Deducting a debt from the estate of...

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

Deducting a debt from the estate of a deceased


A man passed away and was survived by his wife, mother and son. He was indebted with farmable lands. Is the debt to be deducted before or after the estate's division and is it to be settled from the share of a particular heir?


The rights associated with the estate of a deceased are as follows in their order of precedence:
- Shrouding and burying the deceased without any stinginess or extravagance;
- Settling any debts he might owe;
- Executing any bequests from one third of the estate after the deduction of any debts;
- Distributing the rest of the estate proportionally among the heirs.
Since the deceased had incurred a debt during his lifetime and passed away without settling it, it is therefore mandatory to settle this debt from his estate after shrouding and burying him even if the debt exhausts the entire estate. The debt must be settled before the division of the estate among the heirs.

The ruling
If the entire estate or part of it was distributed before settling the debt, then the debt must be deducted proportionately from the share of each heir.
Allah the Almighty knows best.

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