Rafed English

What is the "estate"?

Adapted from: "Making an Islamic Will" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi"

An "estate" is the collective name for everything that you own. The estate consists of the followings:

• all properties, goods and investments that are in your name.

• half of the specified portion of the goods and investments in which you are a co-owner.

The first type of property is very straight-forward. But there are certain cases in the second type which need explanation:

Joint Account: According to Canadian laws, with death of one spouse, the money becomes the property of the surviving spouse. Such a transfer of money is not valid in Islam: Islamically, half of the money in that account becomes part of the surviving spouse and the other half will become part of the deceased estate.

House: Houses are normally in the name of the couple. Such ownership can be of two types: common ownership and tenants in common. “Tenants in common” is also without any problem because when one spouse dies, his/her share becomes part of the estate.

But in "common ownership", there is a problem because with the death of one spouse, according to Canadian laws, the entire property becomes that of the surviving spouse. This is contrary to Islamic laws, which says that the surviving spouse gets his or her 50% and the remaining 50% becomes part of the estate of the deceased.
We will talk more about this below.


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