Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Son, You Can Have your Inheritance Only if You Marry a Good Jewish Girl

Max Feinberg stipulated in his will that each of his beneficiaries would receive their inheritance only if they married someone of the Jewish faith or the beneficiary's spouse converted to Judaism within one year of marriage. Only one beneficiary met the requirement. Another beneficiary sued. The Court held that because the beneficiaries had no legal ownership interest in the trust property at Mr. Feinberg's death and because Mr. Feinberg's requirement did not violate any public policy, then Mr. Feinberg's instructions in his will were perfectly valid and enforceable.

If the will had directed that Mr. Feinberg's beneficiaries receive their inheritance only if they assassinated the local mayor, then that would violate public policy against murdering the local mayor. Any term in a will that calls for violation of a law in order to receive an inheritance will be held invalid. Otherwise, you have pretty much free rein to decide under what conditions your assets will be distributed.

For information regarding the Max Feinberg case go to:
In Re Estate of Max Feinberg v. Feinberg
In re Max Feinberg
Max Feinberg

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