Israel: Preparing Your Will

Last Updated: 26 July 2019
Article by Caroline Walsh

Your Will needs to be clear and comprehensive, for obvious reasons.

To assist you in assembling the information you require, we have complied the following list. Once you have provided our office with this information, we can prepare a preliminary draft for your consideration:

  1. Your full name as it appears on your Israeli ID card or passport and your address.
  2. Your ID or passport number and a certified copy of that document.
  3. The full names and ID number/address of the people you wish to mention in your Will including your wife/husband, children and any other persons whom you wish to include.
  4. Please let us know whether this Will is covering only your property in Israel or your assets worldwide. If you have an additional Will for other property, this should be referred to in the Israeli Will.
  5. Please note that insurance policies, Kupot Gemel and similar do not form part of your estate and will pass to the beneficiary registered on the policy. You should ensure that this is correct.
  6. Details of any specific gifts that you wish to make.
  7. The details of any house, apartment or other real property that you own including, if you have these, the block and parcel number of any property in Israel. If these are registered with a passport number, please check that this is the number of your current passport.
  8. If you have assets abroad, any tax considerations that need to be taken into account in relation to these.
  9. If you are making a joint Will with your spouse, you should consider whether you wish to allow the surviving partner to alter his or her Will; for example, if you wish to allow him/her to take advantage of any future changes in taxation regimes either in Israel or abroad.
  10. If you are a married man and are not leaving all your property to your wife, you may wish to note whether the bequest to your wife includes her entitlement under her Ketubah (marriage contract) or not.
  11. If you wish to appoint an executor, we will also need full details of that person and, if possible, you should obtain their consent to the appointment. It is not necessary to appoint an executor under Israeli law but maybe advisable if none of your beneficiaries are resident in Israel or if you wish to have a professional or other non-family member dealing with your estate.
  12. You may also include provisions relating to guardianship of any minor children. These will not be binding on the court but will allow you to express a preference to be taken into account.
  13. If you wish to include any specific provisions regarding your funeral or burial, please let us have details.
  14. Please inform us if you suffer from any mental or physical disability so that we can make arrangements for any extra documents which may need to be prepared.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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