The Definition and Requirements of a Will in Cyprus, under Cyprus law
Under Cyprus law, a will is a written document in which a person, the testator, decides and specifies on how his estate will be managed and distributed after death. Because of the legal importance of a will the Laws of Descent and Distribution in Cyprus require certain elements in order for a will to be valid.
There are three essential elements that must be present in a Cyprus Will so it could be declared as valid.
Firstly, there must be a “competent testator”. This means that the person has to be over the minimum age that is required by the law, in Cyprus is 18 years old, and that the person has to be of “sound mind” thus meaning to be mentally well and able to understand the nature and consequences of the testamentary act. The person has to be competent at the time that he makes the will and not at the date of his death when the will takes effect.
Secondly, the document purporting to be a valid Will in Cyprus must meet the well known “typical” or “execution requirements of a will” which are defined in law. In Cyprus these formalities relate to the writing, signing, witnessing and attestation of the will and they want to ensure that the document called as a will is the sincere expression of the testator‘s intention and not a fraud by him or by any other person.
According to the above a Cyprus Will must be in writing and must be signed by the testator himself or by any person under the testator’s direction or request or with his consent. The testator has to sign in the presence of at least two witnesses who they recognize and confirm his/her signature. The witnesses must also sign the will and must be able to attest that the testator was competent at the time he/she made the will and that he/she acknowledged that the particular document is his/her will with all the relevant consequences and that is what he/she honestly intended.
Finally, the third element in a valid Cyrus Will is the fact that it must be clear that the testator acted freely and honestly in expressing his testamentary intention. A will that was written and signed as a result of undue influence, fraud, or mistake can be declared void in a probate proceeding.
If a will does not satisfy the above mentioned elements any person who has a financial interest in the estate of the testator can start an action in the court to challenge the will’s validity.
A Cyprus Will must be drafted by Cyprus lawyers; our Cyprus law firm provide Wills & Probate services including the drafting and legalization of Cyprus Wills as well as the administration and execution of a deceased’s property in Cyprus.
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