Italian succession FAQs


Italian succession procedures involve complex bureaucracy and paperwork.

That’s why we always advise foreign citizens inheriting property in Italy to obtain the assistance of an English or French-speaking Italian lawyer specialized in international inheritance.


Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Italian succession. They can help you get an idea of how inheritance in Italy works before getting in touch with a competent law firm.


I’ve inherited a house in Italy, what should I do?


If you’re called as heir in Italy you have three alternatives:


pure and simple acceptance of the inheritance, which means 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, through which you renounce any asset subject to succession;


acceptance under benefit of inventory, which is usually the best option if you are unsure about the deceased’s debts and other succession charges. You can find more information here.


If you decide to accept the inheritance, an Italian succession lawyer can help you retrieve inherited assets through a grant of probate.
The grant of probate is a certificate stating that the will is valid.


To obtain an Italian grant of probate, you will need:


– the testator’s death certificate

– the affidavit of his/her family situation

– the title deeds of buildings and land purchased

– the family certificate of the deceased


To issue the death certificate, the Italian Registry of Vital Records at the municipality of the testator’s residence will require copies of the deceased’s and applicant’s personal ID and tax code (codice fiscale).


If you’ve already obtained a foreign death certificate, an official Italian translation will be required. A skilled Italian lawyer can help you with that.


You can find more information about how to get an Italian Codice Fiscale here.


The next step is filing the following documents to the Italian Revenue Authority (Agenzia delle Entrate) within 12 months after the death:

– statement of succession for inheritance tax purposes

– inheritance tax payment receipt

– grant of probate and affidavit confirming you are the legitimate beneficiary (with official Italian translation)

– if there is no will, an affidavit stating that you are the beneficiary by law (with official Italian translation)

– property cadastral information

– death certificate (with official Italian translation, when needed)

– appointment of Italian tax address


What is a statement of Succession?


The Statement of Succession (Dichiarazione di Successione) is a form listing all of the deceased’s assets.


It needs to include:

– the personal data of the deceased and heirs

– details of the inherited assets, mortgages and receipts

– the testator’s death certificate

– the original or legalized copy of the Will.


It is issued by the Italian Ministry of Finance and is required within one year of death.


What is asset reconstruction?


It is a way to audit the deceased’s assets in Italy. It can be useful for beneficiaries if they are unsure about the testator’s property.

You can appoint an Italian lawyer to perform the asset reconstruction on your behalf.


Let us know if we can help.


Our English and French-speaking lawyers have gained solid experience in cross-border inheritance matters.

If you have received an inheritance in Italy and need assistance, contact us.


You may also be interested in:


> Italian succession taxes: everything you need to know

> Italian will: is it recommended?

> Inheritance of assets in Italy: when and why to accept under benefit of inventory

> How to get an Italian Codice Fiscale