Alon Kaplan, Advocate & Notary
Trusts, Inheritance, Estate, Real Estate, Agents and Distributers
Adv. and Notary Alon Kaplan
Founder and Manager
Alon Kaplan, Advocate & Notary
About Alon Kaplan, Advocate & Notary
Alon Kaplan was admitted to the Israeli Bar Association in 1970 and will celebrate 50 years in the legal profession next year. He founded his firm in 1975, and during his first decade in the profession he practiced mainly commercial law and bank liquidations. In these years, he created close professional relationships with large firms across the world and thus became familiar with the field of trusts and family wealth management.
Today, Alon is a member of the Israel, New York and Frankfurt Bar Associations, and serves as the manager of his firm, which specializes in international trusts, inheritance law in Israel, international tax planning and commercial law for clients with interests in several individual countries. Alon serves as a legal counselor on trust-related matters in Israel and internationally, intergenerational transfer of family assets, counsel to families that own businesses, wills and inheritance laws and international tax planning, the pinnacle of this practice being counsel on trust-related matters for clients, accounting firms, law firms and family offices in Israel. The international ranking firm Chambers ranked him at the highest ranking “Senior Statesperson” and described him as an “Israeli Trusts Expert” and “Guru”.
Alon’s main area of expertise is trusts and, in this framework, he specializes in counseling Israelis and foreign residents on matters concerning trust establishment and management, and wills and inheritance planning, including tax aspects. In addition, the firm advises family with diverse family businesses. Such counsel also includes asset protection and family wealth preservation. One of the greatest advantages of trusts is their flexibility. Thus, the beneficiaries may be changed during the trust’s life cycle (by a certain legal technique) and mechanisms for replacing the trustee and the beneficiaries in case of demise or loss of legal capacity, without requiring guardianship, inheritance or will enforcement proceedings. According to the Israeli Law, trusts may be founded during one’s lifetime, and they come into effect upon the assignment of the assets to the trustee. In the case of a will, the trust begins to operate after the will probate order is issued and the assets are transferred to the trustee by power of its provisions. The trust is a recognized and efficient legal structure for holding and managing family wealth and transferring assets to the next generation: In recent years, the utilization of trusts as a legitimate tool for family wealth planning is increasing, mainly due to the 2000 Israel Tax Reform and the switch from territorial taxation to personal taxation. The trust can serve various purposes, such as: intergenerational transfer, care for a person in need, protection of assets from creditors and bankruptcy, and protection of assets in case of divorce or demise. In addition, trusts are efficient tools for public benefits and charities, as is also customary in many western countries.
The Company for Holding the Trust’s Assets
By itself, the trust is not a legal person and therefore assets may not be registered directly under it (although it is recognized as an independent taxpayer by the Tax Authority). In order to avoid the registration of the trust’s assets under their names, trustees usually establish companies for holding the trust’s assets (“Trust Company”) and hold the assets through them.
A substantial part of the people who create trusts are foreign residents, new immigrants and high-net-worth Israelis with foreign bank accounts. Trusts enable all the above to use them as a sort of “Parent Company” that can establish subsidiaries which would implement the trust’s goals, such as opening foreign bank accounts, participation in acquisitions of real-estate abroad, while all of the control is concentrated in the hands of the trustee.
An International Authority on Trusts
Dr. Alon Kaplan is a member of the Israel, New York and Frankfurt Bar Associations. He is also the President and founder of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners “STEP Israel”. Academically speaking, he has a Ph.D. from Zurich University, and an LL.B. and LL.M. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Alon maintains direct and close relationship with the academy and he was a lecturer on trusts in the Academic Management College, IDC and the Law Faculty of TAU, where he also taught other courses for LL.M. students. Alon is a popular lecturer on trusts in Israel and abroad and he constructed the academic program of the Trusts Diploma of STEP in the TAU Training Institute. Throughout his professional career, Alon has been writing numerous professional articles in legal journals, on matters of trusts, intergenerational asset transfers, and selected commercial law topics such as agent and distributer laws, a topic which he researched for his LL.M. thesis. Alon wrote and edited numerous professional books, including books on doing business in Israel and trusts in Israel, and international trusts laws. His book – “Trusts and Estate planning in Israel” is considered to be the most professional and comprehensive guidebook for practitioner in this area in Israel. Another important book in English is “Trusts in Prime Jurisdictions” which reviews trusts in various countries.
Service and Volunteering
Alon serves as the Director of the Israel-Switzerland and Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the board of trustees of the IMPACT association, which provides scholarships for veteran soldiers from combat units, and member of the international board of the Weizmann Institute. In the framework of his public work, Alon dedicates time and knowledge for counseling on the promotion of legislation for the benefit of the public. He served as a member of the Trusts Committee which prepared the bill for the taxation of trusts.
Additional Areas of Practice
Inheritance and Estates: Alon specializes in all matters relating to the planning and holding of family assets, their inheritance and intergenerational transfer, especially in the case of families with businesses and assets that are held in different countries. Within this framework, the firm handles estates and legal proceedings for the approval of wills and inheritances in Israel and abroad.
International Tax Planning: Alon maintains direct and close relationship with dozens of firms in countries across the world, and this enables him to execute optimal international tax planning and counsel clients from different countries, including personal and business counseling on bringing future generations into the family business.
Agents and Distributers: Alon’s LL.M. thesis was on the subject of agents and distributers. Therefore, the firm has unique and comprehensive proficiency in this area as well. The firm counsels both foreign companies that contract with local agents and distributers and Israeli companies that contract overseas.
Real Estate: Over the years, Alon gained unique expertise in all aspects of residential and commercial properties for private clients and some of Israel’s largest development and construction companies. The firm uses its knowledge for planning real estate trusts and intergenerational asset transfers.
NYSBA - Trusts and Estate Section - inheritance law and procedure in Israel
THE ISRAELI TRUST
STEP TRUST QUARTERLY REVIEW Volume 17, Issue 2 2019
The Golden Visa Market: How Israel, Europe Intersect
Alon Kaplan and Lyat Eyal, 15 August 2019
Articles about Alon Kaplan, Advocate & Notary
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