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Will in Turkey

Foreign citizens may become owners of property in Turkey by inheritance. A will can be done in Turkey from a local notary in the presence of a sworn translator.

The process of registration of a will:

1. After the lawyer receives reliable information about your will, he submit an application to the notary to acquire an official character of your will. You will get from notary number and registration date of a will, and a certified copy of it.
2. The notary, in his turn, must keep the original wills and report about it to the Chamber of Notaries of Turkey.
3. A lawyer reports that the will was drawn up to the Turkish Embassy in your country.
4. The Turkish Embassy in your country sends relevant information to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the registry offices of your country.
5. A lawyer submit an application to the local court for the registration of a will.
6. In case of death, the lawyer asks for a death certificate from the rightful heir (heirs).
7. After receiving the death certificate, a lawyer goes to court to obtain the right to execute the will. And, after this, application is submitted to the appropriate authority, registering property rights, to transfer the rights to the name of the heir.

Wills, which were compiled by foreign citizens in their country, can be executed in the Republic of Turkey. To do this, the heir (heiress) must present a letter from the court of their country, certified by the Turkish Consulate. After, this letter must be submitted to the court at the location of the property. The court will issue an official document that authorizes the transfer of ownership. Then a letter together with all documents must be presented in corresponding office for registration of Tapu. This transfer of ownership does not require permission from the Military Department. Other restrictions are not applied also.
If the will has not been compiled, then Turkish law of inheritance comes into force.

The main provisions of the Turkish law of inheritance.

1. Article 495. Heirs of the acquired property, in the absence of a wife (husband), are children of the deceased, who have the right to division of property equally. In case of death of one of the children, grandchildren are getting the inheritance right.
2. Article 496. In the absence of wife (husband), children and grandchildren, heirs of the property are father and mother of the deceased, property is divided equally between them.
3. Article 497. In the absence of wife (husband), children, grandchildren, and also parents, other relatives get the inheritance right according to the degree of kinship (grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, nephew).
4. Article 498. Children born out of marriage, in the event that they are recognized by parents or are those by the court, they receive the legal right for part of the inheritance equally with legitimate children.
5. Article 499. In the event that the deceased have a wife (husband), but no other relatives, all property goes to her (him). If there are other relatives, the inheritance is distributed among them in equal parts by the approved scheme. Note. If the wife (husband) was not living together with the deceased, she (he) may be deprived of inheritance. Divorced spouses are among the relatives who can claim an inheritance.
6. Article 500. Adoptive kids get the legal right to claim an inheritance, but the adoptive parents can not claim the property of their children.
7. Article 501. In the case, if the deceased has no relatives, all property is transferred to state ownership.
8. Article 514. Every person has the right to make a will in favor this or that person. A will can be changed or liquidated at any time.
9. Article 584. Missing persons can be declared dead at confident suspicion of death after 5 years, in the absence of news – after 15 years. In that case, if the missing person has no relatives, the property is protected by the state during 10 years, and then goes into the coffers of the country.
10. Article 593. A judge who runs the case of the inheritance:

  • describe all the property of the deceased,
  • to take appropriate measures for its preservation,
  • if necessary to sell the property (divide between the legitimate heirs, payment of debts)
  • ensure that the debts of the deceased have been paid by his relatives,
  • ensure proper operation of enterprises owned by the deceased. In the event that the control of their work is not possible, take steps to freeze their activities.

11. Article 594. If the heirs of the deceased have not appeared within a year, the judge is obliged to submit a press announcement about the inheritance 2 times a month. If during one year an inheritance claims are not received, it goes to the state.
12. Article 598. Certificate of inheritance, which is issued for a month, can be challenged in court.
13. Article 604. Each heir may renounce his part of the inheritance in favor of another heir or state.

In the case of transfer of property by inheritance, must be paid tax on the inheritance, but if heir (heirs) will sell the property, he (they) is free from tax. The tax is generally calculated on the basis of the declaration, which gives the taxpayer. This declaration must be filed within 4 months from the date of death of the owner. If deceased died in Turkey, and the taxpayer is outside of Turkey, period of filling of such a declaration is increased to 6 months. But if the death occurred outside the Republic of Turkey, and the taxpayer is also outside of Turkey, the period of filling of a declaration again becomes 4 months.
In the case of donation of property, the declaration must be filed within 1 month after the transfer of ownership.
Tax rate changes almost every year. There are some features and discounts in the case of inheritance property by spouses and children.

The new owner of the property need to pay a fee in the Cadastral Office 0.9% of the value of the property.
*Taxes and fees are calculated from the value declared in the Title Deed.

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