TYPES OF TESTAMENTS IN TURKEY
1. OFFICIAL WILL
Official will is executed in front of a notary, magistrate or a certified official; with the attendance of two witnesses. Especially for Turkish citizens living abroad, Turkish consulates have the authority to perform official will.
Some individuals cannot stand in the practice of official will as a certified official or a witness. These are; people who are lack of perceptional qualities, who are prohibited from public services by the decision of criminal court, and who are illiterate. In addition, the legator’s spouse, brothers or sisters and their spouses, descendants and lineal ancestors and their spouses are excluded from participation.
The official will does not provide any gains to the individuals participated in the organization of the official will, who are officials and witnesses, and their brothers or sisters, and their descendants or lineal ancestors.
Official will can be organized in two ways depending on the condition of the legator;
1. Official will is organized by reading aloud and signing: Initially, legator conveys his/her last wishes to a notary in written or oral form. The notary puts these wishes down on paper and gives it to the legator in order for him/her to read later. The legator sees the text is accommodating with his/her last wishes and signs the paper. After that the legator pronounces the convenience of the text to the witnesses and thus, witnesses sign it.
2. Official will is organized without reading and signing: It is the way resorted by illiterate individuals. However, there is no harm seen in the organization of this will when it is appealed by literate people. In this way, the legator reads his/her last wishes to a notary and the notary puts these wishes down on paper. After that, the notary reads the text out loud to the witnesses. After that reading, the legator explains that the text is convenient with his/her wishes and the will is completed by the signing of the notary and witnesses.
Apart from these, there are official testaments formed by Supreme Court practices based on the basis of the physical and educational condition of the individual. These types of testaments can be regarded as the mixed forms of wills mentioned above. They can be adjusted without reading but by signing or with reading but without signing.
There is a translator stands in the transactions of individuals who are non-speakers of Turkish. The text translated to Turkish by the translator should be added to the text in foreign language. The witnesses are to be informed about the convenience of the text to the legators’ wished priorly by the legator himself/herself (in the foreign language) and then, the translator will convey the message to witnesses in Turkish.
2. TESTAMENT WITH HANDWRITING
It is a testament written by the legator from the beginning to the end, including a detailed date, and a signature. Usually, it is the preferred type of testament. If required, it can be delivered to a magistrate, a notary or a certified official in open or closed form.
It is important that the text is completely written and signed by the legator and the date of organization is clearly stated. In addition to that, legator should write the testament in the purpose of explicitly stating his/her last wishes.
The date that the testament is organized should be explicitly stated. Apart from that, there is no special form of this testimony. The significance of the date comes from the fact that it enables to detect the mental health of the legator at the time he/she writes the testament.
The signature should be put in the end within the framework in order to show that the text is ended.
After the completion of the testament, the changes done on the text (erasing, crossing out, etc.) give cause for the part that the changes done on to be invalid. If the testament loses its meaning without the parts changed, whole testament becomes invalid.
3. NUNCUPATIVE WILL
This testament becomes valid in exceptional cases. In the extraordinary circumstances that the legator is faced with death risk, interruption in the transportation networks, illness or warfare and unable to conduct other types of testaments, nuncupative will can be practiced.
Legator under the extraordinary circumstance conveys his/her will verbally and assign two witnesses to write it down. Then, witnesses should directly transfer that deed to the nearest Court of Peace or Civil Courts of General Jurisdiction.
In the case that extraordinary circumstances become extinct, if the legator is still alive, the nuncupative will loses its validity. Other than that, today, it is too hard to find a concrete reason to organize a nuncupative will and thus, it is not very prevalent to arrange it.
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