A man passes away with two children: the elder is a daughter, who has children of her own, and the younger is a son, who is infertile but has adopted.

My question is where do all the deceased's assets go to? Halachically speaking. I've looked everywhere and could not find an answer to this.

  • 3
    What an oddly specific case this is. meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/3760/759 – Double AA Jan 31 '17 at 16:14
  • In a sense it's specific, but only because it's of practical interest to me since I know of a situation that already played out similar to that and was wondering, just in general, the halacha on yerusha when usually the assets go to the son but at this point when the son is infertile where would the assets go to? – TheTribeOfJudah Jan 31 '17 at 16:47
  • 2
    So why not cut out the irrelevant details and ask about Yerusha between an infertile son and a fertile daughter? – Double AA Jan 31 '17 at 16:50
  • 1
    Is there any reason to assume that the fertility of the son affects his right to the inheritance? – Salmononius2 Feb 1 '17 at 1:24
  • I would assume the small details would matter in a situation like this wouldn't you think so? – TheTribeOfJudah Feb 1 '17 at 2:04

There is a simple ordered list that can be found at Ask Moses. It says:

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.

A more thorough treatment of the rules of inheritance can be found at The Jewish Encyclopedia.

To address the comment about whether adopted children inherit, I would say probably not. Per Halachah, adopted children don't have the same status as biological children (see this article in The Jewish Virtual Library for more information).

Please note, that all the above refers to a 'default' inheritance (i.e. the person dies without any specific will in place). There are certain ways within the bounds of Halachah that do allow one to craft a will of sorts.

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