on a few years later and per his will, gave all his properties and that of her mother to people outside their family and unknown to them.
But Maurice Ampaw says, firstly, the late father had neither the right to keep the woman’s property nor her corpse because by the laws of Ghana, the body of the woman was the personal asset of her family.
He also added that the man needed to account for the properties of his late wife since she died without a will.
Providing further education on the matter, Mr Ampaw emphasized that in Ghana, anyone who died interstate [without a will], had his or her property distributed according to PNDC LAW111.
“If anyone dies without interstate and a person or group of persons fail to go for letters of administration from the court before deciding to (mis)use properties of the deceased, such persons will be deemed to be Intermeddling, an action which is an offence in the sight of the law”, Lawyer Ampaw noted.
Another lawyer guest on the show, Oscar Asante Nnuro, also added his voice in support to Mr Ampaw, explaining that anyone above 18 years with a sound mind can make a will while a will – statement from a person on how he or she wants her properties distributed.
A valid will, he says, is one that has two executors who make sure your beneficiaries get exactly what has been accredited to them.
According to lawyer Nnuro Vida Mensah can contest the will of her father if she is above 18 and can prove to the court that her father’s dependent or if she is below 18 years and cannot cater for herself.