We have extensive experience in providing guidance on how to make a Will which will protect your estate and benefit your family. We also provide advice on how to best protect you estate from any legal challenge and how to reduce any tax burden payable on your death.
Will or Testament
A Will or a Testament is a declaration, by which the person making it(testator )names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death-even the property acquired after the date of the Will. Such a declaration is valid until it is revoked or changed.
The Law of Wills and Inheritance in Cyprus
The formalities required for the making of a Will and the principles which apply in interpreting Wills are the same as those under English Law. The Law divides a person’s estate into two portions:
- The Statutory portion: the part of the estate that one has a legal obligation to pass on to his heirs, and
- the Disposable portion: the part of his estate that he can freely dispose of.
Where a person attempts to dispose by Will a part of his estate in excess of the above proportions, that part is abated and reduced proportionately so as to limit it to the disposable portion.
If a person dies without a will then his property is transmitted to the heirs in the manner defined by the law. Thus if somebody dies leaving behind a wife and two children, each one of them is entitled to one third of his estate. If the deceased leaves no children but father, brother, uncle or nephew, the spouse’s share is one half of the estate. Which part of one’s estate is disposable depends on the size of one’s family.
Private International Law Considerations
In the case of non-Cypriot nationals, irrespective of whether they are domiciled in Cyprus or not the law provides for complete freedom to dispose the whole of their estate by Will, as they wish. It should be mentioned that this freedom is subject to any limitations that may be imposed by the law of the country in which such person is domiciled.
In the case of immovable property, this is always determined in accordance with law of the place where the property is situated irrespective of where the person is domiciled.
We always advice our clients to make a separate Cyprus Will which will sit alongside other country’s Will.
Inheritance Tax in Cyprus
There is no estate duty payable in Cyprus for Cyprus domiciles. However domiciles of other jurisdictions may still be liable to pay inheritance tax in their country of domicile. We can offer expert legal advice with knowledge of both affected jurisdictions.