It is widely known that Turkey provides opportunities for foreign investors to own properties in the country, and this opportunity comes with a package of benefits and facilitations. One of these benefits that concerns many is the inheritance of properties owned by foreigners to their legitimate heirs after their death. However, this is possible within certain conditions and laws.
1- Inheritance Law for Properties in Turkey:
The process of inheriting properties in Turkey involves the transfer of the assets of the deceased property owner to their legitimate heirs. This process is regulated by specific laws that govern the procedure according to predetermined conditions and regulations. The Turkish government allows the ownership and inheritance of properties in Turkey after the death of most foreigners who purchase property in Turkey. However, there are exceptions that apply to certain nationalities from limited countries, as there are some restrictions imposed on property ownership in Turkey by these nationalities.
2- How to Inherit Properties in Turkey:
The laws related to property ownership in Turkey also apply to properties owned by foreigners in Turkey. Foreign-owned properties fall under the jurisdiction of Turkish law and are subject to a tax called the inheritance and transfer tax. This tax is primarily determined based on the geographical location of the property in Turkey. However, it is important to note that the inheritance and transfer tax imposed on properties in Turkey is relatively low, and its value varies depending on the value of the properties owned by the investors. The tax is calculated at a lower percentage as the price of the property in Turkey decreases.
3- Heirs under the Inheritance Law for Properties in Turkey:
In the absence of any official and certified will, the relatives of the deceased property owner in Turkey inherit their immovable properties. The heirs are determined as follows: The first to receive a share of the inheritance are the spouse and children of the deceased. If the deceased has no children, the parents become the heirs, and the spouse shares the inheritance in the absence of children. In addition, the spouse shares the inheritance with the deceased’s grandparents and siblings. The last to receive a share of the deceased’s properties are the grandchildren and their children, according to the provisions of the inheritance law for properties in Turkey. If there are no relatives whatsoever, the entire estate goes to the ownership of the Turkish government. The heirs are granted their respective shares of the inheritance after the process of inventorying the estate, which involves listing the deceased’s assets, and after settling any debts the deceased may have, such as paying off bank loans or outstanding installments.
The Turkish law governing the process of inheriting properties in Turkey states that half of the deceased’s properties go to the spouse, and the other half is divided equally among the children, whether male or female. It is possible to apply the inheritance law of the country of origin of the foreign resident in Turkey when dividing the inheritance, provided that all heirs agree without exception.
4- Inheritance and Transfer Tax in Turkey:
Foreign investors who purchase properties in Turkey are required to pay the inheritance and transfer tax when inheriting or transferring their properties in the event of death, as long as these properties are located within the Turkish borders. The heir is responsible for paying the inheritance and transfer tax after receiving the money through inheritance or transfer. The value to be paid to settle the inheritance and transfer tax is estimated at a rate ranging from one to ten percent, depending on the geographical location of the property in Turkey.