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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

What are my parental rights in Italy?

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Following the recent introduction of civil unions into Italian national law our thoughts turn to the parental rights of married and particularly unmarried couples in Italy.parental rights

Italian politician, Monica Cirinnà has told us that the rights of those in a civil union will be much the same as those of married couples.

This of course cannot be so straightforward when it comes to children, and we still await clarity on the case for adoption between civil partners. As it stands, adoption for same sex couples is still off the cards.

For those living in or moving to Italy it is important to understand parental rights. That way, as a married or unmarried couple with children you can be in the best position to make decisions or provisions for the future. Read more

Testamentary Succession in Italy

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testamentary successionItalian inheritance law dates back to the Roman Law tradition. It is based on the principle that the deceased’s close family members merit special protection. This partially limits the right of the testator to dispose of assets entirely as he/she wishes.

Testamentary succession can be defined as the assignment of hereditary assets, the estate, of a deceased testator in compliance with the decisions of the testator as set out in an Italian Will. A Will is a legal document drafted and signed by the decedent through which disposal of an estate is determined following death. Read more

Defects and non-compliances in Italian property purchases

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Defects and non-compliancesItalian property purchases – What’s the legal position when it comes to defects and non-compliances?

During our legal careers, my father and I have dealt with all sorts of seemingly improbable scenarios. The couple from Scotland who discovered they had bought a property that didn’t actually legally belong to the vendor. The German family, who arrived in Tuscany for their first holiday at their recently purchased dream property to find the previous owner’s brother and family in residence. It transpired that the brother was a co-owner of the property, who had no idea the property had been ‘sold’. Read more

Do you, or your family, own Italian assets?

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Italian assetsIf you, or your family, own Italian assets, it is advisable to research and prepare for the future of those Italian assets. You can watch our short video on this subject here: http://bit.ly/1VDqOnY

Inheritance and probate laws vary from country to country and it is unlikely that the Italian assets will be subject to the same procedures and laws as the assets at home. Read more

Why is it worth drafting an Italian Will?

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Why is it worth drafting an Italian Will?

Be sure to prevent any problem!

It is generally recommended that foreign citizens owning assets in Italy draft an Italian Will. This will prevent significant difficulties that heirs might experience when transferring the ownership of Italian properties originally registered in the name of the testator. Under Italian law, all foreign Wills must be authenticated by an Italian Public Notary before going through the Italian probate process.

 

Italian WillAlthough, generally speaking, Italy recognises the validity of international Wills, it is advisable for non-Italian citizens to draft an Italian Will if you own property on Italian territory (house or land). Managing documents drafted in a foreign language (and governed by different legal jurisdictions) in Italy can raise a number of difficulties. As a matter of fact, the Notary will not publish or legalise documents drafted in a foreign language unless they have been translated into Italian by a certified and qualified translator. Read more

Millions of Britons do not have a Will

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The majority of Britons have not written a Will, according to research from the Law Society.50652_fullimage_istock_000067974129_xxxlarge

The representative body for solicitors has now warned that the consequences of dying without a valid will can be dire for those left behind.

The research revealed that 73 per cent of 16-54 year olds don’t have a Will, while 64 per cent of people over the age of 55 have made their final wishes clear in a will. The research also found that men are more likely to have a Will and keep it updated than women. Read more

Reverse mortgage

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In December 2015 the Italian Ministry of Economic Development signed a decree implementing the new reverse mortgage, a form of equity release financing.reverse mortgage

The reverse mortgage allows home owners over the age of 60 to convert part of the value of their property into cash using the property as security for the loan. The owner remains the legitimate owner and retains the right to live in the property. The reverse mortgage represents an alternative to selling the property. At the time of signing of the loan, a plan of repayments is established, just like any other form of personal loan.

Interests and related costs are refunded at the time of death of the borrower.

Should the owner decide not to repay the financed sum in advance, the heirs, who inherit the debt entered into by the deceased, have the following options:

  • Repay the debt to the bank and clear the mortgage from the
  • Selling the mortgaged property
  • Allow the lending bank to sell the property at market value according in order to repay the mortgage.

If the property is sold at market value, the heirs have the right to obtain the difference once the debt has been repaid. The bank cannot ask the heirs to repay the debt, in the case that  the bank fails to sell the property.

Another feature of the reverse mortgage regards interests, which can be refunded either at the time of expiry of the loan or at fixed deadlines. If the “refund upon expiry” formula is chosen, no sum is due to the bank during the loan. In this case, there is no insolvency regarding the financing.

The sum granted to the borrower is determined by:

  • the borrower’s age – the older the borrower is, the higher the percentage of equity release that will be granted
  • the value of the property used to secure the loan

If you wish more information on this topic, please contact us.

Rent-Free Property Agreement: an Overview

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According to Italian law, a rent-free property agreement is applicable where a party lends an item they own to a borrower in order that the borrower may use the item for a given period of time or for a specific reason. The borrower then has the obligation to return the item to the lender at the end of the agreed period of use. As its name implies, a rent-free agreement is entered into for purposes other than financial gain. rent-free property agreement

The most common examples of rent-free property agreement pertain to a parent allowing a child to live rent-free in a property.

Interestingly, according to the Italian law, a rent-free property agreement is not restricted to housing. All sorts of items can be loaned rent-free to a third party. This might be a car or gardening equipment. In general, it is not necessary for the agreement between the parties to be in writing, an oral agreement is considered legally valid.

However, as far as homes or properties are concerned, a rent-free property agreement must be registered with the local Agenzia delle Entrate.

Once a rent-free tenancy agreement is registered, the 2016 Law of Stability has introduced a novelty with regarding tax: it is possible to benefit from a 50% discount on IMU and TASI so long as the following conditions are met:

  • The property must be considered as the main residence of the occupier benefitting from the rent-free agreement.
  • There must be first degree kinship relationship between the parties of the contract (typically parents and children)
  • The property owner must own only one other house
  • The two properties in question must be located in the same Municipality

For more information on rent-free agreements, please feel free to contact us.

Cross-Border Inheritance Law (Brussel IV)

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Cross-Border Inheritance Law. How Does New EU Succession Legislation Impact You?

This article looks at the new EU Law 650/2012, also known as the Brussels IV Regulation, which came in to effect on 17th August 2015.

Although the UK, Denmark and Ireland have opted out of participating in Brussels IV, there are still implications for nationals of these countries who reside in a participating EU Member State or have a connection to a participating EU Member State, for example a holiday home.

Cross-Border Inheritance LawPrior to the introduction of Brussels IV, each EU jurisdiction applied its own rules to govern the devolution of individuals’ property. For individuals with assets in more than one country, various Connecting Factors were considered such as domicile, residence, nationality or habitual residence, in order to determine which country laws should apply to an individual’s estate. In addition, for some EU states, applicable succession law depended upon whether the assets were immovable (property and land) or movable (bank accounts, vehicles, furniture, jewellery and so on). The fact that each jurisdiction applied different Connecting Factors often led to costly, lengthy and complex conflicts of laws. Read more