Notarized Will in Israel

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    A testator has the right to draft and sign his or her own will in the presence of two witnesses, provided that the witnesses are not in the list of heirs.

    However, in Israel such kind of wills may be subject to the procedure to verify the legal capacity and authenticity of signatures of the witnesses, so it is possible to challenge them in the courts by both heirs and the persons who consider that their rights are violated or impaired.

    A notarized will is the first to be recognized in law, since it is a legal document that confirms testator’s legal capacity, his or her identity, and the legal status of the signature on the will.

    It is not required to have two witnesses either. The testator has only to come bodily before an Israeli notary.

    There are situations when a testator is in hospital due to physical handicaps or severe illness and his or her property is under threat of being claimed by the persons, who may not be heirs under the Law. This being the case, the Law in Israel allows a will to be notarized provided that it is signed by the doctor confirming that the testator was legally capable when he or she signed the will and understood what he or she is signing. In such a case, the notarized will with the statement of testator’s legal capacity made by the doctor are almost indisputable legal document. It is important to note that a new will automatically cancels the old one!

    In Israel, every person may make a will an unlimited number of times.

    In the case when a testator does not speak Hebrew but wishes his or her to be valid on the territory of Israel State, there are several ways to solve this problem:

    1) You can write the will in your native language, attach notarized translations thereto, and sign these documents before an Israeli notary.

    2) You can sign your will drafted by a notary in Hebrew, after you heard a word-to-word translation of the text of the will read by the notary.

    How to make a notarized will?

    A notarized will is drafted on testator’s request and his or her signature is verified by the notary. The notary checks whether the will conforms to legal standards or not, as well as attach a notarial certificate as to the circumstance of the signing (that is the testator was not under pressure or outside influence). It should be noted that a notarized will has considerable legal force.

    What is the difference between a regular will and a notarized will?

    A notarized will is drafted by a notary, who notarizes the signing of the will. A notarized will can be drafted as mutual wills. In accordance with the Law, the testator may draft a will before two witnesses, who are not included in the will.

    However, the authenticity of such wills is inspected closely, both their content and the signature. In fact, person’s signature on a regular will (made before two witnesses) paves the way for legal problems that may arise if there are doubts concerning the will. Whereas in contrast, a notarized will prevails over a regular will as it is almost impossible to challenge its credibility, the conformity to legal standards, the circumstance of the signing and the identity of the signatory.