Italian succession and probate, how does it function?

Italian inheritance

The types of successions and wills

Following the number of requests that we have recently received regarding property inheritance in Italy, we have decided to write about all the steps to take when it comes to a succession process.

Let’s start by saying that In Italy, the national Civil Code speaks to the subject of succession law and rights of heirs, and that Inheritance is transmitted in 2 ways:

  • Legal succession, applies if the deceased died without a will. In this case, it is the Italian law that establishes who is to inherit the decedent’s estate. Successors in title (children or grandchildren) or relatives in ascending line (parents or grandparents) up to the sixth degree are included.
  • Testamentary Succession, which is a legal document left by the deceased in order to dispose of his assets after his/her death. Wills  can be of two types:
    1. Italian Will: needs to be “published” and registered at the Italian authorities
    2. Non-Italian Will: must be sworn translated before the Italian Court. In case of lacks it will be interpreted with the support of an Italian attorney.

What is the succession process like?

The procedure of the Italian succession can be difficult, especially for those who do not speak Italian or live in the country.  It typically takes a couple of months to complete the process.

Sometimes, successions can remain open years due to litigation between the heirs or other complexities.

However, heirs have twelve months’ time following the testator death to file the probate with the authority called Agenzia delle Entrate.

After the application, the heirs will be asked to pay for the Inheritance taxation.

The amount is calculated upon the relationship of the deceased to the heirs and the total value of the assets involved in the succession. It will be possible to register the assets in the name of the heirs when the probate is completed.

As mentioned above, it can be difficult to navigate through all the procedures if heirs live abroad.

We at Italy Property Service receive a number of requests to assist on successions and make sure clients obtain the necessary professional help to manage the process sympathetically and efficiently.

Need further clarification? Contact us at . We will be happy to answer all your questions.


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