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Gifts of immovable property

International Succession Laws

Edited by:
Nicola Saccardo and Piers Master, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP
Bloomsbury Professional
Publication Date:
August 2023

If a gift (hibah) is made of immovable property, the gift must be made by the donor first making an offer, which is then accepted by the donee who takes delivery.

Ownership of an immovable gift is completed when the procedures for the transfer of ownership have been fulfilled at the Land Registry.

Article 539 of the Civil Code provides that, after the death of the deceased, an heir may sell the heir’s  share in the inheritance to one or more of the other heirs even though the assets of the inheritance have not been ascertained—this is called mukharaja. The purchaser must comply with the procedures prescribed by law for the transfer of every right in the share of the inheritance which is the subject of this mukharaja.

The sale of immovable property to one of a person’s heirs during his or her dying sickness will not be valid unless it is approved post-death, by the other heirs.

Where the sale is not to an heir, it will be valid and not based on the approval of the heirs, even if the sale price is less than its true value, provided that the difference between the sale price and the market value is not more than one-third of the deceased’s total estate. If, however, the estate is over-burdened with debts, the purchaser must pay the market value—otherwise creditors may challenge the sale.

If the immovable property is located in Jordan, the Jordanian law applicable to Muslims shall govern—irrespective of whether the deceased was Muslim or not, Jordanian or foreigner, and irrespective of whether the deceased bequeathed such property in the deceased’s will. In the absence of any provision to the contrary, jurisdiction to hear disputes arising from inheritance or wills lies with the courts of first instance. Where the deceased was not a Jordanian citizen, the courts of first instance have full jurisdiction to hear the dispute.