Leaving a bequest in favour of my parents

Q: I have money which my parents gave to me to buy a house, as I feel this is still their money, when I write my will can I stipulate this must be returned to them as the house was never purchased due to my illness? I also have two brothers and a husband, but no children. What is the share that each including parents would receive of the remainder of my assets?

الجواب حامدا ومصليا ومسلما ومنه الصدق والصواب

A: If the money you received from your parents was a gift to you which you accepted then the money belongs to you. If you wish to return it to your parents you must do so valid by way of gift whilst alive and provided you are not in a terminal illness. You cannot return it in your will subsequent to your death as this would effectively be a bequest. One cannot leave a bequest in favour of one’s parents as the Sharia has already apportioned a share for them. If the money was not an executed gift but was rather only for you to use whilst ownership was retained by your parents, then the ownership remains with your parents until it is utilised by you. In the event of your demise, your husband receives half (50%) of your estate, your mother will receive one sixth (16.667%) and your father will receive the remainder (33.333% ). Your two brothers will be blocked by your father. If you wish to leave a bequest for one or both of your brothers you may do so up to a maximum of one third of your estate. The remainder will then be distributed in the proportions mentioned above.

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