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Sharia law succession planning guidance published

Law Society issues first practice note for Muslim wills

24 March 2014

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A practice note for solicitors dealing with Sharia-compliant wills, which involve three key steps significantly different from traditional probate processes, has been released by the Law Society.

"This is the first time such advice has been published and we hope it will assist solicitors with Sharia probate matters," said president Nicholas Fluck.

Providing a will is signed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Wills Act 1837, clients in England and Wales can legally choose to bequeath their assets according to Sharia rules.

The rules are not identical in every Muslim country. The society's guidance focuses on the Sunni rules and its procedure for directing inheritances.

Solicitors' main challenge when preparing a Sharia-compliant will is not being able to state in advance who the heirs will be as their identity and the respective entitlements can only be determined at the date of the testator's death.

Some lawyers have described the guidance as "astonishing", according to The Telegraph.

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Wills, Trusts & Probate