Order of Heirs in Israel Inheritance Law

This article addresses the issue of heirs in Israel inheritance law, particularly the order of heirs when there is no will.

heirs in Israel inheritance

This Series of Posts

Cohen, Decker, Pex & Brosh law firm focuses on a variety of fields, including inheritance law in Israel.  This article is one in a series detailing various aspects of Israel inheritance law, based on the regulations on the Ministry of Justice website under the Registrar of Inheritance Affairs.  To see more, read our collection of articles on inheritance issues.

Heirs in Israel Inheritance Law

When the deceased had not written a will, inheritance operates in the following manner for children and spouses.

  • First, the inheritance is equally divided between the deceased’s spouse and the children, with the spouse receiving half of the inheritance and the children equally dividing the remaining half.
  • The spouse of the deceased has the right to half of the property of the deceased, including goods, vehicles, etc.  The widow may also receive the ketubah payment, and in some cases the widow can ask for further assets to cover maintenance for the estate.

There are also other cases that are not related to spouses and children; for example, common law spouses, situations where the deceased had a spouse but no children, and more.  We list the various cases where there is no will but different circumstances than those listed above are in place.

  • Common law spouses may have the right of succession similar to a married couple, but only if the common law spouse is not married to another person.  The common law spouse must prove that indeed they were a common law husband/wife and had a joint household with the deceased.
  • In the event that the deceased had a spouse but no children, then the inheritance is equally distributed between the spouse and the parents or siblings of the deceased.  The spouse is entitled to two-thirds of the inheritance and the siblings/parents receive one-third of the inheritance.
  • In the event that the deceased had no children, siblings, or parents, the spouse of the deceased may receive the whole estate.
  • In the event that the deceased had no spouse or children, then the parents and siblings share the estate.
  • In the event that the deceased had children but no spouse, then the estate is divided equally between the children.  In the event the child is not alive but the deceased had grandchildren, then the estate may be equally divided among the grandchildren (the relevant child’s children).  In the event that the deceased passes an inheritance on to a child, and later that child passes away, then that inheritance may be passed to the child’s heirs according to succession or will probate order.
  • In the event that the deceased had no children, spouse, parents, or siblings, the estate may be divided equally between the deceased’s grandparents and the grandparents’ offspring.
  • As mentioned in other articles, when there are no heirs, the estate passes to the Administrator General.  The estate is administered by the Administrator General for a number of years to ensure that no unknown heirs are discovered who claim the estate.  In the event that no one claims the estate, then it passes on to the state of Israel.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the order of heirs in Israel inheritance law, please contact us.

Advocate Michael Decker specializes in Israel inheritance law and would be happy to discuss this issue with you.

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