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Fatwa Answer

Question ID: 1674 Category: Dealings and Transactions
Distributing Inheritance of trading stock account

Assalam alaikum warahmtullah, 

My father who is now deceased, during his last days in the hospital had told his children that he wanted X$ amount of money from this trading account to be used for sadaqah. The total value of the account is worth on the market price of the stocks. A few months after his passing we had divided the stocks where the value (at the time of calculation) was the X amount that he wished to donate. However before we would liqudate and distribute the stock to the heirs and direct the sadaqa amount to chairty the stock values went down again. It has been a fseveral months after that initial distribution calculation. After his passing the value of the stocks have changed, mostly reduced. My question now if we want distribute the wealth from the stock trading account, do we have to remove the $X amount from the total current value (market value) and redistribute the remaining amongst the heirs or can we use the calculations from earlier when it was distributed but we were unable to liqudiate (this would mean that the final value of the sadaqa (at current market value) will be less that $X becuase the market has crashed. 

I appreciate your help

JazakAllah Khair

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم

الجواب وباللہ التوفیق

It appears from the question that intention of your father was to donate some of his money in charity. If that was the purpose, the ruling would then be the following:

1. It is necessary to distribute entire stocks of the father as inheritance among all the heirs according to Sharia rules. It is not required to give charity per the father’s intention or desire, because after his death, it has become the sole property of the heirs. However, after the distribution, it will be an act of kindness if each of the heirs donates the money according to their father’s desire. This will, on the one hand, fulfil the father’s desire and on the other, will be a means of forgiveness and blessing in the father’s favor.

2. If the father had bequeathed charity, then that amount, if falls within one third of the total wealth, must be given in charity according to the Will of the deceased. If it is more than one-third, it is allowed to give charity only up to one-third of the wealth and no more. However, there is scope for giving out more than one third but only with the permission and consent of all the heirs.

With regards to decline in the value of shares:

a. If the father had Willed a fixed amount for charity, it will be necessary to donate exactly that amount. If the value of shares has decreased, then the number of shares should be increased to meet that amount.

b. But if the father had specified certain number of shares, it would require those shares to be sold at current market rate and given out in charity. In that case money will not be the basis of charity value. It should be noted that this ruling is applicable only when there was a Will made by the father. 

The ruling for an intention only, without the Will is written above.

فقط واللہ اعلم واتم