If there are children in a family, and one of them is a daughter that is 25 years old, according to Halacha how does the daughter inherit when her parents are dying/ dead? Does she inherit before death?After death? How does it work??

  • 1
    How can someone inherit before death? What does that mean? I don't understand what you are asking.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 23:43
  • @DoubleAA He means giving it as a matana immediately before death so that it is not part of the estate for halachic inheritence. Look up "halachic wills" Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 1:30
  • @sabba Was he? How could you know that?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 1:53
  • @DoubleAA from the phrase "before death" Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 1:59
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    – mevaqesh
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 2:21

1 Answer 1


By the standard laws of the Torah, a daughter does not inherit the parents where there are male, though unmarried daughters may be supported from the estate.

There are two methodologies that may be used to ensure that female children have an "inheritance" of sorts.

The first is simple - one who is not yet dead, even if they are terminally ill and/or dying, may divide their estate prior to death with a written document or even verbally. Someone who divides their whole estate in this manner can bequest his possessions to anyone, even a non-relative. This method may also abrogate the standard law of giving the first born a double portion of the estate, though there are debates surrounding whether it is proper to do so. There are some complicated details surround edge cases (if a person is being executed, for instance, or if they suddenly bounce back from death), but generally this is fairly straightforward to implement - a witnessed declaration that a persons possessions are transferred before his death in xyz manner suffices.

The second method requires that a legal document (shtar) be written and notarized during the life of the parent to create a contingency in the process of the inheritance. This contingency specifies that one or all of the daughters are to be deemed as sons for the purposes of dividing the estate. Such a division must be accepted by all relevant inheritors for it to be valid. In order to quell any objections to this modification, the document stipulates that refusal to abide by the terms of this division (accepting the daughter as having a right to inherit equal to the sons) will remove them from inheritance and give the entire estate to the daughter(s).

In the first method, the estate is technically given to the children before the death of the parent, though when exactly that occurs is a matter of the exact language used in the process.

In the second method, the estate is inherited upon death of the parent and divided through this prearranged compromise. Failure to abide by that compromise retroactively awards the estate to the daughter(s).

This is a very complicated section of law, and there are those who are experts at creating simultaneously legally binding and halachically valid wills. If this is at all a practical matter, please consult your local rabbi.

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