How to Write a Last Will and Testament in Turkey for Foreigners

Last will - Vasiyetname
Last Will, Testament – Vasiyetname

 

Tips for Drafting Last Will and Testament for Foreign Nationals in Turkey

Disclaimer: This post is merely a review of a small portion of Turkish inheritance laws and cannot be construed as a legal advice for anyone’s last will and testament. The sample Turkish last will and testament below might not be legally valid, depending on the value of your assets and your living heirs. For an accurate legal advice that is suited to your specific case, please consult a Turkish attorney.

Things to be aware of before writing a last will and testament in Turkish Law:

  1. When writing a last will and testament in Turkey, if it concerns assets in Turkey, the entire will and testament must be written in handwriting, dated and signed. It can be written in your mother language.
  2. You can distribute the movable assets in your estate (cars, money, boat, gold and other valuables) as per your own national inheritance laws. However, for the immovable assets (all kinds of real estate such as apartments, lands etc.) you need to abide by the Turkish inheritance laws.
  3. Under Turkish inheritance law, unless determined otherwise via a last will and testament, by default the spouse gets 1/4th of the estate while the children share 3/4th of the estate equally among each other. In the absence of a living spouse, the children are entitled to the whole estate, and vice versa.
  4. In your last will and testament, you can alter the legal shares of the children only by half, meaning 50% of a child’s legal share cannot be touched without a valid reason. For spouse, this percentage varies between 75%-100%, meaning a living spouse’s legal share of inheritance mostly cannot be altered by the will and testament of the deceased spouse.

An example of a will and testament in English language, under Turkish law:

01 January 2024

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
I, John Doe, here by announce my last will and testament.
Upon my death, I leave my

  • My Konyaalti Apartment (Antalya Konyaalti Hurma Mah. 1 Ada 1 Parsel A Blok 1. Bb) to my 3 children in equal shares.
  • I leave my Volkswagen vehicle (plate number 07 AT 007) to my eldest child Joe.
  • I leave all the Money in my Vakifbank bank account to my youngest child Sarah.
  • Finally, I leave my personal items and all other valuables to my middle child Mike.

As a final message to my children, I love you all.

Sincerely yours

John Doe

Antalya Lawyer Baris Erkan Celebi and his Antalya Law Firm offer legal support in the drafting of last will and testament for all foreign nationals in Turkey.

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