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  • Avukat Baran DELİL

Sharing Inherited Properties, Probate and Succession Proceedings Between Siblings in Turkey 2023

Delil Law Firm

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Table of Contents:


Distribution of Inheritance Properties Between Siblings

In the Turkish inheritance law system, if the decedent has not made a testamentary disposition or similar death-related disposition, the inheritance is shared in accordance with a ranking system called "zümre sistemi"(can be used as "class system" in English).

Before going into the issue of sharing the inherited property among siblings, the problem of which group of siblings is mentioned should be resolved. Because sometimes it is seen that our clients, who investigate the sharing of the inherited property among siblings and communicate with our office, mean the siblings of the deceased's own children, who are within the 1st class heirs(1. zümre), but if the deceased does not have children and his/her mother and father are not alive, his/her own siblings who are in the group of 2nd class heirs(2. zümre) may also be his/her heirs. Solving this problem requires learning the details of the class (degree) system in Turkish inheritance law. Because in Turkish inheritance law, the heir of the spouse and the heirs of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes can receive a share from the inheritance.

Of course, first of all, the will of the legator, or the gratuitous gains made by the legator before the event of death shall be taken into account.

As can be seen, we strongly recommend that the relatives of the legator seek legal advice through an inheritance lawyer(succession lawyer) in Turkey in order to avoid loss of rights regarding the division of inheritance, which is quite complicated.

The Will of the Legator and the Unrequited Gains Made Before the Death Event

We mentioned above that the testament and other testamentary dispositions made by the legator and the unrequited gains made in favor of third parties before his death will be taken into account as a priority. The testator can leave a will, which is classified as a testamentary disposition due to its legal nature, to persons other than the legal heirs, in order not to violate the reserved inheritance share of the heirs.

Here, the heirs whose reserved share is violated also have a right to rectify the hidden share violation by filing a lawsuit called "tenkis davası". In the same way, it is possible that legal transactions made by showing unrequited gains and sales made before the death event of the deceased in favor of third parties may be the subject of lawsuits such as the action for reduction(tenkis davası) or the lawsuit for the registration on behalf of the real right owner with the cancellation of the title deed(tapu iptali ve tescil davası) due to collusion, depending on the characteristics of the concrete event. Concerning the situation, an expert inheritance lawyer should be consulted and legal and strategic preparation should be made according to the requirements of the concrete case.

Descendants of the Deceased, Heirs of First Rank(1. Zümre)

The descendants of the deceased include the generations that come after him/her like his/her own children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and who have a lineage with him. The siblings in the first group are the children of the deceased. If these siblings share the inheritance with the spouse of the deceased, the spouse's share will be 1/4. Siblings will share the remaining 3/4 share equally among themselves. For example, if 5 siblings together with the spouse are heirs of the deceased, each of the siblings will have 3/20 shares, since each will have 1/5 of the 3/4 of inheritance share. If there is no testament or other testamentary disposition, all heirs gain the right to inherit the same amount.

If one of the children of the legator died before him, the share of the deceased child will also be divided according to the rules of inheritance law. If the child who died before the inheritor has his own descendant, the inheritance share is divided equally among this descendant. For example, if the legator X has 4 children named A, B, C and D and D died before the legator X, it is accepted that each child has a 3/16 share, as if all 4 children are alive after 1/4 share of the spouse is deducted. 3/16 of the inheritance, which should have fallen to the deceased D, is divided equally among his children. So if D has 2 children: Spouse of the deceased gets 1/4; A, B and C gets 3/16 and both of D's children gets 3/32(each gets a half of D's share).

The testator has the right of disposition, provided that the reserved share rights of each child or grandchild or other descendants of his descendants are not touched. The heirs whose reserved share has been violated will be able to ensure that these rights are secured by filing a lawsuit of action for reduction.

If the spouse is not alive when the legator dies, the siblings will share the entire inheritance properties equally among themselves, since 1/4 share of the spouse will not be in question.

In addition, we think it is useful to mention, the heirs with a legally reserved share are: the surviving spouse of the deceased, descendants (children, grandchildren and their children) and mother and father of the deceased.

Siblings of the Deceased - Heirs of Second Rank(2. Zümre)

In order for the legator's own siblings to be his/her heirs, there must be no heirs in the first group(1. zümre). In the first group, that is, among the descendants of the legator, if there is even a single person and if he is alive, the inheritance will remain with the first group and will not be transferred to the second group(2. zümre).

However, if the deceased person has no descendants, the inheritance will be inherited by the parents of the deceased. If the parents of the inheritor are both alive, the inheritance will not be inherited by the siblings of the inheritor, since the parents are the head of the second group(2. zümre). However, if the mother or father or both have died before the inheritor, the siblings of the inheritor will inherit with equal shares. It should not be forgotten that if the right spouse of the inheritor is inherited together with the second group of heirs(2. zümre), there will be a 2/4 inheritance share for the spouse. As can be seen: Since the issue of sharing in the inheritance can sometimes become quite complex, we strongly recommend that you get counseling and litigation support through an Ankara inheritance lawyer, Ankara succession lawyer or Ankara probane lawyer in order to prevent a possible loss of rights.

There are no reserved share rights of the siblings of the deceased. Only the surviving spouse, the 1st group of heirs(1. zümre) and the head of the 2nd group of heirs(head of the 2. zümre) who are the mother and father of the deceased will be in question.

Certificate of Inheritance(Veraset İlamı)

The certificate of inheritance is the official document that shows who has the right of inheritance and what is their ratio of share. The application of a single heir is sufficient for a certificate of inheritance to be obtained. The rights of all the heirs arising from the inheritance law and the inheritance shares are specified in the certificate of inheritance. Otherwise, if the inheritance right of an heir with a legal right of inheritance is not included in the certificate of inheritance or there are mistakes in the certificate of inheritance, it will be necessary to file a lawsuit for the annulment of the certificate of inheritance in order to avoid possible loss of right.

How to Get a Certificate of Inheritance in Turkey?

Both legal and appointed heirs can request for a certificate of inheritance. To obtain the certificate of inheritance:

  • A request can be made with a petition requesting a certificate of inheritance by going to the Civil Court of Peace in the last place of residence of the legator,

  • Or the Civil Court of Peace in the settlement of each of the heirs,

  • Or by going to any notary public in Turkey with a death certificate and a copy of the birth certificate.

Regarding this stage, it is necessary to be aware of the fact that the legal process in the Civil Court of Peace is much slower than that of notaries due to the workload of the court. It is seen that results are obtained much faster in the notary public than in the Civil Court of Peace. The reason why this authority, which was not given to notary publics in the past, was later included in the jurisdiction of notaries is to reduce the workload of the courts.

Division of Inheritance (Sharing) Case

In case of disagreement among the heirs about the division of the inheritance, the inheritance will be divided through the court. The right to demand the sharing of the inheritance takes its source from the right of property in Turkish Constitution and article 642 in Turkish Civil Code. If one of the heirs does not give a signature or power of attorney, and does not approve of the division of the inheritance, the inheritance is divided by the court in accordance with the provisions of the inheritance law, with the application of one of the parties to the civil court of peace.

According to Article 642 of Turkish Civil Code, Titled "The Right to Ask to Share": "Each of the heirs can always ask for the inheritance to be shared, unless they are obliged to continue the partnership in accordance with the contract or law. Each heir may request from the magistrate's court to decide on the distribution of certain goods in the estate in the same way, if not possible, by sale. Upon the request of one of the heirs, the judge makes the distribution by giving all of the immovables to an heir, if possible, taking into account the entire estate and each of the goods in the estate. The difference between the values of the immovables given to the heirs is eliminated by paying money, and equalization is ensured between the inheritance shares. If immediate sharing will significantly reduce the value of the property or property subject to sharing; At the request of one of the heirs, the magistrate may decide to postpone the sharing of this property or estate."

In addition, a lawsuit can be filed by the heirs for the dissolution of the partnership of inheritance and thus the partnership on the said inheritance properties can be eliminated.

Annulment of Title Deed and Registration Case Due to Collusive Transactions of the Deceased

The gains made on by the 3rd party people with the actions of the legator while he was alive can be subject to the title deed cancellation and registration case depending on the form and quality of the gain. In the case of annulment and registration of title deed due to evasion from inheritance, all legal heirs are entitled to sue, whether they have the right to reserved shares or not. The conditions of this case are that the testator transfers the immovable that he wants to donate to one of the heirs or a third person, in order to deprive his heirs of inheritance, by showing the sale at the title deed. In this case, the sales contract will be invalid because it does not reflect the will of the parties included, because this is against the rule of good faith and consists of an apparent collusion; the donation contract will also be invalid because it has not been formally concluded, and thus the title deed is canceled and registration on behalf of the right owner(s).

Sharing of Inherited Agricultural Lands Between Siblings

The issue of the division of agricultural lands between siblings or other heirs is an issue that deserves special attention. Because in 2014, various amendments were made in Turkish Code No. 5403 of Soil Conservation and Land Use and the sharing of agricultural lands was made difficult, and the division of lands below some square meters was completely prohibited. For this reason, there are very detailed issues regarding the sharing of agricultural lands, and we strongly recommend that you seek legal support through an expert inheritance lawyer for detailed information.

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