Arrangement of Sections



   1.   Short title

   2.   Application

   3.   Interpretation


   4.   Intestacy and partial intestacy

   5.   Distribution of estate

   6.   Distribution where intestate survived by no spouse, etc.

   7.   Distribution where intestate survived by spouse, etc.

   8.   Devolution of personal chattels in monogamous marriage

   9.   Surviving spouse or child or both to be entitled to house

   10.   Devolution of homestead and common property in polygamous marriage

   11.   Small estates

   12.   Chief Justice to alter value of small estates

   13.   Arrangements outside Act

   14.   Offences against an entitled person


   15.   Letters of administration on intestacy

   16.   Number of administrators

   17.   Attorney of person entitled to administration

   18.   Appointment of administrator pending litigation

   19.   Duties and powers of administrator

   20.   How powers of several administrators exercised

   21.   Trust property

   22.   Grants with exception

   23.   Grants of excepted part

   24.   Effect of grant of letters of administration

   25.   Death of one of several administrators

   26.   Death of sole or surviving administrator

   27.   Expiry of limited grant when estate not fully administered

   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


   32.   Guardians

   33.   Expenditure on care and management

   34.   Administrator or guardian not to derive benefit

   35.   Offences by administrators and guardians

   36.   Beneficiary causing death of deceased

   37.   Receiver pending grant

   38.   Sale by order of court

   39.   No suit against receiver

   40.   Uncertainty regarding survivorship

   41.   Rectification of errors

   42.   Disputes

   43.   Jurisdiction of courts

   44.   Transfer of applications for orders relating to succession to High Court

   45.   Appeals to High Court

   46.   Regulations

   47.   Practice and procedure

   48.   Savings


to provide a uniform intestate succession law that will be applicable throughout the country; to make adequate financial and other provisions for the surviving spouse, children, dependants and other relatives of an intestate to provide for the administration of the estates of persons dying not having made a will; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

[19th May, 1989]

Act 5 of 1989,

Act 13 of 1994.


1.   Short title

This Act may be cited as the Intestate Succession Act.

2.   Application

   (1) Except to the extent specifically provided in this Act, this Act shall apply to all persons who are at their death domiciled in Zambia and shall apply only to a member of a community to which customary law would have applied if this Act had not been passed.

   (2) This Act shall not apply to—

      (a)   land which at the time of death of the intestate had been acquired and was held under customary law;

      (b)   property which immediately before the death of the intestate was institutionalised property of a chieftainship and had been acquired and was being held as part of chieftainship property;

      (c)   family property.

3.   Interpretation

In 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;

“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;

“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;

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