Estate planning is the act of planning your estate, i.e. what happens to your property after you die and who cares for your loved ones. With an estate plan, you get to say who gets what, when they get it, and who should look after the ones you care for when you are gone.
Having a will is part of an estate plan, but it is not the only part. Don’t think about estate planning as just having a will or a trust in place. Instead, think of it as an overall strategy for fulfilling our duty as Muslims to care for our loved ones after death. You want to do two things with an estate plan: reduce or eliminate tax liability and reduce mismanagement of your estate after your death.
“No one that has anything that can be inherited should sleep for two nights without a will in his possession.” Prophet Muhammad (Bukhari)
Because of this obligation and because people know I specialize in financial issues for Muslims, one of the main questions I constantly get is “How do I get an Islamic Will?”
“How do I get an Islamic Will?”
To answer this question, I leveraged two things: my education in Estate planning and Islamic inheritance and my network of experts. About the first, I studied academically both basic Mawarith (Islamic Inheritance) according to the four madhabs and advanced issues in Mawarith during my Master’s coursework. I also studied the topic traditionally in the Masjid al-Nabawi with scholars like Zleibani, Sabhan, al-Suhaibani, al-Obaidi, al-Ruhaili and others. I’ve written an entry on the topic that was published by Oxford, you can read a publicly accessible draft of it here.
But this traditional study, while certainly comprehensive and thorough, left many issues specific to the US legal context open for research. To learn more about Estate planning under US law, I attended financial planning courses at Rice University to delve deeper into the topic. I worked with lawyers and estate planning experts to identify the issues that Muslims face the most when creating an Estate plan. We then consulted with scholarly sources to contextualize these issues within classic Islamic law.
Mission: Create a service for the community
Our goal: create a service that will allow the majority of Muslims living in the US to create an estate plan in a Shariah compliant, legally valid, and cost effective manner.
The result of this was the creation of: MyWassiyah – Islamic Estate planning Online
MyWassiyah is a new, revolutionary service where Muslims can create legally valid Estate planning documents with the surety that they meet the rules of Mawarith as spelled out in the Quran. Additionally, we’ve added Healthcare Directives, Power of Attorney documents, and Guardianship documents to deal with the numerous issues that arise when creating an Estate plan in the US. If you haven’t visited the site, please do so today.
You might be saying: “I don’t really have anything to leave behind. I don’t need a will.” Well if you’re saying this, you would be wrong. Even if you are single with no children, the least you’ll leave behind is a body in need of burial, and for that to be achieved you need a will.
MyWassiyah meets the needs of about 85% of the community, who have a net worth of less than 1 million dollars. If you have a net worth in the millions, you need advanced Estate planning documents. I can assist you with that. For myself and everyone else, MyWassiyah is the affordable, Shariah compliant option that helps us fulfill the obligation to have a will.
MyWassiyah is the best choice for you. To learn how it works visit the site.
If you’d like to learn more about, estate planning visit the MyWassiyah blog.
If you’d like a personal consultation about your estate planning needs, please click here.