Many wealthy women seek legal loopholes to disinherit husbands

December 26, 2017

Saudi Gazette report

— While the Islamic law has clearly defined the inheritance rules some wealthy women in Saudi Arabia are accused of playing with the system to deprive their husbands of inheritance rights in case of their deaths. Their motives varied, but suspicion of infidelity is believed to be a prime factor behind such decisions.

According to official statistics, 1,609 cases involving denial of inheritance rights have been filed in personal status courts in various regions of Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the current Hijri year, Al-Watan newspaper reported.

An informed source told Al-Watan that he was aware of several women with assets worth millions of riyals had approached law offices seeking legal counsel on ways to deny inheritance to their husbands in the event of their death.

These women want to prevent their husbands becoming rich quickly following their death, he said, adding that some law offices receive two to four requests for legal consultations on such matters every month.

He said one wealthy woman with assets worth SR35 million, which she inherited from her father, approached one of the law offices to in search of ways to deprive her husband the right to inherit her.

A lawyer confirmed that a well-known businesswoman inherited SR30 million after the death of her mother, who owned real estate several cities. "The businesswoman asked her legal advisers to find a legitimate way to deprive her husband of the right of inheritance after her death. This was after she discovered that he had been cheating on her," said the lawyer, who requested anonymity.

Commenting on the phenomenon, lawyer Walid Al-Misnad told Al-Watan: "Many women have become super rich through inheritance or by investing in real estate and the stock market. These women look for legal ways to make sure that their husbands do not inherit their wealth after their death for many reasons, including personal differences or family problems."

He said one of the legal solutions before them to exclude spouses from inheritance was to set up a closed company in partnership with her children and transfer all her estates to the company.

"There is another legal solution, which is to bequeath the woman's entire estates to her children by way of a will, so she can manage the wealth in her lifetime," Al-Misnad said.

There are several reasons why wealthy women seek to deprive their husbands of inheritance, foremost of them marital infidelity, he said.

"Legal advice on ways to deprive spouses of inheritance is among the strangest of cases lawyers deal with," said Al-Misnad.

December 26, 2017
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