'In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes' (Benjamin Franklin). Inheritance planning is a delicate issue that very few people would like to deal with, especially in Cyprus reality.
However, it is worth preparing for the inevitable and deciding the fate of the property obtained on the island.
When does inheritance take place, according to Cyprus law?
The legislation of the Republic regulates the inheritance of the property of a person who is domiciled on the island. This is a complex legal concept, but in practice, domicile usually means permanent residence in the country.
In any case, Cypriot laws regulate the inheritance of any real estate located on the territory of the country, regardless of whether the testator was permanently resident on the island or not. But at the same time, the law of Cyprus is not applicable to real estate located abroad, even if the testator had a permanent residence in the Republic.
The transfer of real estate by inheritance can also be carried out according to the law of any other country of the European Union, the state of citizenship of the testator, if this is stated in the will.
Is it mandatory to draw up a will? How is property inherited in the absence of a will?
For the transfer by inheritance of real estate in Cyprus, like any other property, a will is not required. If the deceased has not expressed their will, inheritance in Cyprus, including real estate, is carried out according to the law.
In this case, 4 categories of heirs have the right to property:
- First order of inheritance: children
- Second order of inheritance: parents and siblings
- Third order of inheritance: next of kin, such as grandmothers, grandfathers
- Four order of inheritance: cousins, brothers and sisters of grandmothers and grandfathers.
If there are no heirs of the first order of inheritance, the rights of inheritance are transferred to more distant relatives of the second order, and if they are absent, then to heirs of the third order, etc.
Who has the right to inherit real estate if the will was made?
Of course, the people indicated in the will. However, there is the concept of a compulsory share in the legislation of Cyprus, a part of the inheritance that will be transferred to the legal spouse, children and other close relatives, even if they are not indicated in the will.
After the death of a spouse, can the other spouse obtain real estate acquired by the deceased before marriage?
Yes, even if the second spouse does not have Cypriot citizenship. This situation is governed by the mandatory share rule.
Are the encumbrances on Cyprus property inherited?
Yes. If, let's say, an apartment was bought on credit, the heirs have to pay it.
Is inheritance property taxed?
According to the law of Cyprus, inheritance, including real estate, is not taxed. It was canceled in 2000. However, if it is found that the testator was not domiciled in Cyprus, this law does not apply, i.e. the tax is charged.
A domicile on an island is held by those who were born here or by those who have chosen the Republic as their domicile. The presence of a "domicile of choice" is recognized if it is possible to prove the testator' physical presence in Cyprus and the desire to choose the island as their place of permanent residence.
At the same time, the presence of a domicile may not depend on the citizenship of another country. Thus, a UK without Cypriot citizenship may be domiciled on the island.
In what cases it will not be possible to inherit property in Cyprus?
The transfer of the object is not carried out, only if the testator does not have a Title deed. Even if the object was listed with them in the Cyprus Land Committee, but the Title Deed has not yet been issued, then any manipulations with real estate are prohibited, including inheritance. You can read more about Cyprus Property Title Deeds in this article.
Is it important in which country the will is drawn up in relation to real estate in Cyprus?
Depends on the situation, in most cases it does not. A will made in another country is recognized as valid on the island if it complies with the requirements of Cypriot laws regarding the registration and identity of the testator. However, lawyers and the Dom Live portal specialists advise foreigners to write their will on Cyprus property in a separate document in Cyprus in order to avoid bureaucratic formalities.
Do you still have questions or need classified professional help? On our portal, you can always ask any question you are interested in about Cyprus real estate here, or in the comments under this article and get a quick answer.