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Inheritance in Greece

When it comes to inheritance in Greece, an important distinction must be made between those situations where there is a Will and those cases where there is not. In the latter case, the law provides that the property of the deceased is divided amongst the closest living relatives, while in the former case the deceased has already decided how his/her property will be divided after death. Nonetheless even when a Will exists, the closest relatives can still claim part of the property, if they were excluded from the Will in the first place, under certain conditions.

Real Estate

In both scenarios any real estate is not automatically acquired by the heirs, but an act of acceptance of inheritance must take place for the lawful heirs to become owners, even if they possess the property and declare it as their property to the competent tax authority. Until this act is finalized the lawful heirs cannot sell or otherwise dispose of the property.

Bank Accounts

An issue that we come across quite often regarding the non-real estate assets of a deceased’s estate relates to joint bank accounts. If the deceased while alive had not added another beneficiary to his/her bank account, then in order for the lawful heirs to receive the funds  from the bank the road ahead is quite lengthy. On the contrary, if the spouse, or a child of the deceased or some other lawful heir had been included as a beneficiary of the account, then the funds can be retrieved without any further complication. Of course, any other lawful heirs can raise a claim against the beneficiary who retrieved the money in case they are also entitled to it, but this concerns their relationship with the other beneficiaries to the estate and not the one with the bank.

Right to Waive an Inheritance in Greece

One very crucial issue affecting matters of inheritance in Greece is the possibility that the temporary heir has, to waive his right to the legacy. Τhis is particularly important in cases where the deceased had debts on the day of his death which – just as with his assets – are included in his estate. The law provides for a specific timeframe during which the temporary heir can waive his right to the legacy to avoid the debts of the deceased.

It has happened that clients were not aware of the above right and ended up inheriting big debts of a deceased family member. Thus, it is important to consult a lawyer in case you are a lawful heir of a deceased which you suspect had a big amount of debts the day of his death.


Given that inheritance in Greece has its critical path at drafting a proper Will, a smooth legal process is expectable from any of our selected Inheritance lawyers in Greece.

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Available in the following locations: Thessaloniki, Thira.

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.


1Who is this Service for?

For those who need to arrange for an estate abroad to be transferred to beneficiaries under a Will or via intestacy

2What does this service consist of?

  • Assistance obtaining a legalised copy of the death certificate.
  • Arrange a legal copy of any existing will.
  • Verification of the existence of any life insurance policies.
  • Power of Attorney to avoid excessive travel costs
  • Inheritance Acceptance Deed drawn-up with the public notary.
  • Payment of Inheritance Tax at the office.
  • New titles in the inherited assets are inscribed in the relevant registry
  • Simultaneous sale or disposal of assets if required (please request quotation).


Support services

3Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.

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