A Canberra court has awarded costs to a woman who disputed her mother’s will on grounds it left her sons twice as much money as her daughters under Muslim rules of inheritance.
…As one of five daughters, Fatma Omari initially received just a half share of the estate according to the will, while her three brothers received a full share each.
She argued the will had been invalid as their Turkish-born mother, Mariem Omari, had been suffering dementia and hadn’t understood what she had been doing when she signed the document in the presence of her two sons in January 2002.
Earlier that year, the brothers had been appointed their mother’s guardians, citing medical reports that showed Mrs Omari had “severe cognitive impairment”.
Mariem Omari, who was illiterate, signed the will with a thumb print after it was explained to her in her second language of Arabic.
…The (two brothers) argued they honestly believed their mother understood the nature of the will she signed, and that, as a devout Muslim, she would have ensured any will she had drawn up followed Islamic principles.
…(The court) found the brothers’ arguments that the will should be distributed in line with Islamic law, and the fact their sister should comply with the will because she took part in Islamic burial rites for her mother, were irrelevant.