Q. In his Will, a man stipulated that his estate should be for his brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces. He did not specify any amounts. When he died, he had 3 brothers, 2 sisters, 2 paternal nephews, 2 paternal nieces, 1 maternal nephew and 3 maternal nieces. He was not married and no parents were alive. How should his estate be distributed according to the Shariah?

A. The heirs of the deceased are only his brothers and sisters who were alive at the time of his death. The nephews and nieces who were alive at the time of his demise are not heirs, but they are entitled to the wasiyyat (bequest) made by the deceased. In view of the fact that the deceased had not specified any amount for the nephews and nieces, it is left to the heirs to decide on an amount which should not exceed one third the value of the estate.

Whatever amount the heirs decide on, should be divided into 8 equal shares since the total number of nephews and nieces is 8. Each one of the nephews and nieces shall be given one share. The rule of a male receiving double will not apply in this case. After paying the wasiyyat to the nephews and nieces, the balance must be divided into eight shares. Each brother will receive two of these shares, and each sister one share.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *