What is a Will, and do I need one?
A Will is a legal document that allows you to outline exactly how your assets and finances should be distributed after your death. It can also avoid unnecessary family disputes and reduce the amount of inheritance tax your loved ones may have to pay after you pass away.
As a Muslim, you must ensure the proper distribution of your estate upon your death, which should be in line with the Sharia Islamic law on property distribution – a religious law based on the principles of Islam in the Quran. If you live in the UK, it is essential that you make a Will compliant with Sharia law that is also compatible with British inheritance laws.
Why should I make an Islamic Will?
Drafting an Islamic Will is one of the most significant duties in the life of a Muslim person, regardless of where they live.
The Prophet said, “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him.” (Bukhari).
When writing a Will, you are also given the chance to select an executor of your choice who will manage the process of probate. You will also be granted the opportunity to make specific arrangements for your funeral and take decisions regarding your children’s custody.
What does Sharia law entail?
According to the Qur’an, a pre-determined portion of your estate should be inherited by certain family members. Here are some key inheritance rules according to Islamic law:
- Husband: inherits half of his deceased wife’s estate if he has no children or a quarter share if the deceased has children.
- Wife: inherits a quarter share of his deceased husband’s estate if she has no children or one eight if the deceased has children.
Muslims can, however, distribute up to one-third of their fortune as they wish without taking into account the Islamic rules previously mentioned.
What happens if I die without a Will?
If you die without an Islamic Will in place, your estate will be distributed under the British rules of intestacy, rather than the guidelines set out in the Qur’an.
Dying intestate (without a Will) will also put your wishes and the future of your loved ones at risk, jeopardising the inheritance of one or more of your beneficiaries.
Furthermore, you may end up paying a higher amount of inheritance tax than what you would be expected to pay with a Will in place.
How MWG Solicitors can help
Our expert solicitors can help you draft a tax-efficient, Islamic Will legally binding under UK legislation. We have helped many Muslims write Islamic Wills compliant with both Sharia and British law and work through English tax legislation and Sharia law stipulations. We also advise on all the most common legal issues that clients face when drafting a Will according to Islamic law.
Contact our team on 0161 835 2446 to book a consultation with us.