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Topic review - ITALIAN WILLS
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: ITALIAN WILLS  Reply with quote
There is so much conflicting and vague advice - most of it generated from Italian Lawyers keen to part you from your money... Ultimately, I guess you have to go with what makes you feel secure.

To save people from searching I've copied my post from last year that included this impartial post from an Italian Lawyer:

I don't want to appear to be dismissing the advice given by your solicitor but I suspect many professionals take the safer course of 'hedging their bets'. After all, they can't lose advising you to do both - that way your covered and more importantly, so are they.

I have found the article I was looking for that provides a different recommendation (this article was posted on the Forum in the past). More importantly, rather than a general 'to be safe, you should do' we are given the legal basis of the advice that is enshrined in a European directive. As far as I know, this covers all the major EEC countries and definitely Italy and the UK. Although you would expect any Lawyer giving advice on wills should be aware of this, the conflicting messages we continue to receive suggests not.

The key point for me is the end of para 7 below but the whole article gives a very useful perspective.

I might be building a reputation for being anti-Lawyer but I'm not - quite the reverse. What I want though is soundly based and accurate advice and, from other posts on this Forum as well as my own experience, this seems to be in short supply.

Call me easily impressed if you will, but here's a Lawyer who's giving advice that won't make him any money...

This article discusses: Italian Inheritance Law and Wills, Italian Property, Succession Law, International Probate Regulations.
Sponsored article by Italian property lawyer Nick Metta, partner at Italian law firm Studio Legale Metta.
One question I always hear from non-Italian property clients is: Do I need an Italian will?
I often surprise them with the quick and simple answer: No.
Many think that it is necessary to have an Italian will to address their Italian property inheritance, but, the truth is, an Italian will isn’t necessary. A will is recommended, but it doesn’t have to be Italian. This isn’t to say that a non-Italian can’t have an Italian will; he absolutely can. It’s just that he doesn’t need one. And here’s why:
An Italian will isn’t needed because the inheritance of Italian properties is, by default, regulated by the national inheritance law of the deceased party. This means that if, for example, an American owns property in Italy, when she dies, American inheritance law applies to the property. Therefore, an American will would cover the Italian asset thus making an Italian will unnecessary. This is under typical conditions of course.
However, an important aspect to note is that in common law countries such as the UK, the home country international law would typically defer to Italian inheritance law to regulate the inheritance and the distribution of the Italian property. What does this mean? If a UK citizen dies while owning Italian property, Italian law says that the UK inheritance law would apply. However, UK law pushes back to Italy and says that Italian inheritance law applies. This back and forth can continue and thus delay the inheritance proceedings.
At this point, one might think that a home country will can address the home country assets and an Italian will can address exclusively the Italian assets. But, this is not necessarily true. A situation such as this might be interpreted in several ways. The choice of drafting an Italian will and within it using the Italian language, the Italian legal style, and an Italian legal advisor (involvement of an Italian notary is recommended) might lead to the interpretation that it was an implicit choice by the deceased to choose Italian inheritance law over the home country inheritance law.
An Italian will means that the Italian inheritance laws of distribution apply to the Italian property. The Italian laws are not as liberal as many other countries and there are specific percentage allocations that go to specific family members. In Italy, it is not possible to leave your estate to Fluffy or the mailman, unless you no longer have a spouse, child or parent. Therefore, an Italian will could possibly end up confusing the issue and impede the deceased’s wishes from being carried out.
For a visual comparison of the Italian and UK inheritance systems, please look at our Italian intestacy chart and UK intestacy chart. The charts depict the main transitions of an estate according to each country’s laws of inheritance and distribution.
To help my clients avoid facing a legal tennis match between their home country and Italy, I typically recommend that we simply modify their home country will by adding a clause which expressly statesthat they are electing for their own country’s inheritance legislation to apply to their Italian property. In this way, they do not need an Italian will to address their Italian assets.
Now, let me clarify that adding such a statement to the home country will is not absolutely necessary. I have my clients adding it as a security element, to avoid risk of confusion, future misinterpretation, etc. That said, I have also smoothly executed non-Italian wills that did not include such a statement. These wills had general terms such as “the rest of my estate”, or “all my estate”, under which the Italian property was included. The problem is that this leaves room for interpretation. And in legal matters, it is always better to eliminate possible alternative interpretations. To help, I’ve drafted a sample of a basic non-Italian will which would be valid in Italy to address an Italian property. You can download it here.
I also tell my clients not to bother with an Italian will for two further reasons very important to all of us: time and money. An Italian will simply implies more costs and additional time. There is the drafting, the authentication, the registration, the execution; in one word, bureaucracy. And we all know what that means when we’re talking about Italian bureaucracy. In my experience of executing both foreign and Italian wills, the process for foreignwills hastypically been substantially cheaper.
Let me be clear, a non-Italian can certainly have an Italian will to address an Italian property or Italian assets. It is simply that this will not benefit the inheritors. It will however definitely accomplish two things: 1) take some money out of your pocket when you pay to establish it, and then 2) take some money out of your inheritors’ pockets when they pay to execute it.
In conclusion,there are three important points to remember about Italian wills:
1. A non-Italian can have an Italian will;
2. Foreign wills are fully applicable in Italy;
3. It costs less not to have an Italian will.
For further information regarding Italian inheritance matters, please click here.
***
Nick Metta is a partner at the Italian law firm, Studio Legale Metta. Nick is head of the firm's international department which addresses matters of Italian law involving international parties in areas such as Italian real estate, property financing and Italian inheritance law.
The Italian law firm Studio Legale Metta is a boutique firm of Italian Attorneys. Established more than 120 years ago, the firm handles domestic and international casework throughout Italy.

Thought this would be useful for those readers looking at having an Italain WIll when they may not actually need one...
Post Posted: March 6th, 2012, 10:37 pm
  Post subject:  Re: ITALIAN WILLS  Reply with quote
There is lots of information on this forum somewhere about this , which concludes with the fact that if you pay out for an Italian will you are throwing your money away.
We were informed by our solicitor that if things are straight forward there is no need to have an Italian will. Best research this forum before parting with your money..
Post Posted: March 6th, 2012, 9:39 pm
  Post subject:  Re: ITALIAN WILLS  Reply with quote
Is it cheaper to do this handwritten will? I received a quotation from my solicitor and it was much more expensive than at home to do an Italian will.
Post Posted: March 6th, 2012, 8:15 pm
  Post subject:  Re: ITALIAN WILLS  Reply with quote
A few people I know have hand written their wills in their Italian Lawyers offices, their Lawyer then puts the will in a sealed envelope and keeps it in their safe until such time that it is required by the beneficiaries ??

Apparently this method is commonly used by Italians where there are no complicated bequests.
Has anyone else used this method?
Post Posted: March 6th, 2012, 6:43 pm
  Post subject:  Re: ITALIAN WILLS  Reply with quote
Putforward
There have been several postings in the past concerning Italian wills (or not!) - it might be worth doing a search on them as I seem to recall that one line of thought was not to produce an Italian Will otherwise your property would be subject to Italian inheritance rules which might not necessarily be the same as UK. I seem to recall that some solicitors, even Italian ones, suggested that adding something into your English will would ensure that your wishes were carried out according to UK law. My recall of the facts are a bit hazy without trawling thru all the previous postings on this matter - so might be worth checking thru them to get some alternative points of view.
Post Posted: March 4th, 2012, 5:52 pm
  Post subject:  Re: ITALIAN WILLS  Reply with quote
There are a few here: http://www.incalabria.com/italian-lawyers

Hope this helps,

Dennis.
Post Posted: March 4th, 2012, 5:09 pm
  Post subject:  ITALIAN WILLS  Reply with quote
I have an apartment in Lorica and now need to make a Will. My lawyer in England says it has to be written in Italy can anyone suggest a lawyer in San Giovanni in fiori? I understand I can write my own and simply get it signed by the Italian lawyer. Is this the case and does it have to be written in Italian and English. Can anyone advise please. Thank you.

Putforward.
Post Posted: March 4th, 2012, 3:25 pm

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