Islamic Nikkah and Wills

Dear All

I have a question. we have a client who are married via islamic nikkah in UK but not registered. For the purposes of the will, can they be considered as husband and wife and thus upon probate gain the benefit of spouse exemption.

No, I don’t believe their marriage has any legal status in the UK. This means the survivor can’t claim spouse exemption.

If the wills leave assets to “my wife” or “my husband” you may well be able to construe that to mean the other party for succession purposes on the basis they clearly meant that person.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP

If it is not a recognised marriage under English law, then the spouse exemption does not apply.