This is one of the most complex areas where our firm has the deepest experience in the world. This is particularly true with regard to U.S residents or citizens who may inherit property in Greece. After all we are experienced Greek lawyers with two major law offices in Greece - we are also U.S. - established lawyers that have handled U.S. estate work for over 50 years!

For example, for a U.S resident or citizen (which is the typical Greek-American) who inherits property in Greece, there are critical questions that must be analyzed and important issues of law which must be examined. One of those is where the residence was of the deceased. Depending one where the residence of the deceased was, Greek law or Unites States law may apply. Which law applies is critical to what the client may inherit. Is there a U.S Will and a Greek Will? If there is a U.S Will only, it must be determined whether it is recognizable in Greece. Very often, a U.S. Will must be the one submitted for recognition in Greece. Being a U.S. law firm, we are able to obtain the U.S. Court probate records and certified copies of the U.S. estate and probate and we understand what they mean - so as to be able to explain that to the Greek Courts. (Try that with your typical Greek "internet" lawyer.

If there is a Greek Will, steps need to be made to participate or initiate its publication and to be quickly aware of what it says. Notaries in Greece may retain such Will and must publish same 90 days from death. If there are Wills in both countries, there is a question of which one takes precedence. If a "handwritten" Will appears (idiografi) will it be given legal effect? Where it was written is key! How much a client inherits (whether the client inherits at all), depends on proper identification of the above complex legal issues- including which country's law applies and whether wills may be enforceable or recognizable in that country or the other country.

Foreign residents who inherit property in Greece often require consultation on a variety of matters including whether there is an estate in the Unites States being probated at the same time with regard to U.S property. The U.S estate is required to list the worldwide property and take the appropriate exemptions and exclusions pursuant to international tax treaties and the U.S. Tax Code. Tax forms need to be filed in both countries and appraisals of Greek assets may need to be made of the properties for tax filings in both countries.

There are critical issues of forced share in Greek inheritance law which may or may not apply. These forced share rights (νόμιμη μοίρα) may drastically change what someone may inherit or not. Whether these laws apply or not depends on complex "conflict of laws" issues relating to domicile.

In estate planning it is very critical to consider whether a Goniki Parohi (parental gift) should be utilized and how the Greek property may be coordinated as part of U.S estate planning. For example, putting Greek property into a U.S trust is extremely dangerous and is not recommended. The same objectives can be accomplished differently by utilizing U.S and Greek law properly. In addition, particular issues apply when the person making a Will or estate plan is disabled (whether in the United States or Greece) and the property is overseen by a guardian or is in a conservatorship. There are complex additional dual-country legal issues when Greek real estate or bank funds are left in U.S trusts, LLC's or corporations, as above stated. If anything arises in the U.S. with regard to a Greek inheritance legal issue, we are able to testify in the U.S. Court as experts on Greek law.

The Greek Law Group routinely handles all of the above issues (through comprehensive U.S. and Greek law experience and analysis) and has a combined over 100 years experience in the laws of each nation, U.S.A and Greece. One of our objectives is to keep our clients continuously informed and updated as a Greek inheritance matter progresses and (if our clients have U.S attorneys handling a U.S part of an inheritance matter) we will work very closely with those attorneys. All Greek matters are usually handled through Greek Power of Attorney which we draft so the client does not have to travel to Greece or suffer any unnecessary travel or inconvenience for any reason. Very often we find that Greek relatives, (uncles, cousins) are trying to take the Greek property from the Greek American through devious, fraud and or false means and manufactured "problems" and reasons. We have become experts in dealing with such issues during the past 27 years and if necessary we personally conduct the appropriate title searches, investigations, deed reviews, legal analysis etc... and file litigation to protect our client's inheritance and ownership matters in Greece, (if necessary).