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Personal Status Law No.188 of Iraq (1959) – 9: The Legacy

Chapter 9 – The Legacy*

*Chapter 9 was added to the law after article 85. The sequence of the following articles was then adjusted accordingly by virtue of the first amendment law № 11 of the year 1963. The articles that were added by virtue of the said amendment law are articles 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91.

Article 86

The pillars of inheritance are three:

1- The testator: he is the deceased.
2- The beneficiary: he is the living person who is entitled to the inheritance
3- The inheritance: it is the money or property left to the beneficiary.

The reasons of inheritance are two: kinship and sound marriage.

The conditions of inheritance are three:

1- The testator is actually or inevitably dead.
2- The beneficiary is proven to be alive after the death of the testator.
3- Knowledge of the location of the inheritance.

Article 87

The rights related to the inheritance after the death of the testator are four and prioritized as follows:

1- Preparing the body for burial according to the Shari’a.
2- Settling his debts from the entirety of his own money.
3- Executing his will from one third of his estate.
4- Giving the rest to those who are entitled to it.

Article 88

Those who are entitled to inheritance are:

1- The beneficiaries by kinship and sound marriage.
2- The one whose kinship was acknowledged.
3- The one designated by the deceased
4- The treasury.

Article 89

The inheritors by kinship and the way to bequeath them:

1- The two parents and the children even if the male gets a portion equal to that of two females.
2- The grandfather, the grandmothers, the brothers, the sisters, and the children of brothers and sisters.
3- Paternal and maternal aunts and uncles and the relatives on the maternal side.
4- The full sister is treated the same way as the full brother regarding disinheritance*.

*Paragraph 4 was added at the end of article 89 by virtue of the third amendment law № 34 of the year 1983. This law shall become effective as of the date of its publication in the official gazette, and
its provisions shall apply to the deaths that take place after its entering into effect.

Article 90

Taking into consideration the above mentioned provisions, entitlements and shares shall be distributed between the inheritors by kinship according to the Shari’a rules that were in force before the legislation of the Personal Status Law № 188 of the year 1959, as they are observed in the rest of the inheritance rules.

Article 91

1- The husband is entitled to a quarter of the legacy when there is an inheriting descendent to his wife; and to half when the latter does not exist. As for the wife, she is entitled to one-eighth of the legacy when there is an inheriting descendent; and to a quarter when the latter does not exist.

2- The daughter or daughters, in case there is no son, are entitled to the remaining part of the legacy, after the two parents and the spouse collect their entitlements; and they would be entitled to the entire legacy if none of the said parties exists*.

*The text of article 91 considered paragraph 1 as the article in itself and a second paragraph was added to it by virtue of the second amendment Law № 21 of the year 1978.

Article 92

All legislative texts that contradict with the provisions of this law shall be annulled.

Article 93

This law shall enter into effect as of the date of publishing it in the official gazette.

Article 94

This law was written in Baghdad on the 19th of Jamada I, 1379 A.H. (January 19, 1959).

The Sovereignty Council

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