Interview about inheritance rights in Turkey

rights of inheritance in Turkey
information for foreign heirs in Turkey

Dear readers of our site! We have previously posted an article where we explain how to register inheritance rights in Turkey, but our consultants continue to receive questions connected with this topic. A professional lawyer, author of numerous legal articles, expert specializing on legal protection of foreign nationals in Turkey Hakan Uncuoglu decided to answer the most frequently asked questions from our readers.

Mr. Hakan, could you please make it clear whether the certificate of inheritance obtained abroad is valid in Turkey?

In different countries, the certificate of inheritance can be issued in different ways. In some countries, the inheritance certificate is in fact a court decision, which can be recognized in the territory of the Republic of Turkey under the following conditions.

  • The judgment should be in its final form and enter into force.
  • There must be an agreement or actual implementation of the law on the adoption and enforcement of judgments between Turkey and the country of testator.

In some countries, the certificate of inheritance is issued in a notary's office, and in fact in NOT a court decision. In this case, the recognition of such a document in Turkey is impossible. In spite of this, the heir can still obtain a certificate of inheritance by submitting the claim to the Turkish court. As a proof, earlier we have published a decision of the Supreme Court of Turkey obtained by our lawyers during the years of legal practice.

What documents are required for registration of inheritance in Turkish court, if the enforcement of the foreign judgment is not possible?

In order to start the trial on the registration of inheritance rights in Turkey, firstly it is necessary to provide the evidence of the testator's death. Secondly, its obligatory to submit the documents containing information about the heirs (reference from the population register office, the certificate of inheritance, notary certificate mentioning the number of heirs- this information can be different depending on the country of the testator). Turkish court often tends to approve the information on the heirs, by sending a request through authorized international institutions located in the country of testator.

If there are several heirs, do every one of them need to make separate applications in order to obtain a certificate of inheritance in Turkey?

No, the certificate of inheritance obtained in Turkey is common for all the heirs so all of them can use it. Moreover, the court case on approving inheritance rights in Turkey may be initiated only by one of the heirs.

How long do such trials usually last?

Depending on the time necessary for response of the foreign competent authorities, the process can last from 6 months to a year and a half. If the foreign certificate can be successfully recognized in Turkey, then the court case duration will not exceed 6 months.

The legislation of which country is applied to provide the fair division of shares between foreign heirs?

In Turkey, the shares of the inheritance will be divided between foreign heirs according to the laws of their home country.

Can the heir issue all the documents, without coming to Turkey? Does your law office provide such legal services for the foreigners?

The heir does not need to come to Turkey in order to obtain a certificate through the court of the Turkish Republic as the lawyer in Turkey can follow the trial until the completion. Our firm has extensive experience in matters of inheritance registration; our specialists help foreigners not only to obtain a certificate of inheritance, but also to register all the assets of the testator situated in Turkey in the name of heirs. If you want to get more information please contact our consultants.

How can the heirs obtain a certificate if they are 18 years old?

If the heir is under 18, in order to register his inheritance rights in Turkey the power of attorney can be issued on behalf of the child by one of his parents or legal guardian.

Is there a statute of limitations in these trials?

There is no statute of limitations in such court processes, the certificate of inheritance may be requested at any time. However, if the assets are not registered in the name of the heirs within 4 months, the Ministry of Finance charges one-time penalty; its amount is mentioned in our previous blog.