The following is an explanation of some legal concepts that you will need to know when preparing your Will.
The Executor: This is the person who will be responsible for administering your estate after your death. Whilst you can appoint anyone you like, it is important that you appoint someone that you trust and is able to identify your surviving family members easily. Your executor must be over the age of 18 at the time that you pass away. You should also notify this person that you are appointing them as your executor and get their agreement before doing so in your Will.
The Guardian: This is an adult designated to care for a child in case both parents die before that child reaches adulthood. If you do not choose a guardian, a Court will appoint someone to act as guardian. Unless you specifically name a guardian in your Will, anyone can step forward and ask for the job, and a judge will decide who gets custody. If you and your spouse have separate Wills, it’s best to name the same person as the guardian of your child to avoid conflicts. Many parents also name an alternate guardian in case their first choice is unwilling or unable to accept the responsibility. You should also notify the person you select that you are appointing them as your child’s Guardian and get their agreement before doing so in your Will.
Intestacy: If you die without a Will, your assets may be subject to the laws of intestacy. Laws of intestacy are a common feature in most countries. Essentially they hold that if a person passes away without a legally valid Will, their assets are to be distributed to people and shares as set by the local law. The shares set by local law are unlikely to be in accordance with the Shari’ah. If you would like more detailed information about the laws of intestacy in your country, we recommend that you seek advice from a local legal practitioner.