Lawyer in Turkey: Legitimacy of cohabitation agreements in Turkey

Monday, July 25, 2011

Legitimacy of cohabitation agreements in Turkey

Cohabitation agreements do not exist in Turkey; there is no judicial ground for them. So what happens about these kinds of agreements in Turkey, which do exist in most Western-European countries? What are the rights of a remaining partner? These are interesting questions for people who share real estate in Turkey without being married. Even more so if the rights of the remaining partner are not assured in a will.

If your'marriage' is based on a cohabitation agreement and you share a house in Turkey, I would recommend you both secure your legal property tenure relating to inheritance issues with a notarised will. Because cohabitation agreements are not legally recognised in Turkey, a remaining partner will not be entitled to claim an inheritance based on it. By Turkish law only a married partner will be recognised as a legal heir.

This explains the need to create a notarised will, preferably in Turkey, for the other partner in these situations.

A remaining partner can obtain testamentary heir ship based on a notarised will. This means he or she can request a right to inherit based on the will, with the relevant Turkish authorities, i.e. the magistrate.

A will registered abroad is equally valid legally as one registered in Turkey, but a will created in a foreign language will more likely create bureaucratic problems and with it often comes an unnecessary waste of time and money.

It seems also a wise move to register the other partner's right to usufruct the real estate at the local Tapu- office. This way the remaining partner has the right to remain in the property without being confronted by succession problems.

Be alert and don't leave it too late to take legal advice regarding inheritance issues of your property in Turkey.

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