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What are the rules of inheritance according to Jewish law?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg


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The laws of inheritance are numerous and complex. The following are the basic rules:

  1. If a man dies, his possessions are divided by his sons. His wife can either take her Ketubah or can live off her husband's estate for as long as she wishes.
  2. If there is a firstborn son, he receives a double portion.
  3. The daughters are supported off their father's estate until they get married.
  4. Each daughter receives a dowry from the father's estate.
  5. If there aren't any sons, the estate passes to the daughters.
  6. If a woman dies, her husband inherits all her possessions.
  7. If she has no husband, her sons (or daughters, if there aren't any sons) inherit her possessions.
  8. If one doesn't have any children (or grand-children) the estate goes to the deceased's father.
  9. If the deceased doesn't have a father, the estate goes to the deceased's brothers (or sisters, if there aren't any brothers), or, if they are no longer alive, their descendants.
TAGS: inheritance


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Inheritance & Tithing

Posted by: Anonymous, Downey, CA on Dec 04, 2004

After reading the rules of inheritance according to Jewish law, I would like to know if the recipient of the inheritance was, or still is, required to pay a tenth of it to anyone?

Editor's Comment

One is responsible to tithe all monies which one inherits.


Life Cycle » Death » Passing On

The wedding contract which features the husband’s various obligations to his wife. The focal point of the document is the financial compensation due to the wife in the event of the marriage’s dissolution through divorce or widowhood.