Appointing a Legal Guardian in Israel
This article addresses appointing a legal guardian in Israel, which is called an apotropus. In Israel, only a court can appoint an apotropus, but it is possible to draw up a document specifying who you might wish this to be. All issues surrounding legal guardians and family law fall under the auspices of the Israeli Ministry of Justice.
The Purpose of a Legal Guardian in Israel
A legal guardian in Israel helps assist an individual in the event they are no longer able to manage their own affairs. In Israel, a legal guardian can either be an individual or a corporation. A legal guardian, referred to as apotropus in Israel, is a court-appointed individual. In the past, when one became unable to manage their own affairs, the family would submit a request to the Israeli family court in their particular jurisdiction, and the court would appoint an individual or individuals who consent to managing the affairs of the person who could no longer take care of issues themselves.
Legal Updates on Appointing a Legal Guardian in Israel
In the past few years, Israel has made some new laws and regulations to make it easier for people to make recommendations on who they might wish their legal guardian, or apotropus, to be in the event they are one day unable to manage their own affairs. This is called hankhayot makdimot l’apotropus.
This allows an individual to go to a lawyer and draw up a document indicating their preferences ahead of time, detailing who they wish a court to appoint to the position of apotropus in the future. While the courts generally abide by the preferences indicated, they are not obligated to do so.
A more secure way of addressing issues around guardianship and assistance in the future is to draw up an enduring power of attorney, which we discuss in numerous articles, indicated below. This allows an individual to clearly indicate which person or persons will be responsible for managing their medical, estate and personal affairs in the event they one day become mentally unfit to do so. This requires no interventions by the courts and bypasses the often multiple court dates and fees involved in the process.
This Series of Articles
This article is one in a longer series on issues pertaining to legal guardianship and an enduring power of attorney. For more information, see our articles on why we recommend preparing an enduring power of attorney, what you need to know about the apotropus in Israel, what an apotropus does, and a living will vs enduring power of attorney, among others.
Our law offices specialize in family and inheritance law, among other legal specializations. Advocate Anat Levi focuses on family law and is certified to draw up all documents pertaining to legal guardianship and enduring power of attorney. If you have any questions about appointing a legal guardian in Israel, or anything else in our fields of specialization, please contact us.