Inheritance: Young children's inheritance

Q280 :Inheritance: Young children's inheritance


A280 : If in a Muslim family, a man died at a young age, leaving behind minor children and his father has survived him - the question is whether the minor children will have any claim over the property of their grand father ( the father of the minor children's father ). The inheritance of the assets of the deceased father are very clear. For instance the deceased left behind two minor children. The division of the property of the children's father is effected as follows : One sixth to his father (i.e. the grand father) and a similar portion (i.e. one sixth) to his mother if she has also survived him. His wife inherits one eighth. The remainder goes to the children. If both are boys, then the total amount is divided between them equally. If they are a boy and a girl, then the boy receives twice as much as the girl who inherits one third while her brother takes two third. The position is different in the case of grand children's claim to a share of their grand father's inheritance in place of their own father. According to the family law of a number of Muslim countries, they inherit on the basis of a rule known as "the compulsory will". These laws of Muslim countries have adopted the views of Imam Ibn Hazm which are not only humanitarian but also have a sound basis. He advocates that in this particular case where a man is survived by his father and children of his own, the grand father is deemed to have made a will in favour of those grand-children of his in the amount which his son i.e. their father, would have inherited from him had he been alive, or one third of the grand-father's property, whichever is the lesser amount. This applies whether the grand-father has actually made such a will or not. That is the reason for calling this will a compulsory one. Even if no will is written or signed by the grand-father, it is deemed to be there, and the beneficiaries are only his grand-children.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )