Estate Administrator

Appointing an estate administrator

The court may, at the request of an interested party, issue an order for appointment of an estate administrator.

If all related parties agree with the request, it will be submitted to the Inheritance Registrar; if such request as said was submitted, the Inheritance Registrar may appoint an estate administrator upon issuance of an order to appoint an estate administrator.

An individual or a corporation or the Administrator General may be appointed as estate administrators.

Only a person who notified the court or the Inheritance Registrar, as the case may be, about his agreement to the appointment may be appointed as an estate administrator.

In the event the testator designated a person to execute his will or administer his estate, the court or the Inheritance Registrar, as the case may be, shall appoint that person as the estate administrator unless that person is unable or unwilling to accept the appointment or that the court or the Inheritance Registrar is convinced, for special reasons that will be noted, that there are special reasons hindering his appointment.

The estate administrator is obligated, subject to the instructions of the court, to gather the estate assets, administer the estate, pay off the estate debts, and divide the estate among the inheritors according to an inheritance order or an executed will.

The court may, at any time, at the requested of an interested party or following its own initiative, give the administrator instructions in anything related to fulfilling his position.

At the earliest possible convenience and no later than sixty days following his appointment, the estate administrator shall submit to the Administrator General specification of the estate assets and liabilities thereof and shall verify by way of affidavit that to the best of his knowledge the said specification is complete.

In the event that a specification of estate was submitted and then additional debts or assets were discovered, the estate administrator shall submit, within fourteen days following their discovery, an additional specification and shall verify it as said in sub-clause (a).

The Administrator General may, if he saw justified reasons to do so, to extend the period for submission of estate specification or additional specification.

 

The court may instruct –

(1)   That the estate administrator shall submit to the Administrator General, at the time set forth by the court, an assessment of the estate assets prepared for the date set forth by the court;

(2)   That the said assessment shall be prepared by an appraiser or by another person designated by the court.

The estate administrator is obligated to hold or invest the estate funds that are not required for the purpose of the estate’s routine operations for the purpose of keeping the principal and yield; the Minister of Justice may establish in the regulations ways to invest estate funds that will obligate the estate administrator.

In anything related to the estate matters, the estate administrator is obligated to keep accounts, submit to the Administrator General a report as instructed at least once a year and upon termination of his office, and deliver to Administrator General full information at his request.

The office of an estate administrator expires if court approved that the office of the estate administrator terminated and from the date a confirmation in respect whereof was furnished.

Where the court or the Inheritance Registrar appointed two or more estate administrators, the following instructions shall apply, unless otherwise instructed by the court:

The estate administrators are obligated to act consensually; in the event that there are differences of opinion the estate administrators shall act according to the decision of the court;

In an urgent matter each of the estate administrators is entitled to exercise his sole discretion;

An action by an estate administrator that requires consent or approval shall also be valid in the absence of such consent or approval if carried out against a person who did not know and did not have to know that it required consent or approval.

In the event the testator gave instructions in his will with regard to any of the matters that are at the court’s discretion according to this article, the Court shall act in accordance with these instructions unless it was convinced, for reasons that shall be noted, that there were special reasons to deviate from these instructions.

 

Estate liabilities

The estate administrator is entitled to demand that the estate assets shall be delivered to him and that debts that were due to the testator shall be paid up, and he shall be considered for the purpose of this matter as being in an identical position to that of the testator’s.

The estate administrator is obligated to invite the testator’s creditors to notify him in writing about their claims; the invitation shall be published in public and a period of at least three months shall be set for the purpose of delivering the notice.

In order to pay up the estate’s debts the estate administrator shall first use the funds that are kept in the estate. In the event that repayment of debts requires realization of estate assets the estate administrator shall first offer them to the inheritors and shall grant them a reasonable period to purchase them at a price that does not fall below the market price.

Where the testator devised a certain asset to an anonymous person, that asset shall not be realized as long as the estate debts can be paid up out of other estate assets.

The court may issue the estate administrator different instructions out of the instructions set forth in this clause and it may instruct the estate administrator that the sale of the estate assets shall be in such manner that these assets are sold by way of execution or in any other manner that the court determines.

The provisions set forth in this Law shall be without prejudice to the collection of a debt out of the amount that was secured on the eve of his death.

The court may, if it saw a reason to act in this manner, instruct that a debt of the testator’s debts whose repayment date was not yet due, or a conditional debt, be secured or paid up, as the Court instructs, even before its payment date or before the condition was satisfied.

The estate administration expenses, including the fees paid to the estate administrator, shall be incurred by the estate unless the court instructed that they would be incurred, in whole or in part, by another party.

Paying up estate’s debts – priorities

(1)   The expenses involved in the testator’s funeral, burial and headstone, as customary under the circumstances;

(2)   Inheritance order expenses, probate, and estate administration in the event they apply to the estate;

(3)   The debts to the testator owed on the eve of his death and were not canceled at the time of his death (in this Law – the Testator’s Debts) including anything due to his wife according to a Ketubah in the event the amount set forth in the Ketubah does not exceed a reasonable amount;

(4)   Anything due to the testator’s spouse on the grounds of marital relationship except for a Ketubah as provided in paragraph (3), and that is due to a spouse in accordance with the provisions set forth in Spouses (Property Relations) Law 5733-1973, or in accordance with a prenuptial agreement within its meaning in that law;

  1. Estate debts of equal importance shall be paid up according to the ratio of their amounts;
  2. The priority of taxes and other obligatory payments shall be in accordance with the relevant laws;
  3. The estate’s debts shall prevail over alimony disbursed from the estate.

Where there is room to assume that the estate will pay up all the estate’s debts, the estate administrator may pay up debts even before investigating the other debts.

Where there is a concern that the estate shall not suffice for the purpose of paying up all the estate’s debts, the estate administrator shall pay up debts whose repayment the court permitted, in whole or in part or in installments, in accordance with the instructions set forth by the court.

For the purpose of this matter “the estate’s debts” – shall also imply alimony in the estate.

 

In the event it transpired that the estate funds are insufficient to repay all the estate’s debts, the estate administrator shall be obligated to file a petition to grant estate administration order in bankruptcy in accordance with bankruptcy laws, unless the court instructed to liquidate the estate in another manner.

 

Division of the estate among inheritors

After repaying the estate’s debts and disbursing alimony from the estate, the remaining estate shall be divided among the inheritors.

The remaining part of the estate may not be divided as long as the period set forth in the creditors’ invitation did not expire; and the remaining estate may not be divided as long as the rights contingent upon a man’s birth in accordance with Section 3(b) were not set.

The court may, if it saw that the estate allows such circumstances, allow division of a part of the estate even before repayment of the estate’s debts and disbursing alimony from the estate and before expiry of the dates set forth in accordance with subsection (b).

In the event the testator instructed a later date to divide the estate, the instructions set forth in the will shall be followed, unless the court instructed to change the division date.

Whoever on the eve of the testator’s death cohabited with the testator, whether the testator was the apartment owner and whether he leased it, may continue and live in the apartment for three months, and in the event of an inheritor – six months following the testator’s death, and he may use, during this period, the household chattel in the event he used them on the eve of the testator’s death.

Whoever on the eve of the testator’s death cohabited with the testator and at the time his livelihood depended on the testator, may receive his livelihood from the estate a month following the testator’s death.

The rights granted in accordance with this Section shall not obligate a person towards the estate or derogate from the inheritor’s share in the estate; and they shall not add to the instructions set forth in the tenancy protection laws or derogate therefrom, or derogate from the instructions set forth in Section 115.

 

The estate’s assets shall be divided among inheritors according to their value at the time of the division

The assets betterment, yield thereof and anything superseding the assets following the testator’s death up to the estate division – shall belong to the estate and the same shall apply in respect of depreciation of the assets and payments imposed thereof.

In the event that the estate’s parts, following repayment of the estate’s debts and disbursement of alimony, do not suffice, all the parts shall be subtracted according to ratio of their value at the time of the testator’s death, unless the will provided another instruction for the purpose of this matter.

The estate’s assets shall be divided among inheritors according to an agreement between the inheritors or following a court order.

The estate administrator shall offer the inheritors a plan for dividing the assets and shall make efforts to reach consent among inheritors.

In the event that one of the inheritors was absent or not represented by law, the court’s approval shall be granted instead of his consent.

In the absence of consent among inheritors the estate assets shall be divided among them in accordance with a court’s order.

The estate administrator shall present before the court a plan to divide the assets.

In the event the testator specified in his will the manner in which the estate’s assets shall be divided among inheritors, the court shall act in accordance with the testator’s instructions unless it was convinced, for reasons that shall be noted, that there were special reasons to deviate from these instructions;

The estate’s assets shall be divided among inheritors in kind, to the extent possible, while paying attention to the benefit that an anonymous asset may bring to an anonymous inheritor and the emotional value that an anonymous asset has in respect of an anonymous inheritor.

An indivisible asset and an asset that, following its division, would lose a substantial part of its value, including a part of an agricultural unit, craft or trade, and except for agricultural farm in respect of which Section 114 applies – shall be delivered to the inheritor offering the highest price, provided that the price shall not fall below the market price; the amount that the inheritor shall offer shall be recognized on account of anything due to him from the estate. And if the said amount exceeded the amount due, the inheritor shall pay the amount in excess.

In the event that no inheritor agreed to purchase the said asset as specified hereinabove – the said asset shall be sold and the sale proceeds shall be divided.

The court may instruct that the sale shall be executed by way that assets of this kind are sold in execution or in any other manner that the court instructs, and it may set the terms of payment and the terms of payment of the sale fees.

An agricultural farm that is a unit whose division would damage its maintenance as an agricultural farm that may provide for a family’s livelihood – shall be delivered to an inheritor who is willing and capable of maintaining it, and he shall compensate the other inheritors in the event that the value of the farm exceeds what is due to him from the estate.

In the absence of consent among inheritors as to the question who would be willing and capable to maintain the agricultural farm, what assets constitute the agricultural farm, what the value of the agricultural farm is for the purpose of calculating what is due to each inheritor and the manner of compensation to other inheritors, times of payment and ensuring thereof – the court shall decide according to circumstances.

In the event two or more inheritors, including the testator’s spouse, are willing and capable of maintaining the agricultural farm – the testator’s spouse shall prevail over other inheritors.

In the event the inheritor worked in the agricultural farm during the testator’s lifetime or invested his capital in the agricultural farm and did not receive consideration as another person would, this shall be taken into account when setting the said compensation.

An apartment wherein the testator and his spouse lived on the eve of the testator’s death, the testator’s spouse, children and parents who lived in the apartment at the time with the testator, may continue and live in the apartment as the testator’s tenants who received the apartment; the rent, term of lease and terms thereof shall be set in an agreement between the persons staying in the apartment and these inheritors, and in the absence of agreement – by the court.

At the request of the said inheritors, the court may instruct:

(1)   That only persons who do not have another apartment shall continue to live in the apartment;

(2)   That the persons remaining in the apartment shall continue to live in part of the apartment, provided that this part includes the kitchen and service rooms, if any.

 

The right of lease by contract in an apartment that the testator leased for a shorter period and lived therein on the eve of his death, is canceled upon the testator’s death, and is not considered a right in accordance with tenancy protection laws, and shall be delivered to the testator’s spouse, children and parents who cohabited in the same apartment with the testator on the eve of his death.

In the event that a number of inheritors wished to exercise the same right severally, the court shall decide among them.

One asset may not be delivered to a number of inheritors without obtaining their consent.

Submitting estate specification to the court and the Inheritance Registrar for the purpose of the manner of division

The estate administrator shall submit to the Court, within thirty days after dividing the estate, a specification of the estate division and shall verify in an affidavit the integrity of the said specification.

The estate specification shall specify the assets that each of the inheritors received from the estate and shall include an assessment of the value of these assets at the time of their division, if the inheritors did not waive the assessment.

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