italian inheritance lawyers palmigiano

Italian Succession Law: how our lawyers work and the reason why is highly recommended to rely on an Italian inheritance lawyer

Why to rely on one of our italian inheritance lawyers?

Palmigiano Law firm is a dynamic law firm based in Palermo specialized in Italian inheritance law and international succession cases. Founded in 1954, the firm is perfectly balanced by young professionals and more seasoned lawyers, respecting its traditions and roots. Its Italian inheritance lawyers will be able to offer specialized advice and know-how to solve all the problems arising from inheritance issues.
The Palmigiano Law Firm’s wealth of experience involves its advising clients on many legal issues related to contested estates with assets located in many international countries including the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Australia, Canada, and United States.

Contact us to know more about what we offer to solve your succession issues. If you prefer, write a mail about your needs in our contact form: we reply as soon as possible.

Trust and estate disputes are often complicated and highly stressful, especially when a deceased’s wealth is spread across the world in trusts and other assets and competing sides of the extended family are still grieving for a loved one. The Italian succession law says that beneficiaries of the Italian estate will need to obtain a Certificate of Inheritance known as a “Dichiarazione di Successione” to enable the Italian estate to be distributed.
International disputes often involve conflicts of laws between foreign jurisdictions. Overseas jurisdictions are involved if the parties are resident and domiciled there or if the disputed assets are situated there. Conflicts of laws tend to arise in relation to succession, administration and taxation of an estate or trust and lifetime giving.
Our Italian inheritance lawyers offer strategic and practical solutions to the issues which clients face whether it is in relation to succession planning, will preparation, contentious family or probate disputes and succession planning.
If you are called as heir in Italy, the italian succession law gives to you three alternatives:

  • pure and simple acceptance of the inheritance: you will inherit all the assets subject to succession and have unlimited personal liability for the deceased’s debts, even if the amount of the debts exceeds the value of the assets inherited;
  • repudiation of the inheritance: you will renounce any asset subject to succession and be excluded from the testament;
  • acceptance under benefit of inventory: usually the best option if you are unsure about the deceased’s debts and other succession charges.

As you can understand, managing all these legal aspects would be very difficult if you don’t entrust to a italian inheritance lawyer. It is the reason why Palmigiano Law Firm offers all the expertise you need in Italian succession procedure. But now let’s try to understand how the third possibility works.

Acceptance under benefit of inventory: the explain of our italian inheritance lawyers

The acceptance under benefit of inventory allows you to avoid the risk of having to face the debts of the deceased with your money.
For example, if the object of the inheritance is a sum equal to € 50,000 but the amount of debts is € 60,000, the acceptance with benefit of inventory allows you to answer debts only for the amount of the inherited sum.
The use of this option is useful when there is no certainty about the real amount of the debts of the deceased with respect to the legacy; if it is clear that the assets’ liabilities exceed the active amount of the legacy, it is advisable to opt for the total renunciation of the inheritance. Is now clear why it is highly recommended to rely on an experienced Italian inheritance lawyer?

The acceptance of succession must be made with benefit of inventory when the inheritance is devolved to minors, emancipated minors, people under a legal incapacity and legal persons, associations and foundations (except companies). Although in such cases the institute is obligatory, it does not operate automatically: it is necessary that a suitable subject performs the deed in order to make the acceptance valid. In the case of minors and interdicts, the parents or guardians will need to perform the deed, following a special consent issued by the judge. Individuals with limited ability to act (disabled and emancipated minors) can take advantage of the inventory benefit with the consent of the guardians and the judge.

Acceptance under benefit of inventory can be performed through a declaration before a notary or court clerk, to be made in the district where the deceased had his/her last domicile. The declaration will then be subject to transcription in the register of succession and real estate registers (for advertising purposes) by the receiving registrar; if made before the notary, the latter will request the insertion of the declaration from the competent registrar, depositing a true copy of the deed.

It is mandatory to draw up an inventory of the assets subject to succession, in order to sort out any inheritance liabilities. The inventory (drawn up by the notary or the Registrar of the Court) is essential to help you decide whether or not to accept the inheritance.

If you are already in the material availability of the goods, the inventory must be drawn up within three months from the date on which you learned to have become an heir or since the succession was opened; after it is drafted, you will have forty days to decide whether or not to accept the inheritance. Once any debts are welded, you will be free to dispose of what is left and you will not be held responsible for any further debts of the deceased.

If you are a foreigner or reside abroad, given the difficulty of drawing up the inventory, the Italian law provides for a 10-year deadline for making the declaration beneficiary. Once you have made it, however, you will have three months to draw up the inventory and forty days after filing it to proceed with the acceptance.
For foreign citizens who own assets in Italy, drafting an Italian will with the help of an Italian inheritance lawyer is a highly recommended choice. Since different rules may apply to non-Italian testators and to foreign beneficiaries of an Italian inheritance, we recommend to obtain the advice of an Italian Probate lawyer with proven experience in the field of Italian inheritance disputes and international succession.

Will and taxes: the enucleation of our italian inheritance lawyers about the succession law in Italy

An Italian will can have three different forms:

  • handwritten will (also referred to as holographic will – testamento olografo): it is handwritten, dated and signed by the testator. There is no need for witnesses. It usually is the simplest, most straightforward type of will, newertheless we recommend to have it checked over by an Italian wills lawyer, to ensure that all the formalities and legal requirements have been covered;
  • formal or public will (testamento pubblico): it is drafted by an Italian Public Notary following the instructions of the testator. The Notary then reads the will aloud so that the testator can confirm it meets with their wishes, before being signed in the presence of witnesses;
  • secret will (testamento segreto): it is drafted by the testator and then placed in a sealed envelope before being taken to an Italian Notary by appointment for storage. The contents remain undisclosed until after the death of the testator.

If you die without having made a will to cover your assets in Italy, then the rules of intestate Italian succession will apply. Effectively, this means that your closest relatives will inherit a share of any fixed assets (i.e. property and land) according to the Italian law.

There are three types of Italian succession taxes:

  • Estate Tax (Imposta di Successione);
  • Mortgage Tax (Imposta Ipotecaria);
  • Cadastral or Property Transfer Tax (Imposta Catastale).

The Estate Tax (Imposta di Successione) applies to the full net value of the estate, including fixed and non-fixed assets.

The rate of this tax varies depending on the beneficiary’s relationship to the deceased:

  • the surviving spouse and immediate family (children and/or parents) have to pay 4% on the amount exceeding 1 million Euros. In the case of disabled children, the 4% is due on the amount exceeding €1,500,000;
  • the siblings have a € 100,000 allowance, after which the have to pay a 6% rate on the estate value;
  • other relatives up to (and including) the fourth level of kinship, direct line in-laws and indirect line in-laws up to (and including) the 3rd degree of kinship pay 6 percent, with no allowance;
  • every other heir is liable to pay an 8% rate, with no allowance.

The Mortgage Tax (Imposta Ipotecaria) is payable at 2 percent of the property value set on the cadastral record.
The only exception occurs if the property will remain the primary residence of the beneficiary. In this case, the rate goes down to €200.

The Property Transfer Tax (Imposta Catastale) is applicable when there is a property located in Italy to be transferred. It is charged at 3% of the property value set on the cadastral record (valore catastale).
The cadastral value is usually 30 to 40 percent lower than the market value.

Inheritance tax applies to the following categories of assets:

  • Real estate;
  • Private bonds (not government bonds);
  • Equity or shares in a non-family business;
  • Managed funds;
  • Savings and bank accounts;
  • Furniture and jewelry;
  • Trust assets.

If you need an italian inheritance lawyers to get a right advice about the italian succession law, Palmigiano Law Firm is what you are searching for. Reach our contact page and write us about your issue. If you prefer, you can also contact us at one of our telephone numbers you will find in the same page.