Wills and Inheritance Law in Turkey

One of the most common questions we get asked from our previous clients who have bought a property through Kingsman Estates is how wills and inheritance law in Turkey works. Turkish inheritance laws are rather favourable when compared to other European countries. So we have prepared this general guideline on wills and inheritance law in Turkey so you can have an understanding when it comes to safeguarding your investments, money and other assets in Turkey. 

The Foundation Of Wills And Inheritance Law In Turkey

What governs the wills and inheritance law in Turkey is the location of the property or asset. You can only be subject to Turkish law if the property is within the official territory of the Republic Of Turkey. Clients who are looking to buy property in Turkey through Kingsman Estates should also know that Turkish law can only be applied to immovable properties. Any movable property under the name of a foreign person will be subject to the laws of the citizenship of that person. 

How Does Turkish Inheritance Law Determine The Heirs Of Properties

If there is an absence of an officially verified will by the notary officials in Turkey, there are certain determinants that the Turkish inheritance law follows in order to find the heirs for the immovable properties within the borders of Turkey. The key concept to understand is that determination is concluded according to an order or succession. 

  • According to Turkish law, the first heirs of the deceased person are the children and spouse. The properties will be shared with a ratio of the distribution of the assets is ¼ to the spouse and ¾ to the children. 
  • If the deceased person has no children then the parents will acquire the assets of the property along with the spouse. And the ratio of distribution is 2/4 to parents and 2/4 to the spouse.
  • If the deceased person has lost both his parents, then the siblings will inherit the real estate. 
  • If the deceased person has no siblings, grandparents will inherit the property. 

If none of the above is possible then the real estate will be inherited by the Republic of Turkey. 

Documents Required To Successfully Inherit In Turkey

In order for the heirs of the deceased person to be able to inherit properties in Turkey, the following documents need to be submitted to the civil courts in Turkey. 

  • Inventory of heirs of the person as a family statement showing the heirs and kinship. This document must be certified and in Turkish. If it is in another language, it needs to be translated and approved by the notary officials in Turkey. 
  • Details of Turkish tax registrations as well as their Turkish tax number
  • Valid passport
  • Passport-sized photos(4)

Inheritance Tax In Turkey

The transfer of assets in Turkey by Turkish citizens and foreigners are subject to inheritance tax. Fortunately, the tax rates in Turkey are not as high as in some of the European countries. The rates and details of inheritance tax in Turkey are determined according to the Tax Procedural Code of Turkey. But in general, taxes are determined progressively according to the value of the properties that will be inherited. The inheritance tax rate in Turkey is between %1 to %30. 

Tax BracketsTax Rate
Value Of the Property In EurosTransition through inheritanceFree transfer (Donation, prizes, gifts)
or less  €41.8961%10%
€99.228 3%15%
€209.4815%20%
€396.9127%25%
€774.51910%30%

Inheritance tax can be paid in instalments in a period of three years. 

Writing A Will In Turkey

We strongly encourage any clients who have bought a property through Kingsman Estates to write a will in Turkey to safeguard their assets as well as distributing to their preference. This is the best way forward so that long court procedures regarding the determination of heirs can be avoided altogether. 

Foreigners who wish to write a will that includes their assets in Turkey, have to be compliant with Turkish Law. The basic requirement for anyone to write a will is that they have to be over 15 years of age with acceptable mental health. 

There are three ways you can write a will, these include handwritten, oral and official. Regardless of the method of the announcement of the will, a handwritten copy with date including day month and year as well as the signature of the owner of the will needs to be included as well as the signatures of two witnesses. 

Once the will has been completed it has to be submitted to the court or to the clerk of justice in Turkey for considerations regarding the approval of the will. 

Preventing Certain Heirs From Inheriting Your Properties In Turkey

In some rare cases, one might choose to prevent from inheriting any of their properties in Turkey. However, this is generally not possible and only applicable in extreme circumstances. If you are in one of these unfortunate situations, you must file a case and go to court and you will be asked to explain the reasoning behind your decision. If it is approved by the civil courts in Turkey, the decision of prevention of the inheritance of the assets will be placed on those heirs. Those heirs will not be able to contest the decision after the property owners death. 

Discliminar

This blog post is only a general introductory guide and it should be taken as neither legal advice nor tax advice. As Kingsman Estates, we strongly recommend anyone who is looking to write wills or in a situation where they have to inherit properties in Turkey or in a position where they have to pay inheritance tax in Turkey to seek actual legal advice from a fully qualified lawyer in Turkey. Inheritance and taxation are extremely serious matters and they should not be treated lightly. Failing to do so might cause you fines and loss of your assets or inheritance in the future. 

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