Can anything be done to halt or reverse the division of an estate according to an order given by a religious court, or is it to late ?
By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 13 May, 2022
Yes ! In general jurisdiction over inheritance lies within a civil framework – either via the inheritance registrar or the family court, unless all those affected give their consent for a religious court to deal with the matter. What, however constitutes, consent – lack of objection, or positive agreement ? This question was put before the Supreme Court of Justice in 2002 when a woman claiming to be the common-law wife of the deceased petitioned there, after losing her appeal at the Greater Rabbinical Court . There she had unsuccessfully claimed that the district rabbinical court had lacked jurisdiction to grant the inheritance order dividing the deceased’s estate between her children, all of whom gave written consent to it. The Greater Rabbinical Court said that objection made after the application had been published in the press as required, and an order had been granted, was too late.
The Supreme Court of Justice, however, disagreed and held that positive written consent is required by all those concerned. To block rabbinical court jurisdiction it is sufficient for one concerned party not to supply written consent – even if an inheritance order has already been granted.