Q: My father passed away recently. We are 7 siblings and 1 half sibling from my dad's previous marriage. My dad had bequeathed verbally that his car should be sold and the money should be used in building a musjid. My dad also bequeathed verbally that he has 50000 rands aside for his two daughters marriages and this money should be split between the two. My dad had income coming in from a rental property as well. And finally he has a paid house that my brother contributed to it. How is all this distributed? Can the verbal bequeath be accepted? Do gifts / bequeaths have to be only from his 1/3 of the total property? Is gifts and bequeaths separate? Do we have to first to subtract all the funeral expenses,debts fidya then distribute? I understand this should be done from the 1/3. Is this correct? How is the rental property going to be distributed?

A: The verbal bequest is valid. However, a bequest in favour of an heir (the children) is not valid. Hence, the only bequest that will be fulfilled is the bequest for the building of a musjid, provided it comes out from one third of his entire estate. The rest of his wealth will be divided among the heirs according to their stipulated shares.

After paying burial expenses, paying of debts and fulfilling bequests made up to one-third of the estate, the rest of the estate will be distributed among the heirs of your deceased father.

If a bequest for the fidyah is made then it will be paid from the estate of the mayyit.

If the property is retained then the rental received will be divided among the heirs in proportion to their shar`ee shares of the estate.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)