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How Do I Divide My Estate Amongst My Children?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question:

If someone gives his property to his children and then has more children, do the new children also get their portion of the property?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

If someone gives his property to his children and then has more children, the new children do not get a portion of the old property because it is no longer their parent’s.

For example, a man has three sons and three houses. He gives his three houses to his three sons and the property is legally transferred to their names (or they or their legal representatives take complete physical charge of the property). At this point, the properties no longer belong to the father. [Minhaj al-Talibin, Nawawi]

Thereafter, he has another son, and then the father dies. Should the new son have his portion of the properties that were once owned by his father but are now the property of his brothers? No. Inheritance only applies to the property and wealth that one actually has upon death.

Okay, so what about being fair to each of one’s children in gifts? Again, that only applies to property that still belongs to one. Once one has given property away, this no longer applies.

Now, if it was merely a promise/agreement that he would give them the property, but no valid gift contract (hiba sahiha) occurred, and (importantly) no legal or physical transfer of ownership happened (the title deeds were not changed for example), then the property would remain as the father’s property and would be divided between all of his heirs upon death.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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