Inheritance in Turkey

Inheritance is a major legal concern for investors that guarantees their ability to safeguard the future of their property before making the decision to follow through with their investment.

Turkish Inheritance Law regulates the inheritance particularly for immovable assets that belong to a foreign national late person.

Legal heirs of the deceased should be determined with a Certificate of Inheritance that is to be gained as a result of probate action.

The Court would ask the civil registry records such as birth certificate records to be presented. As a next step, the heirs regulate their relations with the Tax Office to obtain the Tax Clearance Letter which should also be submitted to the land registry office.

Legal successors will then apply to the land registry office to register their shares under their names.

In the case of the absence of a notarized will, the legal heirs of an immovable property in Turkey are determined through the following order of succession:

  • The first heirs of a deceased person are the children and the spouse who receive a set share
  • If the deceased doesn’t have any direct descendants, then the parents are the reserved heirs
  • If the deceased’s parents are no longer alive, then the siblings are next in line to inherit
  • The last of a deceased person’s heirs according to the order of succession as per Turkey’s inheritance law are the grandparents and their children

If the deceased is not survived by any of his next of kin, the entire estate goes to the surviving spouse, and in the case of leaving behind no surviving heirs, the deceased’s estate then becomes the property of the Turkish State.

According to regulations in Turkey, if a person dies with assets in the country they will be liable to an inheritance tax.
However, compared to other countries in Europe, the inheritance tax rate in Turkey is relatively low and is subject to how much an investor’s assets in the country are worth, meaning that a lower tax percentage is applied to estates of lower value.

The inheritance tax rates also usually vary between 1% and 30% depending on the residence status of the recipient and the location of the property.
The following table demonstrates the inheritance tax rate in relation to a property’s value in Euro (€):

  • 1% for values Up to €53,333
  • 3% for value of €170,000
  • 5% for value of €426,667
  • 7% for value of €926,667
  • 10% for value of €926,667

The inheritance tax is payable over three years, in May and November of each year.

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