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In the US, you can create a trust for your heirs to avoid long probate and in many cases tax. To transfer inherited assets to your legal heirs in Israel, there is no way to bypass probate, regardless of any trust/s.

If you have a US will that bequeaths Israeli real estate to your heirs, or if you bequeath a second home in Israel to your heirs, you cannot transfer Israeli property or any financial assets to your heirs without submitting a probate petition to get an Israeli probate court order, which includes dealing with the Israel Land Registry.

Israeli Probate Of A US Will

Your US will have to be probed through an Israeli family court. The required document to accomplish this in Israel is called a Probate Petition. If you are a beneficiary of a US will, you need to engage the services of an Israeli attorney. Our firm will advise you to assemble the necessary paperwork and file the petition in an Israeli court.

What do I Need to Begin the Israeli Probate of a US Will?

So what documents are you required to provide to begin the Israeli probate of a US Will?

Here is a complete list:

  1. To verify ownership of the Israeli real estate you will need a Title.
  2. Extract from the Israel Land Registry.
  3. You will need the original US will, duly signed, witnessed, and notarized.
  4. You must produce an original of the death certificate of the deceased with an Apostille.
  5. If any beneficiaries have predeceased the decedent, you will need to produce those death certificates.
  6. A Petition for Validation. We will need to translate the Hebrew form into English.
  7. A Power of Attorney is valid in Israel. This is necessary for your Israeli attorney to represent you in an Israeli court.
  8. Legal notices posted in US and/or Israeli newspapers.
  9. A certified Hebrew draft of the final probate order issued by an Israeli court.
  10. If the will has already been probated in the US, you will need a certified copy of the US probate order.
  11. An FLC Foreigner Legal Opinion on the relevant US state law or any other country.
  12. Finally, you will need to produce affidavits of certification.

What if you can’t locate or produce an original copy of the US will?

In such cases, we will need to file a separate petition with an Israeli court, requesting permission to submit a photocopy of the original will. In most cases, the Israeli court will require additional affidavits that prove that this is a true and legitimate copy of the original will and will have to provide a good argument as to why the original cannot be produced.

If you cannot produce an original copy of the will, there will be additional small court fees. Also, the process will take longer than if you had produced an original will.

We are located in Tel Aviv, with offices in New York and Los Angeles, California. We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with our firm to learn how we can solve your Israeli legal and probate matters.

Rahav D. Aharoni, Adv

My expertise lies in assisting heirs and clients in the identification and acquisition of inherited assets in Israel, resolving estate and real estate conflicts, and facilitating transactions involving Israeli real estate, investments, and businesses. I am dedicated to helping my clients build equity and achieve their goals.