What Is the Order of Heirs in Israel Inheritance Law

By: Adv. Eli Shimony

Inheritance laws act as a cornerstone of human society, ensuring that property is passed from generation to generation in an orderly and secure manner. In Israel, this is governed by a complex set of regulations known as the Israeli Inheritance Law.

Each individual law within this framework governs the order in which heirs inherit when an individual passes away without a will. This hierarchy is fundamental in Israel as Jewish inheritance practices are based on showing precedence to male descendants over female descendants.

The Legal Basis.

The basis of inheritance laws in Israel is derived from the traditional laws specified in the Torah and interpreted by the Talmudic tradition. The Torah mandates that property should be given in equal shares amongst family members, with specific categories of relatives taking precedence over others depending on the status of the familial relationship.

This rights structure has been further refined by the Israeli Civil Code, which codifies the rights and responsibilities of family members in the absence of a will. In recent years, there have been amendments to the laws which aim to afford greater protection to female heirs and to secure the rights of illegitimate or adopted children.

Order of Beneficiaries.

When a person dies without leaving a will, the order of beneficiaries entitled to the deceased’s assets depends on various factors such as the family relationship, degree of relationship, and form of contracted marriage. In the absence of a spouse, the inheritance will pass to the deceased’s children or siblings in the following order:

1. Adult Sons.

The adult sons of the deceased will be the first in line to inherit their parent’s estate, followed by any living daughters of the deceased, and then any unmarried family members, who will inherit equal shares of the estate. The inheritor can be any of the remaining direct descendants, such as grandchildren, without a spouse, son, or daughter.

2. Adult Daughters.

When the deceased has no sons, but only adult daughters, the daughters will inherit in two equal shares. If the deceased has adult sons and daughters, the sons will inherit twice as much as the daughters.

3. Minors.

If the deceased leaves children who are minors, they will inherit twice as much as the adult sons in the family, according to the law of primogeniture. In such cases, the eldest daughter will be entitled to the same amount as the eldest son.

4. Spousal Heirs.

When a dead person has no descendant, the estate will be inherited by the spouse and the rest of the family in equal shares. If the deceased has a spouse but no children, the spouse will be the sole heir to the estate.

5. Other Relatives.

If the deceased has neither a spouse nor children, their siblings, and parents will assume the role of a primary heir. If they predeceased the deceased, the estate would go to their children, also known as the deceased’s nieces and nephews/grandchildren/great-grandchildren.

6. Illegitimate and Adopted Children. 

The law also affords special consideration for children who are adopted or born outside of wedlock. In Israel, illegitimate children have the same rights as those born in a legal marriage, including inheritance rights. This is true even if the child was adopted after the dad’s death, as long as it is proven that the biological parent is deceased.


The Inheritance Law of Israel ensures that the rights of various family members as beneficiaries of the family estate are safeguarded and that the members of the deceased’s family are adequately addressed. As an outcome of the possible configuration of these legal parameters, it is best advised to consult with a lawyer specializing in Israeli Inheritance Law when a loved one has passed away.

If you need legal services in Israel, contact Eli Shimony Law Office. The services we offer include clear and accessible consultation, close legal guidance, litigation services, and more. In everything we do, we aim to achieve results and create long-term relationships with our clients and the community we work for.

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.
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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.

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