Q: I have a question regarding inheritance. My father passed away about 17 years ago. In terms of assets, he left behind the house (of which 50% is my mummies), 3 old cars and his tools he used as he was a mechanic. Not long after my daddy passed away, the cars and bikes were sold and my mummy used the money to see to the expenses around the house and put my sister through college. At the time it was myself and my big brother that were working. I just started about a year before my daddy passed away. Now 17 years down the line, my sister wants her share of the inheritance. My mummy and nanima still live in the house and my small brother with his wife live at the back. Someone told me that we have to give her the share from the sale of the cars (even though my mummy used money from there to pay for this same sister’s college). My mummy does not have that money anymore. She doesn’t work. She gets pension and some money from my brothers. Please advise firstly, if we still have to give my sister her share from the sale of cars and bikes. Also, since my mummy is still in the house, if we are supposed to give my sisters share now? If you could please reply urgently, as unfortunately the situation has become very ugly and we want to resolve it ASAP.
A: It was wrong for the mother to unilaterally use up the money of the estate. The correct thing will be to now work out what amount she had used up and thereafter work out the share of the daughter. Thereafter, whatever is outstanding she should pay it to her in full.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)