Wayne Barnett FCA | MIPW | STEP Affiliate
Cyprus Wills: Cases of Real-Life Issues
Updated: Mar 15
I have reviewed many Cyprus Wills that on initial review look fine. It’s only when you properly review the Will that you see the problems that make the Will completely invalid or do not reflect the Testator’s wishes.
Errors can invalidate a Will, leaving it open to the forced heirship regime
I was recently with a client whose Cyprus Will was drawn up in the UK. The contents of the Will itself were nicely drawn up, it included the all important Brussels IV clause that is needed to select which Legislation the Will is governed by and reflected the wishes of the Testator perfectly. However, the Will was bound, lacked the Testators signature and two witness signatures on every page and was signed in black ink, which unfortunately made the Will invalid as it does not follow the lawful execution of a Cyprus Will. These clients unfortunately assumed they had a valid Cyprus Will for the last 5 years, having the Will drawn up by a qualified solicitor in the UK but, if they had passed away, they would have died intestate leaving their estate open to the forced heirship regime.
Another client of mine had Cyprus Wills drawn up in Paphos. This Will was a little bit messy, failing to name the wife correctly and was quite a difficult Will to read altogether. Putting that aside, they had a codicil drawn up to reflect their wishes regarding Brussels IV but the Will writer had failed to refer to the correct Will date in the codicil thus making the codicil invalid, once again, subjecting their estate to the forced heirship regime upon passing away.
Furthermore, if you have had a Will drawn up in the past, particularly mirror Wills, please do make sure you have a read through them to make sure they are in fact identical or as you wish. I have come across a few Wills by couples where one Will was fine, but the other completely left out the Brussels IV clause, so if they were to pass away first, their estate would open to forced heirship meaning the wife would have to split the estate equally with the children, which was not the Testators wish.
Lastly, I have recommended on many occasions that it is often beneficial that family members, or someone you trust, be appointed as Executors rather than the lawyers. However, I have increasingly noticed recently that even when such Executors are appointed, there are many Wills where there is a clause stating that the firm who drafted the Will are to be appointed to help with probate and they can still charge according to the table.
If you need any assistance regarding the above please do not hesitate to contact Wayne Barnett on 99 147650 or by email at email@example.com for a free initial review. Alternatively please fill out the contact form below and we will be in touch with you very soon.