We specialize in inheritance laws, which is particularly important when benefactors or beneficiaries are not resident in Israel, and the estate is located in Israel or abroad

Israeli Law of Inheritance

Inheritance in Israel is based on the Inheritance Law of 1965, which determines the rules of inheritance according to the parenthood method, which consists of three inheritance groups: descendants, parents and descendants, and grandparents.

Group 1: When there are beneficiary descendants or offspring of descendants – they will inherit the whole estate, even if the testator has parents or siblings, etc.

Group 2: When there are no group 1 descendant beneficiaries, the inheritors will be parents and their descendants.

Group 3: When there are no beneficiaries from groups 1 and 2, the inheritors will be grandparents.

Laws Concerning Spouses

In Israeli law, the spouse of the deceased inherits part of the estate, according to the group with which they share the inheritance: when inheriting with descendants or parents of the deceased, the spouse of the deceased receives half the estate. When inheriting with siblings and their descendents or grandparents of the deceased, the spouse of the deceased receives two-thirds of the estate. However, in Israeli inheritance law, no parts of an inheritance are guaranteed to the spouse of the deceased; consequently, a spouse can be completely excluded from inheriting if the deceased makes a will indicating this.

Laws Concerning Partners

In Israel, a person who lived as a partner with the deceased (but was not married to the deceased) has a special status – “Known in Public”. Israeli law acknowledges such partners as though they had been married spouses, and they are entitled to inherit the deceased.

Beneficiaries with Foreign Citizenship or Residing Outside Israel

When the beneficiary has foreign citizenship or resides outside Israel, which law applies to the inherited property in Israel – the law of the land of residence/citizenship or the law applicable where the property exists? This issue is particularly important when considering estate taxes. According to international private law in Israel, sometimes the local law applies when the property is located in Israel; sometimes the law in the country of residence/citizenship of the inheritor applies when the inheritor is resident outside Israel; and sometimes, the local law directs to the foreign law.

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