Inheritance tax and inheritance law in Pakistan

Taxation Researcher | November 10, 2020

The Global Property Guide looks at inheritance from two angles: taxation, and what inheritance laws apply to foreigners leaving property in Pakistan: what restrictions there are and whether making a will is advisable.


There are no inheritance taxes in Pakistan.


What inheritance laws apply in Pakistan?

Inheritance provisions in Pakistan depends on religious affinities.

All persons of sound mind, regardless of their nationality or residential status, are entitled by law to inherit immovable and/or movable property in Pakistan, but the inheritance provisions depend on whether the deceased was a Christian, a Hindu, or a Muslim. Within the Muslim category, the definitions of heirs, and their shares, are decided according to their sects and sub-sects, e.g. Cutchi Memon, Khoja, Sunni or Shia.

The judiciary depends on the domicile of the deceased.

The competent judges to handle property and inheritance issues are those in the last domicile of the deceased. If this is contested, or unknown, then the judiciary depends on where the property is located. For property located in Pakistan, a Civil District Court, or a High Court, is competent to handle inheritance issues.

National laws may apply to non-Muslims domiciled outside Pakistan.

If a deceased foreigner is not a Muslim, and his/her national law states that the applicable inheritance law is that of the country where the deceased is domiciled, or the country where the deceased´s property is located, then the laws of that country will be be applied in Pakistan. Consequently, if a Hindu or Christian with assets in Pakistan died whilst domiciled outside Pakistan, then in most circumstances the courts in Pakistan would distribute the assets according to the provisions of the foreigner´s national inheritance law.

Muslims domiciled in or outside Pakistan must follow Muslim Law.

The courts in Pakistan, in matters of succession to the estate of a Muslim, can only apply Muslim inheritance law, irrespective of the domicile or nationality of the deceased. If a Muslim citizen of Pakistan dies whilst domiciled in foreign country, then the laws of his domicile can not be applied to his estate in Pakistan.

Muslim Law of inheritance in Pakistan is based on the following:

  • There is no concept of a will, and all shares are distributed to legal heirs by intestate succession.
  • The shares of the inheritance depend on the closeness of the relationship of the legal heirs to the deceased. Blood relations have the closest ties. It is not possible here to provide a simple summary of how these shares are distributed. It depends on how many children, sisters, brothers, mothers, and other relatives the deceased person had, and it changes from case to case. A Muslim lawyer in Pakistan should be consulted for more specific details.
  • In most cases, a man´s share of the inheritance is twice that of woman´s. Any gift given by the woman´s fiancé is her own, and her husband has no legal right to claim it, even after marriage. On marriage, she is entitled to receive a marriage gift called Mohr, and this is her own property.
  • Muslim heirs acquire an absolute interest in specific shares of the estate of their ancestor, even before distribution. The time of distribution is not material. Succession opens at the position prevailing at the moment of death of the ancestor. ´Vested inheritance´ may occur i.e. if an heir dies before distribution, but was alive at the ancestor´s death, the share of his/her vested inheritance passes on to his/her heirs.

Property can be donated during the lifetime of a Muslim.

A Pakistani Muslim can freely give away any personal property before death. No one, including the legitimate heirs, can challenge this decision after the death of the donor.

Transfers of property in Pakistan must be registered.

The Registrar of Properties in the area of Pakistan where the property is situated records all transfers, following name changing procedures at various departments, including the Building Control Authorities, Local Government (City Government), Excise and Taxation (Property Taxes) and Utility Companies. Courts look at the names on these records to determine the legal ownership of inherited property in Pakistan.



C.E.Khan | May 09, 2010

My Father passed away in 2001. I am supposed to have inhereted land in various parts of Pakistan. My relatives have sent me Rupee value of this land. I have no idea where the land is or it's true worth. How do i go about finding the land and it's value and selling it.
Thank you

Tahir Ullah | May 15, 2010

my sister is married and now has summoned me to share in the inheritance with me and my other two brothers in our parents' estate. Our parents are dead for more than six years ago and we have not received their property in our name yet. My question is whether she can afford only to summon me?

In addition, if her children can claim her share of inheritance after her death?

Umar Farooq | May 19, 2010

My father have four brothers and their buisnes is combined, my father is not giving us day to day expense amount from last two years. we are two brothers and one sister and mother.can my mother and we claim our fifth share in buisness and property.

Muhammad Jauhar Ishaque | May 22, 2010

Assalam-o-Allaikum Warehmatullah, what should be disposal of moveable & immovable property of a deceased muslim having no kid. Does any share of this property will be distributed among children of his brother's & sister's died before him? please advice. In case if some portion of the property goes to the widow's & children (legal heir's) of his brother/sister died before his death then also recommend a suitable lawyer for consultation/filing of case in the court. Thanks & Regards. Muhammad Jauhar Ishaque,( mobile 03223665933)

ayesha butt | June 07, 2010

Assalam-o-Allaikum, i was hardly 17 when my father passed away, my elder sister was married and i was dependent on my brother only, i was hardly aware of the innumerable properties that my father owned. now what has happened is that, my brother kept coming to me periodically with documents and asking me to sign on them, and which i did trusting him being unaware of all law stuff. now that its been 20 years to my marriage and im very unstable... and iv come to know of the properties that my brother has alone hoarded and is selling them... and iv come to know that the papers he made me sign were the power of attorneys and some other similar documents.. please tell me what way can i cancel my power of attorney (OR GET MY SHARE OF PROPERTY) that remains and out of as well as that too which has been sold. PLEASE HELP ME....!!!

Jaffar Malik | July 10, 2010

Married woman ki death k bad property kis ko milti ha.

Tahir Masood | July 11, 2010

My father died at the end of March 2010 in the United Kingdom but we have buried him in Pakistan. Father was the only child and our mother had died some 6 years before father. We are five sibblings three brothers and two sisters all living in uk both sisters and a brother will give general power of attorneies to me.

please explain me the process and how many days it will take to complete official suceession once the case is opened by a solicitor.......

fara | July 22, 2010

What you all need to do is enquire which lands your fathers or family owned, You do this by asking close relatives and friends, If not go to the local pothwari ( the gentlemen that deals with land registrations) he should be able to tell you what land your family owns. If your father has passed away you and the rest of your brothers and sisters all get a share, the best thing is to do is never sign anything without having it checked first. Once you find out what you own, the pothwari will register you as the new owner but you will have to show death certificates in certain cases. It may not be simple in many cases but its best to ask as many people as you can about methods of attaining this land, as you will learn from other peoples experience. Where there is a will there is a way..inshallah may allah be with you. And if someone has fraudulently attained signatures then you have to report it to the police and file a court case...all the best. Fara

hamza | August 08, 2010

my father passed away in november 2009. he had two marriages. the first women was divorced and she won the custody of the children. one boy and one girl. where as i know that in custody it was wriotten that my father had to feed the children till they get 18. after that my father married to my mother and from the wed lock they have 4 kids. me a boy and 3 girls. he passed away in kuwait and this whole thing is kind of international and stuff. the only thing i want to know that does those two children from the first wife have to right to claim the property my father left behind. point to be kept in mind that, that women won custody of the children when my father divorced her. the custody case was around 1987. im in serious problem. any help or suggestion would be apprecitad. reply me back on [email protected]

Sahra Akhtar | August 16, 2010

my father has a lot of propety in pakistan. Two of his sibblings are living there.
We are two sisters and we live with our father and mom here in germany.
My question is now: if my dad die, what happen with the propety? Become my uncle some parts of it and my cousins and there children?? Or have they any right on they any right on the propety??
Please reply me soon. its urgent!!!!!!

Thank you
Allah Hafiz

qaisar mehmood | August 17, 2010

salam,DEAR SIR a person who has died and does not left wife or any child but left one sister and two boys of his dead brother.pls tell what share has his sister and two nephews.does sister has 1/2 or 1/3 from her dead brothers property.thanks

Mohammad Yousuf | April 07, 2011

In 1990, due to domestic problems, I sold all my land in district Gujranwala, and the price was not in accordance with the local value. The land was purchased by my uncles and they also made my children to signe some papers so that they would not be alble to file HAQ SHUFA when the reach the maturity age. They were minors than. Can they fill a case to get back the inherance property which I got from my father side.

nazeer | May 24, 2011

Dear Sir,

First of all thanks, for your detail response.
1. A month ago, a one of villager died being left a widow and an adopted child.
2. Deceased person had been born alone and had no siblings. As a religion he was Sunni Muslim.
3. But his father and mother also died. But his parental uncles are alive.
4. He adopted the child as a new born baby (on one day age) and got birth certificate and the B-form by considering the child like his son.
5. Definitely, he left both moveable and immoveable properties.
6. Deceased person did not take any loan from bank.

If they get an INTIQAAL in favors of that child and deceased window.
But, here are few queries!
1. As, in Islam adopted child, does not have any right for inheritance.
2. Suppose, if they launch an appeal against that child, what kind of counteraction can be made against it, so that appeal can be nullified by these parental uncle.
3. As I told you already, that child was adopted at the age of one day, according to consent of his legal parents. Still their legal parents don’t interfere in any sense. Do we need any stamp paper from the child biological parents regarding consent etc.?
4. Does any other legal action can be made possible in paper form which you can prepare for us?
5. Your time is your money. So please tell me how many charges you will consider for such kind of documentation completely? And up to what percent you have an intention for strength of case in favors of child and deceased person widow. Do you have an office in Rawalpindi?

Muhammad Farooq | June 06, 2011

I have a problem and i hope that you will help me.I am a Government servant and want to take retirement from service.12 years before i had been separated from my house due to some family quarrels.Now i am living in Government resident. When i had left the house my father was alive,in 2002 he died. I have a younger brother(unmarried) and three sisters(Married). The behavior of my mother and brother is not fair with me and they do not want that me and my family live with them in this house. The house is big enough and also double story and the two portion of ground floor are on rent. Please give me suggestion that how can i go in this house or how can i get my share.
Thanks ,Please reply me back on [email protected]

Rafi Rehman | August 19, 2011

My uncle died recently was unmarried. Does any share of his property will be distributed among children of his brother's and sister's died before him. I will be thankful to get information . My e-mail is [email protected]

ali khan | September 05, 2011

i wana ask about a case that my grand mother has a property which was on her own name but she had paralysis attack but property remained on her name but after 4 years the property was gifted to one son and daughter and other sons and daughters got nothing and all this transfer was done when she has no consent and she got brain ham bridge attack so what i could do

waseem | September 13, 2011

My mother passed away leaving behind a property worth 1 cror 54 lakh. we are total 5 claimants to include 4 sisters and 1 brother. Please guide us exactly what would be the share of each claimant as per Pakistani Muslim Sunni law

Ali Raja | January 23, 2012


My father has 5 children with my mother in UK but they are now divorced. He is 88 and has land in pakistan worth 10 crore. Just under a million British Pound.

4 years ago he got married in pakistan to a woman aged 25. The same age as his grandchildren.

There is obviously one reason for this as the woman's family all seem to be corrupt people.

He is ill and close to death and a family member in pakistan confirmed with us that he has selected his new 25 year old wife to have power of attorney over the land.

When he passes away will we get our share considering she has power of attorney and will do anything to take 100% share or is there anything I can do now to intervene in this sham.

My father worked hard all his life to get this and it is painful to see it all stolen away by these illegitemet thieves.

Please any advice to [email protected]


Nosheen | April 16, 2012


I was wondering if anyone can help. My mother passed away 12 years ago and my father 27 years ago. my mother had a house in Karachi and money in Pakistan and I have not been able to access it. I do not have the paperwork for the house and my mothers sister has been living there since her death(who has been very uncooperative). I live in the UK. Can anyone advise on what I can do? I am the only child and I have no family support.

sahi law associates | June 20, 2012

Any question about inheritance matter, please feel free to contact us.we will better assist you.

Malik Mukhtar | October 05, 2013

Dear Sir,
So thank you for such informative site. My father died at 2001 while he transfer agri land to me after good discussion with my six sisters, two from my step mother and four from my real mother. Now after so many years, my two real sisters sue against me; as they claim that I stand a wrong man and trnsfer the land. My questions are as follows: 1)When My Father transfer his property to me in his life with wishes of my all sisters, with witness, what says the heredity law of Pakistan in this perspective? So thank you.

Sidra | May 06, 2014

kindly tell me what will be the legal status of person who is earning a rental income of 1.20 Million from inherited property. (according to income tax Ordinance 2000)

Altaf | April 13, 2015

I only have two daughters and no son. After I die (or me and my wife both die), will my two daughters get all of our property or they will have to share it with their male cousins.

Winston & Saleem | April 21, 2015

Your two daughters will receive all your property after you and/or your wife passes away.

Altaf | April 30, 2015

Thank you very much for your reply. But according to the Sharia Law, if a Sunni Muslim dies who has only daughters, his wealth is divided among wife, daughters and other relatives (brother, sister, parents etc). Like Wife gets 1/6 and duaghters get 1/8. Can you please clarify this. I will appreciate it.

Tahira Malik | October 12, 2015

Hi, My father passed away on Jan 2014 in Pakistan, we are 2 sisters and two younger brother, my father in his life gave all his property to his second eldest son ,some he was buying under this brother name and rest he and my mom gift to this brother in their lives, my mother also died a year before my father, and all rest three of us did not get a single penny of our father's property. Now my youngest brother file a case in civil court in Pakistan to get his and sisters share, what will our chances to win that court case?

Tahira Malik | October 12, 2015

My father,s property worth is around 130 crore in Pakistan

mohamad | November 29, 2015

my grandfather left a lot of property.After his death ,my 5 uncles removed my father from the property saying that we are only 5 brothers.Actually my father is in uae due to which they took this step of injustice.There are a lot of disputes going on and my father now has no right over the property there .Along with my father they are total six brothers..I want to ask is there any organization or anything in pakistan where my father can go and put our case there to regain our right of inheritance.
(The denial to inheritance was done in village by the jirga system)

Aliyan Imran | September 03, 2018

There are various properties of my Father here in Pakistan, It’s been 25 years to my parent’s death and now my eldest brother is not selling my parent’s property to divide them amongs all the siblings. As he is planning to takeover all of my parent’s property alone, and I am a needy person so what legal action can I take to claim my share of inheritance?

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