My elderly aunt immigrated to Israel recently. She does not speak Hebrew and does not know how to go about matters here. She told me she wants to make a will in Israel, and hinted to me that she will “remember me” in it. As I am closer to her than all her other nephews she turned to me, and asked me to help her find a suitable lawyer to take care of it. I am a bit concerned that my “help” could backfire. Is my instinct right?

Answers

Yes! “Helping” your aunt,could, in certain circumstances, bring about the cancellation of the will, if and when it is presented for probate, should there be opposition, for example by other relatives, if you are a beneficiary under it. Your involvement could bring about the cancellation of the will, partly or wholly, under the Inheritance Act of 1965.

The Central Area District Court emphasized this in February 2011 when it rejected an appeal against a Rishon LeZion Family Court judgment that had refused to probate a will due to involvement of family members. It stressed: “ One is talking about a cumulation of circumstances that prove that the appellant and the respondent were involved in the preparation of the will, in a way which led to its cancellation. The appellant and the respondent were interested parties in the will, they chose a lawyer whom they knew to draft it, they did the groundwork in a conversation with the lawyer during which they gave him the details of the property which was the subject of the will, they were present next to the deceased at the drafting and signing of the will, and it was they who paid the lawyer’s fees.
To all this one should add the court of first instance’s finding regarding facts and credibility of the evidence of the respondent who described the circumstances of the preparation of the will “in a clear way”,who was the one who asked and begged her deceased father to sign the will, even if there was no guarantee that the matter was indeed according to his wishes.”