Making A Trust From One’s Legacy

Question

I wish to establish a special trust for the benefit of my children. I intend to make a will with the conditions that all the property left over by me after my death shall not be sold or inherited but the rental income from the properties be distributed between my sons and daughters in the ratio of 2:1. According to this will, the daughters can benefit during their lifetime only and the offspring of my sons will be the only beneficiaries after my sons' death. Finally in the event there are no more heirs from the family, the whole property be given for public cause. Can such a will be made? Is this proposal in accordance with the Shari'ah? Please advise.


Answer

According to the Islamic Shari'ah the property of a deceased person has to be divided among certain relations which include parents and spouses as well. You have excluded them and also stopped the original benefit from going to your daughters for the Shari'ah prescribes that they are given a certain share fully and permanently which cannot be limited to their life.

You have also denied the full rights of your children. There are other complications as well which can hinder the desired results to surface. Someone has to own the property when you will not be there to own it. Some board or any person can later decide exactly the opposite of what you have set for them. You won't be there to see that your will is implemented. Therefore, you should not make such a will. It is unjustified and against the Shari'ah as well.

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