Ramadan Mubarak; may Allah SWT accept your efforts and intention in this holy month.
I have a question that I need help with; it has to do with allocating my IRA assets during my life time and inheretance. It is easier to write you the details and then call to discuss and get an opinion/answer. Just calling on phone would take too much time and will be hard to explain as well.
We have two unmarried adult children (daughter 33 years old, son, 31 years old), working and living independently. I am 72 years old, retired now but work part-time to keep myself busy and earn some income to supplement retirement income.
- We have a home that we live in. Upon our deaths, it will be sold by the children and proceeds distributed according to Quranic rules (2 shares for son and 1 for daughter), in shaa Allah
- I had an IRA account for a certain value in my name.
- Several years ago, I split that single IRA into 4 separate IRA accounts in my name. Three of them (equal in value) have individual names as sole beneficiaries (my son, my daughter and my wife). The 4th IRA is for my sustenance and has all of the three listed as beneficiaries. The remaining amount will be distributed according to Quranic laws (wife, son and daughter)
- My logic in doing so was to gift each of the 3 of them equal amount during my life time and then also get shares from the one where they are listed as joint beneficiaries.
- To clarify, let me give an example: If my original IRA was $100. I split that into 4 IRAs as follows:
(1) $15 (my daughter is the sole beneficiary)
(2) $15 (my son is the sole beneficiary)
(3) $15 (my wife is the sole beneficiary)
(4) $55 (my son, daughter and wife are the beneficiaries)
- Since I have gifted the first 3 IRAs during my life, I never have (and never will, in shaa Allah), touch or use any amount from these three IRAs. Upon my death, each one of the beneficiaries will claim their own IRA that I had gifted them during my life time. My children and wife know well that each of them have one of my IRA that they own and will get the funds after I die. Children and wife do not need the funds at this stage in their lives but will need them after I die.
- Whatever is left from the 4th IRA (when I die) will be divided among 2 parts 1) One-third that I want to give to charities 2) 2/3rd to be distributed to the 3 beneficiaries. Since I had not gifted this amount during my life time, the distribution of the 2/3rd. will be done according to Islamic inheritance rules.
Is this correct from Islamic perspective?
I feel it is no different than the situation where if I owned a home and gifted them to the three beneficiaries (wife, son and daughter) during my lifetime but continued to live there with the stipulation that they will have the ownership and disposal right after I die.
I will appreciate if you can please respond by email or let me know what will be a good time to speak with someone on the phone about your advice and answer.
Jazak Allah khair,
الجواب وبالله التوفيق
Below are the respective answers to your questions:
Remember; no one knows who will live longer than the other and who will survive whom.
واللہ اعلم بالصواب