Monday, April 15, 2024
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Inheritance issue

Fatwaa ID: 841

My Father passed away 6 mths ago and we are finally getting to one of the things pertaining to inheritance. In his Will he stated that everything goes to my Mother and when she passes away, all assets will be divided according to Shariah. I have been arguing the point with my Mother & siblings that we should be distributing the assets NOW according to Islamic law, not after my Mother passes. We are myself, my Mother and 5 sisters.

I would like to ‘buy’ one of the houses my Father owned (which I have been living in)by buying out the shares. So we agreed upon a price of $400K. So, I have to pay out each of my sisters and my Mother $50K and the deed will be switched to my name. (Total 8 parts, 2 are mine)

Three concerns…..

First part……is this correct, because I dont believe the Will is valid, that my Mother owns the house and I have to pay only her, but we all own the house and I have to buy out the shares to own it outright.

Second part….an attorney is being hired to represent my Mother (they usually will represent one side only). My siblings and I agree that we all have to share in the cost of the attorney. So I asked my siblings, if the attorney is representing my Mother, I should also get an attorney to represent myself. And if I do so, do we all have to share in the expense of the second attorney who will represent me? The following is a copied text from one of my sisters…..

‘You are buyer you pay for your attorney.

U and us are seller so all sellers pay for their attorney. So as I see it u have to pay twice. We are not buyers so we are not obligated to pay for your representation.’

Is this considered a buyer/seller transaction in the first place or am I just buying out shares? And is above true that I would be responsible for the full expenses of hiring an attorney to represent me?

Last concern….since his passing 6 months ago, me and one of my sisters have continued to pay our rent to my Mother for the houses we live in (my Father owned both, me in NJ, her in PA). Should the rent be distributed amongst all inheritors after taxes have been paid or should all the rent go to my Mother?

We have been arguing for months and hoping for some clarity. JazakAllah khair for your time.

I will add the following also, and please forgive me for saying/asking so much…..

Going back to my LGBTQ question….two of my siblings are in support of and one of them, like explained, has written books and attended readings, etc with them…are the sibling that I mentioned in my earlier question who supports LGBTQ rights and supports their cause, entitled to inheritance? If they are considered to have done an act of Kufr, are they still in the fold of Islam to claim inheritance? If they openly support LGBTQ causes, publish literature, call themselves “they/them” pronouns, and has a history of wrong doings/disagreeing with islamic teachings, but do not openly call themselves non-Muslim, are these siblings still entitled to inheritance? To give background, one of the two siblings has not privately, but openly been on the wrong path since late teenage years.

If my other siblings still agree that they should get inheritance and not be left out regardless, what happens in this case? The money that will be split is coming from me, I have to give them their shares, knowing their history of belief.

JazakAllah khair.

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

May Allaah Ta’aala elevate your father’s status in Jannah.

-A bequest cannot be made for an heir. Hence, the clause of giving everything to your honorable mother is invalid. She is entitled to 1/8 of the estate only. If you guys willingly and happily give her from your shares, then that is your kindness and you’ll be rewarded for that.

-As you have stated, the house is owned by all of you, divided into 8 shares. You have 2 shares and the rest have 1 share each. It does not belong to your mother only. If you wish to buy out their shares, then their consent will be needed.

-It is not clear why the attorney was hired for your mother. I am unable to comment on the expenses for this.

-When distributing the estate, it is not necessary to distribute each and everything separately. The entire estate will be regarded as a whole. Hence, if 1/8 of the estate for example is a car, one heir may take that as their full inheritance. If there is a dispute regarding something that may only be resolved through liquidation, then the cost of that will be on the estate.

-If one heir is buying out something from the estate, then any cost incurred as a buyer will be on him. Any cost incurred as a seller will be on the estate.

-Your mother was not entitled to the rent. The rent will form part of the estate and be distributed according to the respective shares. Any expenses such as taxes will be taken from this first. If you guys mutually and happily decide to let your mother have the rents you guys have paid, then that is permissible.
It should be noted that the above may be different if the homes were already divided and ownership shares were established.

-We cannot pass a verdict of kufr on anyone without directly confirming statements and beliefs. You may discuss with them and see where they stand. We can only highlight the principle that a person who is not a Muslim or is an apostate will not inherit a Muslim. A person’s situation will be based on the apparent and what they profess. The default in regards to a sin committed is that it is done out of negligence or temptations, not due to justifying or regarding it to be permissible, unless their express statements say otherwise.

May Allaah Ta’aala guide us all. May He bless you and make it easy for you. May He reward you abundantly for your efforts.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


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