Inheritance & Probate in Greece

The way inheritance and probate work in Greece is very different to the UK and other countries. This can make planning for the future of your estate, dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away or receiving an inheritance more complicated where Greek assets are involved.

Getting expert legal advice from experts in Greek inheritance and probate can make dealing with these matters much simpler, saving you time, stress, and money.

Judicare is a leading international property law firm that regularly assists clients with investments in Greek property and land, as well as providing legal advice on Greek inheritance and probate.

Our Greek inheritance lawyers can assist with all areas of your inheritance planning and estate administration, including:

  • Advice on how Greek inheritance laws apply to your estate.
  • Making a Greek Will (including clear advice on the benefits of doing so)
  • Greek inheritance tax planning (to minimise the tax burden on your estate)
  • Greek Powers of Attorney (to empower someone else to act for you in Greece)
  • Greek probate (including handling the process for you)
  • Advice on how a Greek Inheritance affects your UK inheritance.
  • Advice for people who have inherited property in Greece.

We are headquartered in the UK, meaning we offer the security of dealing with UK-regulated and insured solicitors, combined with comprehensive knowledge of foreign inheritance and probate rules in Greece and a range of other overseas jurisdictions.

For specific advice on inheritance and probate in Greece tailored to your needs, please get in touch with our friendly, expert Greek inheritance legal team based in the UK.

Call: 01438 840 258                    Email: admin@judicaregroup.com

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How Judicare can help with Italian inheritance and probate

Advice on how Greek inheritance laws apply to your estate.

If you own property or other assets in Greece, you need to give careful thought to how these will be dealt with when you pass away.

While you may be happy for your spouse and/or children to inherit, it is still a good idea to make sure you understand exactly how these rules work and that they will work to your advantage.

Our Greek inheritance lawyers can explain exactly how your estate will treated under Greek inheritance law and help you with your estate planning, giving you confidence that you have made the best possible preparations for the future of your estate.

Making a Greek Will

It is usually sensible to make a Greek Will for your Greek property and assets, even if you already have a UK Will. This will help make estate administration easier and (usually) less expensive, as well as allowing you to plan in a way that takes full advantage of Greek inheritance tax laws.

The usual approach is to have both a Greek and UK Will (assuming you also have assets in the UK). While having two Wills might seem more complicated, it actually makes things much simpler in the long run. However, it is best to have both Wills drafted by a specialist in both countries’ inheritance laws to avoid unexpected issues or conflicts between the two documents.

Our team can help you draft a Greek Will which can be prepared and signed in your local area or in our offices – there is no need to go to Greece. We can ensure this works with your UK Will so your estate will be dealt with exactly as you intend when the time comes.

Greek Inheritance Tax Planning

Greece has very different inheritance tax rules to the UK. Greek inheritance tax is generally lower than UK inheritance tax and there are reduced rates for close relatives, such as your spouse and children and grandchildren

Smart inheritance tax planning can significantly reduce the tax burden on your estate, allowing more to pass to your beneficiaries. It is therefore strongly advised to seek help from an expert in Greek inheritance law (such as the ones at Judicare).

Inheritance tax on property or assets in Greece has to be paid in Greece. 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 Greece against the tax payable in the UK.

Our Greek inheritance tax lawyers can advise you on the steps you can take to ensure your estate is as tax efficient as possible, making sure your heirs received the maximum benefit.

Greek Powers of Attorney

Most people would prefer not to have to go all the way to Greece to deal with Greek inheritance matters. Fortunately, this can usually be avoided by creating a Greek Power of Attorney that allows someone else to act on your behalf for any matters that need to be dealt with in person in Greece.

While a Greek Powers of Attorney can, therefore, be very useful, it is important to understand that they give much more latitude to the recipient than UK Powers of Attorney. The documents must therefore be very carefully drafted so as to restrict the authority it grants only to what is strictly necessary.

Our experts can draft an effective Greek Power of Attorney that exactly matches your needs, giving your representative the ability to do everything you need them to and nothing more.

As part of an overall inheritance, we charge for drafting a Greek Power of Attorney. On top of that cost you will have Notary fees, foreign and Commonwealth Legalisation fee (£30 per document) and often Courier fees. If we are not dealing with the inheritance, then a standalone Power of Attorney would cost more.

Advice for people who have inherited property in Greece.

The idea of inheriting property in Greece can be both exciting and a little intimidating, especially for those who are not used to dealing with such matters and do not know what is involved.

Issues you will need to wrangle with include formally accepting the inheritance, paying inheritance tax (where applicable), when and how to sell the property (if you intend to do so) or what steps you need to take if you wish to keep the property.

One key issue to take care of is the need to formally accept or renounce the inheritance. If a beneficiary wishes to accept an inheritance, they must do in a Deed prepared by a Notary or privately. Should they wish to renounce an inheritance, they will need to formally declare this to a Notary. Reasons one might renounce an inheritance include where the liabilities owed by the estate exceed the estate assets.

Our Greek inheritance lawyers can guide you every stage of inheriting a property in Greece. We can make the process as simple and stress-free as possible for you, helping you to do whatever you decide with the property.

Greek inheritance costs

At Judicare, we want to make the cost of dealing with inheritance in Greece as inexpensive and straightforward as possible.

We can provide an upfront quote for the costs involved, including our fees and any third-party costs (such as court fees). Once a price is agreed, we will only revise this in exceptional circumstances and any additional cost will always be explained and agreed in advance.

Examples of our Greek inheritance fees include:

Notary fees for signature of Deed of Acceptance of Inheritance – Typically €1,000-1200 would be the minimum depending on the number of estates that the beneficiaries inheriting.

Notary fees for Power of Attorney (if applicable) – Typically around £250

Legalisation fees – £30 per document. Total cost of typically £60-£120 depending on how many documents are required.

Land registry fees – Typically around €300 (including searches) would be the minimum depending on the number of properties.

Taxes - Dependant on a number of factors including who is inheriting, where the assets are in Greece and the value of the assets.

Note: When the payment is to be made in Greece, we have quoted the cost in Euros and, where the payment is in the UK, we have quoted Pounds

For more general information about our fees, please take a look at our pricing.

Why use Judicare for inheritance in Greece?

Greek inheritance law experts. Plain English advice.

Our team includes experts in Greek inheritance law who are fluent in Greek, so you can be confident that no detail is overlooked, and everything will be handled the right way.

At the same time, as UK-based lawyers, we can answer your questions and keep you informed in plain English, with no unnecessary legal jargon.

UK-regulated solicitors. Real peace of mind.

As a UK law firm, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This means you can be confident we will adhere to the strict standards expected of UK lawyers.

Complete understanding of how UK and Greek inheritance laws interact

While a law firm in Greece might be able to help with Greek inheritance law, what happens if an estate has assets in both the UK and Greece? Or even spread over three or more jurisdictions?

As a firm of UK solicitors who are experts in Greek inheritance law and inheritance rules in many other jurisdictions, we are perfectly placed to advise on what happens when you need to deal with the inheritance rules in more than one jurisdiction at once.

AIPP membership

When dealing with Italian property inheritance, working with a law firm with strong international property expertise is a good idea. This is one area where Judicare particularly excels.

We are a member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), which was set up to improve standards of professionalism in a largely unregulated overseas property market. As AIPP members, we have signed up to a Code of Conduct that assures we adhere to the highest standards of honesty and professional integrity.

Decades of collective experience dealing with Greek inheritance.

Our Greek inheritance lawyers have many years of experience dealing with all aspects of inheritance planning and estate administration in Greece. This means we know all of the issues you need to consider, exactly what needs to be done and all of the common problems you can run into (and the not so common ones).

Drawing on our collective experience, we can help you to plan effectively and make sure every stage of your inheritance planning or estate administration goes ahead as smoothly as possible.

Need expert help with inheritance in Greece?

Looking for a highly experienced, trustworthy, and reliable team of Greek inheritance experts in the UK?

Need expert guidance and plain English advice on any aspect of inheritance planning and estate administration in Greece?

Want peace of mind that everything has been properly taken care of?

Then get in touch with the team at Judicare today!

Call: 01438 840 258                    Email: admin@judicaregroup.com

Greek inheritance and Probate FAQ's

Is inheriting a property in Greece the same as the UK?

No, inheritance works quite differently in Greece to the UK, and it is important for everyone involved to understand this. The Greek probate process involves more steps than UK probate and the costs are generally higher although inheritance tax is often much lower.

There are also various ways in which the two countries inheritance laws can interact, so it is highly recommended to deal with a legal expert who understands both sets of laws if you are dealing with inheritance involving Greek property and/or other assets.

Do UK citizens have to follow Greek forced heirship laws?

Like a number of European countries, Greece does have forced heirship laws. However, if you are a UK citizen or resident, it is possible to sidestep these rules when planning for your estate.

Something that is worth considering, however, is that there are often tax advantages to leaving assets to close relatives in Greece, with different close relatives paying a reduced rate of inheritance tax compared to non-relatives.

Can you include a Greek property in your UK Will?

Yes, but it is rarely a good idea to do so and is likely to cost more in the long run, so saving money should not be a reason to do so.

Creating a separate Greek Will might cost more upfront, but it can save money in a number of ways, including avoiding the need for your UK Will to be translated into Greek (which would be required during probate). The cost of a translation is often more than the cost of making a Greek Will, so this is generally the more cost-effective option.

Having a Greek Will drafted should also make estate administration simpler as the Greek authorities will know how to deal with a Greek Will and fewer additional steps are likely to be needed. This can make probate much faster and less stressful for your loved ones.

Finally, making a Greek Will can also allow you to plan your estate more tax efficiently, by helping you to take full advantage of Greek inheritance tax rules.

How quickly can you sell an inherited property in Greece?

This is a difficult question to answer as it really depends. People often ask whether the property can be sold during probate, allowing them to just receive the money. While this might theoretically be possible, it can be hard to find an estate agent who will list the property until a beneficiary has formally accepted the inheritance.

A common point of concern is whether the property can be sold before the one-year deadline for paying inheritance tax falls due. If probate can be completed promptly and the property sold quickly, then this is certainly possible, but it really will depend on the circumstances, including how easy the property is to sell. If you are keen to make a quick sale, it may come at the cost of a reduced sale price