Italian inheritance: requirements of a legally valid power of attorney

If you become a heir under a will and you are a foreigner, or an Italian citizen residing abroad, you will want to confer power of attorney on somebody who is practically and materially able to fulfill all the activities related to testate succession, such as the acceptance or waiver of the succession, or the research of real and personal property and on bank accounts that might compose the estate.

If you want to be sure to handle these sensitive legal affairs in the best way possible, rely on an italian inheritance lawyer of our Civil Law Team. Visi the contact page and call us to discover more about!

What is a power of attorney?

A power of attorney (POA), or letter of attorney, is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business or some other legal matter. It can be specific, that is limited to a single act or specific affair, or general , thus allowing the person authorized to act (the “agent”) to handle all the affairs of the delegating subject (the “principal”).

A general power of attorney is issued for unlimited duration and remains effective unless you decide to revoke it.

Who should I contact to grant a POA?

If you are an Italian citizen living abroad and you need to give power of attorney to an individual in Italy, you can contact the Italian Embassy or Consulate. As an alternative, you can turn to a notary public accredited for your country of residence, and apply to have your document apostilled.

The apostille is a certification of authenticity, obtained by the stamp of the competent authority: it is meant to attest to the quality of the person who’s signed the document and to the authenticity of the signature itself.

If your country of residence is not a member of the Hague Apostille Convention (abolishing the requirement of legalization for foreign public documents), the legalization of the notary signature is to be fulfilled by the Italian Consulate

If you are not an Italian citizen, you must necessarily turn to a notary public, in which case the power attorney, to be valid and recognized in Italy, will always require to be apostilled.

If the POA is written in a foreign language, it will have to be translated and certified by the Italian Consulate.

What info should be included in a power of attorney?

Our firm has gained significant experience in international law: we’ve been assisting both Italian clients residing abroad and foreign clients with Italian inheritance and power of attorney matters for years, helping them with the legalization procedure required by Consulates and foreign notaries.

The first thing you need to do in order to grant a general power of attorney is to attend at a notary office of the Consulate or to a notary public office, bringing an identity document with you.

You will have to give your full personal details (name, surname, date and place of birth, the address of residency and tax ID), and those of the person you want to appoint as an agent, and express your will to delegate to such person as a general or specific attorney.

If you need to grant a specific POA for succession matters, you will also need to specify the subject of the POA and the powers you wish to appoint to your agent, plus provide the deceased’s personal details, including the place and date of birth and death.

Let us know if we can help.

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