Frequently asked questions

You can find our most frequently asked questions below. If you cant find what you are looking for, feel free to reach out to us.


How do I get my will signed by two witnesses when I’m self-isolating?

Answer TBC


Can a surviving spouse be an executor?

Yes, and this is usually the case, but you would want to nominate at least one other responsible person because going through Probate, the main role of the executor, is challenging and can be hard for someone dealing with bereavement.

What happens when a husband dies, does the mother have to sell the house that she is living in so the children can inherit?

We would suggest putting the estate into a Trust and to nominate Trustees to deal with the issue of inheritance. The ideal, Islamic, situation is that the inheritors (children) would delay receipt of their inheritance to allow their mother to stay in the property. Of course one can look at this issue practically i.e. if a mother were living by herself in a five bedroomed house, it would make sense to sell it and move into a more modest two bedroom bungalow close to her children or move in with her children. The house could be sold and inheritors paid off.

Do couples need to prepare two different wills?

It is very advisable for each person to have their own will as this not only represents their own individual wishes but allows those who are due to inherit from them to do so. Remember that in Islam, the inheritors differ depending upon those family members who are closest to the deceased. There are also aspects of Guardianship to consider as well.

Executors and trustees

Who do I choose to be my executors and trustees?

To keep things simple, we allow you to choose the same people as your executors and trustees. You can choose family, friends, or a mix of both.

Please select two people and ensure that they’re over 18, are trustworthy and can comfortably manage finances and paperwork.

What are executors and trustees?

Executors and trustees carry out the instructions in your Islamic will after you die.

Executors carry out funeral wishes, apply for probate and value your estate. Trustees manage the trusts which are placed in your will i.e. they look after your wealth in line with your wishes but at their discretion.


Can a person gift someone an asset in their lifetime but continue to use the asset? Will it then form part of the estate?

That is a good question, have your cake and eat it! The tax man would not be happy about this and could well seek to deal with it as a “gift with reservation of benefit” – meaning you reserve the right to benefit from the gift (usually property). It would be dealt with as part of your estate.


Can the guardians be someone who is not a resident of the UK?

Whilst it is possible to put this in your will, the appointment may not take effect if the child is prevented from moving to the Guardian's country because of immigration controls and vice versa the foreign Guardian may require a visa to come to the UK, which is a challenging process.

Inheritance tax

Is pension liable to inheritance tax?

Your pension is normally free of IHT, unlike many other investments. It is not part of your taxable estate. Any money you take out of your pension becomes part of your estate and could be subject to IHT. This includes any of your tax-free cash allowance which you might not have spent.

Does property need to be sold for inheritance tax purposes?

The answer to this is multi-faceted and depends on a variety of factors. The property can be sold to pay an IHT charge, but this is rare. One has to remember that IHT won’t be a factor for most people because the charge only comes at £325,000 and then you have the spousal exemption raising it to £650,000 and the children exemption for property which is a further £175,000 for each parent i.e. £1m tax free allowance. For those whose estates are worth over £1m we would advise specialist tax planning.

Is inheritance tax applicable on life insurances as well?

Life insurance itself is problematic under the sharia, but that aside, most Life Insurance policies count as part of the estate you leave behind for your loved ones. If the sole beneficiary is your spouse any IHT will be minimal due to the spousal exemption but leaving it to other beneficiaries may incur a charge. You could choose to leave the life insurance to pay out to a Trust, but with only 6% of people choosing to do so, you’d only do it for a very large estate.


If the person left a will and stipulated the executor on there, does the executor then need to apply for a probate? Or is the probate application process only relevant if the deceased individual didn’t leave a will?

As we have mentioned there are two routes to deal with a deceased person’s estate. If you leave a Will the executors apply for probate. If you don’t leave a will the closest family member applies, under the laws of intestacy, for letter of administration.

Did you find an answer to your question?

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