Q: My situation is as follows: I have one brother who is seven years younger than me. Just a little more about us. I am married with three kids all under 5 years old. He is two years married and intend moving in with my parents soon but they plan on renovating it into a double story because they want their space and privacy and they want the upstairs section to be completely separate from the rest of the house, separate entrance, no access from main house to the upstairs etc. I have had a bit of an issue with this because I feel my brother is doing this to benefit off my parents in terms of saving on costs like water electricity etc because if he was serious about taking ‘care’ of my parents, why does he want everything to be so completely separate from my parents? Why not just buy a separate house? He says he is going to pay for the renovating of that part of the house but knowing him, he will probably seek assistance from my father as well if he runs short. My dad has in the past been paying a lot of his expenses, all his wedding expenses, furniture for his current apartment, and recently last September when he and his wife went with my parents for hajj as well, my father paid for his haj as well. he qualified as a chartered accountant last year and is only recently been earning a CA salary. The 5 years before this he was doing his articles and earning very little. I don’t think my dad is going to establish a will so if he doesn’t, my question is, should my parents pass on one day before us, what happens to the house? Does my brother just inherit it all because he is going to be living in the house?
A: The shares of inheritance which will be distributed among the heirs have been stipulated by Allah Ta’ala. No person has the ability to make any changes in these stipulated shares and nor is it dependent on one drawing up a will. If the house is in the ownership of your father at the time of his demise, then it will be included in his estate which will be wound and distributed among the heirs according to the stipulated shares of inheritance.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)