INHERITANCE – UNDER MUSLIM LAW INCLUDING STEP CHILDREN

Publishes by The Daily Star on November 12, 2014 (Link Above)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. Our civil and criminal law experts from reputed law chambers will provide the legal summary advice.


Query

We are three brothers and five sisters of whom four are step sisters. My father had divorced his first wife. We, (three brothers and one sister) are the sons and daughters of his second wife. My father has a lot of properties including land, business. My query is what would be the proper distribution of properties among us including mother and our step sisters. During life time of my father, what would be the procedure of distribution.

Arif
Dhanmondi
Response
Thank you very much for your query. As you have not mentioned your religion, I am presuming that you are a Muslim. Therefore, the distribution of property is governed by the provisions of the Muslim Law of Succession. This law will only apply after the death of your father. The shares are fixed in the Muslim Sharia Law according to the class of heirs. Accordingly, upon the death of your father, your mother will inherit 1/8 of your father’s property. Each son of your father will inherit 4/25 of the property and each daughter will inherit 2/25. Your step mother as being divorced is not entitled to any property by way of inheritance.

In relation to your further query, during the lifetime of your father, the law of succession will not apply. He may decide not to give any property during his lifetime. Alternatively, he can distribute his property in any proportion as he likes. If he decides to distribute his property during his lifetime, if is suggested to follow the proportion suggested under the Muslim la of Succession to avoid complexity inside the family. He can give any portion of his property to anyone by way of executing Deed of Heba (gift) in case of immovable property (e.g. land). He can give other movable property by way of transferring the possession of the same and in certain cases fulfilling the registration requirement (e.g. registration is needed for transferring the ownership of a car).

I hope the aforesaid opinion shall help you to have a primary understanding about the scenario.

For detailed query contact: omar@legalcounselbd.com.