Wills and Testaments, Living Wills & Successions
(a) Wills and Testaments
The importance of making a will and testament in Israel cannot be overstated. A will enables you to have peace of mind that, after your death, your assets will pass to whomever you desire – which will almost always not be in accordance with the manner prescribed by the law as a default position in cases where a will has not been made.
A last will and testament can deal clearly and straightforwardly with issues such as:
- whether you would like your spouse (and vice versa) to take possession of all your assets after his/her demise, or whether you would prefer to distribute your assets, say half to your spouse and the other half to your children/children from any former marriage;
- whether any of your children have special needs, which may justify an unequal division of your assets;
- whether your grandchildren should inherit the share of your estate that their parent would have inherited had s/he been alive on the date of your death;
- whether a trust ought to be established to preserve the assets of your estate after your demise, in order to allow for their distribution only after the beneficiaries have reached a certain age (usually 21 years of age in the case of Israeli beneficiaries, after Army service);
- whether you would like to make any special bequests of any items of monetary or sentimental value to ensure their use for one or more generations to come;
- whether you would like to include a long-stop provision to cover the possibility that, God forbid, your entire family (children and grandchildren included) might die in a plane or car accident, etc.
- the appointment of named guardians over your children, should you die before any of them reach the age of 18 or 21.
Making a will (which can be a very simple and relatively inexpensive document in Israel) now can be a very simple expedient for avoiding intra-family conflict, squabbles and misunderstandings down the line, not to mention the added expense, time and bureaucracy required in order to obtain a Succession Order.
A ‘regular’ will can also be “converted” into a ‘Halachic’ will, should the client so desire, through a simple one-page document drafted by Rabbi Zvi Yehuda ben Ya’akov, a prominent Dayan on the Tel-Aviv Regional Rabbinical Court. There is no extra charge for this document.
For further information and a quote concerning the drafting of a last will and testament, please contact Simon M. Jackson – Notarial, Legal & Translation Services at 0737-40-60-40 / 0545-742-374.
(b) Living Wills
“Advance Directives as to Future Medical Care of a Dying Patient” may be completed, with or without a “Health Power of Attorney” document in favor of an agent on one’s behalf, to inform the doctor treating you (in the event you become terminally ill and unconscious) that you do not want any extraordinary life-sustaining treatment to be used to prolong your life.
The law in Israel allows Israelis who wish to make advance medical directives and/or a health power of attorney to do so. The Terminally Ill Patients Law was passed in the Knesset in 2005.
Simon M. Jackson – Notarial, Legal & Translation Services can advise on all aspects of the new law. For further information and a quote, please contact 0737-40-60-40 / 0545-742-374.
(c) Estate Administration
Simon M. Jackson – Notarial, Legal & Translation Services can advise on all aspects of the administration of estates in Israel, pursuant to a grant of probate (where a will has been made) or a succession order (where no will has been left). The process can be laborious and painstaking, and many prefer to delegate the unpleasant and often emotionally charged task to an outside attorney. Needless to say, it is our policy to undertake only such tasks which the surviving spouse or executor-relative does not wish to undertake personally, thus cutting down on the time involved wherever possible and reducing the expense to the estate.
For further information and a quote concerning the administration of an estate, please contact Simon M. Jackson – Notarial, Legal & Translation Services at 0737-40-60-40 / 0545-742-374.