If you are a UK citizen or UK resident, making a Greek Will for property in Greece is usually the smart choice. Benefits include ensuring the right people inherit from your estate, potentially reducing your estate’s inheritance tax burden and making the process of administering your estate simpler and less costly for your heirs.
For people who have assets in the UK and Greece, it is normally advised to make both a Greek Will and a UK Will. This allows you to account for the differences between the two countries’ laws in your estate planning and avoid potential issues, such as your Wills unintentionally revoking or interfering with the other.
Getting expert advice on making a Greek Will can give you peace of mind that all of the legal details are taken care of and that there will not be any nasty surprises for your loved ones when you are gone.
Judicare is a leading international property law firm providing clients with specialist global legal advice related to property and land overseas. As well as assisting with buying and selling property in Greece, we also assist with Greek inheritance planning.
Our legal team can assist with all aspects of Wills in Greece and Greek inheritance planning, including:
- Making a Greek Will
- Advice on the effect of your existing Will
- Greek inheritance tax planning (to minimise the tax burden on your estate)
- Advice for beneficiaries
Judicare are headquartered in the UK, meaning we offer the security of dealing with UK-regulated and insured solicitors.
For specific advice on making a Greek Will tailored to your needs or dealing with any other aspect of Greek inheritance law, please get in touch with our friendly team in the UK.
Three key reasons to make a Greek Will for property and other assets in Greece.
There are a number of important reasons why it will likely be to your benefit to make a Greek Will for any assets you own in Italy:
Estate administration is simpler with a Greek Will
By making a Greek Will, you are making life much easier for the Greek authorities as they will understand this type of Will, how it works and exactly how to deal with it. This will therefore make the whole process much less complicated for your heirs. This will also remove the need for additional steps, such as having a UK Will translated into Greek, which would otherwise be required and then have to either publish it in the Greek court or register it.
Inheritance costs will be lower
Making the inheritance process simpler will generally mean that it costs less as there should be fewer stages and people involved, reducing the number of fees that will need to be paid. This is especially true when it comes to the cost of translating a UK Will into Greek, which normally costs more than just making a Greek Will in the first place.
It will make estate administration faster
Using a Greek Will means your heirs normally won’t have to wait for the UK probate to take place before dealing with your assets in Greece.
You can plan more effectively for inheritance tax.
Making a Greek Will allows you to plan your estate to account for Greek inheritance tax rules, so can make it much more tax efficient. This is because Greek inheritance tax rules are quite different to those in the UK, with the rates of inheritance tax due on an estate depending on who the beneficiary is.
Spouses, children, and parents of the deceased pay a much lower inheritance tax rate than non-relatives, while other close relatives also get a slightly reduced rate. It can therefore be sensible to factor this in when planning your estate to minimise its inheritance tax burden. In Greece when the inheritance of the beneficiary (spouses, children and parents) is less than 300.000 euros for the husband and wife and less than 150.000 euros for children and grandchildren it is non-taxable.
How we can help with Greek Wills and inheritance
Making a Greek Will
If you have property or other assets in Greece, it is strongly recommended to make a Greek Will in addition to your UK Will.
There are two types of Greek Wills:
Greek Public Will
The advantage of a Public Will is that it will be drafted with the assistance of a Greek Notary Public and kept by the Greek Notary Public and by a Greek Notarial Public Archive, and therefore easily accessible to the heirs.
The Will needs to be signed before a Notary Public in Greece in the Greek language with a translation into English and in the presence of an official interpreter and three witnesses, or in the presence of a second Notary Public and one witness. Our assistance includes preparing a simple Will, translating it into English, liaising with the Notary Public, assisting you at the signing of the Will and providing an official interpreter and English-speaking witness at the signing.
Please note that a Will cannot be signed by means of a Power of Attorney but only personally.
Greek “Private” Will
This is a simple document handwritten, signed, and dated by the testator. This does not need to be witnessed but should be checked by a lawyer.
This Will can be kept:
- by the testator e.g., in his/her house
- B) by a Notary Public by means of a “deposit deed”.
It is the handwritten Will, given by the testator to the Notary Public in the presence of three witnesses or in the presence of a second Notary Public and one witness where the testator declares that this is his testament.
We can help you with creating a valid Greek Will that meets your requirements. We can also advise on how this may interact with your UK Will, so you fully understand everything that should happen with your estate when the time comes.
Advice on the effect of your existing Greek Will and/or UK Will
Should you already have a Will, whether in the UK, Greece, or both, we can review these for you to make sure your wishes are properly reflected and that you fully understand all of the potential effects on your estate.
Greek inheritance tax planning
Greek inheritance tax rules are different to those in the UK, so anyone who owns Greek property will need to take these rules into account when planning their estate if they wish to ensure their heirs receive the maximum possible benefit from their estate.
While inheritance tax on Greek property needs to be paid in Greece, these assets must also be declared in the UK. Fortunately, Double Taxation Laws mean any inheritance tax paid in Greece can be offset against your UK inheritance tax liabilities for those assets.
Dealing with Greek intestacy rules
Where someone who owned property in Greece dies without leaving a Will, their estate will be dealt with under the UK law, in otherwards the law of the deceased.
Failing to make a Greek Will, means that the authorities in Greece do not know the English law that applies and the whole procedure becomes time consuming since they demand from certain institutes in Greece the law of the certain country and again it is for them confusing.
Advice for beneficiaries of estates containing Greek property.
If you have inherited or are due to inherit a property in Greece, we can advise you on exactly what you need to do.
Should you have a concern about how you have been treated under a Greek Will, a UK Will covering Greek property or your inheritance rights under the Greek law, we can advise on your options. We can also advise on responding to an inheritance dispute over Greek property.
Why choose Judicare for advice about Greek Wills?
We can handle both your UK Will and Greek Will expertly
Our leagl team are skilled in both UK and Greek inheritance laws. This means you only have to instruct one lawyer for your Greek Will needs and we can help you create Wills in both the UK and Greece to account for every part of your estate.
Plain English advice
Judicare are based in the UK, we speak English as our primary language, with no unnecessary legal jargon.
UK-regulated solicitors. Real peace of mind.
Judicare 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 Greek inheritance laws and UK inheritance laws interact.
One of our key selling points is that we understand the laws in multiple jurisdictions (including Greece) and regularly advise clients on how those laws interact with UK law. As such, we can provide clear, seasoned expertise on situations other law firms likely will not have the experience to handle effectively.
Property is one of the most common assets people have in their Will, so working with a law firm with strong international property expertise is usually a good idea when dealing with Italian inheritance. 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 in Greek inheritance law
Our legal team have many years of experience dealing with all aspects of Greek Wills and cross-border inheritance planning. 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 Greek inheritance planning goes ahead as smoothly as possible.
Need expert help with a Greek Will?
Need expert guidance and plain English advice on making, varying, understanding, or executing a Greek Will?
Want peace of mind that everything has been properly taken care of?
Then get in touch with the team at Judicare today.