Using Mirror or Mutual Wills to Dispose of Property in Cyprus
The process of disposing of a property in a will is similar to the disposal of property by way of a gift during one’s lifetime. The distinction between the two is that in a will, the departed benefactor cannot arrange the entirety of his property to whom he wishes in excess of the disposable portion as defined by Cyprus legislation.
Notwithstanding, a Cyprus resident can dispose the whole of his property by way of a gift to anyone he wishes to without any restrictions. It is natural and reasonable for a person to keep property while he is alive. Maintaining or keeping property is preferable since, if it is disposed, it changes hands and afterwards it belongs to others. Consequently, more and more people prefer to dispose of their property through a will.
Generally, it is reasonable and practical to hold property during one’s lifetime; however, a person can also arrange for the entirety of his property to be disposed of by way of a gift or inter vivos trust to anyone he wishes with no limitations. Keeping or retaining property is usually the safest option since, disposal of property allows it to change hands and subsequently belongs to others. As a result, wills are a more popular method of property disposal.
Drawbacks of Mirror-wills
Several legal experts have given their opinion on whether mirror wills would hold their own in a court of law in Cyprus and more specifically whether they legally bind the surviving spouse and do not allow him to revoke his will.
An interesting judgment was recently passed in the Cyprus Court of Appeal whereby the court of first instances ruling was put aside. This found that the denial of a shared will through the execution of another will was not valid and legally binding. In the recent case, the surviving spouse acquired her entire late husband’s estate and from that point she executed another will.
Controversially, certain people were named in the mutual will as heirs (beneficiaries of an inter vivos will), however in the new will, another hier was included.
Read more about the disposal of state land in Cyprus.