What Happens to Israeli Estate When a Testator Dies Abroad?

By: Adv. Eli Shimony

Death is a scary but inevitable part of life. It’s one of the things people fear most because they don’t want to leave their grieving families and friends behind, especially if they’ve been battling a severe illness for some time. Others may also want to avoid planning for their mortality, but you must ensure your loved ones get the proper care and protect your assets.

This step also means preparing for unexpected situations, like if the testator dies abroad and leaves their inheritance in Israel. For this reason, you should start educating yourself about Israel’s Inheritance Laws and having a legally binding will.

If you want to arrange your affairs early and get peace of mind, this article will define inheritance and what happens to the assets when the testator dies outside Israel.

What Is Inheritance?

When a person dies, someone gives their belongings to others, and we know it as an inheritance. It can be money, investments, vehicles, valuables, property, and other physical possessions. The written document will determine the asset distribution, and all associated parties will carry it through a probate process. However, if there’s no will, the court will assign an administrator to distribute the assets following state laws.

What Are the Legal Aspects of Receiving Inheritance in Israel from Overseas?

If a person who owns property in Israel dies in a different country, government officials will execute the inheritance process in two steps. First, they’ll identify the rightful heir. They’ll then use the law of the country where the deceased person lived or had their permanent residence to determine this.

The “substantive” law is the policy in the country where the person who created the will lived. It examines the will’s details and determines the rightful beneficiaries. Next, Israeli authorities will execute the “procedural” or administrative process, the next step. Remember that The Registrar of Inheritance manages wills and handles inheritance matters in Israel.

How Do Officials Execute the Procedural Stage of Receiving Inheritance in Israel?

You can best handle an inheritance case in Israel by hiring a local lawyer because an attorney from outside Israel may struggle to work with Israeli officials. Next, the heir(s) should sign a power of attorney (POA)  to allow the solicitor to act on their behalf. You must also provide the legal professional with all the necessary papers like the death certificate, will, and probate order. Moreover, you must translate them into Hebrew and notarize them. Also, remember that you must authenticate most documents with an apostille stamp or through legalization at the Israeli Embassy.

Next, the person representing the heirs in Israel sends the translated and verified documents to the Registrar of Inheritance. They should also pay a fee for this submission. Moreover, an Israeli lawyer will consult a foreign law expert, who knows about the law of the nation where the deceased person resided, to ensure that the foreign documents are accurate and valid.

Why Should There Be a Mass Public Notice?

When someone dies, and they should distribute their possessions to others, they must publish the notification about the legal process in a newspaper. All potential heirs must know about it through mail per the Inheritance Law. While requesting an exemption from this policy is feasible, officials typically deny it.

They aim to ensure that nobody will contest the sequence of inheritance. Once they issue and publicize the probate order, officials will present it to the Family Court for validation. They’ll usually grant it if there are no disputes concerning the will. There, the heir receives confirmation that they’re the heir of Israeli property.


Nobody usually wants to discuss what happens after their passing, but you must ensure your assets are in the right hands. You and your loved ones can get peace of mind by educating yourselves about Israel’s Inheritance Law and consulting a reputable attorney.

If you want to learn more about Israel’s Inheritance Law for estate planning, let Eli Shimony Law Office help! We’re committed to achieving results and connecting with communities with our professional legal consultation services. Contact 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: