Are you expecting an Italian inheritance?

Have you ever had to face a question such as:  “Would Italian law on legitimate succession prevail, and so would my succession, given that I do not have Italian citizenship?” Or such as: ”I would like to disinherit my daughter, English law allows me to do so, but can I do the same if I am resident in Italy?”

Are there any differences among the Italian and British Law?

It must be said that the Italian law of succession and the Italian inheritance system can vary quite a lot compared to the English law.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the Italian and English legal systems concerns the rules governing the shares of inheritance owed to family members, and in particular the shares of retention granted to the spouses of the deceased regardless of his or her testamentary dispositions, which are excluded under English law.

How does the Italian inheritance works like?

The Italian inheritance model states that when the deceased has not made a will, the so-called succession in favour of the so-called legitimate heirs will open. The legitimate heirs are the spouse, descendants, ascendants (parents, grandparents), brothers and sisters and other relatives up to the sixth degree. In the absence of legitimate heirs, the assets are transferred to the State.

If there are only children: they are entitled to all the inheritance assets to be divided equally between them; their presence excludes the succession of the other relatives, with the exception of the spouse.  This is not the case when the deceased has drawn up a will. It can always be revoked and/or amended by a new will, or by a declaration before a notary. To be able to make a will one must be at least eighteen years old and be able to understand and want.

And in case of separation?

The spouse who has not been charged with the separation has the same inheritance rights as the non-separated spouse. The spouse who has been charged with the separation is not entitled to a share of the inheritance, but only to a life annuity if he or she was in receipt of maintenance from the deceased. In the case of a widow’s remarriage, if the widowed spouse dies after remarrying, the wife and any children are entitled, together with the children of the first marriage, if any, to inheritance according to the rules set out above. The case history of everyday life makes it impossible to examine every single verifiable hypothesis.

Whenever you face situations regarding Italian inheritance, it may be difficult to understand due to the implication of a foreign law system, but family solicitors chester and VGS Family Lawyers provide full assistance in all those event that you are willing to protect concerning your estate by helping you in the drafting of your will.

We help you in whether are the beneficiary or executor or other situations related to the execution of your will.

You can get in touch with us for more informations at

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