Indonesian Supreme Court Jurisprudence 16K/AG/2010: Inter-faith Marriage Inheritance Entitlements

This Supreme Court pronouncement states that while a non-Muslim wife who survives her Muslim husband cannot be considered a beneficiary (ahli waris), she remains entitled to inherit her portion of his estate as his wife, pursuant to a wasiat wajibah (obligatory will).

In this case, the cassation applicant had challenged the decision of the Makassar High Religious Court (59/Pdt.G/2009/PTA). As the lawful wife of the deceased, who had passed away on 22 May 2008 (they were married on 1 November 1990), the Court stated that as the deceased and cassation applicant had been married for 18 years, and as the defendant had devoted herself to the deceased while he was alive, it was immaterial that she was a non-Muslim. Moreover, that she was entitled to receive a portion of the estate of the deceased, as well as a portion of their joint assets as husband and wife.

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