Lawyer in Turkey: Draw up a will in Turkey

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Draw up a will in Turkey

Draw up a will in Turkey: yes or no?

I will get straight to the point. Judging the responses and queries that I received in the last couple of months, it appears that the Turkish law on inheritance is keeping a lot of people busy. For this reason in this article I will explain the details about ‘Wills’ in relation to owning property as a foreigner in Turkey.

According to the Turkish law there is no need to write a Will if your intention is to leave your property to your partner and children. The Turkish inheritance law meets this right automatically. In case one of the matrimonial partners dies, the home (property) will be inherited by the longest-living partner and the children of the deceased or only the children when there is no partner. Therefore it is a waste of time and money when you draft a Turkish will, foremostly when you already have a will in your own native country.

However, it is sensible to draw up a will when there are no children, you have a type of cohabitation which is not legitimized in Turkey (like a gay marriage or a partnership agreement) or you would like to donate to a third party who is not a legal inheritor of the deceased. The longest-living partner of the testator can not be disinherited with a will; children on the other hand can be disinherited, only up to the legitimate share of one half of the legal heritage.

Should you nevertheless still want to draw up a will, you will have the right to appoint one or more executors in this matter. An executor is someone (it does not necessarily have to be an inheritor) who is appointed and legally authorized to execute the wishes that are laid down in the will of the testator. On behalf of the inheritor the executor is also authorized to obtain a certificate of inheritance from the court, without the inheritors having to authorize the executor individually. This saves a lot of time and money for the inheritors who are not familiar with the bureaucracy of Turkey

An executor has the right to resign from his duties, in which case he must inform the local cantonal judge. However, once the executor has started to carry out his duties, he can not resign his responsibility without any warning. At any time the cantonal judge can call the executor to account.

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