If you own a property, have funds in a bank account or own other assets in Israel, these will pass more efficiently and quickly to your heirs if you have a separate Israeli will, for the following reasons:
- Foreign wills are usually complex and contain trusts and other tax planning structures which serve a purpose in your country of residence but which may not be effective in Israel. As a result, it can be much quicker and simpler to get probate of a simple will covering only property in Israel. Death is not a taxable event in Israel and there is currently no inheritance or estate tax.
- Identification here is by number and not by name and so it is extremely important to have a will which identifies you by the number with which you are registered as the owner of your Israeli property (usually passport numbers for non-Israeli citizens).If you make Aliyah (take up Israeli citizenship) at any future date, we strongly suggest that all assets are re-registered with their Israeli ID numbers and that the wills are updated to refer to this number for identification purposes.
- The probate registry has a discretion to accept documents in English but they are less likely to do so if the will is long and complex.
- The Israeli court will not appoint executors who are not resident in Israel so you may wish to provide for separate executors here.
- An original will is required for probate here and in the absence of this, a specific application must be made to allow a copy to be submitted.