Inheritance Question of Deceased Father

My father has passed away a few days ago. There is no will. However, my parents were married in community of property. My mother has agreed that the assets are to be distributed according to Shariah Law. There is a property which my dad was receiving rental on, his clothes and furniture etc.

Until the property is sold, how do we go about with the rental income? I am acting as an executor, as I am the only son & I have two sisters. Please advise how I should go about in distributing everything.

Answer:

Firstly, we share your grief at the loss of your father. May Allah Ta’ala grant him Maghfirat and Jannat, Aameen.

Secondly, we have to commend your mother who, in these times of wanton disregard for the Shariah of Allah Ta’ala and inordinate self-interest, has shown remarkable consideration for the Law of Allah Ta’ala in rejecting the Community of Property regime opting for the distribution of your father’s estate in accordance with the Law of Allah Ta’ala. May Allah Ta’ala reward her for her piety.

The answers to your questions are as follows:

1. The estate is to be divided into 32 portions of which your mother receives 4 shares, you receive 14 shares and each sister 7 shares.

2. The net income derived from the rental of your late father’s property, i.e. the amount after deduction of expenses accrued by the property, will be shared by the heirs in proportion to their respective shares from your father’s estate. The net rental will thus be divided into 32 portions and divided among the heirs as mentioned in no.1 above.

3. The clothes, furniture, etc. every item your father owned, no matter how insignificant, will have to compulsorily be included in the distribution. If the heirs decide to give the clothes, for example, in charity it will have to be done with mutual consent. No heir can be coerced into parting with any tangible asset. The consent of a minor is not valid.

4. Assets from the estate which cannot be shared should be valued and, either sold with the profits distributed proportionately according to the inheritance, or an heir can purchase a particular item in lieu of his/her share provided the other heirs agree. Similarly, one heir can ask for cash in lieu of his/her share. There should be a measure of give and take in distributing and converting the assets into cash where necessary. All the assets could also be sold and the cash divided according to the respective shares. In short, there should be understanding and co-operation between the heirs in the distribution.