Italian Inheritance Law. What do I need to know when accepting an Inheritance in Italy? The following article is aimed at answering some of your initial questions. But you should consider asking for our professional advice to fully understand about which options are most suited to your personal circumstance.
Italian Inheritance Law
When you receive an inheritance in Italy, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you must or even should accept it. According to Italian Inheritance Law, the heir has the option of legally disclaiming all of his inheritance if he believes it will cause more complications than it will help. If the heir has not yet accepted the inheritance, he has the right to file a disclaimer in Court (Tribunale) or in notary public (Notaio). The heir acquires the heritage “ipso iure” as soon as he shows the willingness to accept it. The acceptance can be express or also tacit. Actions taken by the heir in administering the succession constitutes implicit acceptance of the heritage. Once accepted, the qualification of heir is irrevocable. Both assets and liabilities of the deceased are involved in the inheritance. Accepting an inheritance implies also fiscal obligations.
Inheriting a property in Italy
International Italian Inheritance Law is founded on the principle that the succession is dealt with under the law of the country of last domicile of the “decased”. But property in Italy must be handled according to the Italian law, which is the law of the Country where the property is located. If you have a right to inherit property (or a quota of property) in Italy, there are certain steps to take as soon as possible. Some of them concern registering a change of name for utility bills and contracts. Then, according to Italian Inheritance Law, you have to submit the “Dichiarazione di Successione” (Statement of Succession). It is required within one year of death. The Statement of Succession is sent to the Italian Ministry of Finance. All of the deceased’s assets need to be listed. Once completed, this form is sent to the Italian Revenue Authority (Agenzia delle Entrate). Please go to the link to find out more about how to inherit and sell Italian property.
What taxes should I pay?
The heirs will be requested to pay the taxation related to the property inheritance. The taxes depend on “Valore Catastale“, cadastral value, which typically is lower than the property market value. Italian inheritance law is founded on the principle of ‘unity of inheritance’, which means that any non-property assets are dealt with under the law of the country of last domicile, and property assets must be handled according to the law of the country where the property is located. There are various taxes which may come into play when inheriting property.
- Wife and Sons: 4% of the cadastral value (with an allowance of euro 1 million for each beneficiary)
- Brothers and close relatives (up to fourth degree): 6%. Each Brother is entitled to an allowance of euro 100,000
- Any other heir: 8%, without allowance
2. Property Transfer Tax. Aggregate rate 3% of the property cadastral value
Heir “Legittimario” according to Italian Inheritance Law
Italian inheritance law specifically provides for rights belonging to so called heir “Legittimario”, whose quota is always guaranteed (wife, sons, brothers of the “deceased”). In case of default, a claim can be filed in the Court by the heir “Legittimario”. In other words, an Italian will infringing on the rights of this “forced heir” or “Legittimario” is not invalid, but it is enforceable unless it is challenged in Court by the “forced heirs” through legal action.
Who we are and what we do
Studio Legale Forcella Peruzzi, i.e. “Law Firm Forcella Peruzzi”, is a boutique law firm based in Padova (Padua) near Venice and Verona. We represent and advise our clients in many areas of private law: especially Real Estate Law and Italian Inheritance Law. We assist foreign clients with all kinds of cross-border estate legal problems, such as inheritance claims, statement of succession (“dichiarazione di successione”), estate planning, preparation of wills and disputes all over Italy. This website, for italian-speaking, aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the Italian succession procedure. If you are not italian-speaking and you have a legal problem on italian inerithance, contact us for a free of charge answer in English or French. We adopt efficient protocols (you are not required to meet us in person nor to be present in Italy for any formality).
Below is a list of our most frequently requested Italian Inheritance services:
- Statement of Succession (dichiarazione di successione): identify estate, beneficiaries and respective inheritance rights, calculate and settle succession taxes, prepare succession documents, validate wills in Italy, file succession paperwork, arrange shipment of goods overseas;
- Estate and Will discovery: search Italian property titles and interests, bank accounts and other assets a beneficiary might be entitled to, search for wills left in Italy;
- Inheritance Claim: claim life insurance award, withdraw funds from bank accounts;
- Terminate co-tenancy or “comunione ereditaria” (joint ownership termination): assist joint owners getting out of a joint ownership, amicably or through Court;
- Liquidate the inherited estate: sell Italian properties or shares of properties, sell invested funds;
- Take succession disputes to Court;
- Italian estate planning: review personal goals, advise on risks and opportunities;
- Consultation for preparation, review, amendment of wills regarding Italian assets;
- Wills: preparation, review, amendment of wills (regarding Italian assets)