The Office of the Public Trustee is established under the Public Trustee Act (Chapter 168 Laws of Kenya) which was enacted in 1925. It operates within the organizational framework of the Division of the Administrator General in State Law Office and Department of Justice.

The present day complex society associated with a free market economy and individual ownership of property makes the administration of estates of deceased persons as provided by law a key component in the administration of justice. Issues revolving around inheritance have assumed a prominent place in society   making the Office of the Public Trustee an inevitable necessity.

The Public Trustee offers services of a specialized nature which involve identification and collection of assets, identification of beneficiaries, management and subsequent transmission of both movable and immovable property either as an estate or a trust.  The Office also discharges duties relating to custodianship, management of properties of persons living with mental disability and management of enemy property.

Timely distribution of assets by this Office empowers beneficiaries and enables them to participate in economic development and wealth creation. In uplifting the lives of children, widows and widowers who are poor, weak and vulnerable, the Office participates in the realization of the government’s development agenda of guaranteeing a prosperous nation with high a quality of life.


To be the trustee of choice through service excellence.


To provide efficient and professional legal services in administration of estates and trusts.

Mandate of the Division

The Division’s mandate can be summed up as follows:

  • Administration of Estates under the Public Trustee Act Cap 168;
  • Administration of Trusts under the Public Trustee Act Cap 168;
  • Administration of Trusts under the Trustee Act Cap 167;
  • Estate Duty Commissioner under the Estate Duty Act Cap 483;
  • Custodian of Enemy Property under the Enemy’s Property Act;
  • Custodian Trustee for property owned by public schools, colleges and other public institutions under the Public Trustee Act Cap 168;
  • Management of the Public Trustee Fund under the Public Finance Management Act and the Public Trustee Act.


The Division of Administrator General is headed by the Administrator General who also holds the office of the Public Trustee. The Division has established regional offices in Kisumu, Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa, Kakamega, Embu, Nyeri, Kisii, Machakos, Garissa, Meru, Eldoret and Nakuru. Plans are underway to operationalise two additional Offices in Kericho and Bungoma in line with Vision 2030, Medium Term Plan and Article 6(3) of the Constitution of Kenya as part of its decentralisation programme to ensure that Public Trustee services are accessible to the public.

The Division is divided into 8 core Sections, notably, Administration of  Estates, Litigation, Conveyancing, Administration of Trusts, Final Accounts, Accounts, County Services and Property Management to effectively discharge its mandate.

Administration of Estates Section

The Section is responsible for:

  • Receiving estates for administration;
  • Ascertainment of proprietorship of assets;
  • Ascertainment of heirs;
  • Calling in of the assets;
  • Obtaining consents for administration;
  • Advertisement for claims against estates in the Government Press;
  • Collection of debts due to the estate;
  • Preparing legal opinions;
  • Settlement of claims against the estate;
  • Attending clients;
  • Authentication of documents;
  • Issuance of Certificates of  Summary Administration in estates whose gross value does not exceed Kshs. 500,000/=;
  • Advancing estate funds to beneficiaries for advancement of their education and to cater for their immediate needs pending the conclusion of the administration of estates;
  • Administration of Civil Servants Group Accident funds;
  • Mediating family disputes on inheritance;
  • Drawing pleadings for Passing of Accounts;
  • Attending Court for the passing of accounts in compliance with Section 83(g) of the Law of Succession Act Cap 160 Laws of Kenya and  Rule 4 of the Public Trustee Rules;
  • Issuance of Estate Duty Certificates.

Registry Functions

  • Data entry into the Public Trustee Business Process Management System;
  • Drawing of Cheque Orders;
  • Filing of pleadings in court;
  • Opening of files;
  • Maintaining a cardex;
  • Filing away correspondence and documents;
  • Receiving, sending and delivery of  mail;
  • Booking files in and out;
  • Maintenance of a wills register;
  • Maintaining a weekly file tracking list;
  • Perusal of files and booking to action officers for bring up;
  • Receiving clients and referring them to action officers.

Administration of Trusts Section

The Constitution identifies children as a vulnerable group and obligates all state organs and public officers to address their needs as a matter of priority.  The Public Trustee discharges this constitutional mandate by administering trusts for minors. In this regard the office establishes and administers trusts under the Trustee Act for the advancement of education and welfare of minors taking cognisance of the social, economic and cultural realities affecting children in Kenya. These trusts are terminated when the minors attain the age of majority.

The Section also administers trusts for persons living with mental disability, charitable trusts and acts as a custodian trustee on appointment by the court under Section 20 of the Public Trustee Act. The Section is also responsible for custodianship of enemy property and property owned by schools, colleges and other public institutions.

The Section is responsible for:

  • Receipt of trust property;
  • Drawing trust instruments;
  • Advancing trust funds to beneficiaries for advancement of their education and to cater for their immediate needs pending the termination of the trust estates;
  • Attending to clients;
  • Correspondence;
  • Filing correspondence and documents;
  • Authentication of documents;
  • Preparing legal opinions;
  • Drawing annual statements of trust accounts and dispatching them to the beneficiaries;
  • Drawing final trust accounts upon termination of trusts;
  • Drawing pleadings and attending court in respect of disputes involving trusts managed by the Public Trustee;
  • Collecting Revenue.

Litigation Section

The section is responsible for:

  • Drawing pleadings;
  • Conducting research;
  • Attending Court for confirmation of grants, hearings in contentious matters and as authorities on succession matters at the request of the court;
  • Attending and advising clients on legal issues;
  • Obtaining consents on the mode of distribution;
  • Obtaining consents for Confirmation of grants;
  • Advertisement for objections in the Government Press;
  • Mediating family disputes on inheritance;
  • Preparing legal opinions.

Conveyance Section

The Section is responsible for:

  • Drawing transfer of land instruments;
  • Mediating family disputes on inheritance;
  • Drawing instruments for transfer of shares and other stocks;
  • Facilitating payment of stamp duty;
  • Attending clients;
  • Facilitating subdivision of property for purposes of transmission;
  • Maintenance of a property register;
  • Keeping custody of original title documents;
  • Preparing legal opinions;
  • Attending court in respect of conveyance related disputes.

Property Management Section

The Section is responsible for:

  • Identification and taking up management of income generating properties;
  • Prequalification of estate agents;
  • Instructing prequalified estate agents to collect rent on behalf of Public Trustee;
  • Monitoring rent collection;
  • Payment of land rent and rates;
  • Insuring the properties;
  • Facilitating renewal of leases;
  • Conducting regular inspections to ensure that the properties are in a good state of repair;
  • Facilitating repairs through the procurement process;
  • Attending court in respect of disputes relating to property management;
  • Mediating family disputes;
  • Pursuing claims against rent defaulters;
  • Attending clients;
  • Preparing legal opinions;
  • Conducting searches at the lands office;
  • Collecting rent.

Accounts Section

The Section is responsible for:

  • Writing receipts;
  • Posting payments and receipts to cash books;
  • Extracting ledger balances to facilitate payment;
  • Posting payments and receipts to respective ledger cards;
  • Updating Controls;
  • Examination of cheque orders;
  • Preparation of Bank Reconciliations;
  • Examination of interim accounts for scrutiny by beneficiaries or the court on request and for use in the Office;
  • Preparation of Annual Accounts to fulfill a  statutory obligation under the Public Trustee Act and the Exchequer and Audit Act;
  • Management of investments portfolio;
  • Calculation and posting of Annual Interest for every ledger card;
  • Writing and dispatch of cheques;
  • Preparation of cheque payment schedules and their transmission to the banks;
  • Maintaining incoming and outgoing cheque registers;
  • Examining and confirming entries in the cash Book;
  • Processing payments through M-Pesa;
  • Attending clients.

Final Accounts

The Section is responsible for:

  • Preparation of interim accounts for scrutiny by beneficiaries or the court on request and for use in the Office;
  • Correspondence;
  • Preparation of final accounts;
  • Preparing discharges and certificates for execution by the beneficiaries;
  • Preparation of Cheque Orders;
  • Preparing schedules for payment of income;
  • Maintaining a register for unclaimed estates;
  • Maintaining a file tracking record;
  • Preparing quarterly reports for performance contracting;
  • Preparing a list of unclaimed estates for advertisement in the press;
  • Maintaining a register for finalized files;
  • Attending clients;
  • Collecting Revenue.

County Services Section

The Section is responsible for:

  • Coordinating regional services at the County level which includes:
    • Cascading information from head office to the County offices;
    • Calling for and compiling monthly and performance contracting reports for discussion at the regional heads meetings and onward transmission to the CCPMU;
    • Receiving, responding to and following up on complaints from the regions, the head office and the Commission on Administrative Justice;
    • Coordinating the performance appraisal system (PAS) in the head office and regional offices;
    • Handling staff matters and training needs in the regional offices,
    • Overseeing decentralization.