Question: I want to make a will, are there any templates or websites I could use to make a will? Can any advice be given as to how I should start making a will? بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Your wasiya (bequest) will be executed up to ⅓ of the value of your estate of whatever remains after paying off your funeral expenses and debts. After the bequest is executed, whatever remains will be distributed between your rightful heirs according to Islamic law. We advise you to consult a qualified scholar regarding how the estate should be distributed among the rightful heirs. After knowing the stipulated shares of each heir, you should include this in your will. We advise that you discuss with a Muslim attorney what needs to be done for your will to be legally recognized and your estate Islamically distributed because each country’s laws differ. Negligence in this regard would lead to one’s wealth being misallocated. Also, ensure you appoint a pious, knowledgeable person to execute your will to ensure your estate is Islamically distributed.
If you owe any rights (either the rights of Allah [SWT] or the rights of people), ensure you state this in your will so that your executor and heirs are aware of your liabilities. The rights of Allah (SWT) include fidya (compensation) for any missed obligatory prayers or fasts, unpaid Zakat/Sadaqatul Fitr/Kaffara, unperformed Hajj, and missed Qurbani. The rights of people include outstanding debts, trusts, etc. The rights of Allah (SWT) will be paid from ⅓ of what remains of the estate after the funeral expenses and debts are paid off.
Besides bequeathing the payment of religious liabilities, e.g., fidya for missed prayers, you may also bequeath money to people and organizations, e.g., the needy, Masjids, Islamic institutes, etc. If your wasiyah (bequest) exceeds ⅓ of your estate, or you bequeath something to an heir, the excess amount or the amount bequeathed to an heir would be invalid unless the SANE, MATURE heirs consent and waive their rights in proportion to their respective shares in inheritance (the permission of the insane and minors is not considered). If you only have ONE rightful heir, it is permissible to bequeath all of your wealth to him. Nevertheless, if one does not have much money and one’s heirs are in need, it is preferable that one does not bequeath anything apart from fulfilling the rights owed to Allah (SWT).
Rights owed to people (debts) will be paid off by default before the bequest is executed. Writing down any due rights in one’s will is to inform the executor and the heirs so that no rights are left unfulfilled. Kindly refer to the following link for the template:
Common Errors & Solutions Pertaining to Inheritance and Winding Up of Estates: p. 20-22 (Madrasah Taaleemuddeen); Kitabul Meerath: p. 40-52 (Young Men’s Muslim Association)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Mohammad Ahsan Osmani Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah Darul Ifta Birmingham