1. How is the estate of a deceased person administered?
If the deceased left a Will, they will have usually have named a person or persons to execute the the Will. The person nominated in the Will is the executor.
If there is no Will, then a close relative of the deceased such as a spouse or a child can apply for the letters of administration.
2. What is Probate?
Probate refers to the process of managing the assets, money and the final wishes of a person following their death. Essentially probate serves to validate the contents of a Will through gaining the authority to deal with the deceased’s estate.
3. Who can carry out Probate?
The executor in order to obtain validation will apply to court for a Grant of Probate.
If an executor is not named or if the person died without making a Will, an administrator will apply to the court for Letters of Administration. The administrator should be a relative of the deceased or someone who will benefit from the Will.
If there are heirs under disability the court will require that at least two administrators are appointed.
4. What is the Grant of Representation?
The Grant of Representation refers to the grant which must be obtained in order to carry out probate. The type of grant required depends on whether there is a Will, whether the executor is named or not or whether the deceased passed away without leaving a Will
- Named executors in the will – Grant of Probate
- Administrator where there is no will – Letters of Administration
- Administrator where there is a will – Letters of Administration (with Will).
5. Can a Grant of Probate or Letters of administration from a foreign country be recognised in Cyprus?
The Probates (Re-Sealing) Law, Cap. 192 provides for the procedure of re-sealing the grant of probate or letters of administration from commonwealth countries.
Grant of probate and letters of administration issued by Courts in any commonwealth country can be re-sealed in Cyprus and an administrator is appointed to administer the property of the deceased in Cyprus.
6. Is inheritance tax payable in Cyprus?
Inheritance tax was abolished in Cyprus as from 01/01/2000.
Consequently there is no inheritance tax payable on estates of persons in Cyprus who passed away on or after the 01/01/200. Inheritance tax is however payable for estates of persons who passed away before the 01/01/2000.
7. Does Cyprus law apply to immovable property of a foreign national located in Cyprus?
Cyprus law regulates any immovable property found in Cyprus irrespective of the nationality or country of residence of the deceased.
8. Does Cyprus law regulate or apply to immovable property located abroad of a person who has Cyprus domicile status?
Cyprus law does not regulate and does not apply not apply to any immovable property abroad, even when the deceased person had a Cyprus domicile.
9. What does “Domicile: mean and why does it matter in Probate?
‘”Domicile” describes the country that a person treats as their permanent home, or lives in and has a substantial connection with. It is somewhere they intend to return to if they currently reside elsewhere.
Each person acquires a domicile of origin at birth. This is usually their father’s domicile at the time of their birth. Many people retain the same domicile for their whole lives, but some may acquire a different domicile, referred to as a ‘domicile of choice’ or ‘domicile of dependence’. This will happen if someone emigrates, for example.
10. Does Cyprus law regulate or apply to movable property of a foreign national located in Cyprus?
Movable property are governed by the laws of the domicile of the deceased at the time of death. If the deceased had a foreign domicile, the law of their country of domicile will apply and regulate their movable property in Cyprus.
11. Can a testator set up a trust by Will?
Non-Cypriots may set up a trust by will and bequeath the whole of their estate. The testator will appoint trustees in the Will to hold the estate in trust for the benefit of beneficiaries and to manage and dispose of it in accordance with their instructions.
The above should be used as a source of general information only. It is not intended to give a definitive statement of the law.
How can we help?
Cyprus Will & Probate Services provide advice and assistance on Cyprus Wills and Cyprus Probate Law maters, including:
- Will drafting and registration at the District Court Registrar.
- Administration of estates – Cyprus and multiple jurisdictions
- Advising on Cyprus Wills disputes.
- General advice on all probate matters, including Wills and Cyprus succession law.
- Custody and safekeeping of Wills
- Drafting Grant of Probate applications and appearing where necessary before the District Courts.
- Full estate management
If you require further information relating to the above or with regards to Cyprus wills, succession, inheritance, administration of estates and probate laws in Cyprus contact us using [email protected]