web analytics
February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Writing A Kosher Will

South-Florida-logo

Many people decide against having a last will and testament. They do not want to think about what it implies. Putting one’s head in the sand can be disastrous. A person who dies without a will is considered “intestate.” In the absence of a will, state laws determine how a decedent’s property is to be distributed. In Florida, Florida Code Section 732.101 et seq. delineates the persons who are entitled to receive probate assets (after the payment of claims, debts, taxes and expenses). Having a will helps ensure that you decide who inherits your property, and not the state.

What should you do if you wish to execute a will? Seek out a qualified lawyer to ensure that your will is correctly memorialized under the laws of your state, in this case Florida. Failure to create a will that satisfies the requirements of Florida law could result in a court finding that the document is void and unenforceable. One of the most important aspects of these requirements is proper signing and witnessing of the will.

The next piece of advice may surprise you. Before drafting your will, it would be advisable to pass it by your rabbi. The reason it makes sense to consult a rabbi is that while many people are familiar with the basic requirements of Jewish law as it relates to holidays or kosher products, far fewer individuals remember to consider Jewish law when deciding how to apportion assets upon death.

The Torah addresses many civil law issues including the laws of inheritance (see Numbers 27:6-11 dealing with who inherits, under what circumstances, and in what order). A potential conflict arises when a person wishes to have property divided after death in a manner that differs from the biblical injunction.

A rabbi can suggest how to best structure the planned transfer so that at least the technical requirements of Jewish law are not abrogated. Part of the solution involves adding a clause to the secular will stipulating that so as to satisfy the strictures of Jewish law the assets should transfer to the heirs as a gift in the moment prior to death. This language is included because Jewish inheritance laws do not restrict a person’s ability, while alive, to distribute assets however the person chooses.

Secular and religious laws of inheritance and will writing can be complex, and a much longer article would be required to treat these matters in depth. Raising this topic will hopefully create greater awareness of this issue and also encourage attorneys to discuss with their clients the option of drafting “kosher wills.” In this way, more people will be able to effectively protect and bequeath assets within a framework that also respects and honors our Jewish legal traditions.

Rabbi Yelenik is a member and founding partner of the civil practice law firm of Yelenik, Lisbon & AssociatesThe firm has partners and associated attorneys holding bar membership in Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey and Israel. Jacalyn Scott, Esq., provided research for this topic drawing upon her background in elder law and wills and estatesFor further discussion and comment please call 786-449-6238 or write the author at dyelenik@yla-law.com. Nothing in this article is intended to serve as nor should be relied upon or considered to be in any way legal advice.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Writing A Kosher Will”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Said Arikat, al-Quds Washington, D.C. reporter. Jan. 29, 2015
Said Says (Falsely): ‘Israel flooding Gaza with Waste Water’
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

Hebrew Academy students learn the ABC’s of safety during Hebrew Academy’s recent Safety Kid Program.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

Women learn in honor of first yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chasia Kudan, a”h.

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

Recently, due to age and wear, programming and NCSY events were moved into portable units outside the youth building.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Yelenik
South-Florida-logo

Many people decide against having a last will and testament. They do not want to think about what it implies. Putting one’s head in the sand can be disastrous.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/writing-a-kosher-will/2012/01/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: