Due to the unfortunate circumstances, the Bank is obliged to perform a number of actions in the deceased's account, including the following:
- blocking the deceased's credit cards (including the standing orders on the card),
- ceasing to honour cheques and debit authorizations in the account.
1.The following guidelines will assist you in in order to obtain information about the deceased's account.
In order to obtain information about the deceased's account, before an inheritance order and/or probate order is granted, we require your signature on a "Letter of indemnity for provision of information to potential heirs" (its number on the website is 317-33) and other documents listed below on this page.
The signature on the documents, including identification documents, must be authenticated before:
- If in Israel – before your lawyer or at a Leumi branch/service center
- If abroad – before the Israeli Consul or a notary public whose signature and seal are certified by apostille
The identification documents required are in accordance with the potential heir's place of residence, as set out below:
If the deceased was a resident of Israel:
- Death certificate
- Will or any other document showing that you are one of the deceased's heirs
If the deceased was a foreign resident:
- Death certificate (if the deceased died abroad, the certificate must be authenticated by apostille)
- For holders of Israeli citizenship – identity card number
- For holders of foreign citizenship – passport numbers (last and previous numbers)
Required identification documents of the heirs (if you do not come to the branch, documents authenticated as stated above must be sent):
If you are a potential heir and a resident of Israel:
- Valid Israeli identity card
If you are a potential heir and a foreign resident holding Israeli citizenship:
- Valid Israeli identity card or passport
If you are a potential heir and a foreign resident holding foreign citizenship:
- Valid foreign passport and another document bearing a photograph and identity number, and in the absence thereof – a document bearing a name or identity number and address or date of birth
If you are a holder of power of attorney from the heirs:
- Valid identity card or passport and original power of attorney, valid and authenticated, in which the heir authorizes the applicant to receive the requested information
2. After receiving an inheritance order, in order to distribute the inheritance:
After an inheritance order is received, the process can proceed. If one of the orders was received from a Family Court and/or Religious Court, the original or a true copy of the original is required.
The document of instructions for distribution of the inheritance is called "Heirs' Instructions". Each of the heirs is required to complete it in full. The instructions must be clear and must include exact reference to the particular share of the bank account funds which each heir requests to receive.
It is important to know that without the agreement of all the heirs on the manner of distribution of the inheritance we cannot proceed with the process.
*If there is a safe deposit box in the account, you must contact the branch at which the safe deposit box is held in order to arrange for it to be closed. Without dealing with the safe deposit box it will not be possible to distribute the entire estate and close the account.
Instructions for completion of the "Heirs' Instructions" form
- If there is no agreement between the heirs- a distribution order and/or instructions from the executor of the estate must be obtained. Alternatively, if authorization is given by all the heirs, the money may be placed on deposit until agreement is reached.
- If an heir wishes to renounce his share – an affidavit of renunciation or authenticated estate distribution agreement must be obtained
- If there is foreign currency in the account – you must choose either to convert the foreign currency into Israeli currency or to transfer the foreign currency in the original currency. If you wish to transfer your share of the foreign currency without conversion, you must give details of the foreign currency account held by you.
- If there are securities in the account- in order to sell securities we will ask the heirs to appoint one heir to be the contact person for us in executing the sale. Execution of the sale will be subject to a discussion by the Bank's aforesaid representative with the contact person after completion of everything necessary for distribution of the inheritance. An heir who wishes to transfer his portion of the securities to his account without sale will have to ensure that a securities deposit is held in the account in his/her name and to give the Bank its details.
- If there are foreign securities in the account – it is important for us to bring to your knowledge the fact that there are countries which impose estate tax or inheritance tax on assets owned by a deceased person which are situated in their territory, even when the deceased was not a resident or citizen of that country.
One of the countries which impose estate tax on such assets is the United States, which imposes estate tax ("US Federal Estate Tax") on a deceased person's estate assets situated in the United States, including on immovable property and shares issued by an American company.
If on the date of his death the deceased owned foreign securities, including American securities, there may be estate tax or inheritance tax liability to foreign tax authorities on account of those assets.
You must obtain tax advice on the matter, and if necessary, must file returns with regard to the taxable assets and pay the tax debts for them to the foreign tax authorities.
Required identification documents
If you are an Israeli heir and a resident of Israel:
- Valid Israeli identity card and confirmation of existence of your account
If you are an heir who is an Israeli citizen and a foreign resident:
- Valid Israeli passport or identity card and confirmation of existence of your account
If you are an heir who is a foreign resident holding foreign citizenship:
- Valid foreign passport and additional document (document bearing details as stated above). In addition, confirmation of the existence of your account must be furnished.
If you are a holder of power of attorney:
- Valid identity card or passport and original power of attorney, valid and authenticated, in which the heir expressly authorizes the applicant to give instructions on his behalf concerning distribution of the inheritance
- The power of attorney must contain clear and express reference to the matter of payment of fees.
3. Joint account with another person
In a joint account with a surviving joint account holder, in which there is a survivorship clause, the Bank acts in accordance with the instructions of the one who remains alive, subject to any law. The funds in the joint account are in no specific shares and the Bank does not know what the share of each joint account holder is. We wish to clarify that the survivorship clause is not a determination of ownership.
An heir who wishes to stop the surviving joint account holder from dealing with the account is required to apply to Court for an order of prohibition of disposition.
Distribution of the account will require the agreement of the surviving joint account holder or a specific distribution order for the account.
After distribution by agreement or renunciation of the funds in the joint account in favour of the surviving joint account holder, the heirs and the surviving joint account holder will be required to sign a form for removal of the deceased from the joint account (309-07). After signature of the document the account will remain owned by the surviving joint account holder only.
4. List of forms:
- Heirs' Instructions
- Agreement by the joint surviving owners and all the heirs to removal of the deceased as a customer - 609-07
- Letter of indemnity – Undertaking by those surviving joint account holder in the joint account to return credits belonging to the deceased- 609-06;
- Letter of indemnity – Provision of information to potential heirs 617-33
- Letter of indemnity- Withdrawal of funds for payment of essential expenses of the one remaining alive, without survivorship - 617-54
- Letter of indemnity – Withdrawal of funds from estate account and undertaking to furnish a judicial order in due course - 617-37
- Appendix A – Potential heir's agreement to use of means of communication for dealing with the estate
- Request to transfer foreign currency abroad or to local banks 624-36