Among the most frequently asked questions Architect Katerina Sirouni receives are about Greek property rights and inheritance. Get started with this info.
Greek Property Rights and Inheritance: where to start
Greek property laws continue to change fairly regularly. As an architect — and a Greek-American one living in Greece, I’m always asked by people in the U.S. about their potential Greek property rights and inheritance, and any issues that any arise surrounding those subjects. As the owner and principal architect of the firm, KSirouni Architects, I help clients all over the world in design, management, and maintenance of properties, as well as navigating Greece’s new property laws. Let’s look at the questions and some high-level answers. As always, these answers are general. Always contact a competent professional for questions and answers specific to your potential Greek property rights and inheritance. Contact me via email.
Are your roots Greek?
How many of you of Greek descent have ever wondered from time to time if an ancestral family home or an olive grove in Greece might be yours to claim?
After leaving Greece, many immigrants never followed-up on their Greek properties nor did they leave sufficient information on their family’s property to their potential heirs.
Do I own property in Greece?
First, find your roots! Once you know where your ancestors lived or where they were from, you can then take the next step, a Property Title Search!
A Property Title Search is conducted by an attorney at the local Mortgage Registry (Υποθυκοφυλακείο) nearest to the area of where your potential inheritance would be located. A thorough property title search will provide details of all real property that has ever been registered within that specific area.
Am I entitled to inherit Greek property?
For this, we consulted our associate Attorney-at-Law, Arsinoi Lainioti (also a Greek-American living and working in Greece), who is both a Member of the Athens and Massachusetts Bar Associations.
“Real property in Greece is inherited by immediate and/or extended family members, in the absence of a will. The percentage of inheritance depends upon the degree of relation between the deceased and their heirs.”
She provided some examples of potential heir combinations:
• Spouse, children and/or their children
• Siblings, nephews/nieces and/or their children
NOTE: It is important to keep in mind that properties which are not claimed and registered by lawful heirs can be claimed by the Greek government.
No, we aren’t kidding. It can in fact happen to your family! If property is not registered with the Hellenic Cadastre by the deadline stipulated for the geographical area where it is located, the property will revert to the Greek Government.
Do you have a Greek property question? Need help determining your Greek property rights and inheritance? Contact us.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided is general and may change or not apply in all cases and should therefore NOT be considered as advice or consultation to act upon.
Other articles by Katerina Sirouni:
Katerina is experienced in designing, constructing and renovating residential and commercial property, as well as issuing all property-related certificates and permits. She offers property management and consulting services predominantly to non-Greek residents with regard to property in Greece.
Last year, Katerina published a well-regarded series of articles in The Greek Star newspaper, entitled, “The Changing Landscape of Property Ownership in Greece: Know Your Rights and Obligations.” She also
conducted workshops in Chicago and New York, educating Americans about the new laws, and how they affect their property in Greece.
Latest posts by Katerina Sirouni (see all)
- 6 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy Greek Property - May 4, 2017
- Better Check Your Greek Property – It Could Be on Forestland! - March 6, 2017
- 5 Ways to Protect Your Greek Property - January 24, 2017