Disposing of one's property during one's lifetime
A woman gave away her property to her only daughter through a preliminary sale contract in the presence of witnesses. She later passed away. Are the rest of the heirs entitled to inherit? Please note that the mother was survived by one daughter, a full brother and the offspring of a full brother.
It is permissible for a person to dispose of his property if:
- He has reached puberty.
- He is sane.
- He is not coerced into disposing of it.
- His disposal over his property is not suspended.
- He is not at his death-bed.
This permissibility extends to lawful transactions such selling, renting, gifting, loaning etc… This is because the principle is that a wise adult does what is in the best interest such as by rewarding another for a good act or service rendered or out of pure generosity for someone he loves. This principle holds along with the presence of special legal recommendations to the legally responsible, which include: not forfeiting the rights of one's dependants, not intending to disinherit one's heirs and giving each child the equal of what the others are given.
A sale in which a person does not receive the price of the sold object is valid since he may waive the price as a gift to the purchaser, in charity or as zakat (if the recipient is eligible for it) or for any reason he wishes. Such a contract may be a gift in the form of a sale based on either of the meanings of the principle which states: "In a contract, effect is given to intention and meanings or to words and phrases."
Based on the above, the transference of ownership of the mother's property to her daughter is legally valid and there is nothing left of her property for others to inherit since the property has passed on to her daughter. No one is entitled to ask for any share in it.
Allah the Almighty knows best.