• Valuing assets. If an asset, such as a property, can be valued by different means (eg: municipal/real estate/insurance evaluations) with each resulting in a different value, which means of valuation should be adopted? Consider this when each heir would prefer their suggested method be adopted to serve their own interests.
• Dividing assets. If more than one heir would like to receive a particular asset as part of their share, how is this resolved?
• Are the heirs allowed to make deals of trade between themselves before the estate is divided to settle disputes? Example: Heir 1 and 2 both would like to inherit asset X as their share. Heir 1 agrees to allow heir 2 to inherit that asset on condition that heir 2 immediately sells it to heir 1 once the estate is settled.
• To what extent should the heirs be informed about how the estate was valued and how the value of their share was determined? Do the heirs have a right to receive from the executor a list of all assets and liabilities and how the value of each was determined? It is assumed that some executors are more thorough than others in their documentation and note keeping.
• How is it determined which heir will receive which asset as their inheritance? Is it acceptable for the executor to call each heir and say “The value of your inheritance in the estate is X. in lieu of this you will inherit asset A, B and C”. To what extent can the heirs’ question this?
The question “to what extent” keeps reappearing as it would be helpful to know how Islam draws the lines of reasonable questioning in these matters.
• If several heirs want the same asset for different reasons, does the merit of each ones claim matter? Merit here is referring to the spirit of inheritance. For example, a son and a daughter both would like to inherit the business as part of their share. The daughter would like it for financial gain and to increase in material wealth. The son would like it so that he now has the capacity to care for his mother, who is left to the care of her sons. Who settles this dispute? Does the son have a greater claim due to his more meritorious intention?
• How can the issue of fatwa shopping and “My Moulana” vs “Your Moulana” be resolved? Fatwa shopping is common with each seeking a ruling to suit their own end. “My Moulana” vs “Your Moulana” may arise when an arbitrator is needed to settle disputes. Each heir may want an arbitrator to be appointed who they believe is more sympathetic to their own cause. Is it appropriate for the deceased to have dictated in the will which person/ Aalim/ organisaton they would like to intervene should the need arise?