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Estates (Law)


In what follows, we first review briefly the kinds of property subject to transfer by inheritance or bequest. Next, we examine texts pertaining to intestate succession - that is, transfer of property by operation of law upon the death of the property holder without explicit provision by will or bequest as to who will inherit or take afterwards. As a summary expression, such transfers will be designated as "inheritance." In this context, we note the relevance of certain provisions regarding levirate marriage and the Year of Jubilee. We also consider the problematic nature of the so-called birthright practice in this connection. Finally, we turn to a series of texts that appear to refer to bequests or deathbed wills, and also to inter-vivos gifts made by donors in anticipation of their eventual demise. The summary category for these latter types of transfers will be "bequests." A concluding section summarizes some probable conclusions and reviews a number of remaining open questions.