Because the process of issuing an inheritance order may take several months, it is recommended to request an inheritance order as soon as possible
If there are no beneficiaries, it is possible to receive the funds from the deceased's insurance, providence fund and pension without a probate or inheritance order, in accordance with the conditions of Ministry of Finance Circular No. 2017 -9-8.
After a family member's death, the money that belonged to the deceased--in a bank account, pension funds, place of employment, life insurance policy etc--must be dealt with.
- Additionally, an request for an inheritance order, or a will execution order should be submitted in order to divide the deceased’s money and property among the legal heirs.
- This page is intended to explain how to handle these assets.
Stages of the Process
Application for an Inheritance Order or Will Execution
- If the deceased left a will, it should be executed out by submitting an application for a probate order.
- If the deceased did not write a will, a request for an inheritance order should be submitted. The inheritance order will determine how the deceased's assets are distributed among the legal heirs.
- The process may take a few months, so the application should be submitted as early as possible.
- After an inheritance order is issued, family members may go to the bank where the deceased had an account to receive their share of the estate, and to the relevant Land Registry office to transfer into their names the deceased's rights to property that he owned.
Settling the debts of a deceased person
- If a person dies and leaves behind debts, the creditors' right to collect the debt takes priority over the right of the heirs to receive their share of the estate.
- The responsibility for locating creditors and paying the debt rests on the heirs or the estate manager, if one was appointed.
- In general, heirs will not pay creditors more than what is in the estate, even if the debt is greater than the total estate.
- However, if the heirs acted in bad faith, they may be required to pay the full debt.
- For additional information see settling the debt of a diseased person.
Banks and Kupot Gemel (Provident Funds)
- Bank Accounts - Bank accounts in the name of the deceased should be transferred to the legal heirs.
- Deceased family members bank accounts can be found on the Har Hakesef (money mountain) website.
- If the deceased's bank account is joint with another person (for example a spouse), the spouse can only continue using the account if the deceased signed the longevity ("living waiver") clause that allows the living partner to continue using the account.
The living partner can withdraw money from the account, but if he withdraws money beyond his share in the account and beyond his inheritance share (if he is even one of the heirs), he may be required to repay the sums drawn to the heirs after an inheritance order or a will exists.
- Standing Orders - The deceased's standing orders (for provident funds, bills, health insurance etc.) should be cancelled or transferred for payment by the heirs. A death certificate is necessary in order to do this.
- Banking Plans - The heirs should inquire whether there are savings plans or various funds or provident funds, and if necessary, decide what to do with them and to whom to transfer them. In certain cases, the money can be withdrawn as a result of the death (for example, from "Savings for Every Child" if the child dies or if the relatives are the beneficiaries of a provident fund for investment or other provident fund).
- Provident funds and pension funds - If the deceased did not leave any beneficiaries or survivors, and the amount in the account does not exceed NIS 8,000, the funds may be withdrawn even without an inheritance order or a will, subject to the conditions found in the Commissioner of Capital Markets circular no. 8-9-2017.
- Mortgages - If the deceased was paying a mortgage, an arrangement should be made whereby life insurance from the mortgage will cover future payments.
- On the "Har HaBituach (Insurance Mountain) website one can find the insurance plans of deceased family members.
- Life Insurance and/or Bituah Minhalim (Manager's Insurance) - Check whether the deceased paid for any type of life insurance or manager's insurance or for independent deposits for pension insurance. Also check the options for claiming insurance benefits.
- Auto Insurance - If a person dies in an automobile accident, the legal heirs should check with the insurance company that insured the vehicle against damage about claiming the insurance for the damage done to the vehicle (the right to receive compensation from the insurance company for damage to the vehicle). They should also ask about continuing insurance payments (if there is a remaining balance) until the date the policy expires. In addition, the deceased's legal heirs may be entitled to compensation for bodily harm the deceased suffered as a result of the accident (his injury, suffering and death and the shortening of his life). For further information, see Road Accident Victims.
- Personal Accident Insurance for Schoolchildren - The Compulsory Education Law requires an insurance policy for all students entitled to free education. Coverage is valid for the entire year (365 days), regardless of whether an accident occurred at the educational institution and/or during school-related activities. It is important to note that the insurance does not cover deaths caused by automobile accidents, hostile acts, war, terrorist acts, work accidents or medical negligence. The specific terms of the policy should be checked, as well as the claim options (the educational institution is obligated to provide parents with a copy of the policy and to assist them in filing claims).
Place of Employment
- Insurance - If the deceased's place of employment paid for insurance, pensions or various benefits for him, ways of claiming them should be checked. For further information, see Pensions and Long-Term Savings
- Funds - The deceased's place of employment should be asked whether the deceased had a advanced study fund (קרן השתלמות) or other funds and how to submit a claim.
- Severance Pay - If the deceased person worked for at least a year in the same place, his surviving family members are entitled to severance pay, as if the employer fired the employee. For additional information see Severance pay for the survivors of a deceased employee.
Refund of Driver's License Fee
- If the deceased possessed a valid driver's license, the heirs are entitled to request a pro-rated refund of the license fee that was paid.
- To request the refund, download and fill in the license fee refund form, and include with it:
- The form and documents should be submitted to your local licensing bureau (Misrad Harishui).
- Payment will be made within 90 days after the documents are received, directly into the bank account listed in the form.
- For details, see the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety's website.