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  • Writer's pictureZena Stylianou

Wills and Estate Administration in Cyprus

The death of a loved family member is undeniably stressful and emotionally tiring and that is why, dealing with the complexities and the formalities of legal, administrative and tax obligations that may arise upon such death, might seem unbearable.

In the event the deceased had left behind a valid will, then their estate shall be distributed in accordance with their wishes (subject to the relevant heirship provisions of the law). In case the deceased did not leave a valid Will, then their estate shall be dealt with in accordance with the Relevant Law.


A Will is a legal document by which the testator (the deceased) expresses his/her wishes as to how their estate will be distributed at death. It must be executed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses present at the same time and can be registered at the District Court of the city in which the testator lives.

It is important to note, that Cyprus has adopted the “forced heirship” regime, which distinguishes between the “statutory portions” (the estate which is disposed by default to the closest relatives of the deceased) and the “disposable portions” (the estate that can be distributed freely according to the testator’s wishes) of a testator’s estate. Thus, there is no absolute freedom in inheriting one’s estate.

When the Will specifies the executor of the estate, then this person can apply for a grant of probate to the Court.

If a lawyer holds the deceased’s Will, they will open it and inform the beneficiaries/heirs of its contents. This process usually takes 3-4 months.

No Will

In the event the deceased did not leave a valid Will, then the Court grants a letter of administration to an individual the “estate administrator” and appoints them to manage and distribute the assets of the deceased under court supervision.

A lawyer must file to the Probate Registrar an application for administration and request the court to grant the proposed administrator the order with which to enable him to administer the assets of the deceased. Having obtained the letter of administration, the administrator must collect all the information about the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate and file an inventory of the estate, accompanied by an affidavit, to the court. He/she shall also obtain the tax release certificate. After the payment of any expenses occurred (funeral etc), the administrator will distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries/heirs.

At last, the administrator must file to the probate registrar the final accounts with the relevant supporting documents and the declaration signed by the heirs stating that they have received their inheritance part. Upon the examination of the final accounts, the probate registrar releases the administrator from his duties.

Under the Cyprus law there is not inheritance tax, as the Estate Duty (Amending) Law 2000 has been abolished thus the Cyprus inheritance regime can be considered as highly beneficial. Foreign nationals with movable and immovable property in Cyprus can benefit from that regime as well.

How we can help:

· Will Drafting and ensuring safekeeping of the will until its execution

· Registration of Will to the Court

· Preparing application and documentation for the Grant of Probate

· Acting as executors or administrators

· Grant of Probate Procedure.

This article is written for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal advice.

For further information, legal advice and assistance please contact us at

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