Last Wills & Testaments in Turkey

Foreign nationals who plan to bequeath property should make wills in Turkey in the format specified by the Turkish Civil Code.
Article Last Updated: 17 May, 2024 under Make a last Will & Testament

1. Why are Wills in Turkey specially important?

If you die intestate, your estate will be wound up according to the rules of intestacy. These can quite often be very complicated. By making a Turkish will you may help your successors avoid time-consuming and costly legal proceedings and to suffer unnecessarily due to complications that may arise during the winding up of your estate.

Dying intestate can have even more serious implications. For example, if you are not married, Turkish inheritance law will not automatically entitle your life partner to your estate. Therefore, your partner may end up inheriting nothing from your estate if you die without a Turkish Will.

On the other hand, Wills in Turkey will enable you to make specific arrangements concerning your estate. For example, you can create a life interest in your property or impose certain duties on the beneficiaries to your estate, or even make conditional gifts.

If you make a Will you will be able to appoint an executor who will be able to wind up your estate more efficiently.

 

2. Last Will & Testament Specifications

Foreign nationals who plan to bequeath real property in Turkey should make a will in the form specified by the Turkish Civil Code. The testator should have full mental capacity, and be more than fifteen years old. In case of error, fraud or duress, the will is not valid. A will may be created in official form, in handwriting, or orally. An official Will is made in the presence of a Notary Public or a Justice of the Peace in accordance with certain formal conditions, and is signed by two witnesses. A holograph is written entirely in the testator's handwriting and must include the place, day, month, and year in which it was created as well as the signature of the testator. A will prepared in this way should be given to the court or a notary public for safekeeping. In exceptional circumstances, an oral Will may be considered to have fulfilled the formalities. Advocate Abroad can assist English-speaking clients to create a last Will and Testament to ensure the appropriate distribution of their property assets in Turkey and also to process the inheritance of an estate in Turkey.

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