Your Islamic Will
A Will states who inherits your estate. Without one, you die intestate and your estate is distributed according to the rules set by law. These rules do not cater for your Islamic beliefs and will mean the estate is distributed according to English Law rather than that prescribed by Sharia Law.
Ibn Umar reported that the messenger of Allah (May peace and blessings be upon him) said; ‘It is a duty of a Muslim who has anything to bequest not to let two nights pass without including it in his Will.’ Sahih al Bakhari.
Making an Islamic Will is the only way to make sure that your estate goes to the right people. You should make a Will because:
- It is an important religious duty.
- If you die without a Will then distribution of estate is not in accordance with Sharia Law.
- It gives peace of mind.
- It ensures that your wishes are followed avoiding unnecessary family disputes after you have passed away.
- If you have children under the age of 18 and you and your spouse should die, then the courts may take the decision as to who looks after them. By appointing legal guardians in your Will you can ensure that this does not happen.
- It makes financial sense, making a tax efficient Will can reduce your Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability by giving your spouse a life interest in your home.
- It allows you to gift to Charity, which for sadaqa jariya (ongoing charity) is an action that continues to be rewarded after death.
Your Will is your statement after life about:
- Who benefits from and can use the assets from your estate.
- How your property is to be dealt with.
- Which of your trusted friends or family is in charge of distributing your estate; your Executor.
Under Sharia Law, a Muslim can bequeath up to a third of their estate to whom they please. It is important to consider those less fortunate and decide whether you would like to provide a legacy to a charity, such as Islamic Relief, that can continue to support those in need.
Remember to seek advice from an expert when reviewing or making your Will.
Your Will can house Life Interest Trusts. It is commonly known as an Interest in Possession and it names a life tenant as well as an ultimate beneficiary. The life tenant is only entitled to the income and not the capital.
There are many benefits to having a Life Interest Trust included in your Will, these can include:
- Reducing Inheritance Tax liability and to protect assets from creditors and may mitigate potential care costs if set up correctly for the surviving spouse.
- Ensuring that the capital is distributed according to the Qu’ran while maintaining provision for surviving spouse.
The trustees are responsible for managing the trust after your death and they are obligated to act in the best interests of your beneficiaries. Trustees have power to terminate the trust by exercising their discretion in accordance with their responsibilities.
Our Property Protection Trust severs the tenancy on a property and provides a life interest for the surviving spouse or partner, taking advantage of the spousal exemption. The ultimate beneficiaries to the capital are those deemed according to Sharia Law.
Who Should make a Will?
In short everyone, but particularly if:
- You are married or in a civil partnership, as your full estate may not pass to them.
- You are unmarried; if you die then your partner has no right to your estate, it will pass to your blood relatives.
- You have children; a Will is the only way to appoint your own Guardians, otherwise the courts decide. That may mean they pass into care whilst the courts decide the most appropriate Guardian.
- You are single; you cannot make specific gifts to dependents, siblings and friends without a Will.
- You have remarried. A spouse’s estate transfers to the new spouse away from the blood relatives of previous marriages and a past Will is revoked.