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Dementia: When people just sign away property

Article By Nyawira Lydia | 20 June 2022


Margaret Gecaga, the second wife of the late billionaire corporate executive, BM Gecaga, went to court in a property dispute over transfer of her husband’s shares in an insurance company, among other properties to only son, Udi Gecaga.

In her suit papers filed in 2014, Margaret told the court that BM Gecaga then aged about 90, “was incapacitated as a result of advanced Alzheimer’s disease among other ailments; that he had lost memory” and thus could not be enjoined in the suit, but had signed off some properties in that condition.

Margaret, in her appeal, wanted the court to restrain Udi from excluding her from the spoils as the spouse. But BM Gecaga died in 2016 before a mental assessment was done to ascertain his incapacity on grounds of advanced Alzheimer’s disease.

Udi, through his lawyers, argued that his father began organising his affairs in February 2007 before marrying Margaret that August after decades of cohabitation and thus “he was certainly entitled or had capacity to deal with his property five months prior to the marriage as he wished.”

BM Gecaga, began dating Margaret after the death of his wife, Jemimah Gecaga in 1979. 

To cut a long story short, Margaret lost her appeal for having not filed the case under the Mental Health Act and thus “lacked legal capacity to file suit” on behalf of BM Gecaga. 


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