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Recommended Inheritance Lawyer in Israel

posted 1 year ago

Recommended Inheritance Lawyer in israel-Interview with Adv. Rachel Shachar, who is considered an authority in the field of inheritance, wills and family law in Israel

The issue of inheritances and wills is extremely sensitive. The amounts of money involved, family tensions and, of course the unbearable loss, can lead to severe personal and family consequences.

Disputes over inheritance can escalate swiftly, destroy family ties and even get to a court of justice. It is especially important to contact a recommended inheritance lawyer, as early as possible, to ensure that the inheritance process is carried out properly and that each family member receives what he or she deserves.

 

What is a will?

The Inheritance Law of 1965 (hereinafter: the Inheritance Law) recognizes four ways to make a valid will:

  • Handwritten will – A handwritten will is a will written entirely by the testator, signed by him/her and including the date of its signing. Written wills are the most common wills, and they usually attest to the intent of the deceased in the most reliable way. However, cases have been brought before the court in which one of the parties claimed that a written will was forged or written under duress.
  • Will before witnesses – A will before witnesses is basically similar to a handwritten will – it must also be written and include the signature of the testator and the date of its signing. However, unlike a handwritten will, a will before witnesses, as its name implies, is made in the presence of two witnesses, who must confirm with their signature that the testator declared and signed as stated in the will.
  • Will that is made before a public authority – in accordance with the Inheritance Law, any person may make a will before the Registrar of Inheritance, before a Religious Court or before the Family Court. In order to make a will before a public authority, the testator must submit it in writing to the judge or read it in the minutes of the hearing. After the will is submitted to the authority, the judge will confirm that it was lawfully made and this approval will constitute evidence in cases of future disputes.
  • Oral Will – This is the most complex type of will, around which most of the disputes in the field of inheritance law revolve. Disputes regarding wills made orally are in fact “word for word” disputes, because there is no record of the will other than the testimony of the heirs. Due to these difficulties, the Inheritance Law stipulated strict conditions, for an oral will to be recognized as valid:
  1. The will must be made before two witnesses.
  2. The witnesses must document the instructions of the testator in real time in the memorandum.
  3. After the will is given, the witnesses should apply as early as possible to the Registrar of Inheritance to deposit the will.
  4. The testator must consider him/herself close to dying, in circumstances that justify it.
  5. If the testator does not pass away within one month after the will is issued, then it will be revoked without any notice.

 

What is inheritance by law?

In cases where the deceased did not leave any will, the inheritance will be divided in accordance with a mechanism established by the Inheritance Law called “Inheritance by Law”. This mechanism determines how the deceased’s property will be divided, according to his/her family proximity to the heirs.

The default provided for in the Inheritance Law is the division of the deceased’s property into two equal parts, with half being granted to the deceased’s spouse, and the other half being divided equally between the children. The relationship to the parents of the deceased, his/her siblings and so on is then regulated.

Of course, if a valid will is made, the property of the deceased will be divided in accordance with the provisions of the will, which indicate the intention of the deceased.

Why is it important to use the services of an inheritance lawyer when drafting a will?

Drafting a will is the most significant step in planning an estate, which aims to ensure that rights and property do not find their way to unwanted parties. In addition, a properly designed will helps to ensure the financial security of the family members and prevent family disputes.

As noted above, under the Inheritance Law, a will must be made in a certain manner in order to be considered valid. A lawyer who is knowledgeable in the field of inheritance will help you draft a clear and detailed will that will ensure its proper existence in due course.

Not even that, in the Inheritance Law, which was enacted over half a century ago, sets out the “classic” formula for a family unit, which includes a married couple and their children.

In recent decades there have been extensive changes in the family structure, with the traditional family unit, consisting of father, mother and children not being used as the sole family structure. As a result of these changes, inheritance regulations have become more complex than before, which are not addressed in law. For example, today there are families belonging to the LGBT community, single-parent families and families with complex assets (for example, assets from a previous marriage). Therefore, it is advisable to turn to expert professionals who will allow you to protect your rights and property in due course.

A recommended inheritance lawyer will know how to take into account all the legal and personal variables that need to be regulated in a will. He must take into account the number of assets that the testator has, the number of existing and future heirs (future spouses or descendants), the characteristics of the different heirs (is there an heir who needs more help?), the future enrichment of the testator and so on.

Common inheritance disputes

More often than not, family members quarrel over ambiguity regarding the amounts of money their parents gave to one of their children, while they were still alive. Often, a dispute arises as to whether the sums of money were a gift, as the recipient of the amount would surely claim, or a loan, as the other heirs would claim.

In other cases, questions arise around the common law spouse of a deceased who did not leave a will. In the State of Israel, the Inheritance Law regulates the field of wills and inheritance.

Under the Inheritance Law, in the event that a will is not written, the heirs of a deceased person will be his/her children, who will inherit half of his/her property, and her/his spouse, who will inherit the remaining half. The Inheritance Law further stipulates that the right of inheritance of the common law spouse of the deceased is equal to the right of inheritance of the spouse of a married couple, insofar as it is proven that she/he maintained a joint household with the deceased.

In many cases the spouse of the deceased claims that he/she did not leave a will, that they were publicly known as a common law couple and maintained a joint household and, therefore, he/she is entitled to half of the property of the deceased. On the other hand, the other heirs tend to claim that the spouse and the deceased were not publicly known as a common law couple and, therefore, he/she is not allowed to share in the inheritance by law.

Opposition to the will

When heirs are interested in executing a will, they must obtain an execution order from the Inheritance Register. In order to receive the order, they must submit the will to the Registrar of Inheritance, publish the application in the press and wait an interim period to allow third parties to express their opposition to the will.

Even in cases where the deceased did not leave a will, the heirs must publish their application for an inheritance order and wait an interim period, so that third parties can oppose the inheritance order.

Common cases of opposition to a will

Most objections to the existence of a will are made by virtue of the claim of lack of competence of the testator at the time of writing the will – for example due to poor health, deteriorating mental state, stroke or dementia, medicines that disrupt judgment and more.

Other objections to the execution of a will are filed on the ground of involvement in the drafting of the will, that is, that a person manipulated the author of the will or was involved in drafting it.

Coercion, duress or threats can also be claimed – according to section 32 of the Inheritance Law, a will that was made under coercion, duress or threats will be revoked. For example, it could be argued that a person threatened the executor of the will that his/her good name would be harmed if he/she did not bequeath a certain amount of money or property to him/her.

Finally, it can be argued that the will is invalid. Pursuant to section 34 of the Inheritance Law, a will that contradicts the public good is void. For example, a will in which the testator instructs a person to commit a criminal offense in order to obtain the inheritance is void.

Mutual will

One of the most effective ways to prevent legal disputes over the issue of inheritance is to enlist the services of an expert lawyer to write a mutual will. In 2005, Section 8A of the Inheritance Law came into force, which regulated the issue of mutual wills. Under this section, spouses can make mutual wills in one document or in two separate documents.

What is a mutual will?

A mutual will is a will in which each party bequeaths all his/her property to his/her surviving spouse, and said spouse, in turn, bequeaths the property to the descendants. A mutual will can prevent a situation where a surviving widow/er will be forced to vacate her/his apartment because the other heirs are interested in selling the apartment in order to get their share in it.

In the absence of any other provision, a mutual will can be revoked only if the following conditions are met:

  • The two testators are alive – in such a case, it is sufficient to send a written notice to the other spouse regarding the revocation of the will.
  • One of the spouses dies – if the widow/er wishes to cancel the will before the estate is divided, he/she will have to give up his/her share in the estate. If the estate is already divided, the widow/er who wishes to revoke the will is forced to return the inheritance.

Why should a mutual will be drafted by an expert lawyer who is knowledgeable in the field?

It is especially important to present to spouses who are interested in making mutual wills its high complexity. Thus, the lawyer making a mutual will must have a deep and thorough knowledge of the field, in order to be able to present to his/her clients all the possible scenarios.

For example, a mutual will that does not include a stipulation that limits the surviving spouse allows for the inherited property to be used as he/she wishes. In such a situation, the surviving spouse may transfer the property as a gift to a third party, so that on his/her death the descendants will not be entitled to receive the property according to the will of the deceased spouse. An inexperienced lawyer may miss a variety of issues and thus frustrate the will of the parties.

About the law firm of Rachel Rachel Shachar

Our firm was established in 2004 by attorney Rachel Rachel Shachar and over the years it has acquired the status of a leading law firm. Lawyer Shachar deals with family law and is considered one of the leading lawyers in the country in the field. Over the years, Adv. Shachar has managed hundreds of complex cases in matters of inheritance, wills, divorces and more, and she is certified as a continuing power of attorney and even serves as a mediator.

Our firm collaborates with a team of professional consultants and lawyers specializing in family and inheritance law. In addition to the firm’s specialization in family law, our firm provides German notary services and translation of legal documents into German. Our office employs a team of native German-speaking translators, approved by the German Embassy and the Austrian Embassy. Our firm has extensive experience in providing notary services for an Austrian passport.

Areas of practice of the firm

Our firm provides continuing power of attorney services, handling of inheritance matters, accompanying real estate cases, drafting complex financial agreements, advising in family law, advising common law couples, advising and handling wills, and managing divorce cases.

 

 

 

 

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