Recent changes to Wills and Succession law have removed the exemption applicable to British citizens in regards to forced heirship.
According to Law 96(1) of 2015 the forced heirship provisions of Section 41 of the Wills and Succession Law of Cap 195 now apply to everyone who dies domiciled in Cyprus and to any immovable property located in Cyprus.
Based on Section 41 of the Wills and Succession Law of Cap 195, Cyprus has a forced heirship regime whereby there is a statutory portion which had to be passed to close relatives and cannot be disposed of to other persons by the person’s Will. Three-quarters of the value of the estate is reserved for such close relatives and only the remaining quarter can be disposed to other persons. Citizens of Great Britain and former British colonies used to be exempt from these provisions and could dispose their property according to their wishes and without any limitations. However, after these changes to the law, the provisions relating to forced heirship are also applicable to British citizens and citizens of former British colonies. These changes will most likely affect a large number of British citizens living in Cyprus and who already had their Wills drafted.