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Home How To How to Claim Your Deceased Relatives’ M-PESA and M-Shwari Funds

How to Claim Your Deceased Relatives’ M-PESA and M-Shwari Funds

by Yvone Kendi
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We will all die eventually, and when that time comes, we may need to keep our homes in order.

In this case, many people died with large sums of money in their M-PESA accounts. The funds, which may also take the form of M-Shwari savings, can be claimed by the deceased’s immediate family members.

However, there is a process for obtaining that money, and Safaricom has a procedure in place to ensure that only authorized parties have access to these funds.

Before the money can be released, the claimant must visit one of the company’s many retail locations and provide documents for inspection and approval.

If you want to participate in the exercise, you must submit the following documents:

  • National ID card of the person claiming the deceased’s funds.
  • The deceased’s death certificate.
  • Affidavit, or statutory declaration, witnessed by an advocate commissioner for oaths stating certain facts, such as the claimant’s relationship with the deceased.
  • A legal document obtained from any probate and administration court is a grant of letters of administration. The ‘same is issued after the court is satisfied that a person can act as a legal representative to the estate of a deceased person who did not leave a will appointing a personal representative,’ according to Safaricom.
  • Grant of Probate is a legal document issued by the court to an executor of the estate of a deceased person who left a will specifying what should happen to his estate and naming a personal representative (executor). The appointed person will appear in court with the will and supporting documents to obtain a Grant of Probate.
  • A Confirmation of Grant of Probate or Confirmation of Grant of Letters of Administration is a document issued by a court that names the beneficiaries and documents their entitlement to portions of the deceased’s estate.
  • Letter from the Provincial Administration, which is a letter from the chief, DC, or PC confirming specific information about the deceased person and his beneficiaries. The confirmation will include the deceased’s full names, the area where the deceased was from, and ALL of the people who are beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate.

Armed with the aforementioned documents, the claimant should proceed as follows to access the deceased’s funds:

  • The claimant should take the documents to a Safaricom retail store in their area.
  • They will then receive notification of the subscriber’s death.
  • The deceased subscriber’s M-PESA account is then frozen to prevent further transactions to protect their estate.
  • Once the documents have been reviewed, the funds are transferred to the beneficiaries who are entitled to the M-PESA account balances if all of the documents are found to be in order.
  • Beneficiaries are required to provide a registered M-PESA account to receive funds because funds are not transferred in any other way.

Here are some of the reasons why this exercise is beneficial:

  • More than KES 266 million is held in M-PESA accounts whose owners may have died. This was in June of 2021.
  • Following the August 30 deadline, the funds were transferred to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA).
  • According to Safaricom, it is extremely difficult for the company to identify deceased customers from dormant accounts.
  • Most of the time, the next of kin do not claim the cash with the operator, most likely due to the time-consuming process.
  • If the funds have been transferred to the UFAA, claimants may need to work with the Authority rather than Safaricom.
  • Safaricom has been running a campaign to encourage next of kin to claim their inheritance. To begin the process, they could dial *405# before the August deadline.

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