Estate Duty

Question

A person passed away, his family have inherited all of his assets, however, they also have to pay his estate duty.

Would we consider the estate duty to be a debt upon the heirs or upon the estate? This will affect their zakat depending on whether we consider it a debt upon them or not. 

Answer

The sequence of winding up an estate is as follows:

Firstly, the burial expenses and the debts of the  deceased (if he had any) should be discharged from the estate.

Secondly, the bequests of the deceased should be fulfilled (the bequests should not exceed one third of the remainder of the estate after payment of burial expenses and debts). Thereafter, the remaining assets will devolve upon the heirs. 

Considering these laws, the estate duty is a debt upon the deceased’s estate and will be deducted from his estate prior to distributing the inherited shares amongst the heirs.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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