Whether you are a permanent resident or someone who only visits a few times a year, we recommend that you have a will prepared if you own a property in the TRNC.  

Your UK will only covers you for assets in the UK. As a TRNC property owner and bank account holder you will need a TRNC will to ‘mirror’ your UK will.

The major change in the TRNC, from that of the law in the UK, covers ‘intestacy’. In the TRNC, if one of you dies intestate (i.e. without leaving a Will) your spouse will not automatically inherit your estate, if there are surviving children.

The TRNC Government is not entitled to your estate if you do not make a Will. The Government is only entitled, by law, to an estate should there be no 'next of kin'. However there are numerous levels of ‘kinship’ before this situation arises.

Another key difference is the treatment of "partners". Partners living like husband and wife in the TRNC do not have the same rights of partners in the UK. They will not have any share in the estate of his/her partner. Therefore it is essential that a will is made to protect the interests of the surviving partner. Please read the "Targett" Case Study.

If you leave a will in the UK covering your property in Northern Cyprus, in the event of your death, a Grant of Probate can be issued in the UK, and we can then apply to the courts here for the Grant of Probate to be re-sealed and re-validated for use in the TRNC. This ensures that the terms of the Grant of Probate and the will can be applied to the estate here. However, this can be a lengthy and expensive process.

The simplest way to ensure that your assets are protected and to avoid doubt about the validity of the will is to prepare and sign your will with a lawyer in the TRNC. This will should cover your assets and property in the TRNC. It should be separate to any other wills you may have made in any other country covering your property in that country.

The Procedure

At the initial meeting we will provide you with details of all the factors you will need to consider, namely beneficiaries, assets and belongings to be bequeathed and who you wish to nominate as executor.

If you have a copy of your UK will and wish the terms of that to apply to your TRNC will then you should bring that with you.

The wording of a TRNC will is similar to that of a will prepared in the UK. It is written in English, so it will be easy for you to determine any alterations or additions that may need to be made.

Under TRNC Law, for a will to be valid, the person making the Will must be over 18 and of ‘sound mind’. The will has to be signed at the end by the testator in the presence of two witnesses, who must be present at the same time, and these witnesses must attest the will.

You may, optionally, lodge your will at the District Court Probate Registry. A copy of the will would be filed with the Probate Registrar at the local District Court. The Probate Registrar checks that formalities have been complied with and will verify the identity of the testator. The will is stamped and then filed at Court.

It is a good idea, if you are a member of the British Residents’ Society (BRS), to provide them with a note confirming that you have a TRNC will and the name of any executor. During times of stress, when one partner dies, it is useful for a third party to assist and the BRS can be a great help in these circumstances.

If the will is signed outside of the country but states that it covers property in the TRNC, it will be valid. However, in the event of death, proving the will in the TRNC can be more difficult. Sometimes, as part of the probate procedure, the witnesses to the will are required to attend our local courts or sign documents. This may be complicated if they live abroad. Furthermore, the Probate Registrar at the District Court will not accept the registration of wills signed outside of the country.

Upon the event of your death the appointed executor or executors of your will need to apply to the Probate Registrar for a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. The Grant of Probate/Representation is issued by the Probate Registry and gives the Executor or Administrator the authority to administer your estate according to the law and the terms of your will. Unless your lawyer is appointed as Executor, your nominated executor(s) will need professional advice and help from a lawyer in this regard.

Finally, as you would in the UK, it is important to review your will regularly to make sure that it reflects changing circumstances.