Inheritance in Turkey: Procedures and Laws

The number of foreigners buying real estate in Turkey is increasing every year. The question often arises as to how an inheritance is transferred in Turkey in the event of the death of a foreigner who had property or an account in a bank institution in the resort country during his lifetime.

The Republic of Turkey has its own procedure for the right of inheritance, which is set out in detail in the legal framework. Here, the first priority heirs are the spouse and children. It is worth noting that native, adopted or out-of-wedlock children of the deceased recognised by the parent have absolutely equal rights:

In the absence of the wife/husband, all inheritance is distributed equally among the children, provided there are no other clauses in the will. If there are no children, the estate is left to the deceased person’s parents or other relatives in accordance with a certain degree of kinship.

If there are disputes in the inheritance of real estate, the application is made to the courts, where the resolution of open disputes is made, based on a special table, where the shares of spouses, children and parents.

In practice there are different situations, for example, if the spouses are divorced at the time of death of one of them, the other may not claim to inherit. It should not be forgotten that existing debts are also transferred to the heirs, who have a legal right to renounce their inheritance within 3 months in favour of other heirs or the state.

An inheritance tax is levied in Turkey:

Real estate value is less than 160 thousand Turkish Liras: tax of 1%
Real estate value from 160 thousand to 510 thousand liras: 3% tax
Real estate value from 510 thousand to 1 280 000 liras: 5% tax
Real estate value from 1 280 000 to 2 780 000 liras: tax 7%
Real estate value over 2 780 000 liras: tax 10%

The tax can be reduced if the property is inherited by a close relative. A lawyer is needed to do this. In addition, the heir will have to pay for a lawyer and an interpreter.

When there are no heirs, for one year the representatives of the court office advertise in the media to find them. If no heirs are declared, the inherited property is transferred to the state.

In Turkey there are three types of wills:

Practice shows that the first type of will is more common and must be certified by a notary. Drafted wills may be kept by the notary or the Civil Court. This document may be made by anyone who has the right to designate those people he or she deems fit to receive property.

A written will can be made without a notary being present and kept at home. If a dispute arises after the death of a person, a will will be the best argumentative evidence of the situation. An oral will is considered the most unreliable, because the spoken words are difficult to prove and even more so to present in court.

Peculiarities of the right to inherit in Turkey

When planning the transfer of real estate by inheritance to a foreign citizen, it is necessary to make a will and a Turkish notary. Documentation legally executed in other countries is considered valid in Turkey.

For a foreign citizen to enter into an inheritance, it is sufficient to submit a letter from a judicial authority of his state, certified in a certain order at a Turkish consulate. A prerequisite for this is the presence of documents confirming the kinship. After that the Turkish court issues an official form on the basis of which the legal transfer of inherited property takes place. When a dispute arises, a foreigner has the right to apply to the Civil Court of the Republic of Turkey.

All inheritance procedures are carried out only with an accredited lawyer. By the way, if he receives a power of attorney, you can not even come to Turkey, the lawyer can do everything himself. If the property was purchased by installment, on credit, the heirs may refuse to pay for it, and then it will not be necessary. Alternatively, they can inherit the property and pay the money according to the contract of sale that was signed with the owner.

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