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Inheritance query: homes, bank accounts, social security funds

Fatwaa ID: 1899

Question:
Assalamu alakum

My Dear father passed away a few months ago. May Allah forgive him and raise his ranks.

We are having an inheritance issue. My dad left behind 3 homes (A,B,C) a car , and joint bank account.

The car when we sell it will be done accordingly to shariah.

He left the house (A)he was living in to my mom. He stated that in a video and said it out loud with all siblings present.

The other house (B)my sister lives in and she plans to buy. My dad had stated 250k
( market 300k)

The other house (c) my brother lives in and he plans to buy. my dad said 500k (Market 650k)

My dad while alive requested My brother to buy the home in his lifetime but he was unable to purchase it then.

Now we are calculating using my dads values but my brother is saying 300k to buy the home as a sale only.

We are saying if he get his shares from both homes then the price comes down to $315 for him. ( we’ll give it for 300k)

He is saying since US law transfers everything to mom it can just be a sale and he buys the home for 300k not considering it as inheritance.

But we believe the intention should be inheritance since he is getting a discount.

We are 5 sisters 1 brother and our mom. So all female get 1/8 and brother gets 2/8=1/4

2/8 of 500k is 125k

2/8 of 250 is 62k

Are we correct in doing this.

Just because house according to US law goes to mom does not mean it’s a sale. My dad for some reason in his Will wrote everything to his wife( my mom).I know he wanted her to then distribute out the shares because at that time his lawyer advised him to follow US law. Before passing away he made a video calculating the Islamic shares.

1) So my question is if my brother buys the home at 300k have we given him his share of both homes?

2) For bank both parents put their social security in it. So how can we assume how much is my moms and how much is dads. What if dad was using his share to buy grocery and mom was just saving her money. How can we decide. The sisters say we forgive mom and she can have our share from the bank. Is this allowed.

3) do we keep a sister in the inheritance if this Sister has shown support of LGBGT movement but she prays and says she is Muslim .

My brother says she has entered kufr due to her support and should be removed from inheritance.

we sisters feel since she is still praying and reading Quran and does tasbih constantly and she teaching her daughter about Islam that might push her away from Islam.

Do we remove her or do we do dawah. We asked her to revoke her support of gay community but she says they are her friends. We are keeping our distance to protect our children.

So my brother is not considering it inheritance because we are keeping this sister in the loop.

Also if it is inheritance he wants starting house value price to be 350k not 500k like my dad said. 350k will lower selling price which lower everyone else’s share amount. but not all sisters are agreeing to this.

How can we come to a consensus? As a mufti what would you advise the mom to do. My brother said ask a mufti and get it in writing. So I’m writing to you.

I did not put this question in the main group because my cousins are in the group and I don’t want our family story to be public.

JazakhAllah for your time.

Answer:
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 and envelope him with His mercy and grace. May He bless your mother with a long blissful life. May He grant the family sabr jameel.

We commend you and the family for your attempts to ensure Shari’ah compliance in the winding of the estate. May Allaah Ta’aala place barakah in your lives. Any other way will lead to remorse and regret in both lives.

  1. In regards to the homes, there are a few things to understand.
    a. Merely stating that he is leaving the house to your mother, even in the presence of everyone, does not transfer ownership. Ownership will only be transferred if he legitimately gifted it to her during his lifetime and she accepted it and thereafter assumed constructive possession over it. This does not seem to have taken place in the enquired situation. Accordingly, house (A) will not belong to your mother but rather to the estate which will be distributed according to everyone’s rightful shares. Should every rightful heir voluntarily and willingly wish to give up their rightful share to house (A) and gift it to your mother, then that will be permissible. They will be rewarded abundantly for this kindness. In such a case, there will be no deduction in her share from the other assets of the estate.
    b. When valuing a property, the fair market price is generally considered. The heirs do not need to consider the amounts proposed by your father for house (B) and (C). Upon his demise, all offers come to an end. The heirs are in their full right to consider the fair market value and demand that should someone wish to purchase it. However, if they all voluntarily and willingly wish to honor the price proposed by your father, then that is permissible. When doing so, the difference in the price will not be deducted from the share distribution. However, if they do wish to deduct it, then the total sale price will be the market value, albeit a lesser price in cash is being paid in consideration of the deduction. In this latter case, the difference will be regarded to be part of his payout from the estate.
    c. It is not clear what the transfer to the mother has to do with the situation or what difference it makes. The US laws transferring the ownership is irrelevant to us. Should it transfer, it will not effect a legitimate transfer of ownership in Islam. The property will still be part of the unwinded estate of the father.
  2. We understand that the bank account in question only held their social security funds. Other than that, they had separate bank accounts. There are two possibilities: either they had mutually agreed that everything in that account will be owned jointly, 50-50 or any agreed amount, or they did not have any such agreements. One way to determine this may be by seeing how zakaah of this was paid, although it is possible that one person was voluntarily paying it on behalf of the other. In the former case, half (or the agreed ratio) of the account will belong to the estate of the father. In the latter case where there was no agreement, the accounts will have to be traced to see how much your mother deposited and how much your father deposited. Ownership will be according to that. Any funds used by your father for groceries or anything else would have been from his share, not the total. This would not affect your mother’s share. Her share should remain as deposited unless she too used some of it. It is not clear what you mean by “forgive mom”. If all the rightful heirs willingly and voluntarily give up their shares from the bank account and gift it to your mother, then that is permissible. This will not be deducted from her share of the estate.
  3. If a person regards something established as haraam to be halaal or permissible, then that will take them out of the fold of Islam even if they regard themselves to be Muslim and engage in religious practices. Such a person is called a zindeeq. Islam is to surrender completely, not only when it suits one’s values and ideologies. It is not clear what exactly you mean by “support”. If the sister in question regards homosexuality or the other deviations to be halaal or permissible, then she will be regarded to be out of the fold of Islam and will not inherit her father. She will also not be counted nor included in the division ratios of any other parts. You will be regarded to be four sisters only in such a case.

I hope the above has answered your questions. If you require further assistance or details, feel free to contact us.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

04/29/1445 AH – 11/13/2023 CE

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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