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Turkish Inheritance Law

3rd September 2015

With more and more people travelling around the world for a variety of reasons international inheritance matters are now much more common than they once were. Because of this the Turkish inheritance law is now more relevant than ever. But how does the Turkish inheritance law work?

Inheritance law is complex but we have created a basic overview based on this article of the Turkish inheritance law. Under Turkish law inheritance is the legal process in which a deceased person’s assets and liabilities are transferred to the person’s inheritors.

A persons inheritors can be family members, loved ones or legal persons such as charities. Under Turkish law certain people cannot be excluded from a will and you can find more details in our article on making a will in Turkey.

Before inheritance can be transferred to any beneficiaries an inheritance certificate will have to be obtained. This is normally sent out once the death is registered, however if there is a challenge to the will then the dispute will have to be resolved and an uncontested certificate will then be obtained, before inheritors can apply for the transfer of the assets. 

Inheritance Distribution 

If the asset being distributed is a sum of money then the distribution will likely be quite simple and smooth. In the case of real estate or movable items in the estate inheritors will have joint ownership. Joint ownership can lead to difficulties if the parties cannot agree on how to use or sell the assets.

If the inheritors can agree on selling the assets then one of the inheritors will usually start a partition case. In a partition case the assets are sold and the money is then distributed equally amongst the inheritors.

Properties in Turkey are subjected to local laws and the distribution will be done according to the law. If the deceased did not make a valid will (or did not make a will at all) and there are no disputes, then under Turkish law those who are closest to the deceased are the first to inherit.

The spouse gets a quarter while three-quarters go to the child or children. If the deceased had no children then half will instead go to the spouse, the remainder will go to parents, grandparents and grandchildren or on a pro-rata basis to other family members.

In Turkish law a custodian does not usually need to be appointed however in cases where the assets need managing before they’re distributed the court may appoint a custodian to be in charge of managing the estate.

An inheritance is not just about slicing up your estate amongst your loved ones, your inheritors will also be inheriting debt left behind by the deceased. Debts brought on by loans and other possible liabilities such as business expenses for example that are present at the date of death (or which occur after the date of death) are transferred to the inheritors.

This amount is deducted from the total assets and the remainder is transferred to the inheritors to pay, if the remainder is too large then the inheritors can reject the inheritance. Under Turkish law the inheritors can reject the inheritance within three months if they don’t reject within this time frame they will be liable to pay the remaining debts.

The personal liabilities will not pass to the inheritors if the amount of them exceeds the amount of the total assets. This means that if the estate of the deceased is in a negative balance on the date the inheritance is due to be issued it won’t pass onto the inheritors. This exemption is granted by Turkish law to prevent people inheriting an estate that is in a negative balance.

Inheritance law is notoriously complex but it’s something everyone should know at least the basics of. While we hope this guide has been useful to you in furthering your understanding of the Turkish heritage law, if you do need further help then you should consult a lawyer for expert guidance. 

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Comments (1)


22nd February 2016 What is the law on common law partner where theres a wife and siblings no wills

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