Q: My father recently passed away. The question relates to matters of inheritance
a. A number of assets were ‘given” to his daughters (no sons) in his lifetime, which he told many people that ownership was for the daughters alone. He (the father) paid the zakaat and managed the assets, related income and expenditure till his death. The question is whether the shariah ownership it’s with the daughters or the estate.
b. An income generations asset was put into a trust. The daughters were again given ownership, however all in the name of heir children. In this case the net funds received were kept separately. When a payout was made it was paid on to the daughters. The question is whether the shariah ownership it’s with the daughters or the estate.
1. In order for the gifting to be valid, it is a precondition that the one who is gifted accepts the gift and has complete control over it. If the daughters did not have control over the property, income, etc, till the end of their father’s life, then the gifting was not valid. Hence the properties will form part of the estate of the deceased and will have to be distributed among the heirs according to the stipulated laws of inheritance.
2. If the investment was made for the daughters with their consent and the profits were given to them, then they will be regarded as the owners of the investment. If the investment was gifted to the daughters but was made in the name of the grandchildren to avoid legal implications, then it is permissible and it will be regarded the ownership of the daughters on condition that the gifting is valid.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)
This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.