Our firm handles all issues of intergenerational transfers, including arranging the transfer of ownership and management in family owned businesses and companies, trusts and estates, wills and inheritances and lasting powers of attorney
A little on lasting powers of attorney (you can read more in the publications below):
One of the fears that preoccupy many people is what will happen if, and when, one loses the ability to make decisions. Who would guide him through the fog? How can I ensure that my will be honored even when I am unable to express it anymore? The great uncertainty was settled by the Israeli legislator in 2016 as part of Amendment 18 to the Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law, 1962. The signing of a Lasting Power of Attorney may have far-reaching significance, because within the framework of the power of attorney a person may determine that it will remain in force even if he will want to cancel it when he is not qualified and, in fact, the power will be considered irrevocable. It is therefore important to choose the correct experienced lawyer to assist in the drafting of this important document.
Within the framework of the amendment to the law, the legislature established new arrangements aimed to assist and support a person at a time when such person is no longer able to manage his own affairs. A “Lasting Power of Attorney" is a legal document enabling a person (grantor) to plan his future, according to his own will, by appointing another person who will be authorized to manage the grantor’s affairs in various areas of life at the time that the grantor is unable to do it by himself (e.g., due to cognitive disease such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia). The Lasting Power of Attorney is granted in advance, at a time when the grantor is capable of carrying out actions and is able to understand and make decisions by himself. The advantage of this legal tool, is that it allows a voluntary mechanism that does not involve the Court, and the appointment of a person known to the grantor and who he trusts, as an alternative to the appointment in the future of an unknown guardian.
The grantor may determine that the “attorney” may make decisions in a wide range of subjects and areas of life, such as choosing one or more of the following variety: A. Property matters (bank account management, asset management, business management, etc.); B. Personal matters (decisions regarding health related issues, place of residence, food, clothing, nursing care, etc.); and/or C. Medical matters (treatment or hospitalization). One may appoint a number of “attorneys” and sets instructions as to their operation (e.g., each or together, in certain matters).
Normally, the Lasting Power of Attorney comes into force when the grantor is no longer able to understand and make decisions on the matters appearing in the power of attorney. However, the grantor may set other preconditions for the entry into force. Thus, for example, the grantor may set that the entry into force will be when the grantor ceases to understand the matters as determined by an opinion of a family doctor or specialist. Alternatively, the grantor may set a future date in which the power of attorney will enter into force. Upon meeting the preconditions for the entry into force, the “attorney” is to submit a declaration to the Israeli Administrator General, who shall give an official confirmation of the entry into force of the Lasting Power of Attorney, without the need to move the Court for that.
Although the Lasting Power of Attorney may be used to make decisions and take actions in a very wide range of areas, the law excludes several issues that cannot be acted upon by virtue of the power and sets other powers that will apply only if specifically enabled by the power. For example, there are actions that by their nature are to be performed by the grantor personally and may not be done under the power, such as adoption, voting in elections, writing a will, etc.
Apart from the fact that it is important to adhere to the provisions of the law, it is vital to draft the Lasting Power of Attorney in a clear manner, while devoting careful thought and planning to the grantor's wishes and needs. The Lasting Power of Attorney may only be exercised before a lawyer who has passed a special course and has been authorized by the Israeli Administrator General. Taking into account the fact that the Lasting Power of Attorney is a necessary stage in pre-planning for the most sensitive stage of life, it is recommended not to rely solely on the certification by the Administrator General's office but to consult with a lawyer with many years of experience in the field of contacts, real estate and litigation and specifically experience in this field. The lawyer will examine the relevant facts, provide a comprehensive explanation in simple and understandable language about the legal implications and review the legal alternatives, the matters that may be included in the power of attorney, the possibilities of revoking the power of attorney, the matters that require agreement and other issues.
A little on wills (you can read more in the publications below):
A will is the expression of the wishes of a person regarding such person's property after following such person's demise. As long as a person is mentally competent to make a will, such person can amend or cancel the will at any time and an agreement on the contents of a will or a prohibition (including a limitation within a will) to change a will or cancel it will be unenforceable. Naturally, because the will is reviewed after the testator is no longer among the living, it is important for the will to be formulated is the clearest manner and by a professional in order to avoid future interpretive disputes as to the wording of the will. However, even a proper drafting of a will cannot prevent the less satisfied beneficiaries of the testator to attack the will and most of the testamentary legal disputes concern the capacity of the testator to make the will and allegations of procedural defects in the will.
A notarized will bears two major advantages over ordinary wills. One is the fact that the attestation of the notary public is sufficient evidence in legal proceedings without further evidence, as to compliance of the will with all procedural requirements and thus a notarized will create greater certainty as to the validity of the will in future legal disputes.
The second advantage is that the notary public keeps a numbered copy of the will in the notary public records and thus it is extremely difficult to fortify was signed by him and very limited possibility of forging the will after its creation.
Additionally, a notarized will is highly recommended when in case of a concern that someone might attempt to attack the will on the grounds of lack of legal capacity of the testator, i.e. a contention that the testator was not mentally competent at the time of making of the will. Because a notary public verifies the ability of the testator to perform the procedure, it is very difficult to attack a notarized will on such grounds. It is important to note that when the testator is hospitalized or bedridden a notarized will may not be made unless the notary public has first been given a medical certificate issued by a doctor on the day of the making of the will stipulating the mental capacity of the testator. Here, too, because the medical certificate is kept by the notary public together with the authenticated copy of the will, a record of the capacity of the testator is kept and it will be very difficult to attack the will on the grounds of lack of testator capacity.
As inheritance disputes are one of the major causes of conflicts within family members, one is advised to ensure a clearly drafted will with the assistance of a lawyer or notary public familiar with this area of law. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to make notarized will because a notarized will increases the certainty that the will cannot be attacked on grounds of lack of testator's capacity or procedural defects.