WILLS AND INHERITANCE

What is a will?

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows a person - the "testator" ot "testatrix", to instruct how his or her estate shall be dealt with and distributed upon his or her demise.

In the absence of a will, a person estate shall be distributed to his heirs in accordance with the default arrangement stipulated in the Succession Law.

 

Under Israeli law, there is no forced heirship rules, and the testator may bequeath his entire estate as he sees fit. 

Under Israeli law, the transfer of assets under an inheritance or probate order is not regarded as a tax event, nor there are estate or inheritance taxes in Israel.

Why to make a will?

  1. When a testator expresses his wishes clearly in a will, it is more likely that his family members will be able to understand him better and accept his wishes.

  2. when a testator wishes to make a different distribution from that provided by the Succession Law. For example, to grant one of his children a larger share of the estate.

  3. In some situations, especially when the estate includes real property, the distribution of the assets may have tax implications for the heirs later on, if and when the assets are sold. Making a will in these situations is highly important to avoid it.

  4. When spouses wish to make a binding mutual will under the Israeli Succession Law.

  5. In complex family situations, such as spouses of the same gender, common law marriage, separated married spouses, and children from a previous relationship. In all these situations, the default arrangement in the law may have undesired implications for the testator and the family. 

Probate proceeding of foreign residents

Under Israeli law, probate orders issued outside of Israel are unenforceable in Israel. Therefore, whenever a deceased, who is a foreign resident, leaves assets in Israel, probate proceedings must be carried out in Israel as well. These proceeding tend to take longer than the regular local proceedings and require the submission of a legal opinion of the relevant foreign law.

MEYTAL LIBERMAN, Advocate
 
Trusts and intergenerational transfers of assets.


Trusts | Wills and Inheritance | Enduring Power of Attorney | Prenuptial and Joint Life Agreements | Transactions of Assets

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