Q: I need your guidance about how to divide the estate of my brother-in-law.
He died leaving a father, a mother, and a son named `Abdullah by an ex-wife whom he divorced before marrying my sister. An official document was issued disavowing his paternity based on his ex-wife's request. Does the boy have any right to inherit from his father?
The deceased also had a wife, two daughters, (Part No. 16; Page No. 521) and seven sons who are all minor. I have been appointed as the guardian of the deceased's estate, which is his household furniture, his car in which he died in a rollover accident, his pension, and some money. I would like to know how the estate should be divided among the heirs as well as the heirs who are entitled to receive the Sadaqah (voluntary charity) given by others.
If the reality is as you mentioned, issuing a document disavowing the paternity of `Abdullah as based on the mother's request has no effect on the child's right to inherit from his father. Accordingly, the deceased's heirs are his father, mother, wife, two daughters, and eight sons. The first priority is to pay off any debts of the deceased, if there are any, and then executing his legal will. The remaining estate is to be divided among the heirs. The common denominator of the question will be twenty-four and its integral factor will be 432 shares. The mother is to inherit one-sixth of the estate, which is seventy-two shares from a total of 432 shares; the father's share is also one-sixth of the estate, which is equivalent to the mother's share; and the wife shall inherit one-eighth of the estate, which is fifty-four shares from a total of 432 shares. The remaining 234 shares should be distributed between the eight sons and two daughters; with the male having double the share of the female. Accordingly, every son should take twenty-six shares from a total of 432 shares and every daughter should take thirteen shares (Part No. 16; Page No. 522) from the same total. The ruler has made a system for the pension of the deceased, specifying the person who is entitled to receive it, its value, and the period of receiving it. The inquirer can refer to the Public Pension Agency to settle this matter and obtain any necessary information. Regarding the Sadaqah which the deceased used to receive from benefactors, the benefactors themselves should determine the rightful recipients of their Sadaqah from among the heirs. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.