Can we do an Islamic inheritance plan that excludes parents? No. Giving inheritance to parents, the Quran mandates 1/6 for the mother and 1/6 for the father, makes some people uncomfortable.
Parents, especially as they age, evidently become less and less deserving of inheritance in the eyes of their children, who eventually end up with children of their own. Parents need less because they often have more and will likely live less, or that is the assumption. Life insurance actuarial tables, as well as common knowledge and experience also presume older people will die before younger people.
However, inheritance is not about who is older and who is younger, who has more money or who has less money. The Quran (4:11) defines. As between your parents and your children, you have no clue, no inkling on an idea which one is more deserving. Inheritance will be distributed not now, but during a time and place where you will not be present. You do not know who your survivors will be and what their condition will be like.
The Islamic Rules of Inheritance is part of a system of justice. Justice must be equitable and uniform. Anything that is based on your feelings or your perception of reality will necessarily be inequitable and unjust.
By default in the United States, we often ignore them. Inheritance goes downstream, not upstream. But in Islam, it follows what is just and equitable.
Under the Islamic rules of inheritance, grandparents also get to inherit if certain parents are not around. So, for example, if a father has died, but a paternal grandfather lives, the paternal grandfather gets the share of the inheritance.
One thing that you need to be able to let go of is the notion that you should be able to determine what shares go to whom. That is vanity. Of course, the parent or grandparent can decline inheritance. Inheritance is their right, they can always turn it down and give their share to their grandchildren. Don’t expect that they will do it though.
Get our guide on mistakes Muslims makes in their Islamic Estate Planning by clicking here.