When a loved one passes away, his relatives, in addition to experiencing severe moral upheaval, have to solve a lot of legal issues related to his death. They include issues related to his property, debts (if there are any), his workplace and employer, bank accounts, insurance, and much more. Experiencing a loss, people are not able to pay close attention to inheritance issues, considering their discussion «blasphemous» or «untimely» sometimes. But in the future, it can lead to regrets of losing welfare for them or joint children and grandchildren. Let us look at the most common questions that arise when distributing property between relatives after a person’s death.
If the deceased had a will, the distribution of his property takes place according to his last will.
Each of the listed types of the will has its own set of requirements for the preparation of the document. Failure to comply with one or more of the requirements may be a reason for contesting it. In practice, in most cases, there will be inconsistencies in the will and the relatives, who consider themselves deprived, have the opportunity to file a request to contest the will. Such a request will be considered in court, and the process will be quite lengthy. For the trial period, of course, all property is frozen until the dispute is resolved. A remark of an experienced inheritance attorney: On the one hand, the procedural requirements for the will are very strict. But on the other hand, judges are required to observe and fulfill the last will of the deceased, and they will do everything possible for this. Of course, there are exceptional cases. For example, if there is a suspicion that the will was made under pressure, the chances of contesting it increase significantly. For the will to have undeniable power, it is not enough to write and put it on the table. There is a special process to legitimize the will. It is necessary to submit the document to the Registrar of Inheritance, pay a small fee, and ideally, attach a medical certificate of legal capacity. Only after the state recognizes this will valid, it comes into force.
A legitimate testament allows the heirs to go to banks and request the transfer of amounts from the accounts of the deceased in their name. Besides, it enables the heirs to contact the land administration to transfer the property to them.
The cost of making the will is usually 1000 shekels if it is a simple, typical will. But if the will is complex, then its price can reach 4000 shekels. You can read more about the cost of lawyer services here.
In cases where there was no will or it was declared invalid, the distribution of property takes place according to the tsaverusha scheme (instructions for the distribution of property). Tsaverusha is based on the Law of Succession of 1965 (khokkhaiarusha). It reflects a clear pattern of the distribution of property of the deceased between his immediate family. Everything is usually divided into equal parts between the spouse and the children or parents, brothers, sisters if there were no children. But the tsaverusha scheme is only applied if the deceased did not leave the will. If there is the will, then the property is distributed according to his last will. Note: Legal force of the will prevails over the legal force of law. The will is holy, and the law is an additional option when there is no will. If there is no will, an application form is filled out by relatives and their inheritance lawyer. In principle, there is no formal requirement for a lawyer to participate in these processes. The only thing is that the lawyer must confirm the authenticity of the signatures of the heirs. In general, all these processes with the transfer and distribution of property can take three to four months. And they require relatives to visit a lot of authorities.
If the death of a loved one occurs unexpectedly, as a result of external factors, for example, injury at work, a car accident or another unexpected reason, there is the possibility of filing a lawsuit against the perpetrator of the death. As a result of such cases, the relatives of the deceased can receive large sums of money. This mechanism to compensate for what a deceased relative could earn for his family is provided in most developed countries. Its main task is to provide the family with the same standard of living and children with the opportunities for realization as during the life of their breadwinner. This is the protection of the family from possible poverty. Many relatives, being in a difficult moral condition, decide not to start such lawsuits, but this is the important groundwork for the future, if not for the spouse of the deceased, then for his children and grandchildren.
Perhaps the hardest part about inheritance for the family is the emergence of disputes and lawsuits. Such disputes arise, unfortunately quite often, even when, it would seem, there are no prerequisites. Claims may also arise years after the death of a relative. The participation of an inheritance attorney in resolving monetary issues and issues regarding the distribution of property between relatives immediately after the death of a loved one allows in many cases to predict such disputes. If they are inevitable, the lawyer will help to reduce the number of relatives participating in such disputes, and most importantly, he will transfer all disputes to the legal plane. With the support of a lawyer, all processes for inheritance and entry into property rights can be completed much faster than independently. If a person urgently needs access to accounts, for example, for organizing the funeral or making urgent payments, the inheritance lawyer will ensure the speed of solving the issue. Few people know that, until the will or instructions on the distribution of the inheritance come into force, the manager of the bank department has the opportunity to permit to the immediate family to withdraw small amounts from the deceased’s accounts to ensure the basic needs of the family.
If the deceased had a job and worked for more than 12 months with the last employer, his relatives have the right to receive his severance pay (pitzuim). Unfortunately, employers sometimes “forget” to pay this money.
In our practice, we often encounter the fact that close relatives do not even suspect that somewhere there are insurance policies for which they can receive significant amounts of hundreds of thousands of shekels. It is necessary to conduct a check with the lawyer’s support based on the identity card of the deceased to ensure he has insurance policies. Moreover, even the owners of these policies do not always know or just do not remember their availability because employers paid deductions automatically from the salaries.
The inheritance lawyer has the opportunity to check for all insurance companies that provide life insurance. If there is insurance, the process of obtaining it by relatives is relatively simple, and the payment terms are not long. No matter how difficult the situation is, it is always worth contacting a lawyer to do such a check, otherwise, the money will go to the benefit of the insurance company. Your loved one earned it for you and your family. The statute of limitations for such a check is three years. The cost of checking insurance policies is usually at the level of the cost of consulting a lawyer: 300-350 shekels. The insurance companies have misappropriated millions of shekels of Israelis who simply did not know about their rights to those savings. The same check should be done if a person suffers from a serious illness. Often people who face serious health problems do not know that they have policies from the employer that can cover many costs.
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