Islamic Wills – Frequently Asked Questions
An Islamic Will is a legal document that is prepared to ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with Islamic law after your death. Preparation of an Islamic Will requires careful drafting so that it is compliant with the law of this country as well as Islamic law.
The main purpose of an Islamic Will is to ensure that your estate is dealt with in accordance with Islamic law; that it is distributed amongst specific family members in specific shares.
Any Muslim can make an Islamic Will in England & Wales providing he/she is:
- 18 or over; and
- of sound mind, memory and understanding.
As a Muslim, you should make an Islamic Will to clearly demonstrate that you wish your estate to be dealt with in accordance with Islamic law. Making an Islamic Will ensures that your financial affairs are in order and avoids any misunderstanding amongst your loved ones and any unnecessary legal issues at difficult times.
This is encouraged amongst Muslims whilst finalising the wishes in their Will.
A declaration of faith is a document where you proclaim certain true facts, in particular:
- that there is nothing worthy of worship but the one, the merciful, the almighty Allah;
- that He is the one God and has no partner;
- that the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the true and last messenger of all prophets before Him;
- that paradise and hell are true and realities;
- that the day of judgement is true and shall come, and where Allah shall resurrect the dead.
Yes, your funeral and burial wishes can be specified in your Will.
Your Executors will be the persons you wish to deal with the administration of your estate after your death. They shall have the responsibility of ensuring that your estate is distributed in accordance with Islamic law. Your beneficiaries can also be your Executors.
You can amend or revoke your Will at any time before your death. However, there are some circumstances where a Will is automatically amended or revoked.
Upon divorce, a Will is altered insofar as any gift to a former spouse is rendered invalid.
Upon marriage (unless made in contemplation of the event), a Will is revoked.
When a new Will is written, the old Will should be destroyed to avoid any confusion at a later date.
We recommend that you review your Will every five years, or after any major life event such as birth, death, marriage, divorce, separation, or moving house. We recommend that Wills are reviewed in order to incorporate the changes.
It is possible for certain persons to make a claim on your estate if it can be shown that at the time of your death your Islamic Will does not make reasonable provision for them, i.e. if an individual is disinherited or inadequately provided for. Any claim allowed would have been assessed by the Court.
If it is anticipated that such a claim could arise, it might be advisable to leave a ‘letter of wishes’ to your Executor, setting out any special circumstances relevant to any possible claim.
Joint assets are usually held either as ‘Joint Tenants’ or ‘Tenants in Common’. If your assets are held as Joint Tenants, then upon death the assets shall pass automatically to the survivor and not in accordance with your Islamic Will. If your assets are held as Tenants in Common, then your share of those assets shall be passed to beneficiaries in accordance with your Islamic Will.
If you wish to benefit with sadaqah jariyah after your demise, you can do so by leaving at least 10% of your net estate to your chosen UK registered charity, provided that your estate is taxable at your death, and you donate 10% via a valid UK Will or Islamic Will. A donation to a charity will attract 100% tax relief, plus your estate will pay 36% not 40% inheritance tax ‘IHT’. The combined effect will have 76% reduction in IHT of every £1 donated to a charity.
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