All legal aspects pertaining to the deceased person are transferred to his/her heirs through the procedure called succession; liabilities and assets are both involved in the succession. Under Italian law, some members of the family are automatically entitled to a part of the assets that the deceased leaves behind. This forced share is called "legittima".
Entitled persons to the fixed share in Italy
The people who are entitled to the statutory fixed part of the estate left by the deceased are the following:
- the spouse who has the same right to the "legittima" regardless of the relationship he/she had with the deceased (separated partner or not); a divorced partner, however, does not have a right to the share;
- the children (legitimate, adopted etc);
- the ascendants (in case no children are alive at the time of the person's death).
These rules apply to Italian nationals only. If the deceased is a foreigner, he/she may follow the same rules as above only if their country of origin's law allows it.
Our law firm in Italy can make sure that you follow the right steps in your inheritance case and assist you with all that might be legally necessary.
The benefits of the Italian will
There are various advantages in making a will in Italy, following the Italian law
, such as:
• it can minimise the risk of conflicts between the heirs;
• the survivors can pay less tax if the assets are left according with the "legittima";
• it clarifies the situation with the Italian authorities, thus, the cost of the will's execution will probably be lower.
Inheritance Tax in Italy
The inheritance succession functions as follows: in case there is no surviving spouse, the ones who are entitled to the inheritance are: parents, siblings and their descendants; aunts, uncles, nieces etc; the Italian State ("Il Stato Italiano").
These heirs will, however, have to pay inheritance tax at the moment they present the declaration to the authorities. Inheritance tax is levied on the entire estate of the deceased or on part of it, with reference to the entitled heirs, at different three flat rates.