web analytics
April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 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
PM Netanyahu
Netanyahu Attacks the Iran Nuclear Deal as “Unconscionable” [video]
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

While we are all accustomed to the occasional recipe substitutions – swapping milk for creamer, applesauce for oil – gluten-free cooking is a whole different ballgame.

Something-Cooking-logo

Until the year I decided to put a stop to all my tremors. I realized that if I wanted my family to experience Pesach and its preparations as uplifting and fulfilling, I’d have to relax and loosen up.

Teens-032715

David looked up. “Hatzlacha, Dina,” he smiled. “I hope everything goes well.”

In 1756, when the ominous threat of Islamic terror against Jews reached Tunis as well, Friha became one of its tragic victims.

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

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: