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Inheritance Sharing Between Spouses

MGC LEGAL
Inheritance Sharing Between Spouses

Inheritance is a legal situation in case of death or absence of the person. Inheritance law is a branch of law that regulates the distribution of the deceased person’s assets to whom and how. The division of property may occur with the death of the inheritor. There are also spouses among the heirs. The spouse’s share of inheritance is regulated in the law of inheritance.

So, how is inheritance shared between spouses? How is an inheritance from the father shared? What is the spouse’s share in the inheritance? You can find answers to these questions and more in our article compiled by MGC Legal’s inheritance law experts.

What is Inheritance?

The question of “what is inheritance?” is one of the most important when it comes to inheritance. The property rights that arise as a result of a person’s death are referred to as inheritance. Property, rights, and debts are left to their legal heirs, especially first and second-degree relatives.

In inheritance law, the inheritance owner is called “inheritor”, and the successors are called “heir”. Heirs may be relatives of the inheritor, such as mother, father, grandfather, grandchild, child and spouse, or the inheritor may determine appointed heirs. The state is among the legal heirs. The share of the inheritance may vary according to the number of heirs and the status of the heirs.

What is Inheritance Law?

Inheritance law refers to the laws that contain the necessary regulations on the property division. Inheritance law is the laws and regulations governing who receives what from a deceased person’s inheritance. Some relatives, such as spouses and children, have the right to claim inheritance.

The heirs and the shares to be taken from the inheritance may change according to the person’s will. Inheritance law, a branch of law that regulates the legal status of the rights and debts of the inheritor after the death of the inheritor, is the continuation of the post-death property right.

Spouse’s Inheritance Share

Inheritance law prohibits the complete exclusion of a spouse in most cases. The surviving spouse may receive a share of the inheritance according to the status of other heirs. In other words, the spouse’s share of inheritance may vary according to other heirs. The following should be noted regarding the spouse’s share in the inheritance;

  • If the spouse of the inheritor became the heir with the descendants of the inheritor, 1/4 of the inheritance is taken.
  • If the spouse of the inheritor is the heir with the mother and father of the inheritor, 1/2 of the inheritance is taken.
  • If the spouse of the inheritor is the heir with the grandparents of the inheritor, 3/4 of the inheritance is taken.
  • The spouse of the inheritor can inherit the entire inheritance if there is no other heir.

Community of Goods Between Spouses in Inheritance

On January 1, 2002, “participation in acquired property regime” was implemented in the community of goods between spouses. Those who got married before January 2002 are also subject to this regime. However, suppose a different contract determines the inheritance ratio. In that case, the terms of the contract are valid. When it comes to sharing the inheritance of common property between spouses, the “participation regime in acquired property” comes into play. This regime is followed in cases such as the divorce of the spouses, the annulment of the marriage or the death of one of the spouses.

If one of the spouses has died, there are inherited properties, or if the surviving spouse has acquired properties, there are two different liquidations;

  • Liquidation of Property Regime Due to Family Law: This is the priority procedure. After the rights arising from the property regime between the deceased spouse and the surviving spouse are taken, the inheritance of the deceased’s estate becomes the issue. This is different from the right spouse’s title of heir. In this liquidation, the “participation receivable” ratio of the spouses is fixed as ½.
  • Liquidation of Inheritance Due to Inheritance Law: Inheritance liquidation is a process that comes after liquidating the property regime. For the liquidation of the inheritance, it is necessary to share the inheritance with the liquidation of the property regime.

On the other hand, the settlement of the magistrates’ courts says the liquidation of the property regime matters in the domain of family courts. Acquired properties are all assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of who owns the property.

Inheritance Sharing Between Spouses in Divorce

Divorce is a legal right for every spouse. There are many points of contention when it comes to inheritance after divorce. For this reason, will the divorced spouse inherit, can the divorced spouses be the heirs of each other, property division in case of the death of one of the spouses (the spouse’s right to participate), and how is the inheritance divided in case of the death of one of the spouses while the divorce case is pending? These are the most frequently asked and researched questions. These are among the questions that inheritance lawyers frequently encounter and find answers to.

When the divorced spouse and inheritance are in question, and there is a disagreement on this issue, article 181 of the Turkish Civil Code (TCC) comes into play. The aforementioned article of the TCC clearly states that “divorced spouses cannot be the legal heirs of each other”. However, the situation is different if there is an “appointed heir” by the testator after the spouses’ divorce. The divorced spouse can benefit from the inheritance if the inherited spouse has appointed the divorced spouse as their inheritance in their will before they die.

How is The Inheritance Divided in Case of Death of One of The Spouses While The Divorce Case is Continuing?

Well, if one of the spouses dies while the divorce case is pending, can the surviving spouse be the heir? In case of death of one of the spouses before the end of the divorce case, the heirship of the surviving spouse and the title and/or titles of the heirs of the deceased spouse in the case are important. In Article 181 of the TCC, there is the following provision regarding the inheritance of the surviving spouse;

  • TCC Art. 181 (1): Divorced spouses cannot be the legal heirs of each other in this capacity, and they lose the rights provided to them by the testamentary dispositions made before the divorce unless otherwise understood from the disposition.
  • TCC Art. 181 (2): If one of the heirs of the deceased spouse continues the lawsuit and the other spouse’s fault is proven while the divorce case is pending, the provision of the above paragraph is applied.

Besides these, if one of the spouses dies before the divorce case is finalized, the marriage is dissolved by death. The heirs of the deceased spouse can continue the divorce case only in terms of determining the fault. Only one of the heirs can continue the case. There is no compulsory friendship between the heirs of the deceased spouse, and it is sufficient for only one of the heirs to continue the lawsuit. If the court decides that the surviving spouse is at fault, the surviving spouse cannot be the heir.

What is The Share of The Surviving Spouse?

When a married person dies, the question of how to divide the property in case of the spouse’s death comes to the fore. Can the heirs file a lawsuit against the surviving spouse? What is the duration of filing a lawsuit for participation in the event of the spouse’s death? Such questions are among the questions that inheritance lawyers seek answers to. According to the law, the surviving spouse may, in any case, inherit together with the estate heirs; however, the surviving spouse is not the heir of the family. That is, the surviving spouse has a share of the inheritance; however, its share may vary according to the heirs of the clan.

So, how is the inheritance share of the surviving spouse determined?

  • If there are no heirs in the first two estates of the heir and the third estate also dies before the inheritor, the surviving spouse becomes the sole heir. In this case, the inheritance share of the surviving spouse is the entire inheritance.
  • Suppose the testator has appointed one or more heirs for their inheritance. In that case, the surviving spouse shares the inheritance with the appointed heirs.
  • If the surviving spouse is the heir with the first group, the inheritance share is ¼ of the inheritance. In other words, if the deceased spouse’s descendants and the surviving spouse are heirs, the spouse’s inheritance share becomes 25 per cent.
  • If the surviving spouse is the heir with the second group, the inheritance share is ½ of the inheritance. In other words, if the deceased spouse’s descendants and the surviving spouse are heirs, the spouse’s inheritance share becomes 50 per cent.
  • The inheritance share of the surviving spouse continues at the same rates in case of divorce. Once the divorce decision is finalized, the spouses cannot be legal heirs to each other.
  • Divorced spouses cannot claim any savings based on death.

Does The Spouse Have The Right to Residence in The Inherited House?

The family residence is the residence in which the marriage union resides. Inheritance law prevents the distribution of family residences. Article 652 of the Turkish Civil Code is about the allocation of the family residence to the surviving spouse.

The article of the law is as follows; “In the event of the death of one of the spouses, if there are household goods or the residence where the spouses live together, among the estate (inheritance) goods; the surviving spouse may request the right of property to be granted to them based on the right of inheritance. In the presence of justified reasons, upon the request of the surviving spouse or one of the other heirs of the inheritor, it may also be decided by the court to grant usufruct or residence right instead of property.

As stated in TCC 652, if one of the spouses dies, the survivor has a right to the family residence within the scope of their legacy. The surviving spouse may request the deduction of other inheritance shares for the allocation of the family residence. If the inheritance share is insufficient, they can pay this price. Apart from these, the surviving spouse may claim usufruct or right of residence on the family residence.

Get Support For Inheritance Sharing Between Spouses From MGC Legal

Inheritance lawyers within MGC Legal provide legal support for the spouse’s share of inheritance or the sharing of inheritance between spouses. Can divorced spouses inherit each other? How to share inheritance between spouses in divorce? How is the inheritance share of the surviving spouse determined? You can get support from our inheritance lawyers, experts in inheritance law, for your questions and problems on these and similar issues.

We provide services in many legal cases, from the regime of participation in the acquired property to the right of the spouse to participate, from property division in case of death of one of the spouses to the issue of property partnership between spouses in inheritance division.


Keywords: inheritance Sharing Between Spouses, Community of Goods Between Spouses.

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