It is perfectly legal to write your own will. As long as the details are simple and straight forward, it will serve your intended purpose – leaving your assets to the people you choose to inherit them. However, we do advise you consult an attorney if you have a number of assets in Israel and abroad, and a large family.
Guidelines to Writing Your Own Will
- You may type or handwrite your will. If it is handwritten the entire document must be in your own handwriting.
- Write “Will” at the top of the page, and the date you are writing it.
- List your name, ID number, and address.
- List the names, addresses, ID numbers and relationship to you for any heirs.
- State clearly how you want your property to be divided.
- You must declare (in writing) that you are healthy and well enough to make the will. (You probably recognize the term, “Of sound mind and body.”)
- Then you sign it.
It’s a pretty straight forward procedure.
But having said that, there are some potential problems with writing your own will as outlined by the Ministry of Justice.
- A typed will, that you’ve done yourself cannot then have your handwritten signature. (It must be notarized.)
- Heirs may not be present when a will is written, and are not permitted to take part in preparing it.
- You can change your last will and testament in the future, even if you’ve written that it can’t be changed. The last will written is the one that is considered valid.
- If you are elderly or sick, you must attach an expert medical opinion saying that you are capable of making a will.
- You must be careful not to make unreasonable conditions like requiring an heir to move to a specific place in order to receive their inheritance.
- If your heirs are minors you need to indicate who is responsible for the estate until they become adults.
- One must be 18 to write a will.
Please check with an attorney about writing your own will. You want to make sure your wishes will be honored at a time when your voice cannot be heard. If you aren’t meticulous in it’s preparation you are in danger of leaving a very different outcome than you intended.