1

The following principles apply with regard to questions concerning the right of inheritance: Whenever there are two prospective heirs, one who is definitely an heir and one whose right to inherit is a matter of question, the person whose right is in doubt does not receive anything. If there are two claimants whose rights are a matter of question, perhaps this one is an heir or perhaps the other is an heir, they divide the estate equally.

Accordingly, if a person died and left a son and a tumtuni or an androgynous? the son inherits the entire estate. For the status of the tumtum or the androgynous is a matter of question. If he left daughters and a tumtum or an androgynous, they share equally in the inheritance. The tumtum or androgynous is considered as one of the daughters.

א

זה הכלל ביורשין, כל שני יורשין שאחד מהן יורש ודאי והשני ספק אין לספק כלום, ואם היו שניהם ספק שמא זהו היורש או שמא זה היורש חולקין בשוה, לפיכך מי שמת והניח בן וטומטום או אנדרוגינוס הרי הבן יורש את הכל שהטומטום והאנדרוגינוס ספק, הניח בנות וטומטום ואנדרוגינוס יורשות בשוה והרי הוא כאחת מן הבנות.

2

In Hilchot Ishut, we explained the laws pertaining to the portions of an estate given to daughters from the sons' share to provide for the daughters' sustenance? and for their livelihood. There' we explained that the sustenance of the daughters is one of the provisions of the ketubah.

When the estate is ample," the daughters receive only their sustenance. The sons inherit everything, and they should give dowries to the daughters of a tenth of the estate each so that men will desire to marry them as husbands. When the estate is limited, the sons do not receive anything. Instead, everything is set aside for the daughters' sustenance.

Accordingly, the following rules apply when a person died and left sons, daughters and a tumtum or an androgynous. If the estate is ample, the sons inherit the estate and compel the tumtum to be treated as one of the daughters. He is given only his sustenance as they are. If the estate is limited, the daughters compel the tumtum to be treated as one of the sons. They tell him: "You are a male and hence you are not entitled to receive your sustenance as we are."

ב

כבר ביארנו בהלכות אישות דין הבנות עם הבנים במזונותיהן ובפרנסתן ושם בארנו שהמזונות מתנאי כתובה, בזמן שהנכסים מרובין אין לבנות אלא מזונותיהן והבנים יירשו הכל ויתפרנסו הבנות בעשור נכסים כדי שינשאו בו לבעליהן, ובזמן שהנכסים מועטין אין לבנים כלום אלא הכל למזון הבנות, לפיכך מי שמת והניח בנים ובנות וטומטום או אנדרוגינוס, בזמן שהנכסים מרובין הבנים יורשין ודוחין הטומטום אצל הבנות ונזון כמותן, ובזמן שהנכסין מועטין הבנות דוחות את הטומטום אצל הבנים ואומרות לו זכר אתה ואין לך עמנו מזונות.

3

The following rules apply when a woman did not wait three months after parting from her husband, but instead, married within that time and gave birth to a son. We do not know if the son was born after nine months and is her first husband's child or was born after seven months and was her second husband's son.

This son does not inherit the estate of either father, because his claim is doubtful. If this son dies, both of them inherit his estate, sharing it equally, because both of their claims are doubtful. Maybe this one is his father? Or maybe the other one?

ג

מי שלא שהתה אחר בעלה שלשה חדשים ונשאת וילדה בן ואין ידוע אם בן תשעה לראשון או בן שבעה לאחרון אין זה הבן יורש את אחד משניהם מפני שהוא ספק, ואם מת הבן שניהן יורשין אותו וחולקין בשוה מפני ששניהם ספק שמא זה אביו או זה אביו.

4

The following laws apply when a childless widow did not wait three months after her first husband's death, married her husband's brother and bore a son. We do not know if the son was born after nine months and is her first husband's child, or was born after seven months and was her second husband's son.

With regard to the inheritance of the estate of the woman's first husband, the son whose parentage is doubtful says: "Perhaps I am the son of the deceased, in which instance I would inherit my father's entire estate. You would not be fit to marry my mother, for she would not be required to perform the rite of yibbumP

The brother who married her says: "Perhaps you are my son and thus your mother was required to perform the rite of yibbwn. You have no right to my brother's estate."

Since not only the status of the "son," but also that of the brother who married the widow is doubtful, they share the estate equally. The same laws apply when this "son" whose status is doubtful and the other sons of the brother who married the widow come to divide the estate of the brother whose widow was married. They divide the estate equally. The "son" whose status is doubtful receives half, and the other sons of the brother who married the widow receive half.

If the brother who married the widow died after dividing the estate of his deceased brother with the son whose status is doubtful, the sons of that brother who are fit to inherit his estate are granted it. The son whose status is doubtful may feel entitled to claim: "If I am your brother, give me a share in this estate. And if I am not your brother, return to me the half of my father's estate that your father took." This claim is not accepted. Instead, the son whose status is doubtful is not given any share in the estate of the brother who married the widow; he does not expropriate property from them.

ד

יבמה שלא שהתה שלשה חדשים ונתיבמה בתוך שלשה חדשים וילדה בן ואין ידוע אם בן תשעה לראשון או בן שבעה לאחרון, זה הספק אומר שמא בן המת אני ואירש את נכסי אבי כולן ואין אתה ראוי ליבם אותה שאין אמי בת יבום והיבם אומר שמא בני אתה ואמך ראויה ליבם ואין לך בנכסי אחי כלום, הואיל וגם זה היבם ספק שמא יבם הוא או אינו יבם חולקין בשוה, וכן דין זה הספק עם בני היבם בנכסי המת שנתיבמה אשתו חולקין בשוה הספק נוטל מחצה ובני היבם מחצה, מת היבם אחר שחלק עם זה הספק ובאו בני היבם הראויים לירש אביהם אע"פ שיש לזה הספק לומר אם אחיכם אני תנו לי חלק בירושה זו ואם איני אחיכם החזירו לי החצי שלקח אביכם אין לזה הספק בנכסי אביהן עמהן כלום ואין מוציא מידן.

5

The following rules apply when the son whose status is doubtful and the brother who married the widow come to divide the estate of the father of the family. The brother who married the widow is definitely an heir. In this instance as well, there is a question concerning the rights of the son whose status is doubtful. If he is the son of the deceased brother, he receives half; if he is the son of the brother who married the widow, he does not receive anything. Therefore, the estate should be given to the brother and the son whose status is doubtful should be overlooked.

The following principles apply with regard to the inheritance of the grandfather's estate if the brother who married the widow left two sons whose lineage is definite and died. The son whose status is doubtful claims: "I am the son of the deceased brother. Hence, I should receive half and you two should receive half."

The two sons say: "You are our brother and the son of the brother who married the widow. Hence, you deserve only one third of the estate of our grandfather." ?

The two sons receive the half that the son whose status is doubtful acknowledges as belonging to them. The third that they acknowledge as belonging to him is given to him, and the remaining sixth is divided equally: he receives half of it and they receive half of it. ?

If the son whose status is doubtful dies, the brother who married the widow may claim: "Perhaps he is my son and I have the right to inherit his estate." His father may say: "Perhaps he is the son of my deceased son and I have the right to inherit his estate." In such a situation, they should divide the estate equally.

(If the son who married the widow died, the son whose status is doubtful may claim: "He is my father and I have the right to inherit his estate." His father may say: "Perhaps you are the son of my other son and this is your father's brother. Thus, I have the right to inherit his estate." In such a situation, they should divide the estate equally.)

ה

ספק והיבם שבאו לחלוק בנכסי האב הרי היבם יורש ודאי וזה הספק אם הוא בן המת יש לו חצי הממון ולזה היבם חצי, ואם הוא בן היבם אין לו כלום, לפיכך היבם יורש וידחה הספק, הניח היבם שני בנים ודאין ואחר כך מת היבם הרי הספק אומר אני בן המת ויש לי מחצה ולשניכם מחצה והשנים אומרים אתה אחינו ובן היבם אתה ואין לך אלא שליש בנכסי הזקן החצי שמודה להם בו נוטלין והשליש שמודין הן לו נוטל והשתות הנשאר חולקים אותו בשוה הוא נוטל חציו ושניהם חציו, מת הספק הרי היבם אומר שמא בני הוא ואני אירשנו ואבי היבם אומר שמא בן בני המת הוא ואני אירשנו חולקין בשוה (מת היבם הספק אומר בנו אני ואירשנו ואבי היבם אומר שמא בן בני האחר אתה וזה אחי אביך הוא ואני אירשנו חולקין בשוה).

6

The following rules apply when a house fell on a person and his wife and they both died. It is not known if the woman died first, in which instance the heirs of her husband inherit her entire estate, or the husband died first, and the woman's heirs inherit her estate.

How is the issue resolved? We consider the nichsei m'log to be in the possession of the woman's heirs. The money due her by virtue of her ketubah - both the essential obligation and the additional amount - are considered to be in the possession of her husband's heirs. Her nichsei tzon barzel are divided, half are given to the woman's heirs and half to the husband's heirs.

If a house fell on a person and his mother, the estate of the mother may be retained by her heirs from her father's household, for they are definitely heirs. The status of the heirs of the son, by contrast, is doubtful. For if the son died first, his paternal brothers do not have a share in the inheritance of his mother, as we have explained.

ו

מי שנפל הבית עליו ועל אשתו ואין ידוע אם האשה מתה תחלה ונמצאו יורשי הבעל יורשין כל נכסיה או הבעל מת תחלה ונמצאו יורשי האשה יורשין כל נכסיה כיצד דינם מעמידין נכסי מלוג בחזקת יורשי האשה והכתובה עיקר והתוספת בחזקת יורשי הבעל וחולקין בנכסי צאן ברזל יורשי האשה נוטלין חציין ויורשי הבעל חציין, אבל אם נפל הבית עליו ועל אמו מעמידין נכסי האם בחזקת יורשי האם שהם יורשין ודאין אבל יורשי הבן ספק הם שאם מת הבן תחלה אין לאחיו מאביו בנכסי אמן כלום כמו שביארנו.

7

The following rules apply if a house fell on a person and his daughter's son. If the father died first, his daughter's son would inherit his estate, and thus the estate would be given to the son's heirs. If his daughter's son died first, the son does not inherit his mother's estate after his death as we have explained. Thus, the estate would be given to the father's heirs. Since we do not know who died first, the father's heirs should divide his estate with the heirs of his daughter's son.

Similar rules apply if the father was taken captive and died while in captivity, and his daughter's son died in his city, or conversely, the son was taken captive and died while in captivity and his mother's father died in his city. Since we do not know who died first, the father's heirs should divide his estate with the heirs of his daughter's son.

ז

נפל הבית עליו ועל בן בתו אם האב מת תחלה בן בתו יירשנו ונמצאו הנכסים של יורשי הבן, ואם בן בתו מת תחלה אין הבן יורש את אמו בקבר כמו שביארנו ונמצאו הנכסים של יורשי האב, לפיכך יחלקו יורשי האב עם יורשי בן הבת, וכן אם [נשבה] האב ומת בן בתו במדינה או שנשבה הבן ומת אבי אמו במדינה יחלקו יורשי האב עם יורשי בן הבת.

8

The following rules apply if a house fell on a person and his father or on other person whose estates he would acquire, and the son was responsible for the money due his wife by virtue of her ketubah and other debts. The father's heirs claim that the son died first without leaving an estate. Hence, the debts will remain unpaid. The creditors maintain that the father died first, and thus the son acquired the inheritance. Hence, they have a source from which they can collect the debts owed them. The estate is considered to be in the possession of the heirs. The son's wife or the creditors must prove that the father died first, or they must depart without receiving anything.

ח

נפל עליו הבית ועל אביו או שאר מורישין ועליו כתובת אשה ובעלי חוב, יורשי האב אומרין מת הבן תחלה ולא הניח כלום ואבד החוב ובעלי חובות אומרים האב מת תחלה וזכה הבן בירושתו ויש לנו לגבות מחלקו, הרי הנכסים בחזקת היורשין ועל האשה ובעלי חובות להביא ראיה או ילכו להם בלא כלום.

9

The same laws apply to people who die in a landslide, were drowned at sea, fell into a fire, or died on the same day in different countries. For in all these and other analogous situations, we do not know who died first.

ט

דין אלו שמתו תחת המפולת, או שטבעו בים, או שנפלו לאש, או שמתו ביום אחד וזה במדינה זו והאחר במדינה אחרת דין אחד הוא שבכל אלו וכיוצא בהן אין יודעין מי הוא שמת תחלה.