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Types of Wills in Israel
In Israel, every person may make a will an unlimited number of times. A new will automatically cancels an old one. As a testator, you have the right to draft and sign your own will, as long as you have two witnesses present who are not in your list of heirs.
However, in Israel, this type of will may be subject to a procedure whose goal is to verify the legal capacity and authenticity of the witnesses’ signatures. This is so that it becomes possible for heirs – or anybody who considers their rights violated or impaired by the will – to challenge the signatures in court.
To avoid all of this, you can make a notarized will in Israel. Because notarized wills are legal documents that confirm the testator’s legal capacity, identity, and the legal status of his or her signature, they’re automatically recognized by law.
You also won’t be required to have two witnesses, just to appear in person before an Israeli notary.
What is the Difference Between a Regular Will and a Notarized Will?
A notarized will is drafted by a notary, who also notarizes the signing of the will. It can be drafted as a mutual will.
A testator can also legally draft a regular will his or herself, as long as it is done before two witnesses who are not included in the will.
However, the authenticity of the content and signatures of such “regular” wills is inspected closely. In fact, legal problems may arise if there are any doubts about the will. In contrast, it is almost impossible to challenge the credibility, conformity to legal standards, signing circumstances, and signatory identity of a notarized will.
How to Make a Notarized Will in Israel
A notarized will is drafted on a testator’s request. His or her signature is verified by a notary, who checks whether or not the will conforms to legal standards, and attaches a notarial certificate testifying to the circumstances of the signing, saying that the testator was not under pressure or outside influence. Such a will has considerable legal force.
Making an Israeli Will for Non-Hebrew Speakers
If the testator doesn’t speak Hebrew but wants his or her will to be valid in Israel, there are a few possible solutions.
First, you can write the will in your native language, attach a notarized translation, and sign both documents before an Israeli notary.
Or, you can have your will drafted in Hebrew by a notary, listen to a word-by-word translation of the text of the will, and then sign it.
Making A Notarized Will in Israel While Hospitalized
In the very unique case of a testator being hospitalized due to physical handicap or severe illness, and his or her property being under threat of being claimed by a person who may or may not be considered an heir under the law, Israel allows a special procedure. This is when the will can be notarized as long as it is signed by the doctor confirming that the testator was legally capable when he or she signed the will and understood what he or she was signing. In this case, the will becomes an almost indisputable legal document.
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