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Revocation of Will

Revocation of will can be done in two ways, expressed and implied.

Expressed Revocation-

It can be made orally or in writing. In making such kind of will intention of the testator is of paramount importance. If the testator bequeaths by will the same property to two or more person they will share the property equally.

Implied Revocation-

When a revocation is made through action such revocation is termed as implied revocation such as if the testator subsequently transfers the subject matter of will or destroy it or completely alter its nature or make such addition to it without which property cannot be delivered, e.g. A bequeath land to B and subsequently binds a house over it. The bequeath stands revoke.

Subsequent Will

If the testator makes a will and by subsequent will give the same property to someone else, the prior bequest is revoked. But a subsequent bequest though it be of the same property, to another person in the same will does not operate as a revocation of the prior bequest and the property will be divided into two legatees by equal share.

Rateable Abatement (proportionate reduction)

When a bequest of more than 1/3rd of the property is made to two or more persons and the heir do not consent (under Hanafi law) the share are reduced proportionately to bring it down to 1/3rd or in other words the bequest abates rateably.

Bequest for this purpose of rateable abetment can be of two types- 1) Bequest for pious purpose. 2) Bequest for a secular purpose.

1) Bequest for pious purpose- Bequest for faraiz i.e. purposes expressly ordained in Quran, e.g. Bequest made for pilgrims or Zakat or for expiation of prayer missed by Muslims.

2) Bequest for Wajibat (purpose not expressly ordained) – this type of bequest include charity given on the day of fasting. Such type of bequest is recommended but is not obligatory.

3) Bequest of Nawafil( bequest of purely voluntary nature)

Shia Law-

Shia Law does not accept the principle of rateable reduction. According to Shia Law of several bequests, the 1st time prevails until the bequeathable 3rd is exhausted.


If a man bequest 1/3rd of his estate to two different people in the same will, the later bequest prevails e.g. A testator by will give 1/3rd of his estate to Salim and later he says that 1/3rd be given to Alim. Here Alim gets 1/3rd to the exclusion of Salim. In the absence of heir and as against the right of the state to take by sachet. The testator may bequeath the whole of his property by will. Where a testator dies leaving only a wife or husband and no blood relation, if he is a man he is entitled to bequeath 5/6 of his estate, if he is a woman then 2/3rd of his estate.

Shia Law

If the deceased leaves only a husband or wife survivor, the survivor is entitled to take his or her Quranic share in the estate amounting to 1/2nd or 1/4th as the case may be. But not entitled to take residue of estate by return.

1/2nd or 1/3rd Quranic share is determined with reference to the net estate( after deducting the debtor-creditor of the deceased funeral expenses and the right of the deceased to make a will to the extent of 1/3rd )

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