Gifting a property to one's only daughter during one's lifetime and distribution of inheritance

Q: I have only one daughter. I own a house and no bank balance.

1. Can I gift the house, my complete property to my daughter in my life and give full control over it to her? Can we stay with her in that house only after giving her the full control over it? I have heard that a gift can be given from 1/3rd of the property and a gift can be given to non heirs.

2. If I don't give the gift, what will be the shares of my only daughter and wife?

3. I had two brothers and two sisters out of which one brother has passed away. So what will be the share of my remaining brother and two sisters in my property?

4. Will my nephews and nieces inherit from my property as their father is no more?

NOTE: Please answer all these questions in the light of my case as I have only one daughter and no sons.


1. Yes. It is permissible for you to gift the entire house to your daughter in your lifetime. However, in order for the gifting to be valid, you should give her full control over the house in such a manner that none of your belongings remain. If you continue to live in the house with all your belongings, then the gifting will not be valid. However, if you wish to gift her the house while living in the house with your belongings, then there are two solutions to achieve this.
The first solution is for you to gift her half the house which does not include any of your belongings. Thereafter, move all your belongings to the half which you have already gifted to her, and then gift her the second half of the house which is empty of your belongings.
The second solution is that you gift her the entire house together with your belongings. Thereafter, you may use your belongings with her permission and if she wishes to gift it back to you, then she may do so.
Another solution is that you do not gift the house to her, but sell it to her at a minimal price (e.g. R100 or less or more for the entire house). In the case of sale, you do not need to move your belongings from the house. The sale will take place despite your belongings being in the house.

2 & 3. If you do not gift the house to your daughter in your lifetime, then the house will form part of your estate which will be distributed between your heirs according to their stipulated shares of inheritance.

If these are the only heirs, then the estate will be divided into 32 equal shares and distributed as follows:
Wife - 4 shares
Daughter - 16 shares
Brother - 6 shares
Each sister - 3 shares each

4. The nephews and nieces will not inherit.

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


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)