Can I Write My Will So That My Estate Passes First to My Wife and Then to My Children When She Dies?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


Can I give my wife 100% of my estate if I die first and 50% to each of my two children if she dies first? And can she do the same for me, i.e., give me 100% if she dies first and 50% to each of my two children if I die first?

I’m asking this because I’ve studied Islamic inheritance fundamentals and property transfer from parents to children.  I wondered if these are fixed or the splits can be adjusted based on context.

One of the principles of Islamic inheritance is giving preference to sons, but sons have an Islamic obligation to care for females. For example, I have a wife, a son, and a daughter. If I die first, my son inherits.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are well. Thank you for your question.

One of the conditions of a will is that it cannot be given to any possible heirs. In both scenarios, your wife and children are possible heirs. As explained below:

If you die first, assuming neither of your parents is alive, the shares of the heirs are as follows:

  • Wife | 1/8 | 12.50%
  • Son | 7/12 | 58.33%
  • Daughter | 7/24 | 29.17%

If your wife dies first, assuming none of her parents is alive:

  • Husband | 1/4 | 25.00%
  • Son | 1/2 | 50.00%
  • Daughter | 1/4 | 25.00%

You can give some of your wealth to your wife and children following the rulings of gifting wealth and others while alive. [Ibn ’Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Also, you may leave a will stating your concerns about the heirs supporting each other after the demise of each parent and distributing it accordingly.

Contact a reliable local scholar who may help you through the possible ways.

Can I give away all my wealth before dying?
Estate Division and the Sunna of Equal Treatment of Children in Gift Giving

I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.