Estate Practice

David Soffer Law Offices has knowledge, expertise, and experience in all aspects of estate laws, including drafting of estate planning documents, preparing and filing of probate petitions, contesting wills, and estate administration for Israeli and foreign individuals. The firm guides its clients through the important moments of their lives, and assists them in planning the ultimate disposition of their assets and modifying will as required. The firm also provides estate execution and administration services when such services become required.

Every individual should write a will XXXXX with the assistance of legal professionals who specialize in estate law, to ensure that their wishes are executed according to their wishes, in the most professional manner, affording the fullest legal protection to their rights and privileges, taking into consideration their financial interests and the tax implications of their decisions.  

According to the Law of Succession, the disposition of assets at death is determined in one of two ways: either by will (of which there are several types), or by law.

Each of these methods has advantages for testators and their heirs, depending on the circumstances. Since a distribution of an estate according to laws of succession frequently creates disputes among the heirs, this default option is not always convenient or suitable, although it may be more appropriate for individuals with minimal assets.

Types of wills

•           Handwritten will

According to Section 19 of the Succession Law, a handwritten will is written entirely in the testator’s own hand and signed and dated by the testator, in which the testator states what he wishes to be done with his property after his death.

•           Will made in the presence of witnesses

According to Section 20 of the Succession Law, a will is valid if written, dated, and signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses after the testator has declared before the witnesses that this is his will. The witnesses must attest, by adding their signature to the will, that the testator declared and signed the will.

•           Will made before an authority

According to Section 22 of the Succession Law, a testator may make a will orally before specific entities defined by law as an “authority.” These are either a judge, a court registrar, the Registrar of Inheritance, a member of the Religious Court, or a notary public.

If the will is written in a language that the testator does not understand, it should be read to him aloud in a language that he understands, and the interpreter should confirm that this was done by signing the will. Alternatively, the testator himself may read the will or a translation of the will.

A will made before an authority may be deposited with the Registrar of Inheritance.

A will made before an authority is prima facie evidence that the individual named in the will as testator made the will on the date and place stated.

•           Oral will

According to Section 23 of the Succession Law, people can make an oral will in the following circumstances: People on their deathbed, or people who reasonably regard themselves as facing death may declare a will before two witnesses. The testator’s directions and the circumstances of the making of the will must be recorded in a memorandum signed by the two witnesses and deposited with the Registrar of Inheritance as soon as possible after the will was declared. An oral will becomes void if the testator is still alive one month after a change to the circumstances that warranted its making.

Intestate succession (succession by law)

If the deceased did not leave a valid will, the heirs are determined according to the Succession Law: the deceased’s spouse, the deceased’s family (up to the grandparents of the deceased), or the State of Israel.

A spouse’s share in the estate depends on the existence of other family members. According to the law, a spouse is a married spouse, but the Law also determines that an unmarried common-law spouse of the deceased is entitled to the same share as a spouse.

Family members inherit according to the rules of precedence defined by law: The deceased’s issue take precedence over all other family members, and the deceased’s parents and their issue take precedence of the deceased’s grandparents and their issue. Unlike other legal systems, and slightly departing from the provisions of the original version of the Succession Law, there is no distinction between a family member who was born through the deceased’s current marriage or within any marriage at all.

In the absence of any other heirs, the State of Israel inherits the estate according to Section 17 of the Succession Law, and the proceeds of the estate are used for educational, scientific, health, and welfare purposes. The State may waive its right to the assets and transfer it to the person who cared for the deceased on the day of his death, a family member of the deceased, or a partner who is not eligible to be a heir, or a person who was under the care of the deceased.


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Attorney David Soffer and his staff will provide you with professional services to help you achieve the optimal legal result for you.

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55 Hamasger Street, Tel Aviv 6721707
Tel: 03-5618550 Fax: 03-5618551
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Our offices are located a short distance of the Azrieli Business Center and government ministry offices in Tel Aviv.