Inheritance law in Turkey: legal assistance for foreigners

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Inheritance law in Turkey: legal assistance for foreigners

Turkey has become a good destination for foreigners wishing to emigrate and settle. Expats who decide to stay in Turkey should be aware of inheritance law. Find out more about how to inherit a Turkish citizen, the process of inheriting property, inheritance tax in Turkey and other important details for foreigners

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Turkish Inheritance Law (Miras) is governed by the Turkish Civil Code and aims to protect the interests of each family member. Knowledge of the basics of the Law on Inheritance is necessary for the unhindered transfer of one's assets and property to legal heirs and their entry into ownership.

The basic principles of Turkish inheritance law are discussed below.

What is heritage?

Inheritance is the property of the deceased, which must be divided among the heirs. Inheritance can be money, movable and immovable property or even debts. The heir can accept the inheritance or refuse it.

Inheritance law in Turkey is modern and civilized. The heirs of the first line are the wife/husband and children. If they are absent, then the property is divided between parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and grandchildren.

How to get the inheritance of a Turkish citizen?

When a citizen dies in Turkey, hospitals automatically send a "Death Notification" to the relevant government agencies, such as civil registration offices, registry offices, and courts. Heirs can simply apply to the court (or to a notary public) and obtain a "certificate of succession" - a certificate that includes all inheritance rights to the movable and immovable property of the deceased. According to this certificate, after paying the tax, the inheritance can be divided.

The heritage of foreigners in Turkey

When a foreign owner dies, the Turkish inheritance system works much the same as it does for Turkish citizens. The only difference is that heirs must provide an official "Certificate of Right to Inheritance" and "Marriage Registration Document" from the foreigner's country of origin.

However, different requirements apply to countries that are members of the Hague Convention and those that have not signed the agreement:

● If the country is a member of the Hague Convention, you can simply provide the "Certificate of Right to Inheritance" and "Marriage Registration Document", as these documents are valid in Turkey and accepted by the relevant authorities.

● If your country is not a member of the Hague Convention, it is necessary to check whether a mutual agreement has been signed between the government of Turkey and the foreigner's country of origin on the mutual recognition of documents. In this case, the provided documentation will also be recognized by the Turkish authorities.

When there is no mutual agreement between the countries, to obtain a "Certificate of Right to Inheritance" it is necessary to go to court. He will determine if the "death certificate" is valid and, after establishing legal relations with your country, will determine the heirs for the "Certificate of Inheritance".

The rules of entry to Turkey for a citizen of any country in the world can be found on the Visit World portal.

Shares of inheritance in Turkey

According to Turkish law, if a person dies and there is no will, the right to property is distributed as follows:

● If after the death of the owner one of the spouses and children remains alive, then ¼ of the share is transferred to one of the spouses, and ¾ is divided equally between the children.

● If the deceased has no children, then ½ remains to the wife, and ½ is divided between the father, mother, brothers and sisters of the deceased.

● If the deceased has no children and parents, then ¾ goes to one of the spouses, and ¼ is shared between the deceased's grandparents and their children (uncles, aunts).

● If the deceased has no one other than his wife/husband, then all immovable property is transferred to him.

● If the deceased does not have a spouse, his inheritance goes to his children.

There are also cases where a person's assets go directly to the Turkish government if there are no heirs.

Probate in Turkey

To ensure that your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes, it is very important to write a will in accordance with Turkish inheritance law.

The will must be in writing, signed by the testator (the person making the will) and witnessed by at least two witnesses. According to current legislation, persons over the age of 15 who have full mental capacity have the right to make a will. To avoid potential problems with the validity of a will, it is very important to get legal advice before writing.

Three types of wills are valid in Turkey:

1. An official will drawn up by a public notary in Turkey.

2. A will drawn up by the testator's hand, with an indication of the exact date and the testator's signature.

3. Freedom during war or illness in special conditions. The testator tells two witnesses and asks them to write it down.

The process of inheriting property in Turkey

To start the inheritance process, foreigners must submit the documents "Certificate of the right to inheritance" and "Marriage registration". One of the heirs submits an application on behalf of the other heirs. After paying the inheritance tax, the registration process will take about 2 days.

If a person inherits real estate in Turkey, he must register it at the General Directorate of Real Estate and Cadastre. Turkish citizens do not need to submit documents as this is done automatically.

Inheritance tax in Turkey

Inheritance tax in Turkey ranges from 1% to 30%, depending on the value of the inheritance and the degree of family ties between the deceased and his heir.

A tax of 3% is applied to real estate worth about $30,000.

If the value of the property is over $250,000, the tax rate is 10%.

All foreigners who inherit property located in Turkey must pay tax. However, if the property is gifted, no tax is charged.

Inheritance tax in Turkey can be paid within 3 years from the date of acquisition of ownership.

Navigating Turkish inheritance law can be quite complex, as it encompasses various aspects that require careful consideration in order to preserve your assets and protect the rights of your heirs. The rules for drawing up a will, the procedure for obtaining an inheritance, the amount of tax - the help of a highly qualified lawyer may be needed at various stages of inheritance registration.

Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:

Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Turkey;

Lawyer and accountant for business in Turkey;

Personal lawyer services in Turkey;

Travel and Medical Insurance for foreigners in Turkey;

Insurance for international students in Turkey.

Read more about how to choose an insurance policy for obtaining a residence permit here.

Read here what to do if your application for a temporary residence permit in Turkey was rejected.

Residence permit in Turkey: changes in 2023.

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