Inheritance in Turkey

Inheritance in Turkey

In the following article, we will learn about inheritance and terms of inheritance, and can foreigners bequeath real estate in Turkey? And who are the legal heirs in Turkish law? And types of wills in Turkey and who are the legal heirs in Turkish law? Types of wills in Turkey? How do foreigners inherit in Turkey? Stay with us to know all the details about inheritance in Turkey

inheritance or bequeathing

The concept of inheritance In the Arabic language, inheritance is used to refer to what remains of a person after his death, and it is transferred to those who remained after him from his heirs.


Inheritance Terminology

Here are some of the terms that we will use to talk about inheritance in Turkey:

Inheritance: It is what remains of the property of the deceased person.
Heir: The person entitled to transfer the property of the deceased to him, and the deceased person may have one or more heirs.
Inheritance inventory: The process of counting the deceased's property, debts, and taxes, in order to accurately determine what remains of his property.
Inheritance tax: It is the fees to be paid to the Turkish government during inventorying the inheritance and distributing the inheritance to its beneficiaries
The will: It is the statement signed by the person before his death and included in it the manner in which he would like to distribute his inheritance.


Can foreigners inherit real estate in Turkey?

Foreigners can bequeath real estate in Turkey, as Turkish law allows foreigners in Turkey to own real estate of all kinds, such as land, apartments, villas, offices, etc., and foreigners are also allowed to own real estate in Turkey by inheritance, as the legal heirs have the right to transfer ownership of real estate in Turkey from the owner after his death.

Inheriting real estate in Turkey: It is the transfer of ownership of the property from the real owner after his death to his legal heirs, males and females, according to specific laws. Any foreigner has the right to distribute his inheritance from real estate in Turkey to his children and legal heirs, and thus the ownership of the property is transferred to the heir, and with it he obtains the privileges of real estate ownership in Turkey.


Who are the legal heirs in Turkish law?

Turkish law divides the legal heirs into two parts:

Section One: Husband/Wife and Children

Section Two: Parents, Brothers, Grandparents, and Grandchildren

The first section always has priority in distributing the inheritance in Turkey and obtaining the largest share of it

According to the Turkish laws on inheritance, after the death of a person, it is necessary to consider whether he has a documented will in the Notary Department in Turkey, the "Notary Clerk", and then the inheritance quota is applied according to the following distribution:

In the event that there is a living husband/wife and children, the inheritance is divided as follows:-
One-quarter to the husband/wife.
The rest of the inheritance is shared equally between the children.
In the absence of children, the inheritance is distributed according to the following shares:-
Half for the husband/wife
The remaining half is shared between the parents of the deceased person and his siblings.
In the absence of children and parents:-
Three-quarters of the inheritance for the husband/wife
A quarter is for the rest of the heirs, such as grandparents, uncles and aunts
In the event that there are no relatives other than the husband/wife:-
All heirs are transferred to the husband/wife
In the absence of a husband/wife:-

If there are other relatives such as parents and children, the inheritance is distributed equally among them.
If they do not exist, the inheritance is distributed to grandparents and uncles.
If there is no relative, the inheritance is withheld by the Turkish government and transferred to charitable causes.


The law in Turkey does not depend on the legal method of distributing the inheritance and is equal to the inheritance between the brother and sister, and therefore foreigners in Turkey can request the distribution of the inheritance according to the law in force in their countries


Shares of heirs in Turkey

According to the Civil Code of Turkey, if a person dies and there is no notarized will, the following inheritance ratios apply;

If there is a surviving spouse and children after the death of the deceased, ¼ goes to the spouse and is shared equally among the children.
If the deceased has no children, ½ goes to the husband/wife and ½ is shared between the deceased's parents and siblings.
If the deceased has no children and parents, ¾ goes to the husband/wife and ¼ is shared between the deceased's grandparents and their children (uncle, aunt).
If the deceased did not have a relative other than the surviving spouse, all real estate is allocated to the spouse.


The method of inventorying the inheritance in Turkey

For Turkish citizens, after the death of a Turkish citizen, the hospital that issued its death statement directly sends this statement to the relevant government departments, which are:

Civil Records Department
taboo circle
Competent Courts

This is done without any request from the heirs, it is done automatically

In order for the heirs to begin the process of limiting the inheritance, the “information of inheritance” document must be extracted from the Noter Department. This document contains an explanatory statement of the share of each of the heirs and their rights in the property of the deceased person, whether transferred or immovable.

After that, the heirs go to the tax department to pay the inheritance fees, then go to the court and determine the inheritance distribution session, after which the court issues a decision to transfer property according to the distribution approved in Turkish law for the heirs.

How foreigners inherit in Turkey

For foreigners, the inheritance can be limited according to Turkish law or according to the applicable law of their country, after submitting a request to the court in Turkey by one of the heirs to distribute the inheritance in Turkey according to the law of the mother country of the deceased foreigner, and the inheritance can be distributed as long as the property of the deceased is on Turkish territory, whether The heir resides in Turkey or abroad.

Inheritance according to foreign nationality

There are three cases regarding this topic:

If the country of the deceased was within the Hague Convention

If the foreign deceased held the nationality of one of the signatory countries to the Hague Convention, the heirs have the right to bring the inheritance information documents and the family statement, and after their translation into Turkish and ratification by the notary in Turkey, they are approved in Turkish courts and the inheritance is distributed according to Turkish law or the law of the deceased’s home country At the request of the heirs.

If there is a reciprocity agreement between Turkey and the country of the deceased

In the absence of the country of the foreign deceased within the Hague Convention, the court looks at the treatment received by the Turks in the country of the deceased, and accordingly, if there is a principle of reciprocity between the two countries, the inheritance information documents and the family statement are brought from the mother country of the foreign citizen, then translated and certified, a transaction is initiated Inheritance in Turkey in the competent courts.

In the absence of the previous two options

In this case, the heirs need to file a lawsuit in the Turkish court to demand that the inheritance notification be removed from Turkey, and the court will verify the declaration of death and identify those involved in distributing the inheritance and those entitled to it by making contact with the competent authorities in the home country of the deceased.

After granting the document informing the heirs from Turkey, the process of limiting the inheritance in the Turkish court begins normally.

final note

Among the Arab signatories to the Hague Convention: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco

In general, all Arab nationalities whose children in Turkey can limit the inheritance easily and without any legal complications.


Documents required to determine the inheritance of foreigners

To open a case for the distribution of inheritance to foreigners in the Turkish court, the following documents must be provided to each of the heirs:-

"Information of Genetics" document translated and certified by the Notary Department
The family statement translated and certified by the Noter Department
Valid passport
Personal Photos

Inheritance processing fees in Turkey

Transaction fees for inheritance cases in Turkey vary according to the amount of money left by the deceased, and range from 1 to 10% as shown in the following table:

نسبة الرسومقيمة الميراث
1%350.000 TL أو أقل
3%850.000 TL
5%1.800.000 TL
7%3.300.000 TL
10%6.300.000 TL أو أكثر

The minimum limits for the value of the inheritance vary almost every year according to the exchange rate of the Turkish lira against the euro at the beginning of each year, and these percentages were issued for the year 2020.

These percentages are considered low if they are measured by the fees charged by European courts for distributing foreigners' inheritance on their lands.

Inheriting property and real estate in Turkey

Real estate properties are also subject to the same inheritance laws in Turkey that we explained in the previous paragraphs, and the heirs can limit the inheritance and distribute it either by Turkish law or the law of the mother country

Also, the fees for inheriting real estate are calculated after valuing the property.

You can read the following two articles to learn more about this topic

Real estate appraisal in Turkey
Advantages of real estate residency


To know more about life and information about Turkey, you can see the following articles:-

What are the documents required to obtain Turkish citizenship in return for buying a property?
Important information to obtain Turkish citizenship by owning real estate
What are the documents required to open a bank account in Turkey?

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