IWC Estate Planning & Management Ltd.

Regulated by the Society of Will Writers & Estate Planning Practitioners
Registered Office: Suite 43-45 Airport House, Purley Way, Croydon, CR0 0XZ. Registered in England No. 4532330

Regulator No Longer Endorses Sharia Law Wills
In January 2014, the Law Society included provision to advice on wills written with
reference to Sharia law. Now, however, after a worried backlash and a review, the
regulators have reversed their decision.
The problems arose due to the fact that Muslim Sharia law favours the male family members, in
some cases disinheriting female children (or siblings etc) completely. Sharia law also meant that
in order for a will to be compliant with Sharia, not only did female beneficiaries receive less than
their male counterparts (if they received anything at all), but also that anyone outside the Muslim
faith would also not be able to inherit. This included those who had married outside of their own
religion, even if difficulties would arise from not receiving any money, property, or assets.
There was concern because there are no provisions like this for other faiths, and because the idea
seems to promote gender inequality. Campaigners against Sharia law and its practices (including,
in some parts, so-called 'honour killings') were angry that the Law Society would make steps to
implement it into will writing when it is not officially recognised in English law.
Sharia law has been a subject of debate for some time, and is not currently recognised within the
UK. Therefore the Law Society chose to acknowledge it in order to help Muslims who wanted to
adhere to Sharia create their wills in line with English law as well. Otherwise the document
would not be considered valid.
Please speak to your advisor if any of this affects you, or if you are not sure whether your will is
valid.
Call us for a quote, instant help or impartial advice on Freephone
0800 612 6105 or 020 8150 2010

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