In the Islamic law, a natural child can only inherit his Mother and her family. The opposite is also applicable. For non-Muslims, the law doesn't cover all cases, but in general, the natural child gets only half of what he would have gotten if he was a legitimate child.
Under the Lebanese Law, inheritance is subject to two different laws:
For Muslims, the Sharia laws applies. For non-Muslims it is the law of 23 June 1959. This system is of public order. It applies to all inheritances occurring in Lebanon and to all properties existing in the country.
It is also very important to know that a difference in religion with the deceased simply prevents from inheriting. This applies to spouses from different religions.
A difference in nationality could also prevent one from inheriting, as the Lebanese law applies in this case the law of international reciprocity.
The system that applies on the spouses under Lebanese Law is the system of the separation of properties. This system applies automatically if the marriage is held in Lebanon. Those married abroad under a different system (e.g. community of properties) can usually choose to abide by that system. But the Lebanese courts hesitate to apply automatically this system. The courts can opt to interpret the will of the spouses when international law rules are called upon.
The religious marriage in Lebanon holds very important legal, fiscal and patrimonial implications. We recommend couples holding different nationalities (e.g. a US-Lebanese couple) to understand properly the various legal implications of such a marriage, especially if they wish to reside in Lebanon and own properties.
Amongst various commercial legal entities available to establish in Lebanon, the Joint-stock company (SA) offers the most advantageous fiscal facilities. Study well your project before establishing your company, taking in account that any changes to its legal form in the future will be very costly.
Lebanon constitutes an international commercial meeting point of unique importance. Protect your trademarks by registering them in Lebanon to reduce the possibilities of illegal competition throughout the Middle-East region.