A will or testament, is defined as a unilateral juridical deed in which a physical person, called a “testator”, expresses his will in writing, about the distribution of his assets after his death.
The Cypriot legislation clearly states that the testament is a formal legal transaction, meaning that its’ drafting must be executed in a concrete manner in order to be valid, according to the provisions of the Wills and Succession Law, chap. 195
i) The testament must be written
ii) The testament must bear the signature of the testator at the end of it or at the bottom of the page.
iii) The testament must bear the signatures of two (2) witnesses who are both present at the same time and confirm the authenticity of the testators’ signature.
iv) If the testament consists of more than one (1) page, each page shall be required to bear the signatures of both the testator and the witnesses.
v) The testament must be stamped and dated
vi) The testament must be accurate and clear, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
vii) The testator must be 18 years of age and mentally sane
viii) Witnesses must be physical persons who have reached the age of 18, are mentally sane and have no interest or benefit in the content of the will.
ix)The testament must state the name of the executor (s) appointed by the testator himself, to execute the will.
However, according to the Cyprus Wills and Succession Law, the right of a natural person to dispose of his assets as he wishes is not absolute and is subject to the following restrictions:
i) In the event that the testator has a spouse and children or a spouse and child descendants, he shall not be entitled to dispose of more than 1/4 of the net value of his property.
ii) In the event that the testator has a spouse or parent but is childless, he is not entitled to dispose of more than 1/2 of the net worth of his property
iii) The net worth of the testator’s property is calculated on the day of his death and not on the date figuring on the will.
iv) If the testator has no spouse, no children, no child descendants nor living parents, then he has the right to dispose of the total of his assets as he wishes.
At this point, it is important to specify that in case the testator had disposed more than what is allowed by the Law, then the Court would reduce that share, subject to the limitations explicitly stated by the Inheritance Law.
The present article does not, under any circumstances, constitute legal advice. For further information or a private consultation, please contact Arsen Theofanidis LLC and one of our attorneys – legal consultants will be happy to assist you!
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Arsen Theofanidis LLC