In Italy what are the Laws concerning Inheritance where there is no Will?
In Italy if a deceased person has immovable assets but has not written a Will, the estate will be dealt with under the prescription of the Italian legal system. Alternatively if the existing Will does not provide for the whole of the deceased’s estate or lacks contents it is invalid.
Who will inherit assets if there is no Will?
In the case that the deceased did not write a Will, their estate shall be distributed among family members up to the sixth degree. If no relatives exist up to the sixth degree, the estate goes to the State. The order of entitlement of heirs is as follows:
– The spouse is entitled to inherit the whole estate if there are no other relatives.
– If there is one child and a spouse, the spouse inherits half of the estate and the child one third. This alters if there is more than one child.
– If there are parents or siblings of the spouse, the spouse is entitled to 2/3 of the estate and the parents and the siblings the remaining third.
– If there is no spouse, the children inherit the whole deceased’s estate. If there is more than one child, the estate is divided between all the children in equal parts.
– No distinction is made between legitimate, natural and adopted children, all have equal rights.
– If both parents are living they inherit in equal parts
– For grandparents, if all are living, half of the estate is distributed among the mother’s family, and half among the father’s family.
– Siblings inherit in equal parts and if parents, siblings and grandparents are all surviving, they each have a right to a part of the estate.
– If the deceased leaves none of the above, the estate is left to the closest relative up to the sixth degree.
– If no relatives up to the sixth degree are found, the government inherits the estate.
The Italian legal system automatically protects the rights of the family, even if the deceased has not expressed such.
If I write a Will can I exclude certain family members?
In the case of testamentary succession there are rules which protect those family members who are, by law entitled to a share of the deceased’s estate, namely the children, the spouse and the parents of the deceased. These persons are called ‘forced heirs’.
What percentage are ‘forced heirs’ entitled to?
A spouse would be entitled to half of the estate, one child is entitled to half of the estate, more than one child are entitled to one third of the estate distributed between them.
The deceased’s parents together with the spouse are entitled to one forth and half of the estate respectively. The spouse and one child are is entitled to one third each, if there is more than one child the children are entitled to half and the spouse to one forth of the estate.
How should I draft my Italian Will?
The safest and most secure way to draft a Will would be to do so through a public Will, the Will is written by a Notary Public, this is agreed by the testator in front of two witnesses and signed by those present. This would be the most secure method as the Will is then archived by the Notary Public for safe-keeping.
How is Italian Inheritance Taxed?
Italian Inheritance Taxi s currently in place and the rates depend on who the beneficiary is.
The spouse, children and grandchildren are obligated to pay a 4% tax rate on assets that exceed Euro 1.000.000,00.
Siblings and other relatives up to the fourth degree are obligated to pay a 6% tax rate on assets exceeding Euro 100.000,00.
Others, not included above are obligated to pay an 8% tax rate for any asset they inherit.