Inheritance law deals with the past and future of property inherited by the person who dies. Only natural persons can inherit their property when they die or in situations that bear the same legal consequences such as being missing for a long time or the presumption of death. It is out of questions for legal persons to die, so they cannot inherit their property. However, legal persons can have the capacity of being an heir. The state as a public legal person can also be a legal heir.
The heirs cannot make any transactions on their inheritance portions without the consent of the legator before it dies. Before the inheritance procedure is opened, heirs cannot conclude contracts with the other heirs or third parties, which will put its inheritance portion under obligation. Even such contracts are concluded, they are deemed as invalid.
Any heir may request for the sharing of inheritance any time unless the law or contract provides otherwise. If the property in inheritance can be partitioned, they are partitioned according to heirs’ portions. If not, the property is sold and its sales price is shared between heirs. As long as the legator does not appoint legatees with any kind of transaction, the legal sharing of inheritance can be made. While sharing the inheritance, the judge considers all inheritance and share the inheritance equally between the heirs.
Certificate of inheritance is a document issued by the Civil Courts of Peace or notary offices at the request of the heirs who are determined as a legal heir. This document is also called inheritance decree in Turkish law. The heirs appointed by the will or inheritance contract can also request for the issuance of certificate of inheritance.
Certificate of inheritance cannot be issued for persons who does not have a kinship with the legator according to the existing records. If it is claimed that there is an error in the records, first, this error should be corrected and then the request for the issuance of certificate of inheritance can be made. Certificate of inheritance evidences the heirship capacity of the heirs. Inheritance can be disposed relying on this document. All heirs should be shown on certificate of inheritance. In addition, it will be good that the inheritance portions of the heirs are shown on it although it is not a necessity to do that.
The spouse is both the legal heir and the legal heir with reserved portion. In order for the spouse to benefit from heirship rights, the wedlock should exist, i.e. the marriage should not have ended, at the time of the death. Engagement contract does not entitle the alive spouse a portion from the inheritance. Living together outside of the marriage does not grant the alive spouse the capacity of heirship, either.
If spouses have got divorced before the legator dies, the alive spouse cannot have a portion from the inheritance. If one of the spouse dies during the divorce case, the heirs of the dead spouse may prevent the alive spouse from having heirship by proceeding with the case. In some situations, the alive spouse may commit some actions, which will terminate the marriage, against the legator such as attempt on life, adultery or abandoning. If a divorce case is filed for these grounds, the other heirs of the legator may prevent the alive spouse from having heirship by proceeding with the divorce case.
The legal inheritance portion of the spouse changes depending on the inheritance groups the spouse share the inheritance.
Attorney Ozan Soylu Law Office works with an expert team on Inheritance Law cases in İstanbul and in Turkey. We do our best to offer you a speedy, effective and informed legal process in cases related to inheritance law.
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