web analytics
August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Do You Need A Will?

Biz-Supplement-012513-Will

Halachic Estate Planning

In today’s society, the monetary laws of the Torah have unfortunately been largely disregarded even within the Orthodox community, mostly due to a lack of education and understanding of those laws. There is one area of monetary law that affects everyone – the laws of yerushah (inheritance). According to the Torah’s laws of inheritance, a man’s sons are his sole heirs, each inheriting an equal share, except that when the oldest child is a son, the first-born son would inherit a double share (as compared to his brothers). (If a man has no sons, the order of succession is: daughters, then brothers, then parents, then uncles, then next of kin.) Jewish law provides for the man’s widow and unmarried daughters by giving them a lien against the man’s estate for their support until his widow remarries and until all his daughters get married, but the man’s widow and daughters do not inherit any property outright.

In contrast, under New York law, if no will was ever written, a deceased person’s surviving spouse and children (including daughters) all have a right to share in the deceased person’s estate. If a will was written, the deceased person’s assets would be distributed to whoever was named in the deceased person’s will. However, a secular non-halachic will has no halachic validity, which poses a real problem for an observant Jew. A secular non-halachic Will takes effect only after a person’s death, at which time the deceased person’s halachic heirs have automatically inherited the deceased’s assets, and the deceased person no longer has any halachic authority to transfer such possessions because those possessions no longer belong to the deceased person, but rather to his halachic heirs.

Furthermore, a person has no halachic right to accept assets inherited from an estate where the deceased person had no will or had only a secular non-halachicwill because it is almost certain that there will be instances of gezel (theft) under Jewish law. Therefore, it is important for every Jewish person to not only write a will but to make sure the will conforms with Jewish law, making sure that the very last thing a person does in this world does not violate the Torah’slaws of yerushah.

This article mentions only a few reasons why everyone needs to have a Will. Future articles will discuss how a will also promotes charitable planning, avoids/minimizes estate taxes, and helps families financially plan for future generations. May we all merit living long, healthy and happy lives.

About the Author: Isaac Yedid, Esq. and Raymond Zeitoune, Esq. are Partners at Yedid & Zeitoune, PLLC. The attorneys in the Trust & Estates Practice Group at Yedid & Zeitoune have a combined 15 years of legal experience and are ready to assist you with all your estate planning needs. The attorneys have consulted with many Orthodox rabbis and have obtained a p’sak halachah as to the proper way to write a halachic will in order to avoid the halachic problems mentioned above.


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 “Do You Need A Will?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Matt Lee of the Associated Press at the State Department press briefing.
ObameDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing
Latest Sections Stories

We studied his seforim together, we listened to famous cantorial masters and we spoke of his illustrious yichus, his pedigree, dating back to the famous commentator, Rashi.

Singer-Saul-Jay-logo-NEW

Jews who were considered, but not ultimately selected, include Woody Allen, Saul Bellow, David Ben-Gurion, Marc Chagall, Anne Frank, and Barbra Streisand.

Personally I wish that I had a mother like my wife.

What’s the difference between the first and second ten-year-old?

What makes this diary so historically significant is that it is not just the private memoir of Dr. Seidman. Rather, it is a reflection of the suffering of Klal Yisrael at that time.

Rabbi Lau is a world class speaker. When he relates stories, even concentration camp stories, the audience is mesmerized. As we would soon discover, he is in the movie as well.

Each essay, some adapted from lectures Furst prepared for live audiences, begins with several basic questions around a key topic.

For the last several years, four Jewish schools in the Baltimore Jewish community have been expelling students who have not received their vaccinations.

“We can’t wait for session II to begin” said camp director Mrs. Judy Neufeld.

More Articles from Raymond Zeitoune and Isaac Yedid
Biz-Supplement-012513-Will

A will is a legal document that provides specific instructions as to how a person’s assets should be distributed upon his or her death. This article will touch on a few reasons why it is important for everyone, young or old, wealthy or not, to write a will.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/features/do-you-need-a-will/2013/01/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: