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Preparing a Notarized Will Online – An Important Legal Update

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

Stuart Safft

I am delighted to report that my wife and I have just obtained our Israeli citizenship. We will be forever grateful for all of the help, guidance and support which Ariel Galili of Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. provided through this process.
I am a Jewish, 80-year-old American, and my wife is not Jewish. We had started the process on our own back in November 2020 via the Jewish Agency and Nefesh B’Nefesh, but soon became entangled in the delays and often-changing regulations due to Covid-19. The pandemic also caused delays in obtaining the required apostilles for various documents from various state agencies and the US State Department.
We found Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. On the internet and began working with Ariel in late November 2021. Ariel did a superb job of leading us through the process, helping us to understand which documents were essential, which would most likely be required, and which, though included on the list of required documents, were rarely required. He helped us several times to understand what was likely and unlikely to occur as “the next step.” Helping us manage our expectations was extremely useful to us.
Besides his knowing the laws, regulations and procedures, Ariel also made us feel that he was truly interested in helping us to successfully work through this process in as smooth, timely, and frustration-free manner as possible.
My wife and I strongly recommend anyone planning to go through this process seriously consider hiring Decker, Pex, Ofir & Co. and, specifically, Ariel Galili.

There are many benefits to preparing a notarized will. Doing this makes it possible to create a handwritten or oral will without the need for witnesses. Also, a notarized will has a higher legal validity than other types of wills, increasing the chances of the inheritance being divided according to the provisions of the testator. New changes in the law make it possible to prepare a notarized will and have the notary public deposit it online for you, without the need to physically visit the office of the Inheritance Registrar. Lawyer Michael Decker, a notary and partner in our firm, explains below about this innovation, which makes it much easier and more efficient to prepare wills.

Our law firm in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specializes in inheritance law. Our firm has lawyers with extensive and proven experience in providing advice and assistance in matters of power of attorney, wills, succession orders, and representation in proceedings before the Inheritance Registrar and the courts. The firm also provides notary services for the purpose of creating a will and depositing it with the Inheritance Registrar.

Will online

What is a Notarized Will and What Are the Benefits of Creating One?

The importance of creating a will as early as possible cannot be overstated, since the will makes it possible for the testator to control how their inheritance will be divided. It contributes to certainty among the heirs and helps prevent painful legal disputes. There is great importance to the content of the will and to the way it is interpreted, as explained in detail in another article published on our website. But moreover, there is great importance to the format in which the will is prepared. Although there are various legal ways to prepare a will, such as on your own, it is still important to take the necessary actions to give your will high legal validity if you want to ensure that it will be honored after your departure.

A good way to do this is to enlist the help of a notary to prepare your will and deposit it with the Inheritance Registrar after notarization. The law also allows preparing an oral will by reading it aloud before a notary, or submitting a handwritten will to the notary. The validity of a notarized will is the same as the legal validity given to a will made before a judge. Thus, when such a will is deposited with the Inheritance Registrar, it is given a higher evidential weight than that given to other wills. Another advantage of creating a notarized will is that witnesses are not required for the will to be valid. This makes it possible to prepare a will under complete confidentiality.

Depositing a Notarized Will Online Is Now Possible!

In addition to all of the above benefits, Israeli law now allows you to deposit a notarized will online. The regulations on the subject have been updated so that the testator can deposit the will on their own, or through a notary. This important option was added following the corona crisis and other reforms that were introduced to make government services more accessible. Similarly, it now also possible to request a succession or probate order online.

How Is This Done?

In the past, the usual way of depositing a will was by the testator physically arriving at the office of the Inheritance Registrar and filling out an application form. In addition, it was necessary to present the original will and an identity card with an up-to-date photo. If the photo on the ID card was out of date, an additional identifying document was required, such as a driver’s license or passport, with an up-to-date photo. Depositing a will involved payment of a fee in the amount of ILS 106 (as of 2021).

This path is still available, but, since the end of the year 2020, it has also become possible to deposit wills online through the Inheritance Registrar website. The will may be deposited personally by the testator or through a notary who certified it, as long as it is deposited within 30 days from the date of making.

Contact Our Succession and Probate Experts

This article discussed the new possibility of preparing a notarized will and depositing it through the website of the Inheritance Registrar. This option is expected to make it much easier to prepare a notarized will. For any question you have or any assistance you need on the subject, a succession notary from our firm is available to you. Our law firm in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specializes in succession and estate law, and provides a variety of legal services regarding will preparation and deposit, powers of attorney, succession orders, and more.

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