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Can inheritance be given to a carer?

Question:

What do the scholars and experts say regarding an incapacitated individual? He cannot fulfil certain personal tasks. He requires a carer to support him in his daily chores for which there is a charge. He summoned all his rightful heirs and informed them he will be giving a part of his inheritance to this carer. Is this permissible?

Answer:

All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

A person who is unable to dispose of personal affairs due to some physical limitations etc., can appoint a person or relative to take care of him. In exchange for this he may allocate a portion of his wealth or all of it for this person.

A legally qualified person in the Shariah is free to dispose of his affairs as he desires (within the bounds of Islam) and can allocate up to a third of his wealth as he wishes. The remainder will be divided amongst his inheritors as mentioned in shari’ah.  However, his intention upon allocating his wealth should not be to prevent the heirs from their inheritance after his death.

If his intention is dishonourable then he will be from those people warned in the hadith narrated from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever tries to avoid giving the inheritance to his heirs, Allah ﷻ will deprive him of his inheritance in paradise on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ibn Majah)

However, if a person has a genuine reason to spend his wealth. For example, to secure his living or any genuine reason to prevent harm. If by this decision or action the inheritance is impacted, then he is not from those people mentioned in the hadith above.

We learn from the above:

  • A person is allowed to gift someone a gift from their own wealth.
  • If an incapacitated person decides to give someone something for a benefit provided, like protecting his home or to repay for some service etc. then there is no problem with this.

And Allah ﷻ knows best.

This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari