Thursday, November 23, 2017 - 5 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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My father wrote a will for my mother to take all the inheritance after his death. Is this lawful?

Assalamu Alaikum,

Our father recently died and had written a will saying that everything should go to our mother if she were still alive when he died. His will also says that if she were not alive at the time of his death, then his property should be divided equally between his living children. Our mother is still alive at this time. He has four children, two male and two female all adults.

Should our mother inherit everything? If not, how should the inheritance be distributed at this time?

Jazakum Allah Khair

Answer

• First: The opinion implemented in Egypt by fatwa and law:

- According to the opinion that permits making bequests to a legal heir, the mother receives one-third of the estate because a bequest can only be implemented within this limit.

- It is permissible for the mother to receive the entire estate if the heirs are not minors and agree on implementing their father's bequest.

- If there are minors among the heirs or if some or all of them insist on receiving their shares, then the rest of the estate, after deducting one-third, is divided among them with the males receiving the equivalent share of two females.

- If some of the heirs insist on receiving their shares of the estate while the others waive their right to their mother, or if some of the heirs are minors, then the mother receives only the shares of those who waived their shares to her. However, it is impermissible for the mother to take the shares of those who insist on receiving their rights or those of minors.

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