By Christos ILIOPOULOS* - The inheritance or estate tax in Greece is not high. For estates after 2010, (cases where the deceased passed after the beginning of 2010), the inheritance tax which the children, grandchildren and the spouse of the deceased
have to pay is zero for a share worth up to 150,000 euros. For the next 150,000 euros the spouse and the children have to pay only 1%. This means that each child, grandchild, and spouse or partner with a civil union who inherits a share worth up to 150,000 euros will not have to pay any inheritance tax at all and for a share of 300,000 euros, the maximum tax is 1,500 euros. Other relatives or heirs through a Will, may have to pay comparatively higher tax, which however is still low compared to the value of the share they receive.
Things get even better for estates created until the end of 2003. If the deceased passed until 31st of December 2003, the heirs, irrespective of how close they are to the deceased, will pay no inheritance tax at all. No matter how high the value of the share, there is no inheritance tax for estates up to 2003. Also, it does not matter whether the heir is a close relative, (child or spouse of the deceased). Even when the heir is not related to the deceased, even when the heir inherits based on a Will or on the intestate succession (when there is no Will), there is absolutely no inheritance tax. In general, the Greek state’s right to collect inheritance or estate taxes for cases where the deceased passed until the end of December 2003, has been abolished and each heir does not have to even declare to the tax office the inheritance. (Article 61 of Law 4583/2018).
According to the recent law, those who inherit property, or any type of assets located in Greece and have not settled their inheritance rights despite the estate having been created by the end of 2003, have the right to do so now, without paying estate tax in Greece, which means that the process is easier and faster. However, they do have to declare their property rights to the tax office and to the local land registry, after they have signed the acceptance of inheritance deed.
The usual documents required to settle the estate and to obtain the ownership of the property are the death certificate of the deceased, which will be officially translated in Greece by the lawyer who handles the file, the close of kin certificate, and the deeds which describe the assets of the estate. More information will be needed on the place of birth of the deceased, whether he/she left a Will or not, if it has already been probated anywhere in the world or not, and whether the deceased had declared the assets of the estate to the Greek tax office.
For those who reside outside of Greece, the procedure can be completed with a power of attorney signed at the Consulate of Greece, or at a notary at the foreign country, or before a notary in Greece.
10 April 2019
*Christos ILIOPOULOS, attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece , LL.M.