Attorneys in Greece – Lawyers in Athens & Thessaloniki

Greek Inheritance Lawyer – Kosmidis & Partners, attorneys in all of Greece

Abraam Kosmidis

Author

Abraam Kosmidis
Lawyer since 1992
Commercial Law, Company Law,
Business Start-up, Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate Law

Whether you are looking to pass on property in Greece to family abroad or whether you stand to receive an inheritance in Greece: KPAG Kosmidis & Partners is your experienced Greek inheritance lawyer in Athens, Thessaloniki and all of Greece with a specialization in cross-border legal advice. We have been supporting private clients in all matters of Greek inheritance law since 1992 and know how to help you navigate local regulations.

Contact us and learn more about how we can represent you and your interests in Greece.  

Greek Inheritance Lawyer – Legal Information: All you need to know 

The Greek inheritance law is regulated by the Greek Civil Code, Art. 1710 – 2035. It is quite similar to French and German inheritance law, but it is very different from English and American inheritance law.

How does Greek inheritance law define a legally valid will?

Greek Inheritance Law

A person can decide what will become of their property by leaving a will. The Greek inheritance law allows for three ways to create a legally valid will:

  1. The will can be entirely handwritten personally by the testator.
  2. The will can be executed before a notary public in the presence of three witnesses.
  3. The law also allows for a third kind of will, called a secret will: the testator hands the will to the notary public, who is then obliged to seal and keep it until the testator’s death. 

The notary public or any person who has access to a deceased person’s handwritten will, is obliged to notify the court about the existence of the Greek will inheritance and submit the original document. The Greek Probate Court is obliged to make it public, so that every person having an interest in its contents can have access to it.

How is Greek inheritance law applied if there is no will? Answers from your Greek inheritance lawyer

If the deceased has not left a will of any kind, if the will is void for any reason or settles only a part of the deceased persons property, intestacy rules will be applied. The legal heirs are organized by Greek inheritance law into 6 categories, called “classes”: 

  • • The first class includes children and grandchildren of the deceased. The latter are called to the inheritance only if the former have predeceased.
  • • The second class includes the parents and brothers or sisters of the deceased. If they have predeceased, then their children or grandchildren are called as heirs.
  • • The third class includes the grandparents.
  • • The fourth class includes the great grandparents. Should the grandparents have predeceased, they become heirs by Greek inheritance law.
  • • The fifth class includes solely the spouse. It should be noted that the spouse inherits together with the other relatives in all previous classes. In the first class the spouse has a share of 1/4, whereas in the second, third and fourth class they have a share of 1/2 of the property. The spouse is also entitled to acquire any mobile property of the decedent, which was used for their common living (furniture, car etc.).
  • • If the deceased did not have a spouse or other family at the time of death, Greek inheritance law stipulates that the property goes to the Greek State, comprising the sixth class. 

It is worth mentioning that in case a will does not leave a share in the property to either the spouse, the children or the parents of the decedent (in the last case only if they did not have any children), then these relatives have a right by Greek inheritance law to claim a minimum share of the inheritance. This is called “nomimi moira”, which in case of intestacy equals half of the inheritance share. If the deceased had made any donations to each of the above heirs while living and if these donations cover their minimum share, the right to nomimi moira can be lost. As your Greek inheritance lawyer we can advise you on all of these and many other matters concerning your inheritance.

How does Greek inheritance law apply to testators or heirs with different nationalities?

  • Preparing a will
    Before deciding to prepare a will, Greek Americans and Greek Australians who have attained American or Australian citizenship should contact a lawyer, in order to check according to which law the will must be prepared.

This is very important, since according to Greek private international law, a deceased person’s estate is regulated by the law of the country of his last citizenship.

  • Inheriting in Greece
    Greek inheritance law provides a deadline of 1 year to renounce the right to a Greek inheritance, if either the decedent had his domicile abroad, or the heir has its domicile abroad when he became aware of the passing and of his right to a Greek inheritance. It is thus very important to renounce the inheritance within the 1-year deadline, since the heir could bear significant risks, if the inheritance contained debts or other obligations of the deceased person. 

Your Greek inheritance lawyer Kosmidis & Partner – specialized in cross-border matters

Our law firm in Athens and Thessaloniki has been supporting private clients and businesses from all over the world for many years. Whether it be Greek inheritance law, tax law, corporate law or Greek real estate law – our lawyers in Greece will help you navigate the Greek legal system.   

Get in touch with a lawyer in Athens or Thessaloniki to help you settle all cross-border matters. A specialized Greek inheritance lawyer will be glad to assist you!