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Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era

  • Author:
  • J. E. Esslemont

  • Source:
  • US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 edition
  • Pages:
  • 286
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Page 146

Bequest and Inheritance

Bahá’u’lláh states that a person should be free to dispose of his possessions during his lifetime in any way he chooses, and it is incumbent on everyone to write a will stating how his property is to be disposed of after his death. When a person dies without leaving a will, the value of the property should be estimated and divided in certain state proportions among seven classes of inheritors, namely, children, wife or husband, father, mother, brothers, sisters and teachers, the share of each diminishing from the first to the last. In the absence of one or more of these classes, the share which would belong to them goes to the public treasury, to be expended on the poor, the fatherless and the widows, or on useful public works. If the deceased has no heirs, then all his property goes to the public treasury.
There is nothing in the law of Bahá’u’lláh to prevent a man from leaving all his property to one individual if he pleases, but Bahá’ís will naturally be influenced, in making their wills, by the model Bahá’u’lláh has laid down for the case of intestate estates, which ensures distribution of property among a considerable number of heirs.