Estate distribution

Q: My mother passed away leaving behind the following family:

- A husband

- 2x daughters (both unmarried)

- 2x sons (I am married, and did not have children at the time of my mother's passing, while my brother is unmarried)

- 2x brothers (both married with children)

- 1x sister (unmarried)

1. Do my uncles' family members inherit from my mother? If so, I will send you the number of nephews and nieces.

2. How will the estate be distributed?

3. Certain items in the home (such as kitchen utensils, bedding, etc.) were purchased by my parents (mostly by my father), and used by all. At the time of purchase, the items where not designated a specific owner. In most cases, my father's intention at the time of purchase was that these items are for use by the household. How should we handle these items when winding up my mother's estate?

4. Is it permissible for the heirs to mutually agree to give more to a certain heir to due financial conditions?

5. Similarly, is it permissible for the heirs to decide to donate certain of my mother's clothing?

6. There are a few items of jewellery. To avoid dispute, is it permissible for an heir to 'purchase' this jewellery, and distribute the monetary value as per the distributions from question 2? Is the mutual consent of all heirs required for this?

7. Any other information which will assist.


1. No.

2. The estate will be divided into 24 equal shares and distributed as follows:
Husband will receive 6 shares
Each son will receive 6 shares
Each daughter will receive 3 shares

3. What your father bought will belong to him.

4. They should rather help him with their personal finances rather than doing this.

5. If all the heirs are adults and they are willfully doing it then it is permissible.

6. Yes, if it is done with mutual consent.

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


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)