Limits of the will under Turkish Law

November 9, 2021 Gökhan Cindemir 0 Comments

limits of the will

Under Turkish Law, there are two (2) types of dispositions or transfers of property that take effect upon the death of the person making it (also known as a “testator or testatrix”), namely agreements of inheritance and wills.


  • Agreements of inheritance. Pursuant to CC. Art. 545, an agreement of inheritance is a legal contract where the testator/testatrix agrees to pass their property to their heirs. Unlike a will, this contract is a bilateral agreement.


  • Wills. Under CC. Art. 502, a will is a legal document that coordinates the distribution of a person’s estate, which would take effect after that person dies.

Wills may take three (3) forms:

  • An official will is prepared by a law officer, such as a notary or peace court pursuant to the testator’s instructions.
  • A halographic will is written by the testator/testatrix in handwriting. The testator/testatrix must be at least 15 years old and mature for the will to be valid.
  • An oral will or a “soldier will” is an oral declaration of the testator that is executed in exceptional circumstances where it would be impossible to execute a halographic or official will. Such circumstances include war, danger, or a serious epidemic illness.


The law imposes limits on a testator/testatrix who wants to dispose of their estate by means of the ‘reserved portion’ principle. This principle aims to preserve a specific percentage of the deceased’s estate in favor of close relatives or “privileged heirs” including descendants (children), ascendants (parents), brothers and sisters and surviving spouses. As such, not everyone who is entitled to inherit under the estate has a reserved portion. For instance, the reserved portion for:

  • Children would be half of their statutory share;
  • Parents would be one-fourth of the statutory share;
  • Brothers and sisters would be one-eighth of the statutory share; and
  • Surviving spouse depends on the closeness of the surviving heirs to the deceased. Where the parents or children of the deceased are still alive, the reserved portion is the entire amount of the statutory share. In other cases, the reserved portion is three-quarters of the statutory share.







Limits of the will under Turkish Law was last modified: November 9th, 2021 by Gökhan Cindemir