Laws of Succession and Inheritance
The Inheritance Act 1965-5725 prescribes the manner in which a deceased’s estate is divided amongst his heirs. The Act prescribes detailed provisions regarding the manner of distribution amongst the beneficiaries of the estate, who is to replace them in the unfortunate event of their passing, the manner of managing the affairs of the estate and the appointment of an administrator or executor, etc.
In principle, under the Inheritance Act, the deceased’s spouse will be entitled to half of the estate, and the other half will be divided equally amongst the deceased’s children. There are exceptions relating to a residential apartment, a family vehicle, and chattels.
However, these arrangements are residual, that is to say, they apply only if the deceased left no will, or that his will is invalid.
After a person’s passing, action must be taken to divide the estate.
To facilitate the division of the estate according to law, amongst the heirs, the identity of the heirs must be declared.
The order declaring and stipulating who the deceased’s heirs are – is an Inheritance Decree.
For the purposes of obtaining an Inheritance Decree, the Registrar of Inheritances must be appealed to, and an application for an Inheritance Decree must be filed.
The application for an Inheritance Decree includes details of the deceased, the identity of the heirs, and details necessary to issue the declaration.
When the identity of the legal heirs is not clear, for instance with holocaust victims, etc. – the Registrar of Inheritances transfers the application for an Inheritance Decree to the Family Affairs Court.
With an Inheritance Decree, one can contact any institution keeping a record, such as the Land Registration Bureau, banks, the Licensing Bureau, etc., and receive the share of the estate registered in the deceased’s name, as detailed in the Inheritance Decree.
The Registrar of Inheritances, is the entity before whom all the various proceedings of declaring heirs take place.
There are two possible proceedings to declare heirs – one by way of granting an Inheritance Decree, when the heirs are according to the laws of intestacy, and the other – by way of granting a will probate order, when the deceased left a will.
Each one of the two types of heir which exist under the Inheritance Act, both the heirs under intestacy and the heirs under a will – are entitled to file an application for an Inheritance Decree, declaring the identity of the heirs, to the Registrar of Inheritances.
In the application, the beneficiary is required to complete all the deceased’s details as well as the identity of the heirs, giving details of the deceased’s various family ties and including: descendants and descendants of descendants, and parents, and parents of parents.
There are instances in which the Registrar of Inheritances is not entitled to hear an application and is not authorised to grant a decree, such as when the deceased is a foreign resident, or when there is doubt regarding the identity of the intestate heirs, and especially when an opposition to probate is filed.
In every one of these instances – the Registrar of Inheritances transfers the application to the Family Affairs Court, when a legal hearing is held, the parties to which are the heirs and the Administrator General.
Every decision issued by the Registrar of Inheritances may come under attack in the setting of an appeal which is filed with the Family Affairs Court.
What is an Intestate Inheritance at Law?
When a person dies intestate, the Inheritance Act prescribes the identity of his heirs for the intestate inheritance at law.
the Inheritance Act prescribes three main circles of inheritance (referred to as “Frantles”) when dividing an intestate inheritance.
The spouse inherits in each one of the circles, however, the spouses share of the intestate inheritance is different from branch to branch.
The rule is: that only one circle inherits, that is to say, that if there are heirs in the first circle – they inherit the entire estate, when there are no heirs in the first circle but there are heirs in the second circle – they are the ones who inherit the entire estate, and thus also for the third circle.
The first circle – Is the branch of descendants.
When there are descendants – they will inherit the entire estate.
The division between the descendants is in equal shares, so that if any of them predeceases the intestate legator – his share will be divided amongst his descendants, and so on.
When the deceased has a living spouse and there are heirs in the first circle – the spouse will inherit one half of the estate, and the other half will be divided amongst his descendants.
The Second Circle – Includes the deceased’s parents.
When there are no heirs in the first circle, the estate passes on to the second circle.
In the event that the second branch is activated – the deceased’s estate is divided equally between his parents.
To the extent that the parents