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Making a will regarding your villa or apartment in Turkey

The purchase of a villa or an apartment in Turkey is a big decision and a serious investment. Obviously, we hope you will enjoy the benefits from your property in Turkey for a very long time. Unfortunately, we are still not immortal, and nobody knows when it is time to go ... This event is already sad enough, and therefore many among us make arrangements in advance to put their affairs in order so that their relatives and heirs at least will be spared from headaches concerning your inheritance. Dealing with the death of a relative is an intensive emotional process, during which no one is waiting for an awful lot of worries concerning practical matters. Therefore, it can be very useful to arrange the legacy of your villa or apartment in Turkey in advance with a will in Turkey.

Why a will in Turkey?

In addition to various other legal services, RealProinvest offers its customers this service also. Of course, you don’t have to make will in Turkey, but it can be quite useful to do so. A legacy issue can be complicated enough already in your own country, but abroad, on top of that, the legislation is different of course. Not to mention the language barrier …

Making a will in Turkey is the best solution to be sure that the inheritance of your property in Turkey will pass smoothly and quickly

According to the Turkish law of succession; a legacy is governed in principle by the law of succession of the country of origin of the deceased. Exception to this rule: the inheritance of property – in other words, your villa or apartment in Turkey – is defined according to the Turkish law of succession, regardless whether the property is owned by a foreigner or a Turkish citizen. To start up the inheritance procedure, the heirs should appeal to a court. The competent Turkish court – presiding in the district where the property is located – will request the supporting documents and evidence in your home country, such as a confirmation by a court (from the country of origin of the heirs) to prove that those who claim the legacy are indeed the legal heirs of the property in Turkey. To avoid any complicated and unpleasant situations, it is therefore advisable to handle the inheritance of your villa or apartment in Turkey with a will. The best solution is to draw up a will in Turkey; and you can of course draw up a similar document in your own country with the same content.

The legacy of your villa or apartment in Turkey will go off smoothly with a will in Turkey, and the whole procedure takes only one day.

How to draw up a will in Turkey?

Prior to the actual drafting of the will; you need to prepare a few documents and bring them with you on the day itself:

  • Your passport and your Tapu(s) plus a copy of them (you can, of course, make the copies at the notary on the day of the drafting of the will);
  • A copy of the passports(s) of the future heir(s);
  • Four photographs of yourself;
  • Your Turkish tax number.

In advance; you also need to make an appointment with an official translator, a notary and two witnesses. The translator will accompany you throughout the day, and – important – the two witnesses must have Turkish nationality.

Prior to the day of the drafting of the will – at least one day in advance – you provide a copy of your passport to the sworn translator, so that he can prepare the translation of it. On the day of the drafting of the will itself, you need to go with the translator to a state hospital to obtain a certificate of your mental health (in other words, that you are fully aware of your actions and enjoy all your mental capabilities). Because it's usually quite busy in the state hospitals – and the notary closes at 5 pm – we advise you to go to the hospital in the morning as early as possible. The will has to be made on the same day as the date stated on the report from the hospital that confirmed your sanity. And, in addition, this report is only valid for one day.

Once you obtain this certificate; you proceed with the other documents (passport, Tapu etc. as mentioned above) along with the translator to the notary. The two witnesses – with their Turkish passports – have to come to the notary now also.

Once you arrived there, the notary will now prepare the will. You could forward the text of the testament to the translator so that he, in his turn, can give it to the notary (if you speak Turkish, you can do this yourself of course). Once the notary has drafted the text, the translator will read the text in your own language. Obviously – if necessary – changes can be made. Once the text is as intended all the way, the official testament will be drawn up in three identical copies. Each one of them is provided with your picture and the signatures of yourself, the notary, the translator and the witnesses. One copy is for you; the owner of the property. The second copy remains at the notary and the third one is sent by the notary to the Ministry of Population in Turkey.

Execution of the will

After your passed away, the rightful heir(s) should consult a lawyer in Turkey with his/their copy of the will, the death certificate of the deceased and a few documents. Subsequently, the lawyer will submit a request to confirm the transfer of the title deed at the Ministry of Population and forward the documents to the appropriate court. Based on the ruling of the court, the title of ownership will now be transferred to the name of the heir and a new Tapu will be drawn up. This whole procedure runs smoothly and, moreover, quickly.

As you can see, it’s worth it to draw up a will in Turkey regarding your villa or apartment in Turkey. The staff of RealProinvest is ready to prepare with you the whole procedure and to assist you in finding a notary, a translator, ... and to make the necessary arrangements.