Dear Respected Scholars, Is it allowed for an individual with substantial property to divide the whole property between his only two sons whilst there is no fear of death in the near future (by usual understanding of lifespan)? What is the ruling if there are others who are potential inheritors still alive like grandchildren, wife, sisters, father's wife etc. when the division is made? What is the ruling if the above division of wealth into his son's names on legal document is made to escape 'non-Islamic' civil wealth tax but the individual retains full control of the property, can the son's challenge the way the property or money is handled now that it is 'legally' in their own name?
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
It is permissible for a father to gift his property to his children during his life on the condition that he is just in dividing it amongst them and provided they possess the property and dispose of it as they wish. However, in case this property did not become in their possession and they did not fully have the power to dispose of it as they wish, then the gift is not valid. If he dies upon this condition, then his property is considered an inheritance and it should be divided according to Islamic Law of inheritance, whether he registered it in the name of his children or kept it in his name.
Allah Knows best.
Fatwa answered by: The Fatwa Center at Islamweb