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What Is The Current Israeli Inheritance Law About Minors?

If the heir of a property does not have the legal capacity to inherit, a guardian is appointed for the property for the heir’s benefit. It is possible to appoint the guardian in the will itself, but such appointment is subject to the court’s approval, and the court can determine a more appropriate person to serve as the guardian. The natural guardians are the child’s parents, but the entire designation procedure is supervised by the court that seeks the heir’s best.

The current Israeli inheritance law provides specific protections and considerations for minors.

Forced Heirship, Tzava’at Yad:

  • Minor Children’s Share: Under Israeli law, minor children are considered “forced heirs,” a provision that offers a significant level of security. This means they are entitled to a particular portion of their parent’s estate, even if the parent has a will that states otherwise.
  • Protected Share: The protected share for a minor child is as follows:
    • If the deceased parent had a spouse, the minor child is entitled to two-thirds of what they would have received under intestate succession (as if there was no will).
    • If the deceased parent did not have a spouse, the minor child is entitled to the total share they would have received under intestate succession.

Management of the Inheritance:

  • Legal Guardian: Since minors are legally incompetent to manage assets, their inheritance is typically managed by a legal guardian until they reach the age of majority (18 in Israel).
  • Guardian’s Role: The guardian plays a crucial role in managing the minor’s inheritance, acting in their best interests. They ensure the inheritance is used for the minor’s benefit, such as education, healthcare, or other essential needs.
  • Court Supervision: The guardian’s actions may be subject to court supervision, especially for larger estates. This means that the court, as a neutral third party, oversees the management of the inheritance to ensure it is being used for the minor’s benefit. The court may require regular reports and accountings from the guardian to manage the inheritance correctly. This process is in place to prevent any misuse or mismanagement of the minor’s inheritance.

Wills and Trust:

  • Appointing a Guardian: Parents can use a will, a powerful legal tool, to appoint a guardian for their minor children in case of their death. The court will decide who will manage the child’s inheritance if no guardian is appointed.
  • Establishing Trust: Parents can also establish trust for their minor children. Trust offers more flexibility in managing and distributing the inheritance, as they can specify conditions, such as age restrictions or staggered distributions.