Q. A few Months before my father passed away, he recorded in his will that any debts owed to him by his debtors are waived upon his demise. The debts owed to my father are millions of rands. We would like to know if this is valid and if the heirs have any right to claim from the debtors what was owed to my father?
A. If a man records in his will that any debts owed to him by his debtors are waived upon his demise, this will be valid and will fall under the category of a bequest (Wasiyyah) which will be limited to one third of the estate.
Therefore, in the enquired case, the bequest recorded by your father in his will is valid and his heirs are bound to honour his bequest to waive any debts owed to him up to one third of the estate. Thus, the heirs do not have a right to claim the debts waived up to one third of the estate. However, if there are remaining debts owed over and above the one third of the estate, the heirs have the right to claim the remaining debts from the remaining debtors.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa