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Gifting Your Assets To Your Spouse During Your Lifetime

Question

We have been working with my wife our whole lives. I have not given her anything. We don’t have children. Can I give a gift to my wife all our property etc. While I am still alive?

Answer

Yes, it is permissible to gift your properties and assets to your wife during your lifetime. However, it is necessary that your properties are free of your belongings and possessions when gifting them to her (in terms of Shariah.) In other words, you will be required to remove all personal items (belonging to you) from the house and you too will be required to leave the premises for a short while when gifting it to her. Once she has taken possession and assumed sole ownership of the property then she may permit you to re-enter and continue residing with her. Adopting the above procedure is a Shari’ee requirement for the validity of the gift. 

If you want to circumvent this procedure, then you may sell the asset/s to her for a nominal amount (of money) such as $50 or so. By concluding such a sale, the need for you to remove your personal belongings from the property (as explained above) no longer exists. Whilst remaining on the premises the sale may be concluded and will be considered as valid and binding. Also, legally registering the properties on her name at this stage is not a requirement for the validity of the sale or gift from a Shari’ee perspective. The transfer can be enacted at a later stage. However, we advise that there should be 2 male witnesses or one male and two female witnesses to the above transactions who may attest to the sale or gifting of the properties should a dispute arise in the future.             

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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