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Israeli Succession Application

Rosenberg & Associates specialising in Israeli Succession Application, Israeli Succession procedure, preparing and submission of Succession applications in Israel and contentious matters with international angle.

Established in Israel in 1975 with qualified lawyers in London and Tel Aviv.

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Procedure for issuing an order consists of several stages:

  1. Submission of a request – The succession order can be issued by two ways:
  • Using a registered mail service or submission to the Succession Registrar in the district of the residence of the deceased at the time of his death. 
  • Applying for ONLINE Succession Order on the Administrator General website, for reasons of efficiency and shortening the procedure.

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    All correspondence protected by client-lawyer privilege and will remain confidential by law.
    1. Examining the application – After submitting the application to the Succession Registrar, the application is reviewed by several factors (the Secretariat and the Staff of the Registrar) in order to determine whether the deceased left a will after him or whether another case has on the issue have been opened by someone else. In addition, they check whether the application was submitted properly by filling in all the details and attaching the required documents.
    2. Advertising – After the examination phase a press notification will be published in a newspaper, that there was a request for a succession order due to the death of the deceased, in order to inform other factors about the death of the deceased and allow anyone, who feels aggrieved or opposes issuing the order of succession upon your request, to speak up within 14 days and submit objections to the Succession Order.
    1. Procedure in front of the Administrator General – At the same time a message to the Administrator General of a District will be sent and the response may be one of the following:
      1. He will announce that he is not interested in taking part in the process. 
      2.  In some cases, he will be interested to join the process in order to protect the interests of the heir that is a minor / confidential / person who is under the supervision of a custodian.
    1. Handling objections – If objection to your request was submitted, or if the Administrator General have joined the process to protect the interests of another side, the case will be transferred to the Family Affairs Court, and if the Court will find that the objection claims are justified, you will not get the Succession Order. Once the case will be transferred to legal litigation you will need a legal advice in order to protect your rights to succession, and therefore it is recommended to be more cautious from the beginning of the procedure and access to legal counsel, who will accompany you from the beginning of the process to its finish. 

    Common questions

    How to issue the succession order?

    In order to submit a request for a succession order, you will have to fill out a form that appears on the Administrator General website, which contains details about the deceased and the potential heirs. There is also a fee that must be paid for opening a case, and an additional fee for advertising in the paper. Please note – you must sign the application in front of a lawyer, a judge or a local authority. 

    Basic documents to be attached to the application:

    1. Two fee payment vouchers.
    2. The death certificate of the deceased and any deceased heir (original / faithful copy signed by an attorney).
    3. The original or faithful copy of the power of attorney for a representing layer. 

    Other heirs – a messages should be sent by registered mail to all the heirs, and they should be assembled to the application with the approval of the delivery of registered mail. Alternatively, you can submit a written authorization signed by the heirs that they are aware of the application. 

    The application and accompanying documents should be submitted in four sets (an original set and 3 copies) to the Successions Registrar counter or by mail. 

    It is recommended to seek lawyers’ assistance in order to fill the application and to provide all necessary documents for the purpose of streamlining and speeding up the process.    

    How long it will take to get the succession order?

    If no objections will be filed by additional heirs, third parties or from the Administrator General – you will get your order within a time period between 60-90 days from the date of filing of the application.

    The owner of property in Israel have died abroad  

    • In order to realize a will, you must obtain a probate order, alternatively, in order to obtain property by law you must obtain a succession order with the Registrar of inheritance. 
    • Article 136 of the Inheritance Law states that only Israeli authorities are exclusively competent to discuss the inheritance of a man, whose place of residence was in Israel on the day of his death, or who placed assets in Israel.
    • A succession order, given abroad is invalid in Israeli legal system, i.e., even if a succession or probate order was issued, it does not allow realization of assets and the bequest in Israel by the heirs.
    • In order to validate or realize a will, you must apply for probate order according to Israeli law.
    • The Court in Israel acquires a jurisdiction to discuss all the assets of the deceased if his last place of residence was in Israel, or if he left property in Israel. 
    • Article 39 of the Inheritance Law stipulates a special provision, according to which, claims of rights under a will are not acceptable, unless a probate order was granted under the provisions of inheritance law, i.e., under Israeli law. The provision is negating the use of the Law Enforcement of foreign judgments regarding the probate that was given in foreign country.
    • The procedure in the Inheritance Law does not distinguish where the will was given for the purpose of inheritance law and does not distinguish the last place of domicile of the testator.
    • The only way to implement and enforce a will that was not given in Israel, is the performance of the procedure under Article 39, i.e., applying for a succession order or probate order, as if the will was signed and given in Israel.
    • In this kind of cases the Registrar of inheritance is usually directs the request to the Family Court. 
    • Duplication of discussions on the will that was given abroad: The regulation is that lex fori applies on procedural matters, which discusses the application for grant of probate or succession order, namely Israel, and not the last residence of the deceased. In contrast, in the significant issues, arising in connection with the realization of the will, an applicant for receiving of succession/probate order must prove that the foreign law is applicable to the will by bringing in an expert testimony. If the foreign law will not be proven, the court may dismiss the application or abide by the laws, i.e., to set down the sameness of Israeli law and the foreign law, and thus to apply Israeli law. 

    Is the division of property of the testator will be implemented in accordance with the principles of Israeli law or under the law of a foreign country, where he died?

    • According to Article 137 of the Inheritance Law, the succession of the deceased will be distributed according to the law at the place of residence at the time of his death. Even if he had left behind his assets in Israel, if his last place of residence was not in Israel, the division of property will be carried out according to foreign law. 
    • Heirs of the deceased, whether in Israel or abroad, who are interested in making the estate to their hands, are required to produce a legal opinion which is engaged in the distribution of the deceased’s property in accordance with the foreign law. The opinion should satisfy the rules of international law in order to ensure compliance of the wishes of the deceased and the rights of legal heirs. 
    • An expert = a professional, lawyer or jurist, who engages daily in the field, in which his professional opinion is requested, in order to ensure that the review is as up-to-date and relevant as possible. 
    • The expert’s opinion will be submitted to the court along with documents proving his knowledge of foreign law in general and specifically on the issue under discussion. 

    At the request for a succession order of the deceased, who was not a resident of Israel, the following documents should be added in addition to documents specified in the previous section:

    1. Write land registration indicating the presence of any real estate on the deceased name, an approval that there is a bank account on the deceased name, or any other property owned by the deceased in the Registrar’s authority area, where the application is submitted.
    2. All foreign documents shall bear an Israeli consul stamp in the country, where issued or an “Apostille” stamp. (An “Apostille” stamp is an official stamp imprinted on the document).
    3. Notarized translation of every document written in a foreign language to Hebrew (excluding English and Arabic).
    4. Professional opinion on the foreign law – the opinion is being prepared by jurist, specialized on foreign law.
    5. Formal order.

    The deceased died in Israel – the heirs are abroad.

    • The heir of the deceased must open a request to a probate order. Alternatively, if the deceased did not leave a will, a request for succession order has to be submitted. 
    • Anyone, who has an interest in the estate as an heir, or as an estate manager, or as a creditor of one of the heirs can submit the application.
    • A succession order – the heirs of the deceased have to fill out the form of request for probate order, if one of them is abroad, he must sign the form in recognized court or in a presence of representative of Israel.
    • A probate order – a beneficiary according to the will, who lives abroad, can sign a power of attorney in Israeli embassy abroad, and to appoint a lawyer in Israel, to submit on his behalf a request for a probate.

    The rights in the estate of the Spouses

    Common-law spouses

    • National Insurance Act defines the term “his wife” also in the cases of common-law spouses, under two cumulative conditions:
    1. At the time of the death of the insured she was his common-law spouse as his wife under customary tests (a test of life sharing plus a common household, accepted by verdict).
    2. At the time of the death, she lived with him.
    • According to the National Insurance Institute a common-law spouse is entitled to relative allowance, but on condition that they have reported themselves as common-law spouses in order to not create debts.

    Common-law spouses are defined by Social Security Law as married, therefore, Widow/er, if you are living together under one roof with a spouse without a formal relationship, you must report immediately to the National Insurance about your common life. Failure to report may result creation of the debts, which you will be obligated to return.

    •  Pension rights, provident funds rights etc. – subject to the regulations of the programs of the deceased. The regulations are very strict, and the court tends not to intervene in them, in one case, the supreme court ruling even approved the regulation, which declined to give anything to the official wife of the deceased.
    • The common-law spouse is also entitled to alimony of the estate under Section 57 (c).

    “Whether man and woman are living family life in a joint household, but are not married to each other, and one of them have died, and at his/her death, none of them was married to another person, he/she is entitled to alimony of the estate as if they were married to each other”.

    Married according to the laws of Moses and Israel (legally married)

    • Couples who have married in Israel according to the laws of Moses and Israel and one of the spouses have died, and left property in Israel or abroad, the spouse is entitled to inherit it under law.
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