Q: We are in the process of winding up my father’s estate, who passed away a couple of years ago, and are unclear on a specific scenario we have picked up.
My father had a number of investment policies which were registered under his name but, as required with most investments, had listed certain individuals as beneficiaries in the event of his death. The beneficiaries he listed were his wife and some of his children (so the people that naturally would qualify to inherit from his estate in any case).
The question I have around this is, according to Islamic law, should the person listed on the investment as beneficiary inherit the payout or should the investment be included in the estate and the total from the estate be distributed according to the Islamic law of succession and inheritance?
I hope I have provided sufficient detail to enable you to make an informed decision.
A: We understand that this was a bequest. A bequest is that property that becomes the recipients after death. A bequest cannot be made for an heir. Hence, all the investments will fall under the estate of the deceased.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)