The order of succession and identity of the heirs can be determined by two routes: through a will detailing the will of the deceased, and in the absence of a will, the succession will be transferred to the heirs in accordance with Kinship circuits determined by the legislature in the second chapter in the Succession Law. On the issues related to a Succession Order we will choose the latter.
Article 10 of the Succession Law states that the heirs according to law are:
(1) A person, who was the spouse of the deceased at the time of death.
(2) Children of the deceased and their descendants, parents of the diseased and their descendants, grandparents of the parents of the diseased and their descendants (in this Law: deceased relatives).
The guiding principle in determining the identity of the heirs is the existence of blood kinship of three proximity circuits (“patrilines”) from the closest to the most distant: children, parents and grandparents, while each circuit also include the descendants. The exception to the blood kinship is the spouse, whose rights in succession determined in Article 11, and an adopted child, who is considered, under section 16, the child of the deceased in all respects. The rule is that as soon as the heir is found is one circuit, there is no need to continue to the next circuit. That is, if there is an heir in the first circuit (children or grandchildren), the way to the relatives on the next circuit is blocked (parents and descendants).
The share of a spouse is determined by several principles:
- The Share a spouse in the estate determined according to the type of the relatives that he/she faces and varies depending on the kinship circuits (described below).
- According to Article 11 (a) spouse will always movable property and vehicle belonging to the common household, under the circumstances.
- If the couple were married and lived for at least three years at the time of death in the apartment that belongs in full or partially to the estate, the spouse is entitled to the part of the diseased in the apartment.
It should be noted that the definition of a spouse is important and critical for determining of succession rights, especially in cases of common-law spouses.
Below are the principles of three circuits, which indicates the part of the spouse if he or she is among living:
First circuit – descendants (children / grandchildren): If the deceased has children or grandchildren, they are entitled to the entire estate, while the division between them shall be in equal parts.
- A spouse – the estate will be equally divided between him/her and the first circuit heirs.
Second circuit – parents and their descendants: If no first circuit heir is found we’ll examine the second circle, which includes the deceased’s parents and his/her brothers/sisters. The estate will be divided equally between the parents of the deceased, and if they are no longer among the living, the shares of each of them will be distributed equally among his/her descendants.
- A spouse – (a) A spouse against the Parents – the estate will be divided equally. (b) A spouse against brothers/sisters – a spouse will get 2/3 of the estate and the brothers/sisters -1/3.
Third circuit – parents of parents and their descendants: Like the second circuit, the deceased’s estate is divided between the four grandparents and if one of them is no longer among the living, his/hers share will transfer to his/her descendants.
- A spouse – is entitled to 2/3 of the estate while the descendants to 1/3.
State’s succession rights – Article 17 of the Succession Law states that in a situation when there are no heirs by the law, that is, when no heirs of any circle were found, the State of Israel is entitled to inherit.
The Israeli Succession is a process of transferring of the estate (property) of the deceased to the heirs by law or by will. The legal origin of the order of succession is Article 66 (a) of the Succession Law, which is as follows: “Succession Registrar may declare the rights of heirs: succession according to law by a Succession Order…”. That is a Succession Order is applicable to those cases where the deceased did not leave an orderly or a proper will, and therefore his successors will be the heirs according to law. For the heirs to be able to claim and exercise their rights in succession, they must apply for a Succession Order. Legal injunction from the Succession Registrar containing details of the deceased, date of death, the names of his heirs and relative share of each heir to the estate.
The status of this order is like a final and binding verdict, which states to the general public, who are the heirs of the deceased and what share of each of the heirs to the estate but does not specify the details of succession on the merits, such as the volume of assets and property of the deceased.
A Succession Order is necessary and crucial to carry out actions in the assets of the deceased, since only after its issuance the heirs can appeal with it to various entities such as Land Registrar and to perform actions such as transfer of ownership in the land registry or of the car.