Assalam-o-Alaikum I emailed the following earlier but did not get a reply.
A woman, a few days before her death, during her illness that caused the death, issued a cheque as a gift (hiba) to one of her non-heir relative. Before the person could cash the cheque from the bank, the woman dies. However, the person got the cheque cashed three days after the death without informing the bank officials about the woman death. As per bank regulations this is probably an illegal act. However the concern is who should own this money — the legal heirs or the person who owned the cheque.
If the value of the cheque referred to is less than one third of deceased’s property then it will belong to the person who owns it and if the value is more than one third then the person will own only one third and the rest with the approval of heirs provided all are adults. This is because, the Hibah mentioned in the question is not a Hibah but it is termed as will because of issuing the cheque during the illness that caused her death. The will is applicable in one third of deceased’s property, according to the Islamic Shariah.