Israel: foreign trusts, trustee confidentiality and dispute resolution
Alon Kaplan, Lyat Eyal & Meytal Liberman
Trusts & Trustees
13 August 2021
Trusts/foundations are a relatively new estate planning tool in Israel. As such, the Trust Law, passed in 1979, is basic legislation governing the principles of trust law. Together with the Tax Ordinance governing the taxation of trusts and court precedents, Israel trust practice is formed. Although, compared to extensive practices in other jurisdictions such as the UK or the USA, the trust practice in Israel is in its initial stages with much room to grow and expand. The factual basis and the necessity for establishing trusts lie in HNW families, social changes in the nuclear family and the need to care for the elderly and disabled. In addition, there is a growing practice of holding real estate via trust structures which remains to be resolved from a tax perspective as such structures are taxed under the Taxation of Real Property Law and not under the Tax Ordinance. This article will focus on several important legal issues involved in drafting and administering Israeli trusts/foundations; recognition of foreign trusts/foundations in Israel, the trustee's confidentiality obligation, and dispute resolution options for trusts.