Inheritance in Cyprus

Inheritance in Cyprus

Updated on Tuesday 22nd September 2015

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Inheritance-in-CyprusWhat are the main laws governing inheritances in Cyprus?

Cyprus has a sound legislation regarding inheritance. Succession in Cyprus falls under the following regulations:

  • - the Wills and Succession Law enacted in 1945,
  • - the Administration of Estates Law in the Cypriot Civil Law which provides the procedures for will executions and administration of estate,
  • - the Probates or Re-Sealing Law that regulates the procedure of re-sealing letters of administration issued by courts in the Commonwealth in Cypriot courts.

What are the rules of inheritance in Cyprus?

The rules of inheritance apply to all Cypriot citizens and to foreign citizens owning real estate in the country. Moreover, the inheritance rules apply to foreign citizens living in Cyprus and intending to relocate to the country. Many foreign citizens are attracted toward the island due to the fact that there is no estate tax in Cyprus. The Cypriot inheritance and gift tax was abolished in 2001.

The principles applied in cases of inheritance depend on the following factors:

  • - in case the deceased has no spouse and children, the inheritance is distributed to the deceased’s parents or descendants,
  • - in case the deceased has a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse will inherit half of the estate and the other half is devolved to the deceased’s parents or descendants,
  • - if the deceased is not married but has children, the succession is divided between them,
  • - if the deceased has a spouse and children, the estate is divided between them in equal shares.

Forced heirship in Cyprus

In case the deceased leaves no testament, the Cypriot legislation will determine the inheritance according to the rules of forced heirship. In this case the Cypriot estate will be divided into:

  • - a disposable section,
  • - a compulsory section.

The disposable section depends on the surviving relatives which will receive between a quarter and half, or even the entire estate. Even if similar to the disposable section in terms of surviving relatives, the compulsory section refers to the spouse receiving a certain share of the estate, the other parts of the estate being divided between the remaining heirs.

For complete information about the legislation on succession please contact our lawyers in Cyprus.