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The Italian Inheritance Process

By Giandomenico De Tullio

Last updated on: Dec 29, 2016

Summary: Talking about inheritance is not an easy task due to the very nature and complication of the Italian Law. Giandomenico De Tullio of De Tullio Law Firm discusses Italian inheritance.

Italy Expat - The Italian Inheritance

Talking about inheritance is not an easy task due to the very nature and complication of the Italian Law. Succession refers to all legal aspects of the deceased including the assets and liabilities of the deceased person. It is therefore necessary to discuss what does succession mean? And what obligations are involved in testamentary succession?

By writing a Will you have control over who inherits your property and possessions after your death; ensuring your wishes are followed and your estate is passed on to the family and friends you want to inherit it. If someone dies without having made a Will, they die 'intestate'. This could mean that your assets would be distributed according to the Italian Law, rather than your wishes and the whole procedure can take months or even years to deal with. Succession law in Italy starts at the time of death, and it is based on the 'unity of inheritance'. This means that there is a recognized difference between property and non-property assets of the deceased party: the law of the last domicile/citizenship of the deceased party is applicable to non-property assets whereas the law of the country where the property is located is applied to property assets. If the deceased owned properties in different countries, the law of each country would be applicable for each property.

When all assets, rights, payments have been transferred to the heirs, the succession is deemed to be closed. The last step of succession is represented by the allocation of or division of the inherited assets. Division could be carried out by mutual agreement or as a consequence of judicial proceedings. The division procedure being effective from the moment the division agreement is signed or the acceptance of inheritance lots. This type of agreement is produced in written form. It is worth noting here that the death of a family member initiates a series of actions: searching for a will, making an inventory of the deceased's assets, ascertaining the presence of a safety deposit box, bank accounts and establishing contact with the relevant authorities to complete the whole succession procedure.

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About the Author

De Tullio Law Firm is an Italian legal practice specialized in advising property buyers worldwide. Its lawyers have extensive experience in and knowledge of Italian real estate, expertise on all aspects of residential and commercial property law across Italy. Similarly, De Tullio can assist you with wills and probates, European law, litigation, arbitration, taxes and corporate law.

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Comments about this Article

Aostagirl
Apr 21, 2015 11:10

Although I live and work in Italy I pay my taxes in the UK as I have a property there and I work there during the summer on and off too. If I write my will in the UK but die in Italy - how would the will stand.

detulliolaw
Apr 22, 2015 06:10

Assuming you die with a UK will and you own assets both in Italy and UK, you will need first to complete probate in the UK. Following this, you will need to arrange a sworn translation into Italian of the UK probated will and lodge the statement of succession with Italian competent authorities. Only at the end of this procedure will the Italian inheritance assets be transferred in the name of the heirs De Tullio Law Firm

guest
Dec 29, 2016 11:12

My husband and I are purchasing a house in Italy. If either of us dies we would like the other to own 100% of the house. It looks like the house could be inherited by siblings which we would like to avoid. If you have an Italian will does it allow you to designate who gets your shares?

First Published: Jun 22, 2013

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