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Last Will and Testament
Avoid the considerable pitfalls of dying intestate in North Cyprus - make a Will
Continuing from: Death and Dying in North Cyprus
Should you be single and if you care about what happens after you've gone, then you should also make a will; one for North Cyprus and one for any other place where you have assets. Nominate your beneficiaries and appoint executors; they will be most grateful for you sorting out your affairs 'afore ye go'. T'will save them much time and aggravation.
The law in this area is complex with many 'ifs' & 'buts'. A North Cyprus Will has to be written and presented in a certain way for it to be valid. If there is one thing that we would like you to take away from this article, it is this: if you want your assets to be disposed of in a certain way when you die, don't take anything for granted, get advice and make a Will. If you don't, don't be surprised to hear that your assets may be distributed in a way that you didn't intend and don't be dismayed when you hear that your nearest and dearest may be put to a lot of trouble and heartache at a very distressful time and in future, may describe the North Cyprus process of probate as the worst experience of their life !
A cautionary tale : a married couple leave the UK and move to a lovely apartment in Kyrenia bringing all their assets with them. After a number of idyllic years of retirement and relaxation under the Cyprus sun, Mrs. .?. falls ill with an incurable long-term illness which requires fulltime professional care at home and eventually becomes hospitalised at some cost, but affordable. Mr. .?. had control of all the couple's assets and the couple were not poor, but the strain of coping with his wife's illness, managing the apartment and housekeeping, daily visits to the hospital and caring for his wife's needs, plus the loneliness especially at night, began to take its toll. Mr. .?. lost weight, became vulnerable and weak through not really caring for himself and he too, became ill and succumbed to various cancers died quite suddenly.
It transpires that all the couple's key assets are in Mr. .?.'s name and there is no Will. Despite the fact that all the correct procedures are followed after his death and burial, all the assets are frozen by the banks and authorities meaning that there is no money to cover necessary attendant costs. Mrs. .?. carers at the hospital could not be paid, the hospital's fees could not be paid, burial costs remained unpaid, non-removable and other assets could not be disposed of: Result? Chaos !
Thankfully, the couple's friends and local organisations step in to assist. Money is made available, to be repaid by Mr. .?.'s estate when probate is eventually granted. Arrangements to organise future, long-term care for Mrs. .?. involve considerable time, effort and expense. Volunteers take care of Mrs. .?. in hospital (remember, although in hospital for medical attention, family and/or friends are responsible for patients day to day needs - the UK NHS it is not - despite high, daily charges !)
The nature of Mrs. .?.'s illness means that she is unaware of all the problems since she became widowed, but there are dozens of widows and widowers (or those who have lost their partners) in North Cyprus who have had to endure the ponderous post death processes that seem to be the norm here. Remember, the authorities adhere to the letter of the law and there are no provisions to ease the suffering of grieving spouses, or relatives, but wouldn't you have thought that the authorities would understand that the grieving should be afforded efficient procedures & sympathetic treatment ? Think on !
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