1. What is a Will?
A Will is a legal document that sets out your wishes upon your death; it can include directions on what you would like to happen to your assets and who will be responsible for the care of your minor children.
2. What is the difference between an Islamic Will and a standard Will?
An Islamic Will takes into consideration Shari’ah law; your assets are distributed in accordance with the Mawarith schedule. An Islamic Will also ensures that all your debts are paid prior to distribution of your assets. This includes everything from paying off your debts to banks, people, unpaid Zakaat and even making up any fasting days that you have outstanding. An Islamic Will also stipulates who can be your beneficiaries in accordance with Shari’ah law. In your Islamic Will you can also stipulate that you wish to be buried in accordance with the Shari’ah. We incorporate these Shari’ah requirements with the legal requirements of a Will to ensure your wishes are carried out without contest.
3. What happens if I don’t have a Will?
If you do not have a Will you cannot control who inherits your assets or who will become responsible for your minor children after your death. If there is dispute over your assets upon your deaths your beneficiaries will have to go through a lengthy legal process that will be both time consuming and costly.
4. I don’t own any assets, do I still need a Will?
You still need a Will if you have minor children and wish to stipulate who is responsible for their care; you can also write your Will prior to attaining any assets to ensure that should you attain any assets before you die your assets are distributed correctly. Furthermore, you can stipulate in your Will how you wish to be buried, if you have any outstanding Zakaat or fasting days.
5. Who should I appoint as my executor? Why do I need more than one?
Your executor is the person who looks after your estate after you die. Your executor provides documents to your lawyers and signs documents, in accordance with your Will. Your executor must be over 18 when you die; anyone can be your executor however it is highly recommended that you appoint someone who knows you and your family well so they can ensure all beneficiaries are accounted for. You need to appoint more than one executor in case your first choice is not available to carry out your wishes.
6. Can my spouse and I just have the same Will?
Some couples think they can have a joint Will however, this is not a sound approach, especially in an Islamic Will. You and your spouse will most likely have different times of death, when one of you passes away and you have a joint Will it can be very difficult to execute the Will for just one party. Furthermore the Islamic distribution of your assets will be different between you and your spouse, recognising beneficiaries will become difficult. Joint Wills hold less weight in Court, should your Will be disputed, it is likely that it will be more binding.
7. Do I have to update my Will every time I buy a new asset or have another child?
Your Islamic Will comes attached with a schedule that outlines how all your assets should be distributed and who will be responsible for all your minor children. You only need to update your Will if your wishes change.
DISCLAIMER: This is general advice, contact us today on (03) 7024 4270 for a consultation on your specific case.