Inheritance of mother with limited mental capacity and using her money for charity
(1) If a mother passes away and only leaves behind six sons and three daughters, how will the inheritance be distributed?
(2) If one of the six sons passes away before the mother, and the mother passes away thereafter, how is the inheritance distributed? Will the children of the deceased son inherit from the mother?
(3) The mother has limited mental capacity. Can the heirs donate towards charity from her money on her behalf, for example, by constructing a Masjid for her reward? Can the money be used for investment purposes?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
(1) If a mother passes away and leaves behind six sons and three daughters, each son will receive 2/15th (13.33%) and each daughter will receive 1/15th (6.67%).
(2) If one of the six sons passes away before the mother, his inheritance will be distributed among his heirs which includes his mother. The mother will also inherit from him. The mother’s share depends on who the other heirs are. Thereafter, if the mother dies, the inheritance will be distributed among the five sons and three daughters. The children of the deceased son will not automatically inherit from the grandmother. The grandmother can make a bequest (Waṣiyyah) in up to one third of her estate should she wish to do so. She must however have mental capacity for this to be effective. If she does not have mental capacity and makes a bequest, it can only be acted upon if all the heirs consent.
(3) The money belonging to a person with limited mental capacity can only be spent on their needs and what serves in their best personal and financial interest in the world. Therefore, the default position is that charity or gifts cannot be given from it as this requires their consent. However, if a person had a habit of regular charity, it is permissible for the guardians to give charity on their behalf from their wealth subject to the following conditions: (a) All the inheritors consent. (b) The amount does not exceed their habit. (3) They possess sufficient money for their needs. In relation to investing their money in a property, this is permissible as long as it is in their best interest. The investment must be low-risk and carefully considered. The person must not be disadvantaged in any way. For further details, refer to our earlier answer entitled: Can charity be given from mentally ill person’s wealth and can it be invested.
Allah knows best
26 Rabīʿ al-Awwal 1444 / 23 October 2022
Approved by: Mufti Shabbir Ahmed and Mufti Muhammad Tahir