probate in turkey

PROBATE IN TURKEY: A GUIDE TO ESTATE ADMINISTRATION AND INHERITANCE PROCEDURES

Probate in Turkey refer to the transfer and acquisition by those designated by law or the deceased, of the movable and immovable assets, rights, and debts that are technically suitable for transfer, which belong to the deceased during their lifetime, in the event of death or similar circumstances.

The term “probate in Turkey“, commonly known as taking over an inheritance, refers to the procedures carried out in accordance with the Turkish Civil Code to transfer the assets, rights, and debts of a person to their legal heirs after their death. Probate in Turkey is legal and financial process that arise as a result of death. This probate in Turkey generally involve managing the deceased person’s assets, debts, insurance policies, bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, and other assets.

Probate in Turkey includes various legal processes that occur after a person’s death and protect the rights of legal heirs. These processes include determining the rights of heirs over assets, preparing tax declarations, distributing the inheritance, paying off debts, completing the transfer of inheritance, and other legal procedures. Probate in Turkey is important to protect the rights of heirs and ensure proper management of the inheritance.

Article 599 of the Turkish Civil Code – The heirs acquire the inheritance as a whole by law upon the death of the deceased. Except for the separate cases envisaged in the law, the heirs directly acquire the real rights, receivables, other property rights, possession over movable and immovable property of the deceased, and are personally responsible for the debts of the deceased.

INHERITANCE OPENING FOR PROBATE IN TURKEY

Under Article 517 of the Turkish Civil Code, inheritance is opened by death. The legislator has linked the opening of inheritance to the definitive death and the artificial disappearance decision of the person.

The place where inheritance will be opened is considered as the last residence court of the deceased. The competent court for the cancellation and annulment of the deceased’s disposals, the distribution of the inheritance, and any claims arising from the deceased’s death is the court of the deceased’s last place of residence.

Opening of inheritance is a necessary procedure for the legal heirs to exercise their rights for inheritance probate in Turkey after a person’s death. The opening of inheritance is carried out through a court decision or by a notary public following the death. The following steps are followed to complete the process:

  • Obtaining the Death Certificate

A death certificate is an official document that shows that a person has passed away. To open the inheritance, the first step is to obtain the death certificate.

  • Identification of Heirs

To open the inheritance, it is necessary to identify the legal heirs of the deceased. Legal heirs are the close relatives of the deceased who are legally entitled to inherit.

  • Application for Opening of Inheritance

Legal heirs or their lawyers may apply to open the inheritance through a notary or by filing a lawsuit. When making the application, the death certificate, identification information of the heirs, the request for opening the inheritance, and other documents should be submitted.

  • Opening of Inheritance

After the application process is completed, the notary or the court decides to open the inheritance. With this decision, documents necessary for the distribution of inheritance of the inheritance are prepared.

  • Distribution of inheritance

Following the opening of the inheritance, the distribution of inheritance process is carried out among the legal heirs. This process includes various steps such as preparing the necessary documents for the distribution of inheritance, paying off debts, evaluating assets, and distributing them fairly.

The process of opening inheritance may differ from country to country and even from region to region. Therefore, it is recommended to examine local legal regulations and work with a probate lawyer to obtain more detailed information about the process of distribution of inheritance.

probate in turkey

IDENTIFYING HEIRS

Requirements to be an heir:

  • Being eligible to inherit (having the capacity to inherit)

Real persons’ eligibility to inherit;

In exceptional circumstances, real persons are not eligible to inherit as foreseen by the legislator. In the Civil Code; it is regulated that no gain can be obtained for the officers and witnesses who participate in the preparation of the official will, their descendants, ascendants, siblings, and their spouses through that will.

Legal persons’ eligibility to inherit;

Legal persons can also be heirs. Legal persons may not be legal heirs, but appointed heirs. The only exception to this situation is when the state is the legal heir if there is no other heir. In practice, the most common situation is the establishment of a foundation through a will.

  • The heir should not be deprived of the inheritance

Deprivation of inheritance means that an heir does not have the capacity to make a claim regarding inheritance law. Disqualification from inheritance can only be applicable to a person who has a relationship with the estate. The reasons for disqualification from inheritance stated in the law are that the heir engaged in behavior that is disapproved by the deceased, is not deserving of the inheritance, and does not have the capacity to express the intention of the deceased to exclude that person from inheritance. Article 578 of the Civil Code lists the reasons for disqualification from inheritance.

  • The heir must be alive at the time of the deceased’s death

As a general rule, the legislator requires that an heir must be alive at the time of the deceased’s death to be eligible for inheritance, but some exceptions have been made to this rule. These exceptions are if an unborn child is in the mother’s womb at the time of death and is born fully and alive, and if the deceased includes a person who does not yet exist at the time the estate is opened as an additional heir to their estate or a part of their estate.

HOW IS PROBATE PROCESS IN TURKEY CARRIED OUT?

Probate in Turkey, also known as taking over an inheritance, refer to the legal process of determining the rights of the legal heirs over the deceased’s estate and distributing the inheritance legally. Probate in Turkey involves a series of legal procedures and follow various steps. The process may vary from country to country and even from region to region, but generally includes the following steps:

The resolution of problems related to the probate in Turkey may take months or even years. After the death of the deceased, there may be testamentary dispositions, and disputes may arise among the heirs. Therefore, lawmakers have regulated measures such as sealing the estate and keeping an estate ledger to protect the estate assets. This article provides information on an ordinary probate process in Turkey and does not examine a process in which the heirs are in litigation with each other. You can review our inheritance law page regarding problematic inheritance division.

  • Obtaining an Inheritance Certificate

The Certificate of Inheritance is a document obtained to determine the legal heirs after a person’s death, and it is known as “Certificate of Inheritance” in Turkey. The Certificate of Inheritance can be obtained through a court order or notary public.

To obtain a Certificate of Inheritance, an application must be made to the court of first instance or notary public in the place where the deceased person died. The application must include the deceased person’s identity information, date and place of death, as well as the identity information of the legal heirs. The court or notary public will conduct the necessary examinations to determine the legal heirs and issue the Certificate of Inheritance accordingly.

The Certificate of Inheritance is a necessary document for the distribution of inheritance to the legal heirs and can be used in many official procedures. It is also required for inheritance procedures.

The request for the opening of the inheritance ends with the issuance of the Certificate of Inheritance. A document is issued to those who are determined to be legal heirs by the court of first instance and who apply for the inheritance with the share of the inheritance. With the recent changes, the Certificate of Inheritance can also be obtained from notaries, in addition to the court of first instance.

The Certificate of Inheritance is the most important document required for inheritance procedures. The heirs must present the Certificate of Inheritance, which shows that they are legal heirs and the share of the inheritance they are entitled to, to institutions and officials to initiate probate in Turkey. For example, it is not possible to carry out inheritance procedures with a bank clerk or at the land registry without presenting the Certificate of Inheritance.

  • How is the transfer of the immovable properties of the deceased made to the heirs in order to take the inherited property by the heirs?

The transfer of the inherited property of the deceased starts with the legal heirs deciding how the properties will be distributed during the probate in Turkey. The properties can be divided equally among all legal heirs or divided in a specific proportion after the deceased’s death.

To transfer the inherited property of the deceased, first, a certificate of inheritance must be obtained. After that, a valuation certificate must be obtained from the municipality where the properties are located, in order to transfer the inherited property of the deceased to the heirs. Municipalities require all debts related to the property (property tax, cleaning tax, water bill, etc.) to be paid before giving the valuation certificate to the heirs. After all debts are paid to the municipality, a valuation certificate indicating the value of the inherited property is given to the heirs.

Then, a decision is made about the distribution of inheritance, and upon the application of the heirs, the title deed registry office transfers the inherited property to the legal heirs’ names. This process is carried out in the title deed registry office, and the names of the legal heirs are recorded in the title deed of inherited property.

Depending on the condition of the properties and the number of legal heirs, inherited assets tax payments may be required during the transfer of the properties. Tax declarations can be submitted to the tax office and tax payments can be made.

The probate process in Turkey for inherited property of the deceased vary from country to country. Therefore, it is important to seek help from a qualified probate lawyer in Turkey regarding how to carry out the transfer of the immovable properties of the deceased.

  • How is the inheritance of money in bank accounts of the deceased carried out?

The probate process in Turkey of money in bank accounts of the deceased is carried out during the process of identifying legal heirs and sharing the inheritance. Firstly, obtaining a certificate of inheritance is necessary. Then, the following steps can be taken to inherit the money in bank accounts:

  • Identification of Bank Accounts: The first step to inherit the cash or capital assets in the bank accounts of the deceased is to obtain bank account statements addressed to the tax office from the relevant banks. To identify the bank accounts of the deceased, all bank statements, account activities, and account information of all bank accounts opened after the date of death of the deceased person should be collected. The bank reports all assets of the deceased person subject to taxation in that bank in detail within the scope of this letter. If the heirs do not know or are unsure about the bank where the deceased person has assets, they can query the bank accounts of the deceased person in the banks located within the borders of Turkey by logging into the e-government system and uploading the certificate of inheritance to the system.
  • Distribution of inheritance: The money in the bank accounts of the deceased is distributed among legal heirs according to the distribution of inheritance. Depending on the distribution ratios among legal heirs, the money in the bank accounts is determined which legal heir owns.
  • Closing Bank Accounts: After the identification of legal heirs and distribution of inheritance, bank accounts must be closed. The process of closing bank accounts is carried out at the bank branch where the bank account is held.
  • Tax Payments: During the process of inheriting money in the bank accounts of the deceased, inherited assets tax payments must also be made. These tax payments may vary from country to country.

The process of inheriting money in bank accounts of the deceased varies depending on the country. Therefore, it is important to seek help from a probate lawyer in Turkey on how to perform the inheritance process correctly.

  • Opening of the safety deposit box of the deceased in the bank

The opening of the safety deposit box of the deceased in the bank is carried out during the process of sharing the inheritance. If there is no testament of the deceased person, the items in the safety deposit box are distributed among the legal heirs. The following steps can be taken to open the safety deposit box:

  • Obtaining a Certificate of Inheritance: To open the safety deposit box of the deceased person, firstly, a certificate of inheritance must be obtained. A certificate of inheritance is necessary during the process of identifying legal heirs and probate in Turkey.
  • Contacting the Bank: To open the rented safe deposit box, contact must be made with the bank where the deceased’s account is located. The bank takes security measures for the safe and performs the necessary procedures to open it. Rented safes belonging to the deceased in the bank can only be opened in the presence of a tax officer. The heirs obtain a letter from the bank stating the existence of the rented safe deposit box and request the appointment of a tax officer from the tax office to open the rented safe deposit box. The tax office gives the heirs an appointment date, and on that date, the safe deposit box belonging to the deceased is opened in the presence of a tax officer.
  • Distribution of Inheritance: The items inside the safe are distributed among legal heirs according to the inheritance distribution. All the items taken out of the safe are recorded and their market values are determined by the tax officer. If it is not technically possible to determine the market value at that moment, the tax officer decides to appoint an expert and the items inside the safe are evaluated by experts and approved by the relevant commission of the tax office. After the record is taken, the safe is closed and sealed.
  • Tax Payments: During the process of opening the rented safe, tax payments also need to be made. Inherited assests tax payments may vary from country to country.

It should be remembered that the legal procedure required for the transfer of the rented safe may vary from country to country.

  • How is the transfer of the vehicle of the deceased done?

The transfer of the vehicle of the deceased is done during the distribution of the inheritance. The following steps can be followed for the transfer of the vehicle:

  • Obtaining a Certificate of Inheritance: Firstly, a Certificate of Inheritance must be obtained for the transfer of the vehicle of the deceased. The Certificate of Inheritance is necessary for determining the legal heirs and for the distribution of the inheritance.
  • Determining the Value of the Vehicle: The value of the vehicle must be determined before the transfer process. A letter from the insurance company indicating the value of the vehicle must be obtained. If the vehicle is older than 2004, a letter indicating the value of the vehicle based on a standard price is obtained from the Insurance Association. The letter indicating the standard price of the vehicle is added to the declaration form to be submitted to the tax office along with the vehicle registration certificate.
  • Transfer of the Vehicle: An application is made to the tax office where the vehicle is registered, along with a severance letter, for the transfer of the vehicle of the deceased. After the necessary examination is carried out by the tax office, if the conditions are met, a letter is prepared indicating that the transfer of the vehicle can be made without paying the Special Consumption Tax (SCT), and that the heirs can take over the inheritance. After completing all the necessary procedures, including the SCT exemption at the traffic registration office, an application is made to a notary for the transfer of the vehicle. All transfer procedures are completed in this way.
  • Changing the Registration of the Vehicle: After the transfer process of the vehicle is completed, the registration of the vehicle must be changed. The new owner of the vehicle registers the vehicle under their name and is identified as the new owner of the vehicle. If the vehicle is to be registered under the name of a single heir, a waiver document prepared by the other heirs must be obtained from a notary.
  • Submitting the Inheritance and Transfer Declaration to the Tax Office and Completing the Transfer: In order for the rights of the deceased’s estate to pass on to the heirs, inherited assets tax must be paid. Inheritance and transfer taxes are paid during the transfer of the deceased’s estate to the heirs and vary depending on the country.

After completing the procedures related to the deceased’s estate mentioned above, the heirs apply to the Inheritance and Fees Tax Office at the last residence address of the deceased. The heirs submit the Certificate of Inheritance, property deeds, standard price document, bank statement, and rental safe deposit box receipt along with the inherited assets tax declaration.

The declaration contains information about the deceased’s estate, the identity of the heirs, and the distribution of inheritance. The Inheritance and Transfer Declaration is prepared in a special format and must be submitted to the tax office within a certain period of time.

After the declaration is submitted, the tax office evaluates the information in the declaration and calculates the tax. According to the inheritance and transfer tariff, the tax office calculates the inheritance tax and charges the heirs accordingly.

After the heirs pay the tax debts, the tax office prepares a letter indicating that the tax has been paid to the land registry and the bank and there is no obstacle to the transfer process and inherited property. This document, along with the necessary paperwork, is submitted to the relevant authorities to complete the transfer process.

After the heirs have paid their tax debts, the tax office prepares a document stating that the tax relationship has been terminated and that there are no obstacles to the transfer procedures and issues it to the land registry and bank. This document demonstrates that the transfer of the rights of the deceased’s assets to the heirs has been completed. This document can be used as proof of ownership for all the assets of the deceased, including bank accounts, vehicles, and real estate.

Using the document that states the termination of the tax relationship, the heirs apply to the land registry to have the inherited property of the deceased transferred to their names through the transfer process and request to take over the title deed of the inheritance. They also apply to the bank with this document, requesting the transfer of the deceased’s assets to them and, if there is a safe deposit box, the delivery of the contents of the box to them.

distribution of inheritance

PROBATE PROCESS IN TURKEY FOR FOREIGNERS WHO ARE NOT TURKISH CITIZENS

If the deceased is not a Turkish citizen but has assets in Turkey, it is possible for the heirs to inherit these assets. In the case of a foreigner leaving an inheritance in Turkey, the inheritance of non-Turkish citizen foreigners is also determined by Turkish law for probate in Turkey.

However, if the deceased is a foreigner, it is important to seek the assistance of a lawyer due to the application of the MOHUK rules. For example, according to MOHUK, Turkish law will be applied to immovable property in Turkey, regardless of the nationality of the foreigner. However, for movable property, the transaction must be made according to the deceased person’s national law.

In addition, it is necessary to determine whether there is reciprocity between the state in which the deceased was a citizen and Turkey with regard to inheritance practices, taking into account the date of the probate in Turkey to the heirs. If there is no legal or practical reciprocity between the state in which the deceased was a citizen and Turkey with regard to inheritance practices, the heirs’ transfer request will be rejected.

First of all, it is necessary to obtain the death certificate of the deceased and the inheritance certificate showing the heirs. An inheritance certificate obtained in a foreign country cannot be recognized and enforced in Turkey. Therefore, the heirs must apply to the Turkish civil court to obtain the inheritance certificate.

The transfer of the inheritance of foreigners who are not Turkish citizens must be carried out in accordance with Turkish law and tax legislation.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SEEKING THE ASSISTANCE OF PROBATE LAWYER FOR PROBATE IN TURKEY

Inheritance transfer procedures can be quite complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, seeking the assistance of a probate lawyer in inheritance transfer procedures is of great importance.

Lawyers can assist heirs in many stages of inheritance transfer procedures, from evaluating the deceased’s assets to preparing tax returns. Lawyers can protect the rights of heirs by legally following the necessary steps during the distribution of the inheritance.

In addition, probate lawyer can carry out tax planning for heirs to reduce their tax burden during inheritance transfer procedures. This way, the tax burden arising from the distribution of inheritance is minimized.

Another important benefit of seeking the assistance of a probate lawyer in Turkey is to prevent legal disputes. Lawyers can offer the best possible solutions to minimize legal disputes that may arise during the distribution of inheritance. This way, inheritance transfer procedures can be accelerated and the relationships between heirs can be preserved.

In conclusion, seeking the assistance of a probate lawyer in Turkey is crucial for protecting the rights of heirs, reducing the tax burden, and preventing legal disputes.

You can review our other articles here and contact info@cbhukuk.com for your legal support request.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The copyright of the articles and content on our website belongs to Av. Orbay Çokgör, and all articles are published with electronically signed time stamps to establish ownership. If any articles on our website are copied or summarized without providing a source link and published on other websites, legal and criminal proceedings will be initiated.

Previous Post
Rack Rent and Exorbitant Rent Increase
Next Post
Tenants Rights When Landlord Sold Property
keyboard_arrow_up