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6th February 2018


After having published our latest article ‘Dying in Turkey’ we will now continue with the question: ‘What happens to my estate after my death?


It is difficult to give a universally valid reply to this question, as every country’s inheritance legislation is different, but at least one thing is for sure: Inheritance issues are being dealt with according to the national legislation of the deceased. Even if you lived for 30 years in Turkey and all your assets are in Turkey, as long as you are not a Turkish citizen, your estate will be divided in line with British, German, American, French etc inheritance law.


This fact may be reassuring for many foreign residents of Turkey, but it is at the same time the reason why international inheritance matters take such a long time to be resolved. The estate located in Turkey will be divided by a Turkish court and under the auspices of a judge who does not know the inheritance law of the deceased’s country. At all events a legal expert’s views will be obtained before a judgement is delivered.


There are different ways for the inheritance problem to be resolved in Turkey – unfortunately, all of them are lengthy and rather expensive:


1. File an action for recognition and execution of the foreign certificate of inheritance or the foreign will. As there are international notifications involved, the procedure takes at least a year.

2. If there is a Turkish will, it can be translated and served to the deceased’s inheritors for consent. Again, because of the international notifications, the procedure will roughly take one year, even if none of the heirs does contest the will.

3. A lawsuit applying for a Turkish certificate of inheritance can be filed. Once all required documents are in place, the procedure takes about 3 months.  This is by far the quickest solution and therefore I will explain this option in more detail.


Required documents:

Foreign certificate of inheritance (listing the names of the heirs and their shares) with notarized Turkish translation and apostille stamp (provided the country of origin is a party to the The Hague Convention)

Foreign will (if there is one) with notarized Turkish translation and apostille stamp

Death certificate (if from abroad with apostille stamp and notarized Turkish translation)

Every heir’s birth certificate (as in other countries there is no central registration system like the Turkish “Nüfus Kayıt Sistemi”, birth certificates are the only proof of relation with the deceased for the Turkish court). The birth certificates must be authenticated with an apostille and require a Turkish notarised translation.

ID details for every heir (passport copies)

Power of attorney to a Turkish lawyer, if the heirs do not wish to follow up the inheritance matter in person. It is enough if one of the heirs signs the power of attorney, which will again need an apostille stamp and necessitate a notarized Turkish translation



One of the heirs or the legal representative opens the ‘Mirasçılık Belgesi İstemi Davası’(application for a certificate of inheritance) at a ‘Sulh Hukuk Mahkemesi’ (Civil Court of Peace). The court will check whether all required documents are in the file and if the file is complete, it is passed on to a legal expert who will write a report on how the estate shall be divided. Once the report is in the file the judge will render the judgement. As soon as it enters into effect the estate can be transferred to the heirs.


In our next article, we will talk about the Procedures after the delivery of the certificate of inheritance and discuss the necessity and advantages of making a Turkish will. Sign up to our FREE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER TO Receive our articles

Many thanks to lawyer Gamze Akderin, a specialist for inheritance procedures for foreigners. 


We provide legal assistance for Turkish Wills - Please contact YellAli to arrange a meeting with a legal representive.


Written by Annette HANİSCH - YellAli Consultant

Content by YellAli - (All Copyright is protected and owned by YellAli - This content may NOT be copied & distributed by another third party, unless appropriate accreditation is given). 

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