Eventually, all of us are going to die, and when that happens, we might need to keep our houses in order.
In this case, many people have died with a lot of cash in their M-PESA accounts. The funds, which can also be in the form of savings in M-Shwari can be claimed by the deceased’s immediate family members.
But there is a process to accessing that money, and Safaricom has a procedure of ensuring that authorized parties have access to these funds.
The carrier requires that the claimant visit any of the company’s many retail centres and provide documents for inspection and approval before the money can be released.
Here are the documents that you must produce if you are pursuing the exercise:
- National ID card of the person claiming the funds of the deceased.
- Death certificate of the deceased.
- Affidavit, or statutory declaration witnessed by an advocate commissioner for oaths stating certain facts including the claimant’s relationship with the deceased.
- Grant of Letters of Administration, which is a legal document obtained from any probate and administration court. According to Safaricom, the ‘same is issued after the court is satisfied that a person has the capacity to act as a legal representative to the estate of a deceased person who did not leave a will appointing a personal representative.’
- Grant of Probate, which is a legal document issued by the court to an executor of the estate of a deceased person who left a will providing for what should happen to his estate and further appointing a personal representative (executor). The appointed person will go to court with the will and supporting documents and obtains a Grant of Probate.
- Confirmation of Grant of Probate or Confirmation of Grant of Letters of Administration, which is a document issued by a court naming the beneficiaries and documenting their entitlement to portions of the estate of the deceased.
- Letter from the Provincial Administration, which is a letter from the chief, DC or PC confirming certain details about the deceased person and his beneficiaries. The confirmation will include the full names of the deceased, the area where the deceased was from and ALL the persons who are beneficiaries of the estate of the deceased.
Armed with the above documents, the claimant should follow the following procedure to access the funds of the deceased:
- The claimant should deliver the documents to a Safaricom retail shop near them.
- They will then receive a notification of the death of the subscriber.
- The deceased subscriber’s M-PESA account is then frozen to stop further dealing to protect their estate.
- Once the documents have been assessed, the funds are then transferred into the beneficiaries entitles to the M-PESA account balances once all documents have been found to be in order.
- The beneficiaries are tasked to provide a registered an M-PESA account to receive the funds because the funds are not transferred in any other form.
Here is why this exercise is helpful:
- There is more than KES 266 million held in M-PESA accounts whose owners have possibly passed away. This was as of June, 2021.
- The funds have since been transferred to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA), following the August 30 deadline.
- Safaricom says that it is very difficult for the company to identify deceased customers from dormant accounts.
- In most cases, the next of kin do not claim the cash with the operator, probably because of the tedious process involved.
- If the cash has been transferred with the UFAA, then claimants may need to engage with the Authority, and not Safaricom.
- Safaricom has been running a campaign to encourage the next of kin to claim this money. The could dial *405# before the August deadline to start the process.