The division of a property after the death of its owner takes place in accordance with Islamic laws and varies according to the number of heirs.
Here is how a property is inherited if one of the legal heirs is a single child who is not a minor:
1. When a man passes away and leaves his property to his wife and child, it is divided in the following manner:
- 5% of the property belongs to his wife
- 5% of the property belongs to his child
2. When a woman passes away and leaves her property to her husband and child, it is divided in the following manner:
- 25% of the property belongs to her husband
- 75% of the property belongs to her child
In order for each heir to receive his or her inheritance, the property needs to be sold. In this case, the property needs to be transferred in the name of the heirs. This is usually done via a power of attorney at a court of law in the name of one of the heirs. Once the property is sold off, the new owner of the property must give the other heir their due share.
In instances when one of the heirs does not want to sell the property, he/she can give the monetary equivalent of the other heir’s share immediately and become the sole owner of the property.
If the heirs are unable to resolve the dispute in the above mentioned manner, the case can be taken to court and this can take months, if not year, to be resolved.
By Sadia Tariq. The writer is an advocate at Sindh High Court, Karachi.