Someone highly knowledgeable asked me the following:
“My wife was just yoreshes some property and other assets. My impression from the last time I learned Kesubos is that these moneys have the status of nichsei melug, and that technically neither she nor I have the right to sell them. If that is true, it seemed to me that neither one of us has any responsibility to pay maaser kesafim on it- I because the property is not mine, and she, because she has no right to sell or give any of the property. Of course, the future earnings, which are my property, do require maaser kesafim.
Is my calculation correct? Who discusses this shaylah? and last question: Why do people then take this type of yerusha money and use it for children’s weddings etc. Is this really the proper thing to do, halachically?”
Thank you very much
Shut She’elas Yaavatz (1:6) writes that there is no obligation on a husband to give ma’aser from possessions that his wife brings from her home. This is echoed by a number of other authorities.
However, this refers only to possessions that already belonged to the wife before the wedding. For possessions that she receives after the wedding, I don’t see a reason why she will not be obligated to give ma’aser. Although the use of the possessions is the husband’s, and he can therefore prevent her from giving ma’aser, why should he prevent her from fulfilling the mitzvah of giving ma’aser?
Note that there are cases where there is no obligation, at least according to some of the poskim, to give ma’aser.
For details, see http://www.din.org.il/2010/08/23/%D7%9E%D7%90%D7%99%D7%9C%D7%95-%D7%94%D7%9B%D7%A0%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%99%D7%A9-%D7%9C%D7%94%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%A9-%D7%9E%D7%A2%D7%A9%D7%A8-%D7%9B%D7%A1%D7%A4%D7%99%D7%9D/.