Cypriot Inheritance Law states that when you pass away your property will be shared among your heirs according to the law of your residence. It is a common misconception that as a foreigner you have to leave your assets in accordance with Cypriot law, which imposes certain “forced heirs”.
A “foreigner” can make a Cypriot Will leaving their own property to the person of their choice. This Will must contain a declaration that their personal law is governed by the principle of free disposition of property by testament. This is then acceptable to the Central Wills Registry in Cyprus. Generally speaking a valid Cypriot will is sufficient to dispose of the estate as you wish.
If a foreign resident dies domiciled in Cyprus, the estate will be distributed according to Cypriot law. Domicile is not the same as Tax Residence. If a foreign resident dies resident in Cyprus the estate will be distributed according to Cypriot law if they haven’t left a Will but in accordance with their own national law if they state that this is what they want to happen in their Will.
Cypriot Inheritance Tax rules
Inheritance tax was abolished in Cyprus in 2000. However, the property or assets also have to be declared back in the UK although due to Double Taxation Laws you can offset the tax paid in Cyprus against the tax payable in the UK. Obviously when there is no tax payable in Cyprus then the full amount will be paid in the UK.
Having said that, there is a transfer fee on the transfer of assets on an inheritance.
The rate of the transfer tax depends on the relationship between the deceased (the person who has died) and the beneficiary (the person inheriting). Current rates are;
- From parents to children - 4%
- Between spouses - 8%
- Between third degree relatives (cousins etc.) - 8%
Need help with inherited property in Cyprus?
Our UK-based team of property lawyers are highly experienced in helping clients who have inherited property in Cyprus, including where you wish to keep the property or plan to sell the property you have inherited.
If you own property in Cyprus, we can also help you with making a Cypriot Will.
With a thorough understanding of both UK and Cypriot law, we can provide clear, reliable legal guidance in plain English, giving you the confidence to deal effectively with inherited property in Cyprus.