There are several issues to discuss when talking about Italian Inheritance and perhaps the most important of these is the drafting of an Italian Will. Drafting a Will in Italian not only gives you peace of mind that your property or assets will be taken care of but also that your inheritance is given to the person you intend it for.
It significantly reduces the difficulties that heirs might experience when transferring the ownership of the property originally registered in the name of the testator. Italy does recognise the validity of international Wills however it is advisable that a non-Italian citizen should draft a foreign Will. Particularly if they are the owner of property in Italy. Having a Willl written in the country of your property can speed up the process of administrative procedures and also ensure that the document is already written in Italian. A foregn Will must be authenticated by an Italian Public Notary, the Notary will not authenticate such documents unless duly translated into Italian by a certified and qualified translator.
Succession law in Italy is based on the principle of “unity of inheritance”, which is quite different from the one ruling succession in common law countries. According to this principle, the law of the last domicile/citizenship of the deceased party is applicable to non-property assets, while the so called, “lex rei sitae” (law of the country where the property is located) is applied to property assets. Therefore, if the hereditary assets include properties located in different countries, the succession rights to each single property will be regulated by the law of the country in which each property is located.
As you can imagine the succession procedure in Italy implies quite complex bureaucratic actions and requires a substantial amount of information and paperwork to be submitted to the relevant Italian authorities. It is therefore worth seeking the advice and support of a legal expert in the field of Italian Law. The Italian Law of Succession is complicated, by draftng an Italian Will you are helping to safeguard your rights and allowing a legal professional to act on your behalf or represent you in legal matters.