Q: A mother gives jewellery and other items to her eldest unmarried son and says to him : “This is for wife when you get married”. However, years elapse during which several proposals failed to materialise and the son thus remained unmarried. The items remained in the son’s possession. Now with demise of the mother, what is the situation? Is the son to be deemed the owner or in actual fact to be merely deemed to be in possession of items entrusted to him to hold until a specific event (i.e. marriage) has taken place? In the latter case, does the items now form part of the estate of the deceased mother if it uncertain if marriage will ever take place in the foreseeable future?
On the other hand, assuming subsequently the son also dies unmarried. What is the situation then? To whose estate do the items now belong?
A: If the mother gifted the jewellery to her son and made him the owner of it, then it will belong to the son and will not form part of the mother’s estate. If the son passes away, it will be included in his estate. However if the mother had kept the jewellery by her son for safe keeping and intended to give it to his wife after marriage, it will not belong to the son. Instead it will be included in the mother’s estate.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
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