Clients frequently ask me questions like this:
“Why can’t I transfer my father’s apartment in Israel into my name? He was a widower when he passed away and named me his only beneficiary in his will.”
“Why won’t the Israeli bank transfer all the monies in my mother’s account into my name?She was divorced and I’m her only daughter.”
Let’s start with the basics. Israeli inheritance goes according to the detailed provisions of the Israeli Law of Inheritance. Under Israeli law, the heirs or the beneficiaries (under a will) must obtain an Israeli Probate Order from the Registrar of Probate or the Israeli Family Court. As an aside, you can’t use a probate order you obtained during a probate process in the US, UK or other country.
During the probate process, the heirs or beneficiaries submit their petition, which is then published in a newspaper enabling 3rd parties to contest the petition. The Administrator General of Israel is the formal respondent and may also require additional proof or documentation, as to various aspects of the petition. If no one contests the petition and the AG does not intervene, a Registrar or Judge will sign off on the probate order as requested in the Petition. That document: the Israeli probate order is the necessary legal document to effect transfers of property, whether real estate or monies in a bank account.