What is the Estate?
The estate is all the property the deceased owns at the time of death and may include real estate, vehicles, businesses, shares, bank accounts, superannuation and personal effects.
The system of distribution for the estate
The Islamic system of inheritance and estate distribution is based on a contingency method of determining who are the eligible heirs of the deceased.
Each heir has a predetermined share allotted by Allah (Most Glorious and High).
Once the eligible heirs have been determined then their respective shares are finalised with respect to the prescribed allotment of the Shariah (Sacred Law) and other eligible heirs.
The contingent nature of Islamic inheritance may create some confusion to a novice person perusing such laws for the first time and even for the unwary veteran but the laws are well established in the Shariah and the process for the determination of the correct share for each heir is practical and precise.
The basic rules are that a mother and father receive a 1/6 share each of their child’s estate and the father may become the residual heir, taking anything left over.
A husband will receive a 1/2 share of his wife’s estate if they do not have any children and a 1/4 share if they have one child or more.
A wife will receives a 1/4 share of her husband’s estate if they do not have a child and a 1/8 share if they have one or more children.
A male child takes twice the share of a female child.