Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: I have a question regarding inheritance. My husband and I are both converts. Recently, my mother converted alhamdulillah; otherwise we have no Muslim relatives. We also have two adopted children who are young (8 year old twins).
How should we structure are wills, so that my mother gets her rightful share (which I am not sure what it is – 1/6?) and so that we can provide for our girls? Their birth parents left them at an orphanage without providing any information about themselves and therefore they will not be receive an inheritance through them.
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
There is scholarly consensus that a non-Muslim does not inherit from a Muslim. [Ibn Qudama, Mughni]
As such, your only rightful heirs are your husband and your mother. Your husband is entitled to 1/2 of your estate. Your mother is entitled to 1/3 of your estate, and then the remaining 1/6 also goes to your mother [by returning of what remains (radd)].
As for your husband, you are his only rightful heir and hence you are entitled to his entire estate (1/4 is your rightful share, and then the remaining estate goes to you as well).
As for the twins for whom you both are caretakers, each of you may give them a bequest (wasiyya) of up to 1/3 of the estate (without need of anyone’s approval). If you wish to give them more than 1/3 of your estate, your mother and husband would have to approve after your demise. If he wishes to give them more than 1/3 of his estate, you would need to approve after his demise. [Maydani, Lubab]
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani