Why is it worthwhile making an Italian will?
If you own property in Italy, having an Italian will can prevent all sorts of difficulties for heirs when transferring ownership of an Italian property.
In Italy, the disposal of an estate occurs in compliance with the decisions of the testator as set out in an will. Or, where the deceased was intestate, in accordance with inheritance law.
in Italy, the law requires that a public notary authenticate a will before probate can begin.
Although, generally speaking, Italy recognises the validity of international wills, they can raise a number of difficulties. As a matter of fact, a notary cannot publish or legalise documents in a foreign language until a court-sworn translator has translated them into Italian. This entails additional cost. It can also lead to misinterpretations of the testator’s wishes regarding disposal of an estate. Sorting out any misunderstandings may end up being another costly and lengthy matter.
It is also worth bearing in mind that having an Italian will can speed up administrative procedures. For example, with banks. In Italy, accounts and deposits of the deceased are frozen following an account holder’s death. The procedure to access funds can be a difficult and protracted process. Heirs will have to pay certain expenses from their own pockets in the meantime.
In summary. The main advantages to making an Italian will are threefold
1. Reduces the risk of conflict among heirs.
2. Creates possible inheritance tax reductions for heirs.
3. Makes the decedent’s wishes clear to Italian authorities.
A competent legal advisor can help you draft a will that complies with EU Succession Regulations and Italian law. This limits the effects of legal succession in Italy and ensures that the estate is disposed of according to the testator’s wishes, without violating EU and Italian succession regulations.
Inheritance is a complex matter. In addition, if you own assets in more than one country, this can further compound the complexity. We recommend you seek independent legal advice regarding your personal situation. If we can be of assistance, please get in touch.
For more information about succession and inheritance in Italy, you may find our Italian Succession Guide useful.
At De Tullio Law Firm, we have over 55 years of expertise managing cross border succession and estate planning matters. We are a full member of STEP, the world’s leading association for trust and estate practitioners.
You may also be interested in Legitimate Heirs. Rights of “Forced Heirs” in Italian Inheritance