Friday, November 24, 2017 - 5 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439
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The obligation to settle the debt of a deceased

My brother passed away. When we were performing the Funeral prayer over him, I pledged to settle his outstanding debts. Afterwards, his widow collected her late husband's work benefits in addition to his personal car. Is his debt to be paid from his money or am I obligated to settle it? My brother's brother-in-law asked me to pay his sister's deferred dowry which he considers a debt upon my late brother. Should I pay it from my money or should I pay it from my brother's money?

Answer

If the case is as mentioned in the question, then everything associated with the estate of the deceased such as the car is considered an inheritance that is to be proportionally divided among the heirs, each according to his legal share in the inheritance. The benefits that the deceased's widow collected are exclusively hers if they were issued in her name. But if they are in the heirs' names, then they belong to them collectively.

The ruling

By pledging to settle his late brother's debts, the inquirer has transferred to himself his brother's debts, including the deferred dowry, and he is obligated to cover them.

Related links
» Paying a debt and the expenses of a condolence meeting from the estate of the deceased
» Disposing of a debt when the creditor's whereabouts are unknown
» Deducting a debt from the estate of a deceased