Navigating Israeli Inheritance Law: 7 Tips for Mutual Wills

By: Adv. Eli Shimony

In Israel, inheritance laws differ depending on the religion of the testator, the person making the will. Jewish inheritance laws are based on the biblical concept of succession, while Muslim inheritance laws are based on Islamic law. On the other hand, Christians and Druze are subject to Israeli civil law.

Mutual wills are an excellent tool for those who want to guarantee that their assets are distributed according to their wishes and avoid conflicts among family members. Here are seven tips for navigating Israeli inheritance law when creating mutual wills.

1. Choose the Right Jurisdiction

When creating mutual wills, one of the most important things to consider is the jurisdiction in which you want your will to be governed. Jurisdiction refers to the legal authority that a court or other legal body has over a particular geographical area or subject matter.

In the context of mutual wills, jurisdiction refers to the laws that govern your will and how it will be interpreted and enforced. Israeli law governs your will if you are an Israeli resident. However, if you own assets overseas, consider the laws of other jurisdictions.

2. Understand the Requirements for Valid Wills

In Israel, a valid will must be in writing, signed by the testator, and confirmed by two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will. The witnesses must also sign the will in front of the testator. Failure to abide by these requirements can cause the will to be declared invalid.

3. Consider the Impact of Inheritance Law

In Israel, there are different rules for dividing assets among heirs based on the religion of the testator. For example, under Jewish law, a surviving spouse is entitled to a more substantial share of the estate than children, while under Muslim law, male heirs receive twice as much as female heirs. When creating mutual wills, it is essential to consider the impact of inheritance law on your estate plan.

4. Define Your Beneficiaries

One of the primary purposes of mutual wills is to guarantee that your assets are allocated according to your wishes. Therefore, it is crucial to define your beneficiaries clearly. Consider including provisions for contingencies, such as what happens if one of your beneficiaries perishes before you.

5. Establish a Trust

When managing your assets after your death, creating a trust can be a practical way to ensure your wishes are respected. A trust is a legal contract that empowers you to allocate your assets to a trustee, who then manages them on behalf of your beneficiaries. There are numerous advantages to creating a trust, but its foremost advantage is to avoid probate.

Probate is the legal procedure that begins after someone dies. During probate, a court will review the deceased person’s will and ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes.

However, probate can be lengthy and expensive, and it can also be emotionally draining for your loved ones. By creating a trust, you can avoid probate altogether and ensure that your assets are distributed quickly and efficiently.

6. Plan for Taxes

In Israel, inheritance tax is levied at a flat rate of 10%. However, some exemptions and deductions are available, such as the exemption for assets inherited by a spouse. Planning for taxes when creating mutual wills is essential to ensure that your beneficiaries do not face unexpected tax bills.

7. Consult an Estate Planning Attorney

Creating mutual wills can be a complex process, and it is essential to seek the advice of an experienced estate planning attorney. An attorney can help you navigate Israeli inheritance law, ensure your wills are valid, and create an estate plan that reflects your wishes.


Mutual wills can be a powerful tool for those who want to guarantee that their assets are distributed according to their wishes. However, navigating Israeli inheritance law can be challenging

It is essential to factor in the impact of inheritance law, define your beneficiaries clearly, establish a trust, plan for taxes, and seek the advice of an estate planning attorney. With careful planning, you can create mutual wills that leave you and your family with peace of mind.

Looking to create mutual wills that reflect your wishes and comply with Israeli inheritance law? Contact Eli Shimony – Law today to schedule a consultation with an experienced estate planning attorney. Our team will help you create a comprehensive estate plan that provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. Don’t wait – call us now!

Eli Shimony – Israeli law firm represents clients on all legal matters in Israel. For any questions please contact us and we will be happy to assist.
By email: [email protected], By phone: +972-52-2769773, +972-3-5507155.
The above is only general information and does not replace legal advice which is usually necessary before taking legal proceedings.


Adv. Eli Shimony

Attorney Eli Shimony holds a bachelor's degree in law (LL.B) and a master's degree in business administration (MBA), brings a broad legal knowledge in his areas of expertise. In addition, attorney Shimony holds a wide range of professional certifications in the fields of civil law, banking, compliance, intellectual property, corporate law and more... Attorney Shimony's main areas of practice: Civil and Commercial Litigation, Class actions, Mediation and Arbitration, Intellectual Property, Companies, Real estate, Wills and Inheritances, Monetary claims, Crypto Currencies, Banking, Compliance and Investments.

    For consultation and scheduling an appointment, fill in your details: