The Law of England and Wales is relevant to all legal documents which are executed within its jurisdiction. However because the English legal system has as one of its principles the freedom of parties to contract as they see fit, a Muslim will which complies with the minimum requirements of English law should be legally binding. This rule of law enables one’s freedom of religion to be exercised even after one’s death.
The Muslim will is a document which functions in a very similar manner to a ‘western’ will. Muslim individuals must (according to legal Islamic scholars) ensure that in case they die their affairs are in order. Specifically, the deceased should ensure that the funeral costs are covered, that any debts are repaid, that the will is executed and that the remaining funds are distributed equally in accordance with shari’ah (Islamic law).
If you are in England and you would like to ensure that your estate is distributed in accordance with shari’ah law, you may be able to do this through the alternative dispute resolution procedure known as arbitration. Under the Arbitration Act 1996 an arbitration agreement is binding in the courts of England, even if the decisions were made using shari’ah law. In order to ensure that your Muslim will is executed properly you should consult with an estate-planning specialist as well as a solicitor who specialises in Islamic law. This could be the same person.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on how to create a Muslim will, Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist Muslim wills and probate solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local specialist solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 167 or complete the web-form above.