this is a question abut yerusa. my mother in law wrote out a will, and left her apartment to my husband. right before she was niftar my husbands sisters got her to change the will and leave it to the grandchildren. one of my husbands sisters married a siksha. they included them in the will. i feel my husband was intilted to get yerusha money. he did not get one penny. should we go to a din torah?

Answer:

Poskim dispute whether a legally valid secular will is also binding according to Din Torah. If the new will that your mother-in-law drew up is legally valid, your case is therefore not guaranteed even according to Din Torah. In combination with going to Din Torah, I would therefore check if there might not be some legal flaw in the new will (for example, was it properly countersigned by valid witnessess, and so on). Perhaps you could also somehow demonstrate that the will was written against your mother-in-law’s better intentions — it seems unnatural that she should exclude her son from her inheritance. Together with this, certainly go to Din Torah, though its effectiveness will depend on the cooperation of your father’s sisters. Good Luck!

Sources (concerning the status of secular wills according to Torah law): See Achiezer (3:34); Cheishev Ha-Eifod (2:106); Iggros Moshe (EH 1:105).

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