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Law Of Domestic Relations - Chapter 18

Wills and Inheritance (2) (Articles 145 -170)

Article 145 defines the will. Article 146 sets out the conditions under which a person may make a will or receive anything that has been willed to him. Article 147 prefers the payment of the testators debts rather than carry out the terms of his will.

Article 148 is unique to Druze Law and is far reaching in that it gives full authority to the testator to bequeath his assets, or part of them, to an heir or any other person. This authority is in contrast to all that is customary in Moslem Shari'a and all its schools of thought, which do not allow more than one third of any estate to be bequeathed to any one person.

Article 149 denies one who intentionally caused the death of the testator the right to receive part of the legacy. Hanafi Law also denies the right to part of the legacy even to one who killed accidentally. (21).

Article 150 recognizes the validity of a will in the case of charities of all kinds. Article 151 recognizes the validity of a will even if either the deceased or a beneficiary is not a Druze.

Articles 152-156 deal with the authority of the testator and the beneficiaries. They contain no outstanding features.

Article 157 is unique to Druze Law in ruling that if a testator draws up a will before marriage and later marries and has a child, or drew up a will after marriage but before a child was born, the will is invalidated and his assets are divided according to the inheritance laws as if he died intestate. If no children were born, the instructions of the will have to be carried out after the husband or wife has received his/her legal share. These laws apply to both husband and wife.

Article 158 gives the testator the option to register the will with the Qadi of the community or with one of the two Sheikhs Aql. An un-registered will is not binding, until certified by a Qadi.

In this county, there are no Sheikhs Aql as the highest Religious Authority. In Lebanon there were two, but only one remains; on mount Druze there are four.

Article 159 obligates the beneficiaries of a will to seek the Qadi's authorization as to its authenticity, within two years of the death of the testator. Exceptions to this rule are: minors, missing persons, and the mentally unbalanced. This article allows the Qadi to appoint a religious notable in his place, to certify the will.

Article 161 discusses the issue of a Druze drawing up a will in a foreign country. Article 162-163 rule on procedures for drawing up a will and its signing by a Qadi, in cases in which the testator is literate or is illiterate. Articles 164-165 rule on the necessity for secrecy regarding the contents of a will, if the testator wishes this, and the procedures to be taken after his death. Article 166 deals with procedures in cases in which a testator wishes to revoke or alter his will.

Articles 167-168 rule that the estate will be divided according to the will, and only where the deceased died intestate, or the will was invalidated, should the estate be divided according to the laws of inheritance.

Article 169 rules that Moslem Shari'a laws apply to matters of inheritance, except for laws relating to "Hasima" (Tanzil) (22), which blocks an inheritance from the offspring of the testator. If the decedent died before the testator, his offspring receive his share as if he was alive. This article limits the reliance on Shari'a laws of inheritance to only the most important point, which is, the prevention of an inheritance going to the offspring of the deceased; and changes this law completely. Article 148 above which gives unlimited freedom to a person to leave his property to whomever he wishes, even a non-heir, also prevents dependence on Moslem Shari'a. The Druze legislator leaves a small opening (perhaps in order not to upset the Moslems) that allows a Druze to follow Moslem laws of inheritance in the absence of a will, but narrows this opening to the point where the necessity to turn to Moslem law is minimal.

Article 170 deals with Wakf matters, and rules that the laws dealing with consecrated property (wakf) and its upkeep, exchange, use, trusteeship, decision on beneficiaries and distribution of income shall be applied according to Wakf deeds or ancient customs and religious laws valid today.

Article 171 rules that on all matters under the jurisdiction of the Qadi of the community and not dealt with  by this law, the Qadi shall act according to the laws of the Israeli Druze Community or any other laws that do not contradict this one. p>Intorduction Chapter 1 - Eligibility to Enter into Marriage (Articles 1 - 5) Chapter 2 - Forbidden Marriages (article 9 - 13) Chapter 3 - Arranging the Marriage (Articles 14 -19) Chapter 4 - Marriages Rules (Articles 20 -23) Chapter 5 - Dower ("Mahr") (Articles 24 - 27) Chapter 6 - Maintenance (Nafaqa) (Articles 28-36) Chapter 7 - Separation (Article 37-49) Chapter 8 - Waiting Period (Idda) (Articles 50-53) Chapter 9 - The custody of the children (Articles 54-66) Chapter 10 - Child allowance (Articles 67-74) Chapter 11- Payments by sons to parents and other relatives (Articles 75-80) Chapter 12 - Guardianship over minors (Articles 81-87) Chapter 13- Guardianship and wills (Article 88-98) Chapter 14- Responsibilities of the guardian [executor] (Articles 99-118) Chapter 15- Circumstances under with a Qadi may disqualify a person and appoint a guardian (Articles 119 -125) Chapter 16 - A Missing Person and his Trustee (article 126 -136) Chapter 17 - Paternity (nasab) (Articles 137-144) Chapter 18 - Wills and Inheritance (2) (Articles 145 -170) End Notes