Executors acting unilaterally

Category: 

Inheritance

According to Madhhab: 

Hanafi

Reference: 

1440-242

Question: 

My late Dad had left
behind an Islamic Will. Through that process my elder brother and I had been
appointed Executors of his estate.

Question: Can we (Executors) make a unilateral decision on behalf of the other
heirs to ensure a fair and equitable resolution to the issues plaguing the sale
of the property.

Context to the question: My dad left one property as part of his estate. Its
structure is such that it is impractical to split the property relative to each
heir proportionate share. Once we have determined a value of the property
(formal process) can we as the Executors unilaterally make payment to the other
heirs in proportion to their inheritance (Islamic share). 


Answer: 

We understand that your brother and you have been appointed as the executors of your late father’s estate. The responsibility of the executors would primarily be to attend to the needs of the estate by ensuring that the estate is dissolved correctly and in accordance to laws of Shariah.

However, this does not mean that the executors possess the authority of selling or purchasing the shares of the heirs without acquiring their consent, simply due to the impracticality of splitting the property.

On the demise of a person, the heirs of the deceased become the owners of the deceased person’s assets in proportion to their portion/share of inheritance. These heirs reserve the full right of retaining their shares exclusively for themselves or selling it off at any price acceptable to them. Due to them being the owners of their portion of the deceased estate, the executors are not permitted to sell their shares without attaining their consent.

In conclusion, the executors cannot unilaterally purchase or sell the shares of any of the heirs even though it may be to the benefit of the heirs in their discretion.

And Allah Ta'aala knows best

ANSWERED BY: Mufti Mohammed Desai 

CHECKED AND APPROVED BY: Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B 

Date: 24 Jumadal Ula 1440 - English Date: 14 January 2019

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