New System Protects Foreign Heirs’ Real Estate Inheritance

Posted on 10 August 2011

A new system aimed at preventing the heirs of foreigners who own property in Turkey from being fraudulently divested of their inheritance in the event of the deaths of said owners. Antalya Provincial Treasurer Hidayet Mat, said that, although it does not happen often, occasionally foreigners have been cheated out of their inheritance, when properties are appropriated by some individuals using fraudulent means, adding that inherited property was subject to the deceased persons’ national law.

Earlier this year real estate owned by two British nationals who died in Alanya was temporarily taken over by the state when no heir could be located. The heirs later being located by the British Embassy and the property handed over is what prompted the new system to be put in place.

The system, which is currently being piloted in Alanya, details the procedures to be taken by the authorities when a foreigner dies in Turkey.

Going forward, when a foreigner dies in the district, the Alanya Birth Registration Office will notify the Alanya Fiscal Directorate and the Antalya Revenue Office. The former then checks for any property in Turkey registered in the deceased person’s name. If the person is found to be the owner of a Turkish property, a written statement is sent to the relevant embassy notifying them of the situation. In such a case, the property is only temporarily taken over by the state if an heir cannot be located by the embassy.

According to Mat this new system will protect foreigners’ loved ones from being cheated out of their rightful inheritance.

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