Inheritance law – a brief review
A person accumulates during his life assets and equity in various forms as well as social rights, debts, etc. As long as the person is among the living he/she may do with his/her property as he/she wishes and transfer it according to his/her wishes. But, when a person dies then all his/her property should be transferred to those entitled to it by law. This is detailed in several major inheritance laws and we are here to review some of them.
Inheritance law – a clear case when there is a will
A will is a legal document that reflects the wishes of the deceased regarding what to do with his/her property and money. The will can be written and signed by the deceased himself/herself or by his/her representative in cases where there is a physical difficulty in signing. The person signing the must do so in good faith, without pressure or threat from anyone else and, if there is a lawyer present, he/she should make sure that it is so.
When the deceased didn’t leave a will, his/her legal heirs will want to issue a succession order for the property. There are a number of inheritance laws governing the issuance of the order in a process which is clearly defined in advance, and they include an organized petition to the Registrar of inheritance using the appropriate form and submitting all necessary documents after which the following steps are performed:
- The Inheritance Registrar publishes a notification in the daily press about the death of a person.
- A two-week period is given for objections to the succession order.
- Validation to the order and judgment are given to enable the distribution of assets to the legal heirs.
It should be noted that when there is a will, the wishes of the deceased are filled in accordance with the will and when it comes to an inheritance without a will, then it is carried out according to the family relationship and the rules which are regulated by the law of succession. During the two-week period of waiting any third party can come and contest the Succession order. This person may be a spouse who claims that he/she and the deceased were a common-law couple or a person appears suddenly with a different will signed by the deceased. An order of succession is obtained in the Family Court or the Rabbinical Court and is examined thoroughly. Inheritance law also relates to cases where a number of heirs are in dispute regarding the division of the inheritance, wanting to divide it in an unequal way for different reasons. One should be assisted by a professional and experienced lawyer when dealing in such matters, especially when it comes to big assets and capital.
It is important to note that sometimes a couple signs a financial agreement which specifies the division of property following the death of one of them. In such cases the agreement is a sort of “will” and supersedes the laws of inheritance when dividing the property.