The question of inheritance is raised frequently, particularly regarding what happens if a family member dies and has not made a will. In that situation, the law of the country in which you are residing will have a major impact on any inheritance and the distribution of the deceased assets. Making a will can ensure that assets are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased but it is relevant to note that some types of assets may still fall under the laws of the land in which you are residing (for example, immoveable assets).
In the UAE, if a non-Muslim dies leaving assets which have to be distributed among their heirs, as per Article 17/1, a request has to be made to the court to follow their home country laws, failing which, the assets will be distributed according to Sharia law. Moreover, Article 17/5 has put some limitations on the freedom of disposition of assets which include properties here in UAE.
Below is an example which will explain the beneficiaries under Sharia law,
If the deceased person has a family of father, mother, wife and three children (1 brother and 2 sisters) then,
1/8 share will be given to wife, 1/6 share will be given to mother and father and the remaining share will be divided among brother and sisters where the brother will get double the amount of the shares the daughters are entitled to.
If the deceased does not have any children then,
1/4 share will go to wife, 1/3 share will go to mother and the remaining assets will pass to the father
If the deceased has no wife or children but a surviving father and mother then,
1/3 share will be given to the mother and the remaining wealth will be given to the father
In the event the deceased is survived solely by his mother and wife
1/3 + R will be given to mother and 1/4 + R will be given to wife
Where the deceased leaves behind a father, mother, wife, and daughters,
Daughters will get half of the total amount whereas 1/6 share will be given to the mother, 1/8 share will be given to wife, the and 1/6 share plus the remaining amount will be given to the father
If survived by a father, mother, wife, and son,
1/6 share will be given to the father, 1/6 share will be given to the mother, 1/8 share will be given to wife and the remaining amount will go to the son.
If there are no parents and only a wife and children assuming there is a son then the wealth will be distributed among them. In case there is no father and son then uncles will also take the share and the equation will be,
1/6 share will be given to the mother, wife will be given 1/4 share and the remainder will be distributed among the siblings (paternal brothers only)
If there is a daughter and not a son then it will be as,
1/6 share will be left to the mother, 1/8 share to the wife, half to be equally distributed among the daughters and any remainder will be passed to the siblings (only brothers).