Sunday, April 6, 2014

Shapira v. Union National Bank case brief

Shapira v. Union National Bank case brief summary
39 Ohio Misc. 28, 315 N.E.2d 825

Read the Full Case at:

Shapira died leaving a will.
The will provided that his three children would inherit his estate.
One of his children, named Daniel, would only inherit from the will if he married a Jewish girl whose parents were both Jewish.
However, the will stated that if Daniel did not marry an eligible Jewish girl within 7 years his portion of the estate would instead go to the State of Israel.

Does a will that conditions the receipt of one’s inheritance upon that person marrying within a particular religious group unconstitutional in that it violates one’s right to marry?

No, this was a reasonable restriction and not contrary to public policy.

  • The Court did not believe that this was an issue of Daniel’s constitutional right to marry
  • Instead, the court believed that this has more to do with a testator’s right to place a condition precedent on his will. 
  • The Court ruled a partial restraint of marriage that only imposes reasonable restrictions is valid, and is not contrary to public policy. 
  • The Court stated that gifts that were conditioned upon the beneficiary's marrying within a particular religious class or faith are in fact reasonable.

Wills may contain provisions that the one must marry within a particular religious group as a condition of receiving an inheritance.

See Also:

1 comment:

  1. Full Facts from Case
    This is an action for a declaratory judgment and the construction of the will of David Shapira, M. D., who died April 13, 1973, a resident of this county. By agreement of the parties, the case has been submitted upon the pleadings and the exhibit.

    The portions of the will in controversy are as follows:

    "Item VIII. All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, real and personal, of every kind and description and wheresoever situated, which I may own or have the right to dispose of at the time of my decease, I give, devise and bequeath to my three (3) beloved children, to wit: Ruth Shapira Aharoni, of Tel Aviv, Israel, or wherever she may reside at the time of my death; to my son Daniel Jacob 29*29 Shapira, and to my son Mark Benjamin Simon Shapira in equal shares, with the following qualifications: * * *

    "(b) My son Daniel Jacob Shapira should receive his share of the bequest only, if he is married at the time of my death to a Jewish girl whose both parents were Jewish. In the event that at the time of my death he is not married to a Jewish girl whose both parents were Jewish, then his share of this bequest should be kept by my executor for a period of not longer than seven (7) years and if my said son Daniel Jacob gets married within the seven year period to a Jewish girl whose both parents were Jewish, my executor is hereby instructed to turn over his share of my bequest to him. In the event, however, that my said son Daniel Jacob is unmarried within the seven (7) years after my death to a Jewish girl whose both parents were Jewish, or if he is married to a non Jewish girl, then his share of my estate, as provided in item 8 above should go to The State of Israel, absolutely."

    The provision for the testator's other son Mark, is conditioned substantially similarly. Daniel Jacob Shapira, the plaintiff, alleges that the condition upon his inheritance is unconstitutional, contrary to public policy and unenforceable because of its unreasonableness, and that he should be given his bequest free of the restriction. Daniel is 21 years of age, unmarried and a student at Youngstown State University.

    The provision in controversy is an executory devise or legacy, under which vesting of the estate of Daniel Jacob Shapira or the State of Israel is not intended to take place necessarily at the death of the testator, but rather conditionally, at a time not later than seven years after the testator's death. The executory aspect of the provision, though rather unusual, does not render it invalid. Heath v. City of Cleveland (1926), 114 Ohio St. 535.


The Ins and Outs of Class Action Lawsuits: A Comprehensive Guide

Sometimes, you may buy a product only to find it defective. To make it worse, your search for the product reveals mass complaints. You can ...