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Succession Law and Probate
Probate refers to the process of settling a decedent's estate. When a person dies there are debts that must be paid, financial matters that must be settled and property that must be distributed. The process can be overwhelming – there are people who must be notified and procedures that need to be followed.
The regulation of the devolution of a person's estate on his death, whether by will or on intestacy, and the execution of wills and administration of estates are dealt with under Cyprus Law by the Wills and Succession Law, Cap. 195 and the Administration of Estates Law, Cap. 189 respectively. The section of Cap 195 dealing with wills is drawn largely from the English Wills Act of 1837 whereas the section dealing with intestacy is based on the Italian Civil Code.
Our firm has helped many people get through the administration and litigation of probate, and we are here to help you. In some cases, disputes may arise during the probate or administration of an estate that require litigation to resolve.
A will is defined as the legal declaration in writing of the intentions of a testator with respect to the disposal of his moveable property or immoveable property after his death and includes codicil. The will, apart from its main function of disposing of the estate of the deceased or at least such part of it as is free to testamentary disposition, may include other important provisions such as pardoning a person otherwise incapacitated to succeed or recognising an illegitimate child.
Every person who is of sound mind, memory and understanding and who has completed the age of 18 may make a valid will thereby disposing of the whole or any part of the disposable portion of his estate.
A will must be in writing and must be executed in in the following manner:
• It must be signed at the foot or end thereof by the testator or some other person on his behalf, in his presence and by his direction;
• Such signature must be made or acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two or more witnesses present at the same time;
• Such witnesses must attest and must subscribe the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other but no form of attestation will be necessary; and
• If the will consists of more than one sheet of paper each sheet must be signed or initialled by or on behalf of the testator and the witnesses.
Strict adherence to the formalities mentioned above is mandatory and must be complied with rigidly otherwise the will shall be rendered void.
Our Firm can assist you or your beloved ones to prepare a will in accordance with the required formalities, avoiding any obstacles or legal issues which could void will and cause unnecessarily problems.