Italian succession vs Italian inheritance

Italian succession vs Italian inheritance

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Question: What’s the difference between “Italian succession” vs “Italian inheritance”?

Answer: Although they can informally be used interchangeably (especially when discussing Italian estate matters with a non-Italian speaking person), they are not the same thing from a legal standpoint.

In Italy, the “succession” of a deceased person is the process to sort out that person’s estate, whereas the “inheritance” is the group of assets and debts that you inherit from that person.

For example, if a deceased left any real estate in Italy, the succession process would include some tax formalities and tax payments to update the property title record.

In the same scenario, the real estate asset would be part of the “inheritance” of the beneficiary.

You do not need to be the inheritance beneficiary to process the succession. Any person who has an interest can work on the succession with respect to all the estate assets. Additionally, if you are entitled to an asset that is part of an estate and you process the succession of that estate, it does not per se imply that you are claiming or accepting the inheritance you are entitled to.

In this scenario of overlapping definitions and infinite possible situations, it is common for people to generically use the two terms interchangeably like, for example:

  • “assistance with an Italian inheritance/succession”, or
  • “how to process my father’s inheritance/succession in Italy”, or
  • “resolve an Italian succession/inheritance problem”.

The law offers several options to address each situation in the most time and cost-effective way. For example, even if there is a will, there might be alternative legal options to process the succession without using it, saving a significant amount of time and money.

You can schedule a consultation during which we’ll learn more about your specific case circumstances and then we will advise you on the most time and cost-effective strategy to pursue your goal.

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