Parliament has temporarily put the much talked about intestate succession bill on ice, following strong fears that the proposed legislation could, among other things, destabilize Ghana’s age-old extended family system.
In a country where social welfare institutions and Courts are struggling to contain rising cases of property disputes after the death of intestate relatives, lawmakers fear the bill, if passed in its current form, could deepen the problem of feuding families.
The bill, in part, provides that property of childless spouses who die intestate should be surrendered to the State and not relations of the departed.
The new bill seeks to replace the Intestate Succession Law, PNDC law 111 which some gender activists say, has some gaps. The Bill has already undergone First and Second Readings and is due for scrutiny at the consideration stage.
But, the leadership of Parliament is of the view that there is the need for further public debate and input into the bill before it is passed.
While calling on the general public to submit memoranda to Parliament on the bill, Deputy Majority Leader, Hon Abdul Hassan Rashid Pelpuo, said the time has come for Ghanaians to learn to write ‘Wills’ before they die.