Supported Decision-Making

In 2016, Amendment No. 18 to the Law of Legal Capacity and Guardianship, 5722-1962 (hereafter - the Law) was passed, in which a new legal arrangement of "supported decision-making" was determined. (Section 67 (b) of the law regulating this came into effect in April 2018).

The Administrator-General, who leads the pilot program in the area of ​​"supported decision-making", is happy to publish the temporary procedure that regulates the appointment of a supporter to the decision-maker. The procedure was presented for the first time by the general apotheosis and the official consul, Attorney Sigal Yaakobi, at the annual meeting of the Custodian General, which discussed alternatives to guardianship.

The "decision-making supported" arrangement enables a person to exercise his right to make decisions in various areas of his life and constitutes an alternative to the guardianship mechanism.

The law regulates the role and powers of the supporter of decision-making in general only. The purpose of the procedure is to set specific provisions regarding the definition of the authority of the supporter, the types of potential supporters (family members or acquaintances, volunteers and professionals in payment), the duty of training applicable to the various types of supporters, etc.

The procedure was formulated by various units in the Ministry of Justice (the Custodian General, the Counseling and Legislation Department, the Equal Rights Commission for People with Disabilities) and in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Services, the Ministry of Health, representatives of civil society organizations and others. After examining the implementation of the procedure, it will, with the required adjustments, make permanent regulations.

The procedure will come into effect on July 26, 2018, and it will apply to new appointments of supporters appointed by the Family Court from the commencement date onward, and to the actions of the decision-proponent from the commencement date onward.

Jurisdictions worldwide are coming to the understanding that certain changes need to be implemented. For instance, the England and Wales Law Commission recognizes that there are many people living with stroke, brain injury, or any other mental impairment that has altered their ability to manage their affairs on their own. Therefore the Law Commissions has set out a suite of proposed reforms which would still allow those with impaired capacity to make a will with support as well as increasing the ways in which people can direct the disposal of their assets after death. The proposal advocates for supported will-making, under which an attorney or other “supporters” could be appointed to help the testator make and express testamentary decisions.

In Israel, although the decision making supporter cannot be involved in the preparation of a will, the legal system understand that things have to accommodate society’s elderly and impaired, and changes are being made towards this goal all the time.

The above is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not a substitute for legal consultation. Specific legal advice should be sought in accordance with the particular circumstances.

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