Wills, Probate and Succession Law – Estate Planning

Applicable Laws to Wills and Succession in Cyprus

The administration of the estate of a deceased, whether by will or on intestacy (i.e. in the absence of Will) , and the execution of wills and administration of estates are dealt with under Cyprus Law by the Wills and Succession Law, Cap. 195 and the Administration of Estates Law, Cap. 189 respectively. The Cyprus Law, applies to those who domiciled in Cyprus and/or to anyone who holds an immovable property in Cyprus. Wills and estate planning constitute sensitive matters which are often left without given the necessary consideration.

Probate in Cyprus

A Grant of Probate is a legal document granted by the competent Court that authorises the executor(s) addressed in the deceased’s Will, to administer the estate of the deceased according to the provisions of the deceased person’s Last Will and Testament.  The role of the executor is essential and it confers to the executor personal responsibility to protect the assets of the estate, pay the debts and taxes of the estate if any and to administer and distribute the assets of the estate to the heirs and/or beneficiaries addressed in the deceased person’s Will.

In order to obtain a Grant of Probate, the executor must determine the value of the assets of the estate and the liabilities if any. In case the executor is not a resident of Republic of Cyprus then the Court may appoint its own executor to administer the estate.

Can I revoke my Will?

A Will may be revoked by drafting another Will which explicitly revokes the former one or by a subsequent Will, inconsistent with the provisions of the former one, but only so far as the provisions of the two Wills are inconsistent. A Will can also be revoked if the testator willingly destroys it or gives instructions to another individual to this effect in the presence of the testator. Moreover, a Will is deemed to be revoked, if the testator gets married or with the birth of the testator’s child, after the execution of the Will, if at the time of making the Will the testator has no children, unless it becomes apparent that the Will was prepared with the prospect of marriage or the birth of the testator’s child(ren). In case where the Testator obtains a divorce, the will is considered to be revoked unless the testator has re executed it or reviewed the Will.

What happens when there is no Will?

If a person dies without a Will (i.e. intestate) or does not appoint an executor in the Will, the court will appoint an administrator, by granting the so called letters of administration, to the administrator of the estate. The administrator will administer the estate according to the Administration of Estates Law Cap.189, Cap. 193 and the Rules made under these Laws, in conjunction with the Wills and Succession Law, Cap. 195. The administrator will pay any debts of the deceased and distribute the property to the heirs. The surviving spouse and any children inherit in equal shares. If there are no surviving children or spouse, the property will be inherited by more distant relatives and according to the degree of kindred they belong to.

  • Detailed advice on succession
  • Formation and Execution of Wills
  • Filing with the Court’s Registry
  • Administration and Distribution of Assets
  • Probate and estate administration

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