So many questions have always been asked on what happens to the money in an M-Pesa account if the account holder passes on. Safaricom has now come out clear on what happens to this money.
In a blog post posted on its official blog, the mobile operator says funds from a deceased M-Pesa account will now be passed on to the customer’s next of kin.
‘’The funds held in M-PESA accounts can be passed on to a customer’s next of kin once claims from the beneficiary are validated’’ The company said in the blog post.
However, for this claims to be validated the next of kin will be required to visit any Safaricom Shop and provide certain documents for inspection and approval before any funds can be released. This documents include Copy of the Death Certificate, Copy of ID of Next of Kin, Grant of probate; where an M-PESA subscriber dies and has written a will, Letters of Administration; where a person dies without a will. This applies for M-PESA accounts having more than Kshs. 30,000.
For accounts with less than Kshs.30,000, you will need an Affidavit administered by a Commissioner for Oaths and sworn by the claimant, Death Certificate, Letter from Provincial Administration of the deceased’s area of residence or letters of administration and Next of Kin’s ID and copy to be retained.
However in cases of dispute, Safaricom says the next of kin will be required to provide Letters of administrations or grant of probate.
In instances where the funds are not claimed by the customers’ next of kin Safaricom will submit these funds to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA). The funds submitted to the UFAA are those that have been dormant for a period of two years either due to inactivity on the M-PESA Account or where a customer is deceased and the funds have not been claimed by the next of kin.
Early this year, the Telecoms operator handed over Sh500 million to the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA). The money was from idle deposits in different M-Pesa accounts held in phone lines that have been inactive for more than two years. This is in accordance to the unclaimed assets law which requires companies, banks and utility agencies to surrender any assets that have been lying idle in their possession for periods defined by the law.
‘’Where funds have been submitted to the UFAA the next of kin can still claim them from the UFAA by filing a claim with them. The next of kin will be required to provide certain documentation as will be advised by the UFAA’’ Safaricom said in the blog post.
You can download the next of kin form here.