Italian will: is it recommended?

For foreign citizens who own assets in Italy, drafting an Italian will with the help of an Italian 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.

Palmigiano Law Firm’s italian inheritance lawyers handled many times these cases about succession and wills. Contact us to learn more! 

The three types of Italian will

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.


Let us know if we can help.

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

If you need assistance with Italian wills and international succession, contact us for a free consultation.


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