When a Muslim passes on, all his assets will be frozen. Without a Wasiat, all the lawful beneficiaries under Faraid principle will have to appoint an Administrator who is a person to administer the deceased’s estate and distribute it according to Hukum Faraid. The consent in writing must be obtained from all the beneficiaries for the appointment of Administrator. Under Syariah inheritance laws, a Muslim estate shall be distributed according to faraid distribution.
WHAT IS A WASIAT?
Extract from Sahih Al-Bukhari, Cap 55, Hadith I. Ibn Umar: “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to Wasiat to stay for 2 nights without having his Wasiat written and kept ready with him”.
A Muslim can write a wasiat to bequest of up to 1/3 of his assets to non-Faraid heirs and the residue of the estate will be distributed to the Faraid heirs or according to the agreement of the faraid heirs with regard to the distribution after the testator’s death after paying off the income taxes, estate administration fees, debts and liabilities. Non-Faraid heirs refers to grandchildren, adopted children, foster parents, grateful close friends, non-Muslim parents, non-Muslim family members, non-Muslim children from previous marriage, mosques, charitable organisations, etc.
In the Wasiat, a Muslim testator has a right to appoint an Executor who administers his estate upon his demise and also appoint Penjaga (Guardian) to take care of his minor children (below 18 years of age) or special child. He can distribute his assets to specific beneficiaries in his wasiat but subject to the consent of Faraid beneficiaries. He also can have special instruction, message of love and endearments to a specific person in the will.