Different cases of inheritance in Israel – everything you wanted to know

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Drafting a will When to draft a will Chances of success in opposition to a will Defense of a will Chances of success in lawsuits to revoke a gift Objection to a will Revoking a gift Invalidation of a will Inheritance disputes Choosing an inheritance lawyer Inheritance lawyer Recommended inheritance lawyer

Spouse’s inheritance

When a person dies without making a will, his estate (money, real estate, property, etc.) is divided among his heirs in accordance with the rules of distribution set forth in the Inheritance Law

The rules state that the spouse of the person who died will inherit all the joint movables (car, furniture, etc.)

In addition to the movable property, the spouse will inherit at least half of the balance of the estate (details further down the page)

There are cases in which the spouse will inherit all the rights in the shared residential apartment, despite the existence of relatives

If a person dies without making a will, his estate (money, real estate, movable property, property, rights, etc.) will be divided among his relatives, in accordance with clear distribution rules established in the inheritance law.

  • Among other things, the rules state that the person who was the spouse of the person who died, at the time he died, will inherit all the movable property as well as at least half of the balance of the estate (details further down the page).
  • The term “spouse” refers to a person who was married to the decedent at the time he died.
  • Publicly known persons are entitled to inherit their spouses as if they were married, as long as neither of them was married to someone else at the time of death. For details, see Inheritance of a Publicly Known Person.
More Info 9 Different cases of inheritance in Israel - everything you wanted to know
AspectDetails
Estate Division RulesInheritance Law
Joint Movable Property InheritanceEntire joint movables
Minimum Share of EstateAt least half of the balance of the estate
Full Inheritance of Shared ApartmentIn specific cases despite relatives
Will Enforcement RequirementIf the deceased made a will
Spouse’s Inheritance

pay attention

  • If the person who died made a will, an application must be submitted for a will enforcement order so that the will becomes effective and the estate (inheritance) can be divided among the winners (heirs).
  • If the will did not include all the property, in addition to the request for a will maintenance order, a request for an inheritance order can also be submitted so that the property that does not appear in the will can be divided among the legal heirs.

The movable inheritance

  • The spouse inherits the movables belonging to the joint household. These assets pass to the spouse regardless of their share in the inheritance of other relatives.
  • The movables belonging to the joint household include, for example: household utensils, furniture, electrical appliances, family car, etc.
  • It should be noted that these are objects that were used by the couple in managing the household, and not objects for the personal use of one of them, such as jewelry.
  • This provision of the law is intended to maintain the standard of living that the spouse was accustomed to before the death.

The spouse’s share of the estate

  • In addition to movable property, the spouse inherits part of the rest of the deceased spouse’s estate.
  • The rate of the spouse’s share depends on the existence of additional family members who are close to the deceased and are entitled to inherit him, and on their degree of closeness to the deceased.
For more information 10 Different cases of inheritance in Israel - everything you wanted to know
AspectDetails
Spouse’s InheritanceMovable property of joint household
Included AssetsHousehold items, furniture, car, etc.
ExclusionsPersonal-use items like jewelry
Preservation of Living StandardTo maintain the spouse’s standard of living
Movable Inheritance

Inheritance of half of the estate by the spouse

  • If the testator left children, grandchildren or parents – the spouse receives half of the estate.
  • The balance will be divided among the other heirs in equal parts.

example

The testator left three children and a spouse. The residential apartment was registered in the name of both spouses and therefore the deceased’s estate included, among other things, the half of the apartment registered in his name.

  • The spouse will receive (in addition to the movable property and the car) 1/2 of the estate and the children will divide the other 1/2 between them (1/6 for each child).
  • The partner will now have 3/4 of the residential apartment (half of the apartment belonging to her and another half of the partner’s share). The children will be left with a quarter of the residential apartment (half of the father’s estate), which will be divided between them.

example

The testator left a spouse, a son, and a grandson from a daughter who died before him. The spouse will receive the movable property and 1/2 of the estate, the son and grandson (the heir in place of his deceased mother) will receive 1/4 each.

Inheritance of two thirds of the estate by the spouse

  • If the testator left no children, grandchildren or parents, but at most brothers, nephews or grandparents – the spouse receives two thirds of the estate.
  • The balance will be divided among the other heirs in equal parts.
For more information 2 4 Different cases of inheritance in Israel - everything you wanted to know
AspectDetails
Share CalculationDependent on other close relatives
Children, Grandchildren, or ParentsSpouse receives half, balance divided equally
Example with Three ChildrenSpouse gets 1/2, children share the rest
Example with Son and GrandsonSpouse gets 1/2, son and grandson share 1/4
Spouse’s Share of the Estate

example

A deceased woman left a spouse, a grandfather and a sister. The spouse will receive the movable property and 2/3 of the estate, the sister and grandfather will share the remaining 1/3, and each will receive 1/6 of the estate.

example

A testator without children, grandchildren, parents or siblings, left behind a spouse, grandmother and grandfather. The spouse will receive the movable property and 2/3 of the estate. The grandparents will receive the remaining 1/3 of the estate (each of them will receive 1/6).

  • A widow is entitled to receive from the estate also her address fees and a written supplement. In certain circumstances, she may also demand alimony from the estate, and it is recommended to seek legal advice to examine the issue in the specific case.
  • Full inheritance of the shared residential apartment of the testator and the spouse
  • The spouse will receive the entire share of the testator in the shared residential apartment, plus 2/3 of the remainder from the rest of the estate, if at the time of the testator’s death all the following conditions are met:
  • The condition for inheriting two thirds of the estate is met. That is, if the testator did not leave behind children, grandchildren or parents, but at most brothers, nephews or grandparents.
  • The spouse was married to the testator for at least three years.
  • The couple lived in the testator’s apartment, which is included (in whole or in part) in the estate.

Inheritance of the entire estate by the spouse

  • If the deceased has no relatives as specified, i.e. children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nephews or grandparents, the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate.
For more information 1 4 Different cases of inheritance in Israel - everything you wanted to know
AspectDetails
Relatives Limited to Grandparents, etc.Spouse inherits two-thirds
Balance DivisionThe rest divided equally among other heirs
Example with Grandfather and SisterSpouse gets 2/3, grandfather and sister share
Inheritance of Two-Thirds

example

When the testator left behind him a spouse and an uncle – the spouse will inherit the entire estate.

Inheritance of a Known in public

Publicly known persons are entitled to inherit from each other as if they were married partners, if they maintained a joint household and neither of them was married to another at the time of death

If the deceased spouse made a will, the provisions of the will prevail over the provisions of the law that determine the manner of distribution of the inheritance

Some of the court rulings recognized the rights of celebrities of the same gender to inherit their spouses

A person known to the public will be able to inherit his/her spouse, after the death, in the same manner as the inheritance of a married spouse.

who is eligible

  • Spouses known to the public, whose spouse died without making a valid will.
AspectDetails
Conditions Met for Two-Thirds InheritanceSpouse inherits shared apartment entirely
Additional ConditionsMarriage of at least three years, shared residence
Example with No Other RelativesSpouse inherits entire estate
Full Inheritance of Shared Apartment

The manner of exercising the right

  • The couple must meet the following conditions:
  • The couple lived a family life in a joint household.
  • At the time of the spouse’s death, neither spouse was married to another person.
  • The deceased spouse did not make a will stating otherwise, since in this case the provisions of the will prevail.
  • If all the aforementioned conditions are met, the person known to the public inherits what he would have inherited according to law, had he been married to the testator.
  • In order to exercise the right, an application for an inheritance order must be submitted to the inheritance registrar.

Important Information

  • There is a ruling according to which spouses of the same sex are entitled to inherit each other as well-known in the public, similar to the inheritance rights of well-known heterosexuals in the public, but it is not yet a binding law.
Different cases of inheritance in Israel everything you wanted to know Different cases of inheritance in Israel - everything you wanted to know
AspectDetails
EligibilityPublicly known persons, same-sex spouses
Inheritance Similar to Married SpousesPublicly known persons inherit similarly
Recommended Legal MeasuresCreate a will to ensure spousal inheritance
Binding Legal RuleCurrently not binding, legal uncertainty
Inheritance of Public Figures and Same-Sex Spouses

shot that of a partner of the same sex

Spouses of the same sex may inherit their spouses similar to those known to the public

The courts have partially recognized the rights of celebrities, of the same sex, to inherit from their spouses, but there is no binding legal rule on this issue

Spouses can make a will in which they leave their property to each other after their death

If an objection to the existence of a will or an objection to the issuance of an inheritance order has been submitted, the hearing will be held in the court behind closed doors unless the court has decided otherwise

Spouses of the same sex may be entitled to inheritance rights similar to the rights of Known in publics.

  • Over the years, Israeli courts have recognized the inheritance rights of same-sex spouses, similar to the inheritance rights of well-known heterosexuals.
  • However, some courts in the past refused to declare a spouse of the same sex as the legal heir of his/her deceased spouse, on the grounds that Section 55 of the Inheritance Law grants inheritance rights to “a man and a woman living a family life in the economy share a house but are not married to each other”, while couples of the same sex cannot be considered as “man and wife”.
  • The last ruling on this issue stated that a spouse of the same sex should be allowed to inherit his deceased spouse, similar to what is known in the heterosexual public.
  • The Attorney General’s position supports the provision of these inheritance rights.
  • Since the Supreme Court has not ruled on this issue, there is no binding legal rule, and therefore it is recommended for same-sex couples, who wish to ensure that their spouse will be their heir after their death, to draw up a will in advance which will ensure the transfer of the estate to their spouses after their death. In this way, legal uncertainty and dependence on court rulings can be avoided.

Who is eligible?

  • Spouses of the same sex.

The process of exercising the right

  • If the deceased left behind a will, an application for a will enforcement order must be submitted.
  • If the deceased did not leave a will, an application for a succession order must be submitted.
  • The applications are submitted to the inheritance registrar and usually there will be no need for a hearing in the presence of the parties.
  • If an objection has been submitted to the request for the order of inheritance or the order to maintain the will or there is another need for a hearing with the participation of the parties, the hearing will be held behind closed doors unless the court has decided that the hearing (all or part) will be public.
For more information 3 7 Different cases of inheritance in Israel - everything you wanted to know
AspectDetails
EligibilitySpouses of the same sex
Legal RecognitionCourts have partially recognized same-sex spouses
Recommended Legal MeasuresCreating a will for spousal inheritance
Binding Legal RuleNot yet binding law, subject to change
Spouses of the Same Sex Inheritance Rights

tip

If you encounter a problem in exercising the right, you can contact the legal department of the LGBT Association and get legal assistance

Important Information

  • As mentioned, at this time it is not a binding law and therefore it is of utmost importance to draw up a will, to ensure that the spouse of the same sex will indeed inherit their spouse.

Inheritance in case of adoption

Adopted and adopted inherit each other as if there was a blood relation between them

Inheritance in the situation of adoption is similar to normal inheritance by virtue of blood ties, although with certain limitations.

  • The adoptee and adoptee inherit each other as if there was a blood relationship between them, but the legislator wishes to prevent the imposition of duties or rights on the rest of the family – of the adoptee and the adoptee.

Rights of an adopted heir

  • The basic rule is that the adoptee is entitled to inherit his adoptee as if he were his biological child.
  • The descendants of the adopted (his children, grandchildren, etc.) are also entitled to inherit the adopted.
  • Also, the adoptee and his descendants are entitled to inherit the adoptee’s biological relatives (however, his biological parents and the parents of his parents and their descendants do not inherit the adoptee).
  • The adoptee and his descendants are entitled to inherit the relatives of the adoptee (according to an amendment to the Law of Inheritance that came into effect on July 23, 2012).

Adoptive heir rights

  • An effort is entitled to inherit the person he adopted as if he were his parent.
  • The relatives of the adopter inherit the adoptee (according to an amendment to the Law of Inheritance that came into effect on July 23, 2012).
For more information 4 5 Different cases of inheritance in Israel - everything you wanted to know
AspectDetails
Inheritance in AdoptionSimilar to inheritance by blood ties
Rights of an Adopted HeirEntitled to inherit the adopter and descendants
Rights of an Adoptive HeirEntitled to inherit the adoptee and descendants
Legal ChangesAmendments to the Law of Inheritance in 2012
Inheritance in Cases of Adoption

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