Fatwaa ID: 1049
1) If a person dies in a non Islamic country without a will, how should their wealth be distributed?
2) Can a person create an oral will stipulating who they bequest, for example they want to give a portion to someone who is not an Islamic heir. Is there a limit on how much that person/organization can receive.
3) After parents, Spouse and children, wealth can be distributed to “others”. These “others” are extended family members like the deceased’s siblings and maybe even their children. Can a person while still living decide not to have wealth distributed to “others”?
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.
- The laws of inheritance pertaining to different states do not apply in our current time as we do not have an Islamic state. In the enquired situation, irrespective of whether one has a will or not, his estate will be distributed in accordance to the Shari’ah laws of inheritance and succession. You may revert to us with a list of the family members who are alive and we will advise accordingly.
- A will can be oral or written. It is better to have it written and documented, in the presence of witnesses. A bequest is only valid for non-heirs. This may be up to one-third of the estate, after funeral expenses and debts.
- The above is incorrect. There are other heirs besides parents, spouses and children. Furthermore, the Shari’ah has stipulated specific shares that will be given to each heir. A person cannot dictate who gets what. He cannot give more or less than what has been stipulated by the Shari’ah. You may advise who the heirs are and we will advise how it will be distributed.
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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