Ethics

For the week ending 2 January 2010 / 15 Tevet 5770

Bank Account for a Minor

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: A friend of mine opened a savings account in the name of his firstborn son and each month deposited a sum in the account. He did not do so for his other children. When he passed away and the existence of this account became known, the brothers argued that the sum should be divided amongst them since their father had never passed over the account to the oldest and therefore intended it to be a part of the general inheritance. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: In his book "Pure Money", Rabbi Shlomo Cohen, a dayan in a Jerusalem Beit Din, quotes authorities who rule that since the account was opened in the name of the oldest son only, each deposit was acquired by the bank on his behalf even though he was a minor. There is no need for him to share this sum with his brothers.

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