If you own any assets in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) such as property, car(s) or bank account(s), and whether you live in the TRNC permanently or temporarily, it is important that you create a Will in order to benefit from the freedom of allocation of your assets.
DO I HAVE TO MAKE A WILL IN NORTH CYPRUS, AND IF SO, why?
accordance with TRNC Inheritance Laws, all non-TRNC nationals have the freedom to assign their property and assets as they wish, to their preferred beneficiaries. So, in order to take advantage of this freedom of disposition, we strongly advise that you create and register a Will for any assets that you have in the TRNC.
If you do not have a Will for your assets in the TRNC, your estate/assets will be distributed in accordance with the TRNC Inheritance Laws.
Most importantly please be aware that any Will made/lodged outside of the TRNC has no legal validity regarding any assets that you have in the TRNC.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DIE INTESATE?
If one dies intestate (without leaving a Will) in the TRNC, your estate/assets will be distributed in accordance with the TRNC Inheritance Laws.
In accordance to the TRNC Inheritance Laws, there are six degrees of kin to be considered by the TRNC Courts when allocating your estate/assets, meaning that there are six “lots” that your estate/assets will be divided into and then allocated by the TRNC Courts. If there is no “next of kin,” under the TRNC laws, the State inherits any assets, similar to how it would be applicable to the Crown Court in the UK if there were no remaining heirs. If you wish to allocate/leave your estate to your preferred beneficiaries, we advise that you create a Will in the TRNC and ensure that it is registered with the Court
WILLS PREPARED OUTSIDE THE TRNC
Wills prepared outside of the TRNC are not recognised in the TRNC. If your TRNC assets are included in a Will that has been prepared in the UK, UK probate would have to be completed first; the UK Grant of Probate would need to be obtained and certified by the
trips to the TRNC by your Executor as assigned in your Will.
THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING A WILL IN NORTH CYPRUS:
Your Will should be created and approved by you with a Lawyer registered in the TRNC (personally written Wills that are not signed, witnessed and registered are not legally advised). Your Will should be; in writing, signed by you (the testator) and signed by two witnesses. The testator must be of sound mind and over 18 years old. Your Will should only include the assets you have in the TRNC and not any other assets from your home or other country - these assets should be documented in a separate Will dependant on the appropriate and associated Country of origin. If you are a foreign national with assets in the TRNC, your Will is written in English or Turkish. Your Will will include the details of your chosen beneficiaries and can typically include the following details if you wish to be specific;
After your Will has been signed by you and two witnesses, your Will should be lodged with the District Court Probate Registry at the local District Court. The Probate Registrar will check that all formalities have been complied with as well as verifying you as the testator.
Your Will is stamped and filed at the Court, and an official receipt will be provided.
This guide is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. BHLex Law and Consultancy Bureau does not accept liability for any loss which may occur to any person as a result of relying on or otherwise using this information.