Legal Updates

The withdrawal of the first heir from his share in the will cancels the right of secondary heirs in the situation of heir after heir

December 6, 2023

A father commanded in his will that upon his demise all his assets would pass to his wife, the mother, and only after her demise would his assets be divided between the children in an unequal manner. After the father's demise, the mother withdrew from the will for the benefit of her children in equal parts.

The Court rejected the appeal and stated that the first heir may withdraw from his share and set the distribution of the estate under the law. Israeli law permits those who withdraw from their share of an estate to do so in favor of the testator's family members in the primary circle such as a spouse, child or sibling. The person who withdrew is deemed as if he was not an heir in the first place. Here, one of the children objected to the result of the withdrawal which led to the part of the mother being divided equally between the children, while according to the father's will after the mother's demise an unequal distribution arrangement was established giving him a larger share in the estate. An heir after heir clause allows the mother, as the first heir, to withdraw from the inheritance and determine the distribution arrangement between the heirs in her place. Therefore, the son is not allowed to oppose the mother's will and her share of the estate is to be divided according to her wishes.