Distribution Of Jointly Owned Household Items Of The Deceased

Question

Is it permissible and how will it practically work that a husband and wife shares 50/50 during their lifetime  and stipulate it as such in the will, in certain household goods like bed, fridge, washing machine, etc?

Answer

There is no harm in two people purchasing an item in a joint partnership such as a fridge, washing machine, bed, etc. The  ruling with regard to the use of an item purchased in a joint partnership is that both partners should take turns in utilizing the item as it is generally impossible for both partners to utilize the item at the same time. Apart from the references quoted below, one may refer to  Ahsanul Fataawa pg.374 vol.7 for additional references.

However, since the spouses are living together and are therefore able to utilize these items jointly without any conflict, there is no need to allocate turns for the usage of these items. The husband and the wife should mention in their Will that 50% of all household items (in the event that everything was bought jointly) belongs to him/her, whilst the remaining 50% belongs to the spouse. This is in a case where all the household items are owned on a 50/50 basis. If the spouses are joint partners in particular items (and not all items) then such items should be clearly listed.

In the event of any spouse passing away, the contents may be evaluated and sold, with the surviving spouse receiving 50% from the proceeds of the sale, and the remaining 50% will form part of the deceased’s estate, or alternately the surviving spouse may even purchase the contents at 50% of the price at which the contents were valued.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

قال رحمه الله : ( ولو تهايآ في سكنى دار ، أو دارين أو خدمة عبد ، أو عبدين ، أو غلة دار ، أو دارين صح ) يحتاج إلى تفسيرها – لغة وشرعا – وشرطها وصفتها ودليلها وحكمها أما دليلها فقوله : تعالى { هذه ناقة لها شرب ولكم شرب يوم معلوم } ومن السنة فما روي { أنه عليه الصلاة والسلام قسم في غزوة بدر كل بعير بين ثلاثة نفر وكانوا يتناوبون في الركوب } واجتمعت الأمة على جوازها ولأن التهايؤ قسمة المنافع فيصار إليها لتكميل المنفعة لتعذر الاجتماع على عين واحدة فكان التهايؤ هنا جمعا للمنافع في زمان واحد
(البحر الرائق)

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