As younger generations of Greek Australians visit Greece more frequently, their parents and grandparents are looking for the best legal avenues to transfer all kinds of property in the motherland to new titles.
Whether it is to encourage continuous ties with their heritage or to support them with their businesses or moving permanently, one of the first options parents have is to ‘gift’ their property in Greece to their children, with the Parental Benefit act.
This transfer is prepared with a series of certificates and documents in Greece from the tax office, engineer, municipality and other services and is signed with a solicitor and the parent transfers the property to their child without compensation, in order to improve their child’s life socially and professionally.
Greek law welcomes the transfer of property from parent to child in accordance with the customs and mentality of Greeks everywhere, by making the parental benefit tax free up to the amount of 150,000 euros from each parent to each child.
Therefore, if the property in Greece has an objective value of up to 150,000 euros, no parental benefit tax will be paid, which significantly reduces the costs of the transfer.
However, if the property has a higher value up to 300,000 euros, the parental benefit tax is still very low at only one percent from 150,000 to 300,000 euros. Therefore if the property has an objective value of for example of 200,000 euros, the parental benefit tax will be one percent of 50,000, coming to 500 euros.
In order to complete the parental benefit which is done only by a notary in Greece and not in a consulate or elsewhere, a series of documents are required:
- Tax information
- An assets certificate from the municipality
- Tax certificate confirming that no inheritance or parental benefit tax is outstanding
- A certificate that no property tax is outstanding and that the dimensions and characteristics of the property were correctly declared in the E9
- An engineer’s certificate ensuring there are no urban planning violations or that the plot does not have a building
- An energy certificate
- Insurance information
- Updated land layout
A power of attorney is required for both parties engaging with the parental benefit, through a trusted person (relative, friend or lawyer) in Greece. This is because in most cases the issuance of the required documents requires several weeks and expatriates either do not even come to Greece, or if they come, they prefer to spend their time in their homeland in a better way than running around chasing documents.
The parental benefit can be transferred with full or partial ownership of the property so the parent retains the property for as long as they live, so that they are able to continue receiving rental payments or if they are living there.
The alternative option of transferring property to children is through the will, by which the property will be transferred to the children after the death of the testator.
The taxation on the will is the same as the parental benefit. If this option is chosen, the testator parent must consult a lawyer or solicitor in Greece in order to draft the will thus avoiding difficulties when the time comes to apply.
Sometimes the will that the parent has drawn up abroad may be sufficient, provided that it is checked by a lawyer in Greece.
If, for example, the parent has two children and in Greece has two properties of approximately equal value, it would be better to write in the will that he gives the A property to one of his children and the B to the other, than to write that he leaves the two to his children. his real estate, thus creating indivisible shares that can cause disputes or complexity in the management of common real estate.
If for example the parent has two children and in Greece has two properties of approximately equal value, it would be better to write in the will that they give property ‘A’ to one of their children and property ‘B’ to the other, than to write that they leave the properties to their children, thus creating indivisible shares that can cause disputes or complexity in the management of common real estate.
Christos Iliopoulos is a Lawyer of the HighCourt