Q: I wish for my shares and ISA’s to be passed directly to my wife after death. How do I incorporate this in to my will?
الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب
A: When an individual passes away there are two ways that, after meeting debts and expenses of the final rites, ownership of his residual estate transfers to others; firstly, by bequest and secondly via inheritance. The individual has discretion of up to one third of the residual estate as to how it is distributed with the exception that he cannot make a bequest in favour of an heir. The other two thirds of the estate are subject to the rules of inheritance in which there is no discretion. As a wife is a legal heir, you cannot leave a bequest in her favour nor do you have any discretion as to how the estate is distributed amongst the heirs. The only way in which you can ensure that your wife is the beneficiary of the shares and ISA’s in your name is to make a valid gift during your life. Without this, all your heirs will have an automatic right to the shares and ISA’s if they remain a portion of your estate and have not been bequeathed to a non-heir out of the discretionary one third.