Foreigner's inheritance in Greece
Often, when purchasing real estate abroad, we wonder what happens to this property in the event of inheritance.
The main thing to know is that the laws of the country of citizenship of the testator apply in the relations of inheritor and in matters of inheritance. Thus, in order to find out which persons are the inheritor of the estate left by the testator in Greece, the percentage of inheritance of each heir, the application of the will and other inheritance issues, we must refer to the applicable law of citizenship of the testator at the time of his/her death.
In the event that the testator has more than one citizenship, EU rules allow him to choose the laws of the country of citizenship he wants. The choice of the laws of the country should be clearly indicated in the will or in a separate statement from the notary or competent authorities. A will or declaration is considered valid if it meets the necessary conditions of the EU country in which the testator last resided or the laws of the country of first citizenship and applies to all his property, regardless of where it is located and whether it is movable or immovable.
If the applicable inheritance law has not been chosen, for example if the heir was of Greek citizenship from birth and acquired the citizenship of another country during his life, his inheritance issues in Greece will be governed by Greek inheritance law, even if he also had another citizenship.
Consequently, persons who have property in Greece, but have not acquired Greek citizenship, in matters of their inheritance, the law of their citizenship, and not Greek law, will apply. However, it should be emphasized that in matters of inheritance such as the filing of inheritance tax on their property in Greece, the procedure for transferring rights to their heirs to real estate or movable property, Greek inheritance law applies.
Inheritance tax on property located in Greece will be calculated by the tax office of Greece, after the heirs have filed a declaration of inheritance to re-register the property of the testator in their name, by signing an inheritance deed at a notary, either having received a decision on inheritance in court, or by making both. According to Greek law, the right to real estate must be registered in the real estate register or land registry at the location of the property.
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ATTENTION! This article intends to give only a general informative picture and should not, in any case, be taken as a rule. It is strongly recommended to seek a full and professional guidance specifically for your circumstances before making any decisions.