Documents to Appoint a Legal Guardian in Israel
This article addresses necessary documents to appoint a legal guardian in Israel. All issues surrounding legal guardianship, or apotropus as it is called in Hebrew, fall within the purview of the family courts and under the Ministry of Justice.
What Is a Legal Guardian in Israel
A legal guardian is a court-appointed individual who is entrusted to manage the personal, medical, and estate issues of another person who can no longer manage their own affairs. This is needed when a person becomes mentally incapable of addressing these issues for themselves.
Legal guardianship can be vested in the hands of one person, divided between multiple persons, or equally shared by multiple persons (for example, children and spouse).
Necessary Documents to Appoint a Legal Guardian in Israel
In order to submit a request for legal guardianship to an Israeli family court, one must do the following.
- Fill out the application indicating the person for whom they are applying and their condition, including the specific reasons the person is no longer able to manage their own affairs. It is possible to indicate that this is for a specific period of time or a permanent situation from which the person in question is not expected to improve.
- The person who would like to be appointed legal guardian (or persons) must include a letter indicating they consent to this responsibility.
- First degree family members must indicate their consent or lack of consent, and in the case they do not consent, list the reasons.
- Medical documentation from the individual in question’s physician indicating that the person is mentally unfit to manage their own affairs with any other relevant medical details about the condition the person has.
- An affidavit must be included indicating the facts presented are accurate.
- A receipt indicating that the fee for submitting the document has been paid.
Deciding Legal Guardianship Before It Is Needed
More recent Israeli laws and regulations have made it easier for an individual, while of sound mind, to indicate who they would like their legal guardian to be in the future. A lawyer can draw up this document for you. That said, it is taken as a recommendation by the courts, and while the courts will take it into consideration, it is within their authority to choose someone else instead.
On a separate note, it is possible to bypass the courts and legal guardianship altogether by drawing up an enduring power of attorney, which allows an individual to decide which person(s) they would wish to manage their affairs if or when they become unable to do so.
This Series of Articles
This article is one in a longer series addressing issues related to guardianship and enduring power of attorney, two similar but separate matters. For more information about what an apotropus does, benefits of an enduring power of attorney, a living will, and more, see our articles on the topics.
Advocate Anat Levi from the law offices of Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh specializes in family law and is certified to draw up any documentation needed around legal guardianship and enduring power of attorney. Please feel free to contact us with any questions on the necessary documents to appoint a legal guardian in Israel or any other topics in our fields of specialization.