Guidance and making a Will in the TRNC
and Probate in the TRNC

Guidance and making a Will in the TRNC and Probate in the TRNC

Planning ahead in life always gives you benefits, as an old saying states that “If you are failing to plan, you plan to fail”. The inheritance law and regulations differentiate in each country. Many people who live permanently or temporarily in Northern Cyprus own estates, however they have a lack of information on inheritance procedures. In Northern Cyprus inheritance rules and regulations are mainly based on “Wills and Succession Law 1959”. It is not very difficult to make a Will in Northern Cyprus, as long as one follows the correct procedure. Many people believe that a simple handwritten Will is valid and sufficient, however it is not the case. If the required procedure is not followed the testator’s Will will be held invalid. This is an unwanted result as one may have wanted to leave his or her legal estate differently to a preferred benefıciary.

Why do I need to make a Will in Northern Cyprus?

Many people who live in TRNC either temporarily or permanently own a property, a car or a bank account, however there is a common misunderstanding that they believe after they pass away their spouse will inherit everything they own. However, according to Northern Cyprus’s “Wills and Succession Law 1959” where a person dies leaving a spouse and children, the spouse will receive only 1/6 of the property and the rest will pass on children or grandchildren. In case there are no children or grandchildren the spouse will receive ½ of the estate and the rest will pass to deceased’s siblings or parents or cousins up to 6th degree of kindered. If there are no living children, siblings, parents or nieces and nephews the spouse will inherit ¾ of the estate and the rest will pass to any relatives up to 6th degree kindered. Under TRNC law in the state of being intestate spouses receive less than they would receive in a divorce case. This is a very difficult position for a spouse whom may have shared many years of his or her life with their partner. Also unmarried couples are not entitled to claim any legal right from their partner’s estate. This rule applies to children born to unmarried parents who have no entitlement in the estate of their father. In addition Civil Partnership is not recognised in Northern Cyprus and the spouse will not be able claim legal entitlement under Northern Cyprus laws.

Do I need to make a Will in Northern Cyprus even if I have made a Will in my home country? Most people believe that once they have made a Will in their home country it will be applicable in Northern Cyprus. The Will made might be valid in the country where the Will has been made, however it might not meet the jurisdictional requirements in Northern Cyprus. Once you have made a Will in another country, lawyers based in that country will not have sufficient knowledge of TRNC law and will not be able to provide you with accurate information. In some cases, in countries such as United Kingdom, people may pass all their assets by Will to one person who is not a relative, whereas that is not the case in TRNC. Any asset that you own in Northern Cyprus may be left to a kinder up to sixth degree. In some cases the Will made abroad might be valid, however the probation process can be more complicated. The Probate Registrar may require additional conditions in order to prove the Will such as requiring a witness who attested the will to sign an affidavit. The deceased’s family may have difficulties reaching the witnesses if they are not professional solicitors, or the witness may have passed away before the testator. It is more cost efficient and guaranteed to make a Will in Northern Cyprus for your assets and property.

What do I need to make a Will in Northern Cyprus? Once the Will is prepared according to the regulations in Northern Cyprus, it needs to be registered at the court by a registrar. At the registration process the testator has to be present with two witnesses. They have to sign each page in order to confirm that they have read the Will. There is also a stamp fee, which is due to be paid at the registration; the amount depends on the length of the Will. Lastly the registrar stamps and confirms the Will and secures it until the testator is deceased.

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