Understanding Inheritance Law in Israel

Inheritance law in Israel is a complex field, regulated by the Succession Law of 1965. The Israeli probate courts, also known as the “Registrar” and “Family Court”, have jurisdiction over the estate of any individual who was a resident of Israel at the time of their death, or who left property or assets in Israel. The law’s default presumption, as stated in Section 1 of the Succession Law, is that an individual’s estate passes on to their heirs upon their death. This includes fiscal assets, property, real estate, copyrights, and more.

When a person passes away, the disposition of their property must be determined. This process can be intricate and requires the guidance of an expert in Israeli inheritance law. At Ziv Beitel, with offices in Israel and New York, we specialize in representing Americans in Israeli court, guiding international heirs through the complex Israeli inheritance process.

How are Assets Inherited in Israel?

Israeli Probate law outlines two primary ways that inherited assets may be passed on to heirs: either by will or by law.

If the deceased left a will, the Israeli estate will be divided among the heirs as specified in the will, unless an objection is submitted to the registrar and subsequently to the court. If the deceased did not leave a will, their death is termed “intestate”. In this case, the law becomes significantly more intricate, requiring a detailed examination by an experienced Israeli attorney to fully understand and distinguish the entitlements that each type of relative or heir receives under Israeli law.

Petitioning for a Succession Order under Israeli Inheritance Law

In the case of inheritance in the absence of an Israeli will, the distribution of the Israeli estate to the heirs according to the law will begin with a petition for a succession order. This petition may be submitted to the Registrar’s office in Tel Aviv if the deceased was not a resident of Israel. It is then sent to the family court to issue a decree. The succession court order is a valid judicial order and can be enforced years following its issuance.

The probate court order does not specify the details of the distribution of assets among the heirs but only decides upon the identity of the heirs and their respective percentage inheritance rights.

Amending or Annuling an Israeli Succession Order

The Israeli Succession Registrar and the family court may amend a Succession Order. If the order was granted by a court of law, only a court of law may annul or amend it. Any interested party may request to annul a Succession Order; this right is not limited to the heirs of the estate.

One of the most common examples of annulment of a Succession Order is when after the order is given it is found that the deceased had in fact left a will in Israel. In such a case, the Succession Order may be annulled and a probate order must be requested in respect of the will.

No Estate/Death/Inheritance Tax in Israel

There is no Estate/Death/Inheritance tax in Israel. However, residents of certain countries may be required to pay certain inheritance/estate taxes. Please check with our law firm to determine your exact tax liability, if any.

Navigating the complexities of Israeli inheritance law can be challenging. Consulting with an experienced Israeli inheritance lawyer, such as Ziv Beitel, will simplify the process and generate the desired results. We are located in Israel and New York, and we represent international clients from the United States and beyond. Please contact us to schedule a discussion regarding the specifics of your case.

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