Obligation of repaying the deceased's debt before the inheritance

Question:

A person died leaving behind a wife and some children. He owes more than 100,000 Riyals to someone. He has holiday entitlements. Should they be used for settling his debt or should they be left for the children? It should be noted that the children do not have enough income to live on. In fact, benevolent people, may Allah reward them, spend on them. They also live in a leased flat. We would like Your Eminence to explain to us whether we should settle the debts from the entitlements due to the children. It should be noted that the value of the entitlements is around 60,000 Riyals and does not cover the whole debt. May Allah reward you best!

Answer:

Settling the debt of a legator takes precedence over distributing the legacy among the heirs. Therefore, it is obligatory to settle the deceased’s debt at first.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

  • Date: Muharram 12, 1442 AH
  • Source: Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Da'imah no. 16225
  • Muftis: Shaykh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz , Shaykh Abdul-Razzaq al-Afify , Shaykh Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan , Shaykh Salih Fawzan , Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Aal al-Shaykh , Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd