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What are the types of Wills?

There are many types and kinds of Will that you may create. The most common are holographic or written Will. You may also create Single jurisdictional, Multi-Jurisdictional, and International Will to further classify. Refer to the Types of Islamic Wills article to learn more.

When should a Muslim create Will?

You should create Will as soon as reach the age of adulthood as per your country or jurisdictional law. Do not delay making Will before you lose mental capacity or any unfortunate life events that deteriorate your health. Refer to When should Muslims create an estate plan for more information.

When do I need to update Will?

You should update your Will when there is a change in family size or marital status but do not need to update for changes in assets, employment, business etc. Refer to the article When should update estate plan and Islamic Will for more information.

What is pour-over Will?

Power-over Will is created separately from individual or family Trust. Pour-over Will is the best backup Will to cover the estates left out from Trust. Wassiyyah provides Islamic Power-over will.

What is Trust based Wills?

You can create Testamentary Trust as part of your will, that Trust-based Will to look after minor children after death. Testamentary Trust and the non-Testamentary Trust have three significant differences; First, Testamentary Trust is effective only after death. Second, it does not help minimize tax (inheritance, wealth or estates) impact, and third, they are revocable always. Click here for more information about different estate plans.

Do Muslim pay Inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax or other similar tax (wealth tax, estate tax, etc.) upon death may impact adversely based on your country of residence. Muslims should do all legally possible to minimize taxes (inheritance, wealth or estate), i.e., create a smart Islamic estate plan. Please visit HERE to learn more about Canada, USA, Australia, USA, China & India taxes.

Can a Will be verbal in Islam?

You can communicate your wishes verbally or write a Will in front of two witnesses as per Islamic law. However, there is no validity of verbal Will legally, and that's why you should not rely on verbal Will. Most Muslim majority countries do not allow verbal Will due to legal implications.

What is Bequest in Islam?

Typically the word "Will" refers to "Last Will." but not the "Testamentary bequest." Suppose you are referring to "Will" as a "Bequest" (which is true meaning). In that case, traditional Islamic law restricts Testamentary Bequest to one-third for the poor, needy, charity, etc. The remaining two-thirds of a total estate is distributed among Islamic legal heirs as per Muslim succession law.

What is Hiba in Islam? and are Gifts allowed in Islam?

Hiba is a lifetime gift you can give away to your spouse, children, parents, or relatives. In Islam, giving away gifts is one of the most meritorious acts a Muslim can do. If we refer to large gifts given to family members, it is one of the best estate planning strategies a Muslim follows for reducing estates going to Probate. If you plan to give away gifts to children, treat them equally as stated in the Hadith Book, Bulugh al-Maram, Book 7, Hadith 928.

How do Islamic Wills work?

Islamic will allow a testator to draft an agreement during a lifetime to distribute their estates after death in complying with sharia and legal laws. Islamic will can include two-thirds or more of total assets to be distributed to Islamic heirs, including spouse, children, parents, etc. The rest is one-third or less can be bequeathed to needy, poor, or charity.

What is difference between Waqf and Trust?

The usage, concepts, and principles of "Waqf "or "Wakf " are limited for Muslims, but the concept of Trust is vast and can apply to any individual whether muslim or non-muslim. It may include many types of Trust used worldwide differs from one country or jurisdiction to another.

Can muslim create Trust or Waqf in Islam?

Muslims can create Trust, Waqf or Wakf in general. However, creating and maintaining Trust is more complex than Islamic Will. Laws of Trust (or Waqf) differ from one country or jurisdiction to another. Also, not all countries offer the mechanism of creating Trust. You can create many types of Trusts (besides individual or family trust) based on your needs. You should consider creating Trust, especially if you have significant personal or business assets. Trust requires more cost and effort upfront compared to Wills, but it pays off in the end if appropriately established and maintained. To know the differences between estate plans, click HERE.

What is the laws of Wills in Islam?

As per Islamic and legal laws, your Will must be created when you are mentally capable, be of the age of maturity (18 or 19 years depending on your country or jurisdiction), be in the written format, get signed in front of witnesses, and public notary. There are specific LEGAL requirements that you must be aware of and obey. 

Can I write my own Will in Islam?

Yes, you should write or create your own Will. Then, your will need to be converted into a legally binding document by witnessing (with a minimum of two witnesses) and consider notarizing with the public notary. Wording and clauses of Will are critical. One or more mistakes or incorrect wording can turn your Will into a nightmare for inheritors during the probating process. For more information, refer to "Choosing Witnesses and Executors."

Is making Will Haram in Islam?

It is not Haram but obligatory to make a Will for Muslims as stipulated in the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Your estates will not be distributed as per Islamic law if you choose not to create Islamic Will. Also, you cannot distribute assets without Will legally and considered dying intestate. Government appoints an administrator to look after who gets what based on jurisdictional law. If you do not have a Will or Trust, chances are, your estates will not be distributed as per Muslim succession rules. You can find out more; Why Muslims create an estate plan? And Do Muslims need an estate plan?) as to Why should you create solid estate plan?. 

What is difference between English and Islamic law in terms of testamentary freedom?

Under Islamic law, testamentary freedom is restricted to one-third. Also, one-third of testamentary freedom in Islam is further limited to the poor, needy, charities, etc. On the other hand, under English or American law, individuals have the total testamentary freedom to give whomever they wish.

What is the difference a Will written by a Muslim and non-Muslim?

Muslims Will comply with sharia and legal while Non-Muslim Will not necessarily comply with sharia but follow only legal or, in some cases, their religious law. For example, Hindu's Will comply with legal as well as Hindu law.

What happens when a person dies without Will in Islam?

The consequences and outcomes may differ regarding dying intestate (i.e., dies without Will) from one country to another. Dying intestate is one of the most unfortunate situations a Muslim faces. Also, deceased wishes would not comply with sharia or, in other words, violate the Islamic inheritance law due to a lack of legal documentation (Islamic Will or Trust) in dying intestate, and that's why; it is important for Muslims to make a Will or Trust. One of the obligations Muslims have to fulfill before death is to ensure that inheritance distribution complies with sharia.

Can I create Islamic Will against Faraid?

Islamic law does not allow creating an estate plan that can bypass the Faraid, as Allah (Subhanahu Wa-ta-ala) states in the Holy Quran, Surah An-Nisa, verses 11 to 14 about expectations in following Faraid.

What is an Islamic Will?

The Islamic will is a legal agreement created by a sound mind Muslim (Testator or Grantor) that describes the revocation, executors' duty, assets distribution methodology (i.e., complying with Islamic Inheritance law, legal laws), and signatory for witnesses, executors, and public notary. It may also include the declaration of testamentary bequest and the guardianship of minor children. Generally, Islamic Will or Muslim Will also refers to wasiyat, wasiyyah, wassiya, wassiyya, wassiyyah etc,. However true meaning of all these is "Bequest or Testamentary Bequest" but not the "Last Will."

What are the properties do not fall under Faraid in general?

Specific properties with beneficiaries designated cannot be covered under Islamic Will and/or Trust. For example, properties under Joint Tenancy, Joint accounts, Insurance policies, Pension plans, or other investments. You need to make special arrangement for such properties in order to comply with Sharia.

Which estate planning tools are useful for estate distribution in Islam?

Islamic estate planning tools include Islamic Will (or Wassiya, Wasiya, Wasiyat) or Trust (or Waqf, Wakf), Power of Attorney, Living Will (or Health care or medical directive), and Beneficiary designations (in insurance policies, investment plans, etc.,). These are the 5 components of estate planning. According to Islamic inheritance law, Islamic Will or Trust are tools that enable the estate transfer or inheritance distribution to eligible inheritors. Power of Attorney allows someone to look after your financial affairs when you are not mentally or physically able. Living Will enables medical professionals and your loved ones, relatives, or friends to provide end-of-life care when you cannot decide for yourself due to mental incapability.  

What is Islamic estate planning?

Islamic estate planning is the procedure of appointing responsibilities to executors (trustees, agents, etc.) for looking after affairs when a person is not either mentally capable or alive. Matters may include distributing assets (with minimum tax impacts) to inheritors within a boundary of Islam. Also, include taking care of the financial affairs at an older age when mentally or physically unable. Lastly, the end of medical life wishes to be looked after upon mental incapacity to comply with Islamic bioethics.

What is Islamic estate?

The "Estate" is any kind and nature of assets, wealth, house, land, money, or belongings owned upon a death. Islamic estate means all legal and Halal estate owned by a Muslim upon death. According to Muslim succession law rules, an executor or trustee will distribute the Islamic estate to the inheritors after a person's death.

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