Lawyer in Turkey: October 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The importance of a Turkish will

The general rule in Turkish inheritance is that the children together with the surviving spouse automatically are the heirs of the testator. Therefrom it is unnecessarily to draft a will that concerns a property in Turkey, as long the heirs are the children and the surviving spouse.
This is what we call the normal family set up according the inheritance.

When there is no case of a normal family set up it is wise to draft a will.
Situations where it is wise to draft a will could be when:

  • the testator has no children
  • the testator is unmarried, but lives together with a partner, or when the testator has a registered partnership.
  • the testator wants to disinherit the heirs.

This time I don’t want to talk about how to draft a will or how the probate division would look like, I would like to talk about the importance of having a Turkish will in contrast to a will made in your own home country.

My experience shows me that the Turkish court earlier grants execution to a Turkish will then to a will drafted in a foreigner country.
To be clear: a will drafted in a foreigner country has the same value as a Turkish will. The difference lies in the manner in which effect is given to the content of the will. You already understand that this has consequences for the expenses, and the involved time of the inheritance settlement.

Procedure Turkish will
During a hearing all involved parties will be invited and the contents of the Turkish will, is read by the judge. Parties who are not present during the hearing will get a sworn translated  will by mail in person. The objection period against the contents of the will is 1 month.
In case there are no objections during this period is the will between the involved parties in law, regardless of whether the legitimate portions are respected or not.

Procedure foreign will
A foreign will must be provided with an apostil stamp and a sworn translation of the will before an application van be filed to the court. Because the will is already opened and read abroad there is no need that the Turkish court has to do this again. The court must ascertain whether the will is complied with in accordance the wishes of the deceased. Here it is relevant to prove and to convince the judge that the will has been carried out according to the law in their own country.

In case you don’t have a normal family set up(husband-wife-children) I would strongly recommend you to get advice about your options with an unexpected death incident, or to be sure to draw up a will in Turkey.