Making Will in Turkey

Making Will in Turkey

As a foreigner living in Turkey, we are here to help you if you are thinking about your heritage, do not want your heirs to have problems with the Turkish bureaucracy and possible language problems, and want to make certain arrangements. By means of a duly and valid will, you can determine many things in advance and even choose your heirs regarding your immovables to which Turkish Law will be strictly applied in case of inheritance.

A will is a written document or oral statement that determines the last wishes and desires of the inheritor and the principles of sharing the inheritance.

In order to make a will, it is necessary to have completed the age of fifteen and to have the power to distinguish according to Turkish Laws. When making the will, there are some limitations with the form rules that the inheritor must comply with. The inheritor does not have the right to unlimited savings on the estate. The testator's right of death-related disposition, that is, the right to make a will, must not violate the "reserved shares of the heirs with reserved shares". 

What are the types of wills and which one should I choose as a foreigner?

According to the Turkish Civil Code, a will can be made in three ways: Official will, hand written will, oral will. 

Handwritten wills must be completely and absolutely the product of the hand of the inheritor, and the parts containing important elements must not be damaged in any way. It should be dated and signed on the bottom, and after it is issued, it can be handed over to any official, institution or friend, either openly or closed, for safekeeping.

Oral wills can only be made in extraordinary circumstances when it is not possible to make a will in any other way. The emergency must exist at the time the will is made. Examples are “danger of death” or “interruption of transport”. An oral will is formed when the testator tells his last wishes to two witnesses and the witnesses document these wishes of the testator.

However, since the validity of these two types of wills is much more questionable than the official will, the most appropriate type of will for foreigners living in Turkey is the official will made in the presence of an official.

How to make an Official Will?

The official will is drawn up by the official with the participation of two witnesses. The official who will draw up the will; can be a judge, notary public or any other official authorized by law. 

In practice, it is possible to prepare this power of attorney by going to the notary with your 2 witnesses who are Turkish citizens, a sworn translator and the necessary documents. If you know Turkish, then interpreter support may not be required, but if you are not fluent, it is mandatory to have an interpreter in your own language.

Also, official or witnesses participating in the preparation of the will, their descendants, their descendants, siblings and spouses of these persons cannot be benefited of this will.

As a result of the preparation of the will, one of the 3 copies of the will remains with you, one remains with the notary public and one is sent to population and citizenship directorate.

What are the required documents?

  • Translation of your passport and, if any, your residence permit card
  • Turkish ID cards of witnesses
  • Copies of title deeds of your properties to be subjected to the will
  • Copies of passports/IDs of your heirs
  • 4 of your biometric photographs
  • Your Turkish tax number
  • Medical report if found necessary

Is a medical report mandatory?

No. Although a health report showing that you are in good mental health is not mandatory, it will be an important element for the will to be secure if you are over the age of 65.

What is the execution of will?

After the death of the inheritor is notified, the power of attorney in the population records and in the notary is sent to the judge who will issue the certificate of inheritance and a will is opened by this judge. According to the appropriate decision from here, the movables and immovables divided by the will will be transferred to the heirs. This judge will also ensure the protection of the reserved shares mentioned in our "Turkish Inheritance Law" article. 

If you have questions about inheritence in Turkey, please do not hesitate to contact us to get information about the process from our English speaking expert lawyer team at Kula Law Firm.

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