Italian inheritance & wills

Italian inheritance & wills

Cross-border estate matters for expats living in Italy as well as for people living outside of Italy who have Italian interests.

We efficiently manage international estate planning, drafting of wills, either Italian or foreign, to address Italian assets. We also carry out Italian inheritance claims, Italian succession filing (dichiarazione di successione) and inheritance disputes throughout Italy.

Our team of English speaking Italian lawyers specializes in international estate planning and Italian inheritance involving Italian assets and/or Italians living overseas.

Most of our estate planning and Italian inheritance cases involve testators and/or heirs from the United States of AmericaCanada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Ireland who have interests in Italy.

Italian Estate Planning

We provide estate planning advice and assist clients to fully implement the optimal strategy to meet their goals.

We start by conducting a deep analysis of our client’s goals, relevant family circumstances, and current estate specifications as well as possible future variables and changes that might affect the plan.

Then we advise about risks, opportunities, tax and legal consequences of existing arrangements.

Based on the above, we suggest estate planning tools to implement to meet our client’s goals, such as, prepare, replace or amend a will, post-nuptial agreement, survivorship, life insurance, lifetime interest, trust, gift deed (donation), adoption, preemptive guardianship election, lasting power of attorney and Special Purpose Vehicle creation to move real estate assets to a different jurisdiction.

We then set up the appropriate estate planning strategies.

The entire process is handled remotely, from start to finish. When needed, we work seamlessly in coordination with the client’s home country trusted lawyer.

Italian Inheritance Carried Out Remotely

We have successfully processed hundreds of cases 100% remotely. Our clients do not have to meet us in person, or travel to Italy, or go to the Italian Consulate.

This results in our team being up to date and well-versed in all aspects of Italian inheritance. Our extensive knowledge, efficient international working style and established legal tradition make our services a unique option. These factors allow us to offer prompt and high-quality services for competitive rates.

We frequently work on succession matters based on foreign wills involving Italian real estate, Italian bank accounts, life insurance, safe deposit boxes and invested funds.

We also represent foreign clients’ inheritance claims in Court and discuss cases up to the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione), the highest level of jurisdiction in Italy.

Italian Estate Planning and Inheritance Services

Below is a list of some of the most frequently requested Italian Succession, Inheritance and Estate services. All can be carried out remotely, without the client travelling to Italy. 

1. International Estate Planning:

For foreigners living in Italy as well as for people living outside of Italy who have Italian interests. Case profiling to analyze client’s goals and estate specifications. Tax and legal advice about the existing situation and strategic options. Identify estate planning tools and optimal strategy. Assist to set up the chosen estate planning strategy, e.g., life insurance, property life interest, survivorship, trust, gift deed (donation).

2. Italian Will Search:

Search if a deceased person left a will in Italy. Research if an Italian will was revoked. Retrieve the last will. In the event no will is found, draft Negative Will Search Report for foreign courts, notaries or other entities detailing the extent of the search and certified evidence confirming the negative result.

3. Italian and Foreign Wills:

Consultation to prepare, review and amend an Italian or a foreign will for Italian or foreign assets.

4. Italian Estate Discovery and Solvency Check:

Research Italian estate assets, Italian property titles, Italian bank accounts and other assets a beneficiary might be entitled to. Investigate estate liabilities and advise about strategy to protect the beneficiary/ies from estate and/or deceased’s creditors.

5. Relinquish Italian Inheritance Right:

We prepare a statement to be signed in the client’s home country. We then process the Italian inheritance renunciation on behalf of the client in Italy. We also notify the competent Italian tax authorities as applicable.

6. International Documents Preparation:

Prepare documents in foreign countries to be used in Italy without the need to go to the Italian Embassy or Italian consular offices. Prepare Italian legal translations of  foreign documents. Validate documents in Italy in Court under oath.

7. Italian Succession Filing (Italian Declaration of Succession):

Determine applicable succession law, identify estate, beneficiaries and respective inheritance rights, prepare and optimize estate assets for succession, calculate and settle inheritance taxes, prepare succession documents, validate and enforce foreign wills in Italy, file succession paperwork, transfer estate assets in name of the beneficiaries.

8. Italian Inheritance Claim: 

Claim life insurance award, withdraw funds from bank accounts, arrange shipment of goods overseas.

9. Partition Claim (Joint Ownership Termination):

Assist heirs to terminate the co-tenancy (joint ownership) through an inheritance division process, a sale, amicably, or through a Court process.

10. Italian Inheritance Disputes:

Resolve Italian inheritance and estate disputes through alternative dispute resolutions, Italian Mediation and lawsuits in Court.

11. Italian Estate Management

Assess estate obligations, credits, debts and liabilities, insure assets, terminate pending contracts, settle disputes, switch and deactivate utilities, manage real estate assets, including maintenance work, tax payments, vehicles sale, disposal or re-registration, furniture removal and shipment within Italy and overseas.

12. Liquidate an Italian Estate:

Prepare seller’s disclosure, sell Italian properties or shares of properties, liquidate bank accounts, investment portfoliosmonetize assets on behalf of beneficiaries, and distribute estate proceeds to domestic and foreign beneficiaries in compliance with international Anti-Money Laundering regulations.

13. Italian Estate Salvage:

Sometimes a person entitled to an Italian inheritance is tempted to walk away from it just to avoid the challenges that are assumed to come with it. However, even a complex case can be resolved entirely without the inheritor spending any money up front and without going to Italy. Our office offers a unique service called Italian Estate Salvage through which we carry out whatever work is needed to claim, manage, and liquidate the Italian estate on client’s behalf. We then transfer the net estate proceeds to our client after deducting the pre-agreed costs.

Italian Inheritance Efficient Processing

We have repeatedly and successfully carried out the activities above adopting very efficient international protocols, which have proved to be more effective than the traditional bureaucratic ones.

Our business structure allows us to address all involved aspects with little in-person involvement for our clients. No need to meet us in person, nor to travel to Italy for any formality.

Based on the high frequency with which we carry out the Italian inheritance and estate planning activities above, we can accurately predict up front how much time it will take us to complete the work. This means the client will receive a comprehensive estimate with detailed cost breakdown, including our fees, charges to third parties and taxes, from start to finish.

Contact us now to discuss your specific case circumstances with an experienced Italian lawyer. We will be glad to give you feedback about risks, opportunities, duties, options, deadlines and costs.

Read also our Frequently Asked Questions about Italian Inheritance Law.

Italian Inheritance Testimonials

Lara Trocchio (USA) – on LinkedIn: “My father passed away unexpectedly while he was living in Italy (the Imperia area/ Liguria). He owned his home, two cars, had bank accounts, etc., He also had a few outstanding debts that needed to be resolved. My brother and I live in the US and don’t speak fluent Italian much less know anything about the laws.

We were receiving advice from friends in the town my father lived in, but no one could clearly communicate and answer our questions in English. Luckily, a google search led me to Nick Metta and Studio Legale Metta.

Nick is very knowledgeable of Italian inheritance laws, answered all of my questions and we worked with his associate physically located in Italy. They negotiated settlements for my father’s debts (with individuals and with the state), handled the sale of the property and disposal of the vehicles, arranged for the utility payments and turn off, and even successfully resolved a dispute between my brother and I.

They were invaluable. I was at a point of simply walking away from everything my father had built because I didn’t know what to do to sell/manage it; Nick made it possible to leave my father’s estate in good hands. I’ll always be grateful for his help.

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