What is a Notary Public? Italian Public Notaries in Property Transactions

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Italian Public Notaries in Property Transactions

What is a Notary Public?

Introduction

Time and again we find some confusion about Italian Public Notaries, amongst international clients who buy and sell property in Italy. There is a mistaken belief that the public notary (notaio) performs the same function as a lawyer, solicitor or attorney (avvocato).

Italian Public Notaries

Public notaries grew from the institution of scribes and scriveners. They first became respected for their knowledge of technical matters as public officials in Ancient Rome, where they were often attached to the court. These Notaries prepared and drew up fair copies of deeds and other legal documents, which were endorsed using the seal of the court and thus rendered ‘public acts’. Eventually, Notaries were granted the right to use their own official seals to give their acts public status.

In modern times, acting on behalf of the Italian State, notai are appointed by the Italian Ministry of Justice. Vested with the rights of official authority, which they receive from the Italian State, a document drawn up by a notaio is a guarantee of its legality and authenticity. Read more

What Is The Role of An Executor of An Italian Will?

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A testator (but only a testator) may appoint an executor in his /her Will in order for testamentary dispositions to be carried out.executor

If you appoint him/her in your Will, your executor ensures that your last wishes and the administration of your estate are taken care of. In order to do this, unless you have stipulated otherwise in your Will, your appointed executor undertakes to manage your estate with all reasonable care.

In Italy this  includes managing all probate and succession procedures in accordance with Italian legislation. The executor takes possession of all the assets included in your estate and manages the distribution of assets and bequests to heirs in accordance with your Will. Where an executor has been appointed, your  heirs may neither manage nor dispose of your assets autonomously.

Appointing an executor is highly recommended in complex personal or patrimonial frameworks: if your estate involves cross-border assets , where an heir is legally deemed incapacitated, if an heir is under the age of 18, if your estate is to be transferred to heirs who live outside of Italy and or heirs are not Italian nationals or heirs who the testator feels may have vested or conflicts of interest. Read more

Cross-Border Inheritance – A Case Study

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Tom Smith was a divorced UK national in his 60s. He had two children from his first marriage, both children are now adults.cross-border inheritance

On a trip to Italy 20 years ago, Tom met a young Italian woman, Giovanna. They fell in love and got married in Giovanna’s home town, Perugia, in Umbria.

Tom and Giovanna set up home in the countryside, about 30kms from Perugia. They lived in a house on two hectares of land set to orchards and olive groves. Tom was passionate about looking after his land.

Tom and Giovanna have a daughter. Francesca, now aged 15, was born in Italy and holds dual British and Italian nationality. Read more

The Importance of Making or Reviewing Your Italian Will

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WillDo you own property at home and in Italy? Do you have shares, savings, investments? All of these assets constitute your ‘estate’. So, drafting your Will should be a priority.

Making a Will ensures that when you die your estate is shared according to your wishes.

Everyone should have a Will, but having it is even more important if you have children, you own property or have savings, investments, insurance policies or you own a business. Read more

Italy Referendum

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Italy’s Referendum

Italy’s Constitutional Reform Referendum

On 4th December Italy goes to the polls: a constitutional referendum is going to give Italians the chance to choose whether to accept or reject the constitutional reform bill approved by Parliament and proposed by Matteo Renzi’s centre-left government. The constitutional reform is one of the most elaborate and ambitious reform bills ever to be put forward in Italy. The outcome, according to latest polls, is too close to call. Some of our readers have asked us what the Italy’s referendum is all about, so in today’s blog post, we attempt to address the key issues and impacts.

Italy ReferendumWhat is Italy voting for?

Currently, Italian laws need to be approved by both houses of the Italian parliament: The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic. This “bicameral” system pits the state against the regions, which frequently leads to delay or scuppering of new laws, and undermines the stability of the Italian government. Read more

Dormant current accounts: how to proceed?

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What are dormant current accounts?dormant current accounts

Recently, new rules on Dormant current accounts have come into force. With the term Dormant current accounts reference is made to contractual relationships entered into with a Bank or another financial intermediary, consisting in sums of money or financial instruments, that have not been moved by the owner for a period of 10 years and have a total sum higher than €100. Savings account books, current accounts, postal accounts, shares, bonds, government securities that have been present on inactive deposits are included in the category of dormant current accounts. Read more

Planning for the future: your Italian holiday home

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Italian holiday homeMany people own a holiday or second home in Italy. If you want to keep your Italian holiday home in the family for future generations, it is advisable, ideally as part of your overall estate plan, to look at how best to manage this. Failing to take the right steps to ensure a home’s future ownership can lead to family upsets and disputes after your death.

A holiday home can hold powerful sentimental value; understandably, many couples want to leave their holiday home to their children as a way of preserving memories of happy family holidays. Read more

Accepting or Renouncing an Inheritance in Italy

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Italian Inheritance

Accepting or Renouncing an Inheritance in Italy

A beneficiary can either renounce or accept the right to an Italian inheritance. A beneficiary acquires the qualification of heir as soon as an inheritance is accepted. Once accepted, the qualification of heir is irrevocable.

Renouncing an inheritance in Italy

How does acceptance work?

Acceptance to be an heir can be made expressly or tacitly. In either case, acceptance must be manifested within 10 years from the opening of the succession process. The express acceptance of an Italian inheritance takes place when the heir declares a willingness to accept the status of heir, by means of a notarial or a private deed. Tacit acceptance takes place when someone acts in such a way that the acceptance to inherit assets can be implied or inferred. Read more

Possible effects of ‘Brexit’ on pensions for UK nationals living in Italy

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Possible effects of ‘Brexit’ on pensions for UK nationals living in Italy

Brexit Referendum

brexit

In his first words since accepting the result of the Brexit referendum (if you were looking for Italy’s Referendum, click here) on Friday, Mr Johnson wrote in 27th June’s edition of The Telegraph that, “EU citizens living in this country will have their rights fully protected, and the same goes for British citizens living in the EU”.

His column said: “The only change – and it will not come in any great rush – is that the UK will extricate itself from the EU’s extraordinary and opaque system of legislation: the vast and growing corpus of law enacted by a European Court of Justice from which there can be no appeal.” Read more

UK property purchasers in Italy after Brexit

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