Wills in Cyprus

According to Cypriot law any adult person with a sound mind is capable of making a Will. For a Will to be legitimate certain formalities must be kept:

1. The Will must be in writing.

2. The Will must be signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses and the witnesses must sign in the testator’s presence and of one another.

3.  The witnesses must be adult and of sound mind and must not be beneficiaries of the Will.

4. Every sheet of the Will must be initialized or signed by the testator and the witnesses. The last page must be signed by both the testator and the witnesses.

After the Will is executed it can be filed to Court or it can be kept at the lawyer’s office for sake keeping.

The Will can be revoked under these circumstances:

a) The Will is revoked through the testator making a new Will and expressly revoking the previous one. Moreover, a new Will that contradicts the terms of a previous Will can also revoke the previous Will.

b) A Will can be revoked by the testator by tearing it or using other means to destroy it.

c) A Will can also be revoked when the testator marries after the execution of the Will.

d) A Will can be revoked when the testator has his/her first child after the execution of the Will.

It must also be stressed that under Cypriot succession law, there is a forced heirship regime which means that certain relatives such as children and a spouse cannot be excluded from a Will. In Cyprus there is a ‘disposable portion’ and a ‘statutory portion’ of a testator’s estate. The disposable portion can be distributed according to the wishes of the testator but the statutory portion must be distributed according to law. If a Will distributes more than the ‘disposable portion’ allowed by law, the disposable portion will be reduced to what it should be under the law.