A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after their death. In Islamic law, a will is known as a “Wasiyah,” and it is considered an important part of a Muslim’s faith. Islamic wills in England and Wales are a way for Muslims to ensure that their assets are distributed according to Islamic law.
Islamic wills are different from regular Wills in a few ways. First, an Islamic will must adhere to Shariah law, which is the Islamic legal system. Second, an Islamic Will must comply with the laws of the jurisdiction where it is being created. For example, if you are creating an Islamic will in England and Wales, it must comply with the laws of England and Wales.
Here, we will explore the key elements of an Islamic will and how it applies in the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
An Islamic Will is a document that outlines the wishes of an individual, as it applies to their estate and assets. It is largely similar to a conventional Will, however there are some very important differences that must be understood when writing an Islamic Will in England and Wales.
First, it must be established whether the individual’s faith adheres to Sharia Law in regards to inheritance laws. This is important because Sharia Law can differ from those established by English law. In general, the principles and rules for making a lawful Islamic Will remain consistent across most jurisdictions including England and Wales.
The main difference with an Islamic Will lies within its testamentary disposition, which governs how the testator (the person making the Will) wishes their assets to be distributed after death. Under English law, an individual is able to dispose of most or all of their property as they choose; however, under Sharia Law there are specific requirements that must be followed.
For instance, certain family members may have legal rights to certain parts of a testator’s estate regardless of what has been stated in the Will itself. Thus when writing an Islamic Will in England and Wales it is important to ensure that any dispositions given in the Will do not contravene any provisions set out by Sharia Law - otherwise the testamentary disposition could be considered null and void.
Furthermore, executing an Islamic Will in England & Wales requires additional formalities beyond those for a conventional Will – such as having two male witnesses present at the time of signing or having two adult Muslims validate the will after death (i.e., confirming that all dispositions given within it comply with Sharia Law). Additionally, if any beneficiaries are going to receive more than a third of the estate then they must also sign off on this personally before the Will can be accepted as valid by the probate court.
It is therefore essential that individuals wishing to make an Islamic Will seek legal advice from professionals who understand both English law and Sharia Law – so they can ensure that their wishes are carried out correctly upon their passing away. Doing so ensures that peace of mind comes with knowing the desired outcomes with respect to passing on an estate are observed accordingly should anything happen unexpectedly whilst the Will maker is alive.
An Islamic will typically includes the following elements:
The declaration of faith: An Islamic will should start with a declaration of faith, which is a statement of belief in the oneness of Allah and the prophethood of Muhammad.
Appointment of an executor: An executor is a person who will carry out the wishes of the deceased according to their will. In an Islamic will, the executor is typically a trustworthy Muslim who is familiar with Islamic law.
Distribution of assets: An Islamic will should include details about how the deceased’s assets will be distributed. Islamic law dictates that a certain portion of the estate must be distributed to specific beneficiaries. For example, the deceased’s spouse, children, and parents are entitled to a share of the estate.
Charitable donations: Islamic law encourages charitable donations, and an Islamic will may include instructions for the distribution of charitable donations.
Funeral arrangements: An Islamic will may include instructions for funeral arrangements, such as the type of burial and the location of the burial site.
Debts and liabilities: An Islamic will may include instructions for the payment of debts and liabilities.
Other instructions: An Islamic will may include other instructions that are important to the deceased, such as the care of dependents or the management of a business.
Creating an Islamic will in England and Wales involves several steps:
Seek professional advice: It is important to seek professional advice when creating an Islamic will in England and Wales. Wer recommend contacting a solicitor who is familiar with both Islamic law and the laws of England and Wales can help you create a will that complies with both legal systems.
Choose an executor: Choose an executor who is trustworthy and knowledgeable about Islamic law. The executor should be someone who is willing and able to carry out your wishes.
Identify beneficiaries: Identify the beneficiaries of your estate according to Islamic law. The beneficiaries may include your spouse, children, parents, and other family members.
Determine distribution of assets: Determine how your assets will be distributed among your beneficiaries. Islamic law dictates that a certain portion of the estate must be distributed to specific beneficiaries.
Consider charitable donations: Consider making charitable donations as part of your Islamic will. Islamic law encourages charitable donations, and you may choose to donate a portion of your estate to a charity or organization.
Address funeral arrangements: Address funeral arrangements in your Islamic will. You may choose to include instructions for the type of burial and the location of the burial site.
Include instructions for debts and liabilities: Include instructions for the payment of debts and liabilities in your Islamic will.
Review and update your will: Review and update your Islamic will regularly to ensure that it reflects your wishes and any changes in your circumstances.
Creating an Islamic will in England and Wales is an important aspect of ensuring that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and Islamic law. It is essential to seek professional advice when creating an Islamic will to ensure that it complies with both Islamic law and the laws of England and Wales. An Islamic will should include key elements such as the appointment of an executor, the distribution of assets according to Islamic law, charitable donations, funeral arrangements, instructions for debts and liabilities, and any other instructions that are important to the deceased.
By creating an Islamic will, Muslims in England and Wales can have peace of mind knowing that their assets will be distributed in accordance with their beliefs and that their loved ones and causes they care about will be taken care of after their death.
In conclusion, an Islamic will is a legal document that outlines how a Muslim’s assets will be distributed according to Islamic law. Creating an Islamic will in England and Wales involves several steps, including seeking professional advice, choosing an executor, identifying beneficiaries, determining the distribution of assets, considering charitable donations, addressing funeral arrangements, including instructions for debts and liabilities, and regularly reviewing and updating the will. By creating an Islamic will, Muslims can ensure that their assets are distributed according to their beliefs and that their loved ones and charitable causes are taken care of after their death.
Due to the complexities and subtleties involved as detailed above, we do not offer Islamic Wills, although we can advise on specialists in your area, if you contact us.