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Beginners Guide to Islamic estate planning

Islamic estates, Muslim estates, Islamic estate plans, and Islamic estate planning are terms not known to most Muslims. When a Muslim passes away, the wealth they leave behind is called an Islamic estate. Proper management of these estates, including the protection of assets and settling outstanding debts, requires the utilization of estate planning tools such as Islamic Wills, Trusts, and Pour-Over Wills. Additionally, safeguarding wealth during one's lifetime can be achieved through a Power of Attorney. To ensure that your values and preferences concerning your medical care are upheld, a Power of Attorney for Healthcare or Medical can be established. Creating a Living Will or Medical directive is crucial for protecting medical-related preferences. Other essential estate planning tools in this context include the Deed of Gifts or Hibah, Letter of Wishes, Islamic Inheritance certificate, and succession planning for businesses.

What is Islamic estate?

The "Estate" (tarikah) is any kind and nature of assets, wealth, house, land, money in the bank, cash, or belongings owned upon death. Islamic estate or Muslim estate means all legal and Halal estate owned by a Muslim testator or grantor upon death. According to Muslim succession law rules, an executor or trustee (personal family member or corporate from a trust company) will distribute the Islamic estate to the inheritors (warith) after a person's death. The only difference between Islamic estate and the estate in legal terms is no distinctions between movable and immovable properties under Islamic law. The Estate to be distributed is after considering all the debts aligned between Legal and Islamic law. Many people believe only capital (House, Land, etc.) is the estate, which is untrue. Muslim estate cannot be distributed other than the Islamic inheritance law.

Most people, including Muslims, irrespective of profession, are unaware of Islamic estates and estate planning. Islamic estate planning is such an important topic, but rarely would you find a better explanation. Wassiyyah has learned and observed over years and presenting following video to answer your most questions regarding Islamic estate planning.

What is Islamic estate planning?

The concept of Islamic estate planning is quite broad, and it just not limited to wealth but includes protections for your values, wishes, faith, and medical preferences. Islamic estate planning is exclusively used for Muslims and is new to many because most people know the last Will, not beyond. Islamic religion protects your wealth and inheritors unless you fulfill estate planning duties. The most common elements of estate planning include choosing the right resources, selecting a proper estate plan, creating an estate plan without further delay, and securing your estate plan. Estate planning helps you accomplish debts obligations that are not just limited to personal or commercial but include funeral or burial expenses, zakat, kaffarat, taxes (i.e., wealth tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, investment tax, or other), Pending Mahr (i.e., Dower or marital gift to wife), pending religious obligations (i.e., prayer, fasting, and hajj). Estate planning is an opportunity to do Testamentary Bequest (which differs from Endowment), especially if you have substantial wealth. There is no way or the best way to achieve this debt fulfillment and philanthropy goal other than estate planning. Additionally, Islamic estate planning saves you from the influence of culture or traditions that have been followed wrongly regarding inheritance. Estate planning in legal terms may differ geographically, but Islamic estate planning is universal for Muslims irrespective of their status as American, Canadian, Australian, European, or African.

Why does estate planning matter for Muslims?

Estate planning is a very important and critical matter for everyone but for Muslims, it is a moral and religious duty. Being a Muslim, estate planning is part of devotion because those verses (Holy Quran 4:11-14, 176) of inheritance and moral ethics come from Holy Quran and Sunnah. Additionally, Islamic bioethics plays a role in your medical-related preferences. Most people are unaware of legal and Islamic implications, which can take huge costs and delays if improperly handled. Delay in creating estate plans means taking blind risks by ignoring many facts. You should know that the estate planning door closes permanently upon losing mental incapacity or death. If you want to delay your estate planning goal, check out our "You would have created your Wills or Trust a long time ago if you knew these FIVE things."

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

Islamic estate planning tools include Islamic Wills (or Wassiya, Wasiya, Wasiyat) or Trust (or Waqf, Wakf), Muslim Power of Attorney, Muslim advance directives (or Health care or medical directive), and Beneficiary designations (in insurance policies, investment plans, etc.,). These are the components of estate planning. According to Islamic inheritance law, Islamic Wills or Trusts enable the estate transfer or inheritance distribution to eligible inheritors. Power of Attorney allows someone to look after your financial affairs when you are mentally incapable or physically disabled. LivingWill 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. It gives security to your preferences in life.

What is the challenge of Islamic estate planning?

There are the following main challenges. Wassiyyah assists the worldwide community in accomplishing goals to meet your compliance. Wassiyyah's goal is not to impose fees but to help the community, and that's why we are the lowest in the world with high-quality standards. You can learn more about Wassiyyah under Features and Benefits.

  • The challenge is to comply with Shariah, as there is a misconception that you can not create an estate plan to comply with Shariah. An estate plan states the wishes of a person, and no country (except a few) restricts estate distribution according to your faith. The right of inheritance is granted through constitutions. However, the catch is you need to plan it means creating the best estate plan; otherwise, it will not be possible. The world strives towards automation, but nothing automatic regarding law, inheritance, and estate planning. You need to have an exclusive estate plan in place (not through free templates) but one that is practical.

  • The challenge is to find the right resources, including a lawyer, attorney, or tax consultant. Not many legal professionals or tax specialists practice Islamic estate planning. Those available are expensive. Wassiyyah provides the most affordable solution worldwide that will take this challenge away.

  • In some countries, estate planning laws may differ from one country or jurisdiction (i.e., state, province, and territory) to another. Your estate plan must comply with those. Wassiyyah offers optimum solutions for meeting compliance.

  • Many avoid creating estate plans to meet Shariah because they perceive inheritance as strict and rigid without considering that it provides solid protection.

  • Out of all, the Muslims take estate planning duties very lightly despite clear evidence found in the Holy Quran 4:13-14 (and many Hadith), where reward and punishment are stated by Allah (Subhanahu Wa ta aala). Muslims keep this duty to be the lowest priority. In this business of years, Wassiyyah experienced that most Muslims do not have estate plans.

What is the foundation of Muslim estate planning?

Islamic law of Inheritance, Islamic Bioethics, Islamic faith, and legal laws form the foundation of Islamic estate planning. Not many people, legal firms, or scholars know in-depth about Islamic succession.

How is learning Islamic Inheritance law help you achieve your estate planning goals?

The major part of estate planning includes your wealth which becomes an inheritance after death. Muslims lose the right to wealth immediately after death, and inheritance distribution defaults to Shariah (i.e., path to correct guidance) law that includes Holy Quran, Sunnah, Ijma, and Qiyas. It is the ultimate guideline for Muslim estate distribution. Whether you created your estate plan or not, inheritance must follow Shariah without any exceptions for Muslims. If you live in the Muslim majority of countries, it may or may not follow in the absence of an estate plan, but for sure, it will not follow if you live and assets are located in Muslim minority countries where Shariah law is not the legal law system. Not following Shariah law means it is non-compliance religiously for Muslims. No other person is responsible other than you if your wealth is not distributed as per Shariah. So, it is of utmost importance that you should do your best to fulfill this duty before mental incapacity or death. Learning Islamic inheritance law becomes important because the legal heirs (warith) under Islamic law include Husband or Wife, Sons, Daughters, Father, and Mother as the primary heir, which is different than legal law. Under most legal laws, the inheritance does not extend beyond Spouse and Children. The shares may include Faraidh (i.e., Fixed or Prescribed shares), Al-asabah (i.e., Residuary), and Dhwu al-arham (i.e., Distant Kindred). There is a difference of opinion among Madhab (i.e., Hanafi, Shafii, Maliki, or Hanbali) you should know because it may impact final shares (mawarith) based on your jurisprudence. Also, the course includes the calculations of shares and practice examples using scenarios of Radd and Awwal. Wassiyyah spent years that you do not have to but needs less than five hours of your life to complete this course. The course is affordable at US$10 and comes with lifetime access and many other benefits.

How Wassiyyah's Islamic estate planning solution can protect?

Wassiyyah's estate plans are designed to protect your assets (i.e., cash, money in the bank, house, land, or business) under Intestacy and Escheat (or Bona vacantia). Wassiyyah's solution accounts for birth, marriage (or marital) implications, and co-ownership to prevent non-compliance during estate distributions. Islamic Wills, Trusts, and Power of Attorney are for protecting your wealth without compromising faith and legality. A Medical and Personal directive protects your values in line with Islam. Wassiyyah's estate plans have in-built security for family and beneficiaries, including husband, wife, sons, daughters, father, mother, and their lineal descendants in many scenarios, including forced heirship, absence of heirs, lack of guardianships, simultaneous death, disability, mental incapacity, and so on.

Where do I start if I want to learn more about Islamic Inheritance law?

You are encouraged to enroll in the Islamic inheritance course by visiting HERE. Wassiyyah created this course under the guidance of highly qualified (Doctorate/Ph.D.) Muftis who have spent years learning and teaching Islamic inheritance law. We have converted our years of learning Islamic inheritance into websites, video series, pamphlets, and books. Wassiyyah offers extensive free and premium blogs and articles on Islamic estate planning and Islamic Inheritance laws. You may search or browse. Also, a free step-by-step practical Guide to Islamic Will covers basic elements to meet the ultimate goal. Also, you can find the Islamic Wills guide for Canada, USA, Australia, United Kingdom, India, and China. Wassiyyah also provides a guide for highly populated European British, South African, South American, and Middle Eastern countries. These guidelines give an overview of topics of succession, the Wills act, Intestate regulations, the process after death, and the general legal requirements. Feel free to check out our Estate Planning 101 guides.

If you have more questions about using Wassiyyah, please review our FAQs.

If you are confused or don't know where to start, please JOIN US​ to receive your free E-Book "Beginners guide to Islamic estate planning," specially designed for those who seriously want to make their estate plan completed in the easiest and quickest way.

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