Koca & Ersöz Hukuk Bürosu / Anwaltskanzlei

The division of inheritance in Turkey

The division of inheritance takes place upon the occurrence of the inheritance case. The inheritance case occurs upon the death or disappearance of a person. During the division of inheritance, the assets left by the deceased, known as the estate or inheritance, are distributed among the heirs.

If the deceased has not designated their heirs through an inheritance contract or a will, the division is carried out according to the legal succession. The legal heirs and their shares are normatively defined in the Turkish Civil Code.

The main rule in inheritance distribution in Turkey: Legal Succession

Within the framework of legal succession, the estate is divided among the legal heirs as follows:
Heirs of the first order are the direct descendants of the deceased, i.e., their children. The estate is divided equally among all the children of the deceased. If a child is no longer alive, they are replaced by their legal successors. Example: If the deceased, whose spouse has passed away, has 5 children, of which 4 are alive, and their deceased child has 3 grandchildren, the estate is divided equally among the 5 children, and the share of the deceased child is further divided equally among the 3 grandchildren.

Division of inheritance in the event of the surviving spouse

The share of the surviving spouse depends on the order in which they form an inheritance community:

  • If the spouse inherits jointly with the direct descendants (first order) of the deceased, they inherit one-fourth.
  • If the spouse inherits jointly with the parents (second order) of the deceased, they inherit half.
  • If the spouse inherits jointly with the grandparents and their descendants (third order), they inherit three-fourths.
  • If no other heirs of any order can be determined, the spouse inherits the entire estate.

Division of inheritance in adoption and state inheritance

Adopted children are treated as the biological descendants of the deceased and inherit equally with them. The legal inheritance rights to the biological parents remain unaffected by the adoption. However, the adoptive parent and their relatives cannot inherit from the adopted child.

If a deceased person leaves no heirs, the estate passes to the state.

Settlement of inheritance by the heirs

If the inheritance community is not contractually or legally obliged to continue the community, each heir can demand the settlement of the inheritance. For this purpose, each heir can file a court application at the competent district court for the division of specifically determined assets or the judicial sale of assets that cannot be specifically determined. Taking into account the entire estate, the court assigns the immovable assets to one heir and brings about a monetary compensation.

The competent court is the Civil Court of Peace at the last residence of the deceased. An inheritance division lawsuit can be filed as long as the inheritance community continues.

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Please note that this translation is provided to the best of my ability, but some legal terms or nuances may require further clarification.

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