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Types of Legal Guardianship in Israel

Anat Levi
Anat Levi

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This article addresses the three types of legal guardianship in Israel.  A legal guardian, called an apotropus in Hebrew, is a court-appointed individual who helps manage the affairs of someone else in the event the person becomes unable to manage their own affairs.  All issues regarding legal guardianship fall under family law, which is under the Israeli Ministry of Justice.

Types of legal guardianship in Israel

Why Would I Need a Legal Guardian

A legal guardian is only appointed in the event an individual becomes mentally unfit to manage their own affairs.  This is a court appointed guardian. In the past, the Israeli courts would choose this guardian on behalf of an individual.  More recently, changes in the law allow for an individual to draw up a document indicating who they would like to recommend to be an apotropus, a procedure called hanchayot makdimot l’apotropus.  This is helpful, as in the past, the court would sometimes choose a guardian that the individual may not have preferred.  Considering this ahead of time allows an individual to make their preferences known.  

Types of Legal Guardianship in Israel

There are three primary areas of legal guardianship in Israel.  

The courts can choose one person to manage all the issues, a group of people (like the individual’s children and spouse) to manage all the issues together, or a person or corporation to share responsibility around some of the issues.  

The three types of guardianship focus on three areas of an individual’s life: 

  1. The first area is an apotropus for managing one’s personal issues
  2. The second area is an apotropus for managing one’s medical issues
  3. The third area is an apotropus for managing one’s estate

Is it Possible to Avoid Going Through the Courts

Sometimes our clients ask us if they can spare their family the time and cost involved in a court appointed legal guardianship. The only way to do this is to draw up an enduring power of attorney, in which you give power of attorney to a person or persons to manage the three aforementioned areas: personal, medical, and estate issues.  

This Series of Articles

This article is one in a longer series addressing issues related to guardianship and enduring power of attorney.  For more information about what an apotropus can do, a living will vs enduring power of attorney, the benefits of an enduring power of attorney, and more, see our articles on the topics.

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Our law offices specialize in numerous legal fields, including family law, under which the topics legal guardianship and enduring power of attorney fall.  Advocate Anat Levi specializes in family law and is certified to draw up all documents related to guardianship and enduring power of attorney. If you have any questions or concerns about the types of legal guardianship in Israel or anything else related to our fields of specialization, feel free to contact us.

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