Bequest of Car

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Q: Before my sister passed away my brother-in-law was using her car for more than 2 years. She said before several witnesses that he could have the car when she passed away. She has since died and the car was never put into his name, as she could not find the ownership papers. Is the car considered his or does it form part of the estate?

A: By brother-in-law we assume you mean the husband of your deceased sister. When your sister said that her husband could have the car after her death, it meant that she had made a Wasiyyat (bequeathal) in his favour. And according to Shari'ah one cannot make a Wasiyyat for an heir (Al Jauharatun Nayyirah V6 P182); husband and wife inherit from each so they are not permitted to make

If she had given him the car during her lifetime, he would have become the lawful owner, in which case the car would not form part of her estate after her death. Because she had not done that in her lifetime, now the car will be regarded as part of the estate. All heirs will have shares in the vehicle.

Allah Ta'aala knows best.

Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai