Guidelines issued on Sharia Wills (ie unequal shares to female children)

(213 Posts)
mumblechum1 Sun 23-Mar-14 13:40:03

www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/islamic-law-to-be-enshrined-in-british-law-as-solicitors-get-guidelines-on-sharia-compliant-wills-9210682.html

Must admit I have only been asked on 2 occasions in many years of will-writing to make Sharia compliant wills, and both times advised that they would not stand up in court and so in one case the client went elsewhere, in the other he agreed to divide his estate equally between his sons and daughters when I explained the risk of litigation.

I am saddened if this is now going to change.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 23-Mar-14 16:16:21

The Law Society itself seems to view this as "guidance" and a "practice note" rather than anything being enshrined in British law, with the rather obvious aim of helping solicitors attract Muslim customers http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/press-releases/law-society-publishes-practice-note-on-sharia-wills-and-inheritance-rules/

I was under the impression that under UK law, you can bequeath your estate to whomever you choose, as long as the will has been properly conducted.

Likewise, I'm sure there are people who choose to give children and other relatives different amounts for different reasons. I wasn't aware there was anything illegal about this.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 23-Mar-14 16:16:53
TalkinPeace Sun 23-Mar-14 19:31:19

Sharia has no place in the UK in any way shape or form

it is pure cowardice to allow Muslims to discriminate and bully in ways that NO other group would ever be allowed to

lilystem Sun 23-Mar-14 19:33:30

Plenty family business' leave the majority of their assets to the chosen son or daughter.

TalkinPeace Sun 23-Mar-14 19:39:17

Plenty family business' leave the majority of their assets to the chosen son or daughter
not under UK tax law they do not

OddBoots Sun 23-Mar-14 19:41:43

Assisting society to become even more unequal seems a huge backwards step. I really hope this is successfully challenged.

MadameJosephine Sun 23-Mar-14 19:45:08

Am I missing something here? While I don't for a second agree with this surely any one of us can will our estate to whoever we want so any will could leave uneven shares to siblings or leave one out altogether?

lilystem Sun 23-Mar-14 19:45:16

Talkin I genuinely thought they did. I know various families (all farmers) where the son inherited the farm and the sister was bought a house/cash lump sum. I thought you could leave your assets to anybody you want - the cats home, the daughter who looked after you etc.

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 23-Mar-14 19:57:18

Talkin How on earth is some guidelines for solicitors "Muslims being allowed to bully".

That Independent article is scare-mongering rubbish. There are no changes to British law, it's just guidelines about how a certain section of society might like to divvy up their money.

I am sick to death of papers thinking they can print any rubbish they like about Muslims. Wha

tribpot Sun 23-Mar-14 19:59:00

It seems very weird that sons don't inherit within the primary beneficiaries.

HolidayCriminal Sun 23-Mar-14 20:00:43

Besides, my friend's Sikh parents had the same expectations about how to divide their estate among sons & daughters (i.e., the latter got nothing). It's not a value system exclusive to any one culture.

Liara Sun 23-Mar-14 20:03:15

I don't understand. I thought in the UK you could will what you wanted to who you wanted, no questions asked.

I live in France and here that is not the case, but I believed in the UK it always was.

Cleanandclothed Sun 23-Mar-14 20:03:26

How odd. In my work the most common request is from someone living in a country that enforces Sharia law, who wants to get round it!

Cleanandclothed Sun 23-Mar-14 20:06:05

Talkin 'tax law' has nothing to do with who inherits what. Tax law tells you how to tax the estate. English law does allow you ( within the confines of the Family and Dependents Act) to leave your estate how you wish. Scots law is different.

NiceTabard Sun 23-Mar-14 20:06:25

In the UK you can leave your money to whoever you like.

This changes nothing at all. It simply is a document that says how things are done under Sharia, for people being asked to draw up wills in that way.

I don't understand why this is in the news, and I don't understand why it is being reported as a change to the law or anything like that.

We're not like France, for eg, where people have to leave money to their children and so on. In the UK you can do whatever you like, however outrageous it might seem to others.

TalkinPeace Sun 23-Mar-14 20:08:32

The UK has long standing rules on primo geniture
they were recently amended to make daughters equal

wills can indeed leave whatever you like to whoever you like
but call in pecking order, do not get religion involved

transfer of business rules are governed by tax laws which (luckily) ignore archaic mysogynistic religios views

ImAThrillseekerHoney Sun 23-Mar-14 20:11:14

I'm shocked I tell you by these medieval practices. Can you imagine how awful it would be if large estates were willed to male heirs in preference to closer females, with social status and governmental voting rights processing accordingly? We haven't had that for, oooh, nearly 15 years (except for the titles and the social status - that still goes to the boys). And our Head of State hasn't been governed under a system of male primogeniture for nearly three years now.

NiceTabard Sun 23-Mar-14 20:13:52

Which laws on primogeniture were recently amended? You mean when Kate wotsit was pregnant? That was just for getting to the throne. Other titles still pass down through primogeniture. Which laws are you talking about?

And yes you can leave whatever to whoever so why is it bulling and discriminating when one section of society does something which is in accord with the law?

I'm slightly baffled.

TalkinPeace Sun 23-Mar-14 20:17:14

transfer of estates can now be to the oldest child be they male or female : the Knatchbulls have been active in getting that tagged along with the George issue
its not had to go live yet but its in place

lilystem Sun 23-Mar-14 20:34:19

But you choose who you will things too. If my eldest
Child goes on a drug addled bender for 10 years (after providing appropriate help of course) my estate will go to my younger more sensible child.

Likewise if I have a disabled child I will potentially will them far more as they may need the resources.

I can also choose to will any sum of money or asset to my godchildren.

There are a million and one reasons why a daughteright get
Less on a will than a son (or vice versa) but it's totally up to the family what they do with it. Or I should say,
The people with the assets.
Talkin - I think your point rests on whether assets are owned by the business or personally.

NiceTabard Sun 23-Mar-14 20:35:20

But we're talking about normal wills here.

Not about estates linked to titles and whatnot.

What is the reason for this sidetrack.

crescentmoon Sun 23-Mar-14 21:09:31

obviously its yet another thinly veiled article to stoke up the masses against the muslim interlopers. in the UK where you can disinherit your whole family in favour of the local donkey sanctuary legally -only upto a third to non heirs in islam is allowed- there is no obligation to pass anything onto daughters or sons anyway.

i have a question though - does the law allow the children to challenge a will or is it only a spouse that can do that? if one's father dies and his property passes to his wife - not your mother- and she has children, do they inherit the property from her if she dies or does it go back to the children of the original property owner?

as for mention of tax its not a bid to get out of inheritance tax actually the sharia divying up of assets makes the heirs more liable for inheritance tax, not less. because an estate doesnt automatically pass to the spouse because of the rules of inheritance shares a woman's heirs after her death are not automatically the same as a man's heirs after his death. so the link above has advise on how to advise heirs on that issue.

as for primogeniture - it was abolished by the Quran and the reason the early muslims were interested in mathematics and went on to develop algebra is said to be because of the complexity of sharia inheritance law.

amongst a people who would give inheritance automatically to the first son out of however many wives and children the deceased had. the Quran had introduced not just the wife and daughters rights to inheritance but 8 primary female heirs: grandaughters, mother of deceased, grandmother of deceased, full sister, half sister on mothers side, half sister on fathers side. 8 primary female heirs. so the first practical use of algebra was to work out who inherited what, and that was if the deceased was monogamous! add in someone with 2/3/4 wives and the inheritance laws became even more fiendishly complicated because each one had to have a share of the estate along with any children!

as for sons share and daughters share. in islam men and womens financial obligations are very different. a son or husband has to support his wife and possible other female relatives whereas a woman gets to keep her wealth and any inheritance from her family. her husband has no right to it and she need only support herself, not even her children, its the fathers responsibility to provide for children not the mother's.
but with men because they are obliged to support their family's not just themselves sharia inheritance law reflects the greater financial burden men carry.

babybarrister Sun 23-Mar-14 21:27:46

People should not be getting their knickers in a twist - yes subject to Inheritance (provision for family and dependents) act 1975 you can do what you like - George Bernnard Shaw left it all to the development of a 40 letter alphabet ....!

On assumption children not financially dependent you can leave or not to who you ike ...

GoshAnneGorilla Sun 23-Mar-14 21:50:55

This has been heralded as a big story in the DM (of course), the Independent and the Telegraph. It seems there is nothing involving Muslims that cannot be used to whip up hysteria.

I am absolutely stunned that mere publication of some guidelines is seen as overturning UK law.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now