Amordad News

Everything about the Personal Status of the Zoroastrians of Iran

Personal status is a set of human characteristics according to which a person in a society has legal rights and exercises them. This person’s status is made of characteristics that cannot be evaluated or exchanged with money, and in terms of civil rights, there are effects on it. Personal status means the traits and characteristics that determine the emotional and legal status and identity and the individual’s responsibilities in society. Examples of “personal attributes” in Iranian law include Articles 6 and 7 of the Civil Code and Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution, and the “Single Article Permission to Observe the Personal Status of Non-Shiite Iranians” in matters such as marriage. Divorce, inheritance, will, testament *capacity, and adoption are designated as examples of “personal status.”

According to Article 13 of the Iranian Constitution: “Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian Iranians are the only recognized religious minorities who are free to perform their religious ceremonies within the law and act following their religion in personal circumstances and religious teachings.” Therefore Zoroastrians, being one of the recognized religions in this law, will deal with their own religious laws in the courts.

History of Zoroastrian Personal Status:

The Constitution and its amendments did not contain specific provisions on protecting the personal status of foreigners or religious minorities. Only Article 6 of the Constitution mentions the safety of life and property of foreign nationals residing in Iran. Article 3 of Rule No 27 of the amendment to the constitution suffices to mention two types of tribunals: sharia and secular, and that even did not pertain to religious minorities or foreigners. With the approval of the law of sharia courts approved on 9 Azar 1310, the responsibilities and powers of religion courts were specified in the law. According to Article 7 of the Law, part of matters relating to personal statuses, such as any petition about the principle of marriage and divorce, and cases in which the petition claims only by taking an oath or introducing just witnesses, and other matters such as appointing a guardian or testator or supervisor and appointing a trustee. In this court’s jurisdiction, however, before enacting the second volume of the Civil Code, the courts ruled on the personal status of religious minorities under the Imamiyyah laws.

With the approval of the first volume of the Civil Code in 1307 AH, and according to Article 6, all Iranian citizens’ status, even those living abroad, became subject to Iranian law under Imamiyyah jurisprudence. This article’s aspect, which also included non-Shiite Iranians, was not very agreeable with Imamiyyah jurisprudence. Therefore, the confirmation of the single article “Law on the Permission to Recognize the Personal Status of Non-Shiite Iranians in the Courts” on July 22, 1941, emphasizes the non-Shiite Iranians following their religious laws and this issue is still mentioned in this law, which means, in the personal status and inheritance and adoption rights of non-Shiite and religious recognized Iranians. The previous regulation was registered in 1312 AH and was used before.

In 1286 AH the dignitaries of the Zoroastrians community in Tehran gathered and elected 12 people for two years. It was the first official gathering of the Zoroastrian Association of Tehran, in which great people such as the late Arbab Keikhosrow Shahrokh were present. When the 12th cycle of the Association was approaching, a series of information was delivered to the mobeds of Yazd, from the religious and jurisprudential point of view.  The dignitaries wrote down the points in a meeting.  By that time the 4th cycle of the Zoroastrian Association in Tehran started its period of service officially in April. In this cycle, according to the information gathered and prepared in the previous two cycles, the Zoroastrian Association of Tehran compiled and wrote the personal status.  In 1312 AH this personal status consisted of 7 pages and 65 articles, which later became famous as personal status, and this remains for us from Arbab Kaykhosrow Shahrokh.

Over the years, the changes have been insignificant, and of course most people have tried to solve their problems with arbitration and consultation with wise men. Until after the revolution, a single article, which was the vote of the unity of procedure, was approved by the Expediency Discernment Council on Tir 3, 1372 AH. Article 4 of the Family Protection Law, which was approved on Esfand 1st, 1391, states that the proceedings related to the engagement and the damages resulting from the dissolution of that permanent and temporary marriage, and the condition of marriage, Mahr, dowry, alimony, obedience, divorce and abolition, custody, child custody, natural guardianship, and embryo donation, sex change, should be done based on personal status, for which two remarks have been written.

The first remark mentions that the individual subject’s claims related to the 12th and 13th articles of the constitution will be considered under the law on the observance of personal status approved on Tir 31, 1312 and the law for investigating claims concerning Zoroastrians, Jews and Christians personal status approved by the Expediency Discernment council on Tir 3, 1370.

The second remark also states: Until the decisions of the supreme authorities of the said religious minority in their non-litigious matters and personal status, including marriage and divorce, are valid and enforced by the courts without adopting the formalities.

Litigation in the jurisdiction of the family court

According to Article 4 of the Family Protection Law of Esfand 1391, the following cases and lawsuits are within the jurisdiction of the family court:

1- Engagement and damages caused by the termination of the engagement

2- Permanent, temporary marriage and permission in marriage

3- Conditions during a marriage

4- Remarriage

5- Dowry

6- Mahr

7- Alimony of the wife

8- Obedience and Refusal of a woman to fulfill her marital duties

9- Divorce, recourse, termination, and waiver of marriage, dispense with a remaining term in temporary marriage

  1. Custody and visitation of the child

11- Descent

12- Growth, interdiction, and its replacement

13- Natural guardianship, tutelage, affairs related to the guardian and custodian of the detainees’ property, and custody in matters related to them

14- Relatives maintenance

15- Affairs regarding the untraceable person

  1. Guardianship of orphaned children

17- Embryo donation

  1. Sex change

Remark: For claims related to the articles No 12 and 13 of the constitution, as the case may be, investigation will be carried out according to the law allowing the implementation of personal status of non-Shiite Iranians in the courts (bill dated 04/31/1312 regarding the law for investigation into the claims in relation to personal status and religious teachings of Iranian Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christians ratified on 3/4/1370 by the Expediency Discernment Council).

Decisions made by high ranking authorities of the mentioned religious minorities in their non-litigious matters and personal status, including marriage and divorce, are valid and are enforced and executed by the courts without considering formalities. The by-laws on Zoroastrian’s status in Iran have been improved following Article 13 of the Constitution and approved by the Tehran Priests Association (Zoroastrian Religious Authority) Zoroastrian associations and institutions across the country at a conference on 02/27/1386.

The compiled statute has a list of 12 sections, 69 articles and 11 remarks.  The 12 sections of the Zoroastrian personal status rules are as follows: proposal, engagement, marriage, including rights of duty and classification of assets, problems, and obstacles of marriage, Mahr, issues of possibility of termination of marriage and divorce, case of children and their care and guardianship, natural guardianship and custody, adoption and related subjects, distribution of an estate, bequest, the order of inheritance classes.

Proposal to change some articles of the regulations

Since 1396, the Association of Mobads has offered proposals to change and revise some articles of the personal status regulations, such as articles 3, 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23 upto the last change which is about article 69.  At a meeting of the Associations, half of these proposed changes were discussed.  There are many cases today that have not been considered in the personal status.  These issues were solved by means of arbitration and consultation with wise men in the past, but now, it is the law that has to judge.  Compilation and writing these laws are done with the help of experts.  Suggestions made by all associations are collected and reviewed in the Association of Mobeds, then consulted with jurists and judges who are aware of Zoroastrians’ status, after which the Dispute Resolution Council and Zoroastrian Associations all over the country can take action accordingly.

The branch of the council for dispute solving of Zoroastrians

The branch of the council for dispute solving of Zoroastrians is established to spread the culture of peace and conciliation among fellow Zoroastrians, dispute solving based on the regulations for Zoroastrian personal status, and reducing litigation. The history of opening Ahwaz, Shiraz and yazd branches of dispute solving for Zoroastrians dates back to several years.

Ahwaz council for dispute solving of Zoroastrians

The division of the Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council in Ahvaz has been operating since 1377 AH. Mobad Meharaban Pouladi, a member of the Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council of Ahvaz, talks about the history of the establishment and its current situation: “The first Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council in Iran began its works in 1377 but closed a few years ago due to the decrease in the number of Zoroastrians in Ahvaz, and the lack of any cases.”

Yazd Council for Zoroastrian Dispute solving

The division of the Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council in Yazd has been operating since 1383. Parviz Sardari, head of the division, talks about the establishment’s history and the institution members: “Yazd Council for Zoroastrian Dispute Solving was established in 1383 and is still serving the Zoroastrian community. In the beginning, at the suggestion of the judiciary and the governorate of Yazd, we introduced three people to form the council. Secret votes elected the people in the meeting of the Yazd associations. Parviz Sardari, Dinyar Shahzadi, Khodamrad Ganji, Keikhosrow Foroudian, and Sohrab Khosraviyani were also selected as alternate members. The members start their work after taking various training courses.  It is worth mentioning that the primary condition for taking this position is that it is voluntary and done to serve God and the society.  So far, the procedure has been the same. After a few years of honest work, and Rostam Kavoosianzadeh, who had taken the training courses in the Council, started his work as secretary, who resigned after a few years of honest work. The Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council members in Yazd are Parviz Sardari (Chairman), Keikhosrow Foroudian, and Khodadad Ganji were the main members, and Kavoosianzadeh as council secretary, are active members.

Shiraz Council for Zoroastrian dispute solving

The division of the Shiraz Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council has been operating since 2004. Sirus Khodadai, the current member of the Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council in Shiraz, talks about the history, goals, and other members of this organization: “In accordance with goals of the Judiciary to facilitate judicial proceedings in the cases of compatriots of monotheistic religions, including Zoroastrians, and to obtain judicial justice and services based on the personal status of Zoroastrians and the urgent need felt in society in this regard and discussed in the meetings of Shiraz Zoroastrian Association. The Particular division No. 25 of the Shiraz Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council was established under the Judiciary group supervision, in December 2004 at Shiraz’s endowed gardens. The founding members were the late Parviz Gheibi (chairman), the late Aflatoon Sohrabi (member), Keikhosrow Falahati (Member), Khorshid Zohour (Member), and Sirus Khodadadi (Alternate Member), who met every Monday at the Dispute Resolution Council. They dealt with their colleagues’ needs, including inheritance probate, family disputes and divorce and separation.  They worked to bring peace and reconciliation, which is one of the main goals of the Council.  They also specified the articles and clauses to the judge in the relevant cases. After the death of Parviz Gheibi and the migration of Khorshid Zohour to complete the membership, Sirous Khodadadi, an alternate member, was introduced as the leading member, and Mahvash Namdarian introduced as the secretary to the judiciary. ), Aflatoon Sohrabi (member), Sirus Khodadadi (member), and Mahvash Namdarian (secretary). The unfortunate death of Aflatoon Sohrabi, in 1399, in order to complete the membership, the Council gave out an announcement, asking eligible persons to participate in the Council’s membership. Finally, Shahriar Bakhtiari was selected and introduced to the Judiciary and after going through the formalities, his letter of decree was issued. At present the members of Shiraz Council for Zoroastrian dispute solving are:  Keikhosrow Falahati (Chairman), Shahriar Bakhtiari (Member), Sirus Khodadadi (Member), and Mahvash Namdarian (secretary), who perform the responsibilities given to them, which are to spread the culture of peace and reconciliation and familiarizing fellow Zoroastrians with the laws of personal status, whenever need be. Other responsibilities of the Council are to participate in the conferences for representatives of Zoroastrian Associations and institutions and present proposals to modify the regulations regarding personal status of Zoroastrians.

Tehran Council for Zoroastrian dispute solving

The branch for Tehran Zoroastrians recently opened on Monday, Azar 24, 1399, on the upper floor of the secretariat of the Tehran Zoroastrian Association. Mobad Mehraban Firoozgari, Taj Gohar Khodadad Kouchaki (Mrs. Khadem), Fahim Farhadi were elected as main members, and Farhad Kaviani-Gohari elected as the head of the office of division 3056 of the Tehran Dispute Resolution Council for Zoroastrians.

The rules of the Zoroastrian personal status consisting of 69 articles, 11 remarks, were approved on Ordibehesht 27, 1386. It was approved in the official newspaper of 1363, No. 18285, on the 15th of Azar, 1386. After obtaining the license from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance it was printed by Fravahar Publishers in Tehran, at the expense of the Zoroastrian Association, and was distributed among all the judiciary branches.

  1. Proposal:

Article 1- Any Zoroastrian girl or woman with the required conditions for marriage can be proposed to.

Article 2- The consent of both individuals in courtship and engagement is not necessary for a marriage contract.

Article 3- Power of attorney is required for engagement and marriage ceremonies when the client’s presence is not possible.

  1. Engagement:

Article 4 – Engagement age for a girl is over 14 years and for a boy over 16 years.

Article 5 – After proposing to a girl or woman and receiving her and her parents’ permission, she can be engaged.

Article 6- Engagement ceremonies consist of two engagement rings that a boy and a girl give to each other and their family’s gifts.

Article 7- Engagement status is not like a marriage in which a boy and a girl have complete freedom in sexual activity.

Article 8 – After cancellation of engagement, each party can request the gifts that they or their parents have given to the other party, and if the gifts are not available, the price of their gifts will be received.

Article 9 – In case of cancellation of an engagement the losses that have been incurred due to the trust that it would end up in marriage, can be claimed with the approval of an expert.

Article 10 – 2nd line – and the other spouse and his/her family have given gifts during engagement, they can request these gifts, and if the gifts are not available, the purchase price of the gifts will be received, unless the gifts have been used in the ceremony(s).

Article 11- The duration of the lawsuit due to the termination of the engagement is two years from the termination date.

  1. Rights, marital duties and description of assets:

Article 12- Before a girl reaches the age of 16 and a boy goes 18, it is not appropriate to marry.

Article 13 – After marriage the bride and groom must provide a certificate of physical and mental health, negative result of infectious and sexual diseases, and drug addiction, and also should have genetic counseling.

Article 14 – Marriage ceremony is performed according to the Mazde Yasni (Zoroastrian) customs and with the presence of a mobed during the marriage ritual. Minimum of 7 persons (Zoroastrian family members and relatives) who have not less than 2 years. With the positive answer (yes) that the bride and groom will give the marriage will be completed and the marriage certificate (a booklet) will be issued.

Article 15- If in a marriage ceremony the girl or boy are under the age of 21, in addition to their consent, the permission of their parents is required and if one of them is deceased, the consent of the living parent will be required.  If neither parent is alive the grandfather’s approval is required and if he is deceased the consent of the grandmother is required.

Article 16- Every Zoroastrian man should not have more than one wife, and every Zoroastrian woman should not have more than one husband. According to this regulation, this is not permissible nor desirable nor deserving in this faith, unless the wife or husband has died or separation has taken place between them.

After concluding a marriage contract, article 17- After the marriage ceremony, performing the commitments and responsibilities of the wife and husband towards each other, and their rights, will go into effect.

Article 18- In order to give value to married life and that in order that the wife and husband respect each other and cooperate and participate together in all aspects of their married life, the following clauses should be followed after the marriage is registered:

Clause 1- The property that the boy or girl had before their marriage is their own.

Clause 2- The property that the wife or husband will received as gifts, rewards, donation, reconciliation, inheritance or as ordered, will be considered as their joint belongings.

Clause 3- Any debt that either spouse has before the marriage belongs to that person, and with a written agreement from both spouses, the debt can be paid from their joint assets.

Clause 4- The assets that a husband and wife earn after marriage alone or both by work and investment will be part of the assets of both of them.

Article 19- The responsibility of the family’s custody is with the husband during his life, but after the death or insanity or being banned or hiding and disappearing, the woman is responsible for their family.

  1. 4. Cases that are not allowed for marriage:

Article 20- Following marriages are not allowed:

A-   With father, grandfather, mother, and grandmother of yours, and with your spouse’s father, grandfather, and his/ her mother and grandmother

B-   With your children and your spouse’s children

C-   With your brother and sisters and their children

D-   With your aunts and uncles

E-    Stepchild by parents, brother and sister, their children, and spouse

  1. Mahr:

Article 21- In the Zoroastrian faith, Mahr is not required or mentioned during marriage ceremony, and in case of separation each case is considered according to the conditions prevailing during separation.

  1. Cases of the possibility of marriage termination, or divorce:

Article 22- If during the wedding ceremony, a spouse is found to be insane or has a mental disorder, and the other spouse and family were not notified of this mental disorder, the marriage can be ended at the request of the other party.  But, after marriage, if the wife gets insane or acquires an incurable disease that doesn’t allow her to perform her marital duties and this situation lasts for 2 years, and the doctors cannot treat her, the husband is allowed to have another wife based on a forensic doctor’s certificate and provided that his wife is looked after and supported (this is for the sake of care to be given to the sick wife).  In the event of the husband’s death, the two wives will equally benefit from the husband’s wealth.

Remark – If insanity occurs in any of the spouses after the marriage ceremony and last for 2 years and the doctors are not able to cure it, then with a forensic doctor’s certificate, divorce can be sought from the other spouse.

Article 23- If after marriage, it becomes apparent that the husband or wife or both cannot have children, even after three years of treatment, and the forensic doctor certifies that any of them is not treatable, in that case, the wife or husband who can be treated can apply if they wish for separation.

Article 24- One of the reasons for divorce for a spouse is that a spouse becomes addicted to any drug with a forensic certification that harms family life and makes it difficult for his/her partner to continue this married life.

Article 25- Divorce is allowed if the husband does not provide for the wife for 2 years.

Article 26- If it proved that the woman had committed adultery, the husband could separate from her. If it is discovered that the man has committed adultery with another woman, the woman can request a divorce.

Article 27- If it is proved that the husband has been violent towards his wife and has threatened her life, money and honor, and it is not possible to continue their married life, even after the council that the elders give and even after the counseling that the Zoroastrian Council for Dispute Solving gives, the wife is allowed to request divorce.

Remark 1- If the wife separates for a maximum of two years, and lives in another house, because of the conditions mentioned in the above article, the husband must pay her expenses for living in a separate place, according to his assets and the woman’s personality, and her real needs.

Remark 2- When the wife wants to request divorce, according to the mentioned article, until her case is decided by the court, with the approval of the court, she can take a separate house while her case is running in court, and request her living expenses, according to article 27.

Remark 3- Regarding temporary separation of the wife, according to article 27 and remarks 1 and 2, her house should be selected with both spouses’ consent.  In case of disagreement, it will be determined by the Zoroastrian Dispute Resolution Council or the court.

Article 28- If a wife or husband are in disagreement and his/her behavior will be dangerous for his/her life, business or honor, which could not be solved through counseling and necessary investigations by the Zoroastrian Dispute Solving Council, divorce, if requested by wife/husband will be accepted.

Article 29- In the absence of moral harmony by the couple, whose lives become unbearable and impossible to continue, at the spouses’ request, the Zoroastrian Dispute solving Council, of their place of residence, will agree to their request for separation.

Article 30- If a Zoroastrian man has a non-Zoroastrian wife, or after marrying a Zoroastrian woman, chooses a non-Zoroastrian woman and hides the truth, his Zoroastrian wife can request for divorce after understanding this case, and the husband has to pay and transfer half his entire wealth to his Zoroastrian wife.  In case of unawareness and not having separated during their entire married life, after decease of the husband half of the entire wealth of the husband will be transferred to the Zoroastrian wife.

Article 31- When a spouse converts from Zoroastrian to another religion, the ground for divorce is already laid.  The spouse who has left the religion has to pay and transfer half of all his/her wealth to the other spouse who has remained Zoroastrian.  Accordingly, the children’s custody and raising matters will be the responsibility of the spouse who has remained Zoroastrian, but to be charged to the one who has converted.

Article 32- If the husband is absent for 5 years and there is no evidence of his existence, the husband is considered missing, and his wife can register for divorce.

Article 33- If one of the parties is sentenced to 5 years in prison by a final court decision and action is taken on the sentence, the other spouse can request for divorce.

Article 34- If a couple has been living apart for five consecutive years, they can file for divorce at either party’s request.

Article 35- At the time of divorce, any assets and gifts given to each partner belong to the person to whom the gift was given.

Article 36- A spouse found guilty in Articles 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, and 33 shall be deprived of half of his/her wealth under remark 4 of article 18 and shall take onlyhis/her furniture, and personal belongings.

Article 37- After divorce is issued by the court and spouses’ rights are paid according to the Zoroastrian personal status law, the divorce (according to the national registration regulations) will be registered in the specific office for Zoroastrians.

  1. About Children and Their Custody

Article 38- The child’s responsibility, in terms of daily expenses, education and training, is the parents’ and in case of one’s death, the living parent will be the guardian.

Article 39- In a divorce case in the court, if custody of children under 18, or in the mother’s womb, the court will take a just decision, and also when issuing divorce and making decision about custody of children, the court will take advice from the Zoroastrian Dispute solving council, in the place of residence, regarding competence of either of the parents, and then will make a wise and logical decision.

Article 40- When a father dies, if he has a child under 18, till the mother is living and has not remarried, she will be responsible for raising and taking care of the child, if not, the father’s parents and if they also are not alive, the mother’s parents, and if they are also not alive, with the recommendation of the Zoroastrian Dispute solving council of the place of residence of the child, the court will determine who will take custody of the child.

Article 41- Regarding the death of a child in the family, if she/he has not left sufficient property, if the father is alive the custody of the grandson will be his responsibility and also regarding his wife, while she has not remarried, if the father of the deceased and the property of the deceased child is not sufficient to look after the child and wife, consider the above, custody will be the mother’s responsibility, and if the mother does not have any money or she has deceased, custody will be given to the father’s paternal family and in case of the paternal family has not money or is deceased, then the custody is given to the children of the paternal family and looking after the wife of the deceased will be in the same way.

  1. Natural Guardian and Custody of Children

Article 42- Children under the age of 18 are under the natural custody of the father.  They are subject to the mother’s maternal guardianship in case of the father’s death, insanity or disappearance (if the mother is unmarried and sane and has not disappeared after the father’s death). If both parents’ died or just their father died, and the mother married for a second time, their custody is placed under their paternal grandfather. In the absence of a guardian, Zoroastrian wise men, under the supervision of the Zoroastrian Association, will determine the place or residence of the young child.

Article 43- Each parent can select an official representative for the child under the age of 18 who is in his or her custody so that after his/her death if there is no natural guardian, he/she will be the guardian.

  1. Adoption and Pol-Gozari:

Article 44- Recognizing the adopted child who will replace the biological child, goes under following rules:

A- If spouses don’t have a child, they can choose someone from their Zoroastrian community as their child by mutual permission.

  1. Any Zoroastrian man or woman over the age of 40 can choose someone from the Zoroastrian community as their child with the Zoroastrian Association of residence’s permission.

C- Whoever adopts the child, that adopted child will be his/her personal heir, and if he/she has another marriage and a child is born from him/her, the adopted child will be one of his/her children and will be considered as a real child in terms and rights.

  1. After deciding on the adopted child, it should be registered in the local Zoroastrian Association office and signed by the godfather or stepmother and four witnesses. The local association’s office should issue a certificate of identity and identification of the adopted child and give it to the adopted child. The identification card of the person who has chosen the adopted child should be registered.

Article 45- In paragraph B of Article 44, when a widow or widower adopts a child, that child will be the individual heir of the same wife or husband who has adopted him. Unless the heir of a spouse who has not adopted him/her agrees that the same person is the adopted child of both spouses.

Article 46- In case that a childless person dies and does not have an adopted child either, the closest legal heir can, on the morning of the fourth day of death, in the presence of mobed and relatives, appoint a person to act as the adopted child of the deceased (Pol gozar) such adoptions will have the same status as a biological child.

Remark: On the morning of the fourth day of the death, when appointing someone for adoption a certificate should be prepared in three copies and signed by the heirs, the mobed and four witnesses and then certified by the Zoroastrian Association of the place of residence and after being registered in the office of the Association, one copy will be given to the adopted person.

Article 47- When appointing someone for adoption (pol gozar) the close relatives of the deceased have priority, and in case the deceased has no relative, someone from among the Zoroastrian community will be selected.

  1. Division of inheritance:

Article 48- The following items will be put aside from the inheritance of the deceased:  1- funeral expenses; 2- expenses needed for religious ceremonies for the deceased and/or for the religious ceremonies that was the present deceased responsibilities; 3- the obvious debts of the deceased; 4- expenses that were to be spent on the charity works by the deceased.  The remaining is considered as his/her net assets and will be at the disposal of the heirs.

Article 49- When a male or female Zoroastrian dies without a will and has parents, spouses, and children, his/her property will be divided as follows: First of all, the items as listed in article 48 will be separated from the net assets of the deceased. If both his/her parents are alive 1-tenth will be given to each of them, if not 1-eight to the one who is alive. As regards the remaining property the share of each of the heirs, like spouse and children, whether girl or boy, will be equal.

Remark 1- If, among the children of the deceased, there is a disabled or mentally ill child, he/she will receive twice the share of the other heirs.

Remark 2- To support and provide for the parents or the grandparents of the deceased, each of the heirs should share the expenses equally.

Article 50- When a wife and husband die together in an accident, none will inherit the other’s assets. And, the heirs of each of the wife and husband will inherit their assets separately.

Article 51- When a person dies without making a will and is without spouse and children, his net assets will be divided according to article 49, among his/her parents equally.  If one of the parents are living all his/her assets will go to that parent.  In case that an adopted person is not appointed and in the case of the absence of class I heirs, the inheritance will go to the next class heirs.

Article 52- If a child has died before the parents, after the parents’ death, and when dividing the inheritance, if the deceased child has a spouse and children, the share of the parents’ net assets belonging to the deceased child will go to the spouse and children.  And, if the deceased child has no child the spouse will inherit according to article 53.

Article 53- At the time of death of a wife or husband who leaves a spouse without any children left to him, half of his assets will go to the living spouse without a will. The other half will go to the deceased’s parents, and if none of them are alive, all the net assets will belong to his wife. Article 54- If a woman becomes pregnant at the time of her husband’s death, the inheritance division will be postponed until after the birth. If they want to divide the property, they must set aside an equal interest equal to the two children’s share.

Article 55- If a wife or husband or both of them have children from a previous marriage, these children will not inherit from their stepmother or stepfather.

Article 56- A person who has the right to inherit from a parent who has adopted him/her, this right will not prevent him/her from inheriting from his biological parents.

Article 57- When the deceased’s heirs are restricted to brothers and sisters, the proportion of each of the brothers and sisters’ inheritance shall be equal.

Article 58- If an adopted child dies before the death of his/her stepfather or stepmother or biological parents, and has no wife and children, half of his/her assets belongs to the biological parents and the other half to the stepfather or stepmother or any of them who has adopted him/her.  If he/she has a spouse and children, each of the child’s step parents will receive one-tenth, if both are alive, otherwise one-eighth of the share for each one who is alive. The remaining assets will be equally divided among wife and children.

Article 59- If an adopted child dies after the adopted parent’s death, and his/her property will be divided between the biological parents or their heirs.

Article 60- Killing any human being is one of the barriers to inheritance, so whoever intentionally kills his/her legator will be deprived of his/her inheritance.

Article 61- If there is a disappearance among the heirs, his share will be set aside for five years until his condition is reported.

Article 62- If one of the heirs mentioned in this religion leaves his Zoroastrian religion until the death of his/her Zoroastrian legator, or after that, the inheritance will not belong to him/her.

11- Will

Article 63- Every Zoroastrian can divide his property among heirs or other people or make a will for a charitable work that he wants after his death. Violation of the will is incorrect and forbidden.

Article 64- If the legator finds other children after the will or after his/her death, and it is not clear that the legator meant to include these children in his will or deprive them, each of them will receive the same amount of assets, although there is no will.

Article 65- A Zoroastrian person cannot select a non-Zoroastrian guardian for his survivors.

Article 66- In the absence of a will, and heirs of class I and class II, according to article 49, all the net assets of the deceased will be equally divided among class III heirs, i.e., grandparents, whichever is alive, and in the absence of class III heirs, the net assets will be divided equally between class IV heirs.

Article 67- If a Zoroastrian dies without making a will, and without having heirs or pol-gozar (adopted heir), or his/her property shall be given to the Zoroastrian Association of the place of residence, so that the costs of religious services in the name of the dead and Zoroastrian charity may be paid. Article 68- If the Zoroastrian Association is not in residence, the Zoroastrian Association of Tehran will be responsible for all the cases mentioned in this ceremony.

12- The order of inheritance:

Article 69- Categories of heirs, the first category precedes the second category, and the second category precedes the third category, and so on, according to following divisions:

Class I heirs:  Spouse, children, parents and grandchildren, in cases where, according to these rules, they will replace the children of the deceased.

Class II heirs: Brothers and sisters of the deceased and their children and so on.

Class III heirs: Paternal grandparents and maternal grandparents.

Class IV heirs: Uncles and aunts and their children.

Remark- If any of the first-degree heirs are present in the second and fourth ranks, the next classes will be deprived on the inheritance.


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