Final dues in this case means, monies due to a beneficiary and which arise from a nomination by the nominator who is the deceased.
Such funds are not subject to the succession process, and should be dealt with in accordance with the law governing the nomination.
Firstly, the law governing life insurance policy assets is the Insurance Act, Chapter 487 Laws of Kenya.
This is according to Section 111 (1) of the Insurance Act which reads:
“The holder of a policy of life assurance on his own life may, when effecting the policy or at any time before the policy matures for payment, nominate the person or persons to whom the money secured by the policy shall be paid in the event of his death:
Provided that, where the nominee is a minor, the policy-holder may appoint, in the manner prescribed, any person to receive the money secured by the policy in the event of his death during the minority of the nominee.”
The owner of life insurance policy is at liberty to nominate whomever he wishes to be the beneficiary upon the holder’s death and this freedom is exercisable before the policy matures.
Therefore, such funds cannot pass under the will of the deceased or vest in his personal representative.
Secondly, Retirement Benefits Act 2010 provides that death benefits no longer form part of deceased’s estate but is payable to the nominated beneficiary of the deceased.
This is in harmony with Section 36A of the Retirement Benefits Act 2010 which reads:
“Upon the death of a member of a scheme, the benefit payable from the scheme shall not form part of the estate of the member for the purpose of administration and shall be paid out by the trustees in accordance with the scheme rules.”
These Rules include Regulation 23 of the Retirement Benefits (Occupation Retirement Benefits Schemes Regulations 2010) which states that: “The scheme rules shall provide that upon the death of a member the benefits payable from the scheme shall be paid to the nominated beneficiary and if the deceased member has not named the beneficiary then the trustees shall exercise their discretion in the distribution of the benefits to the dependents of the deceased member, provided that the trustees may refuse to pay the nominated beneficiary and the reasons for such refusal shall be so recorded,”
Lastly, this is not conclusive but a sneak preview for what the law says concerning Insurance policies and final dues. It is worth to note that each case should be handled sui generis keeping in mind the law governing the nomination.
It is clear as light of day that the laws with regard to insurance and final dues are statutory in nature and should therefore be dealt with according the providing statute.