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  • Italian Inheritance Guide

    By Anthony Parente

    Italian law can be very complex and when it concerns an inheritance it can get very confusing. If you do not live in Italy trying to understand the Italian legal system can be very tricky and emotional. We hope this guide will help you understand how the whole process works and what you can do to ensure that you protect your inheritance.

    Claim Your Italian Inheritance
    If a will does not exist, Italian law imposes what might be called "forced heirship", whereby certain relatives are entitled to a fixed proportion of a person's estate on death. Even if a will does exist, it must consider preset minimum quotas for certain members of the family otherwise the will would be considered null and void.

    A Deceased Relative of Mine Owned Italian Assets. How Should I Proceed?
    If you are not sure how to proceed this article explains how the inheritance is transmitted and how the process works.

    How Can An English---Speaking Italian Inheritance Lawyer Help with The Italian Inheritance Process?
    If you have been named as a beneficiary of assets in Italy, and you have decided to accept your Italian inheritance, it is a good idea to use a specialist solicitor to help support you. The Italian inheritance process can be a complex process, so obtaining the right legal advice and having the right lawyer on your side will be massively beneficial in helping you get through it, especially if you are not resident in Italy. This article looks at some of the reasons why you should engage legal services.

    Is Your Last Will the Way?
    You will be shocked to learn that Italian law may not agree with your desires and might even impose the distribution of your Italian assets in a different manner than you had intended - regardless of your citizenship or residency.

    Losing Your Italian Inheritance
    Many people believe that Italian law follows the "same rules" as those of their home country and that, for example, if you are named in a will you inherit something, and if not named, you get nothing. This common belief is generally the crux of the matter and the reason inheritances are lost or go unclaimed!

    Share Your Story
    If you have gone through the process where a family member in Italy has included you in their will please share your experience. This will help others who may be in the same situation as you were and it may help them understand some issues they might encounter.

    The Testamentary Succession
    Italian inheritance law dates back to Roman Law in that close family members of the deceased are protected, therefore, partially limiting the right of the testator to dispose of his/her own assets entirely as he/she wishes.

    Using the Inheritance Wild Card
    So what does this wild card have to do with the writing of an Italian will? It relates to the percentage of one's assets in Italy that one may dispose of freely. In Italian legalese it is called, La disponibile.

    The Value of Drafting an Italian Will
    Although, generally speaking, Italy recognizes the validity of international Wills, under the Italian Law all foreign Wills must be authenticated by an Italian Public Notary before executing the probate. The Notary will not publish or legalize Wills drafted in a foreign language (and governed by different legal jurisdictions) in Italy unless translated by a professionally certified translator. It is nonetheless advisable for a non-Italian citizen to draft an Italian Will if she/he owns properties (house or land) on Italian territory.

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