Executing Will by Israeli law
Succession is the process by which a deceased person’s estate (property) is transferred to his or heirs by law or by will. To realize a deceased person’s will, there must be will probate. Heirs cannot divide property or assert rights to the estate without first obtaining probate.
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Will Probate Orders
After a deceased person’s will is revealed, a legal need arises to declare its validity in order to enable the heirs to act accordingly. This is where the need for a probate order comes in. Article 66a of Israeli inheritance law says…
“Inheritance Registrar may declare the rights of heirs: […] of the inheritance according to the will – by probate order”.
Section 69b of the inheritance law defines the probate order as an order declaring the will as valid. It says:
“The probate will declare the will as valid, except for the provisions that the court found that they are void.”
A probate order is declaratory by nature. It confers the binding effect of the judgment to the structure and formula of the will. Therefore, it legally and officially implements the wishes of the deceased.
Heirs can only realize their rights to the deceased’s estate after obtaining a probate order. For example, they can only go to the bank to distribute the deceased’s money or transfer the ownership of real estate assets that they inherited according to the will to themselves with a valid probate order.
It’s important to note that opponents to the will’s lawfulness and formulation might emerge. These opponents have the ability to file an objection to the Inheritance Registrar about the existence of the will.
Such a case will go to family court, which will begin legal proceedings between the opponents of the validity of the will and the winning heirs.
Requesting a Will Probate Order
Heirs specified in a will can request probate, but so can anybody who wants to confirm the will’s validity, including creditors of the beneficiaries of the will.
Stages of the procedure to receive a probate order:
- Submit an application to the Inheritance Registrar of the Inheritance Affairs department in the deceased’s county at the time of his or her death. Further details about how to apply can be found to the right.
- The Secretariat of the Inheritance Registrar will examine and check the application in order to assure that the deceased did not leave any other wills and that the official request was filed correctly. It is recommended to get a lawyer’s assistance in completing your application in order to streamline this process, especially given the need to verify the applicant’s signing of the affidavit in the presence of an attorney.
- Advertise your application in daily newspapers in the Registrar’s records in order to inform the successors and potential opponents. The opponents are any people who oppose granting binding force to the will. They can appeal and oppose the will at this stage. As mentioned above, should opponents arise, the process will go to family court.
- Send a copy of the application to the General Custodian to obtain his or her response. In some cases, he or she will want to join the proceedings in order to protect the interests of a minor or person who has rights to inheritance. In such a case, the process will also go to family court.
- The Registrar will grant a probate order if there are no opponents and the General Custodian has announced that he or she doesn’t intend to participate in the process. Once the order is issued, the will is considered valid and will be implemented.
How to apply for a probate order:
You can apply for a probate order directly at the Inheritance Registrar, send the application by registered mail, or fill out an online form on the Inheritance Registrar’s website.
You must attach the following documents to your application:
- A voucher of fee payment
- Application forms for granting a probate order – You must fill out the entire form and verify your signature by affidavit by an attorney or notary
- The deceased’s death certificate – An original or certified copy signed by an attorney
- The successor’s death certificate – This is only relevant in cases where one of the heirs under a will dies. You must present an original or certified copy.
- The deceased’s original will – If you do not have the original will, you must apply a separate request to the Inheritance Registrar to use a copy of the will
- Confirmation of message to all heirs – You must present a written document signed by all of the heirs confirming that they know about your probate submission. Alternatively, you can present registered mail vouchers indicating that the message has been sent to each heir of the will at their correct address.
- Power of attorney – In cases where the applicant is represented by an attorney, you must present the original power of attorney or a certified copy.
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