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Property and Estate Planning Matters

Reading Time: 3 minutes

property in ItalyOwning a second home in the UK presents administrative and logistical challenges, but at least that second home is within linguistic, tax and legal frameworks that are familiar. The challenges escalate with a foreign property, particularly in relation to succession law and tax issues.

Italy is a popular choice for second home ownership and in recent years we have seen UK ownership of Italian property increase as the UK economy recovers and people take advantage of favourable property prices compared to the UK. While accurate data are not available regarding UK ownership of property in Italy, according to 2015 UN statistics, there were an estimated 66.000 UK born nationals living in Italy. 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

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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

Off-Plan Properties in Italy: Delivery Delays

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There are many legal aspects to consider when buying off-plan properties in Italy. We would always advise that you seek legal advice before investing. Developers and builders can be very persuasive, but whatever you do, don’t sign anything without taking independent professional advice.off-plan properties

Significant delays in delivery of off-plan properties  is one aspect that irritates investors about Italian off-plan property purchases.

Buyers often try to integrate a late delivery penalty clause in agreements. However, enforcing penalty clauses is not easy. Often the agreement will have been drafted by the developer or  builder. Where the developer or builder is a major company, penalty clauses are unlikely to have been mutually agreed between the company and the buyer. The agreement will therefore unilaterally favour the builder. Read more

Big cracks in the walls of my Italian property…

Reading Time: 4 minutes

I bought an Italian property and now there are big cracks in the walls. What can I do?

You moved in to your new Italian house three months ago and since then some serious cracks developed in a wall.

You called in a surveyor (geometra), who has informed you that there’s a serious structural problem. You expect to receive a full written report from the surveyor within the next few days. 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

Advice for expats buying Italian property

Reading Time: 4 minutes

What should expats buying Italian property know?

The most important piece of advice for expats buying Italian property is that they should never sign any paperwork before getting it checked. Your signature could put you in a legally binding situation.

Advice for expats buying Italian propertyA surprising number of expats buying Italian property don’t use a lawyer. Instead they take a DIY approach, or use someone unqualified such as the vendor, which could be an expensive mistake to make. We would always recommend that you use an experienced, independent conveyancing lawyer to safeguard your Italian property purchase.

It’s important to engage a lawyer who speaks your language fluently so there are no misunderstandings and everything is translated accurately. It goes without saying that the lawyer should be independent of the estate agent and/ or the vendor and that the lawyer should be registered with the Italian Bar Association. The lawyer should also have public liability insurance and any advice provided should be made in writing. Read more

Farewell to The Certificate of Habitability?

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Certificate of HabitabilityIntroduction

Farewell to the Certificate of Habitability? This is what is set to happen in the future, through an amendment to the Italian Competitiveness Decree, which is soon to be approved by the Italian Council of Ministers.

Applicable to all properties, if approved, The Certificate of Habitability will be replaced by a, “Segnalazione Certificata di Agibilità” (Certified Notification of Habitability). This is not just a matter of a name change, the whole process for obtaining certification will be different. Read more

Italian Property Survey – Need One Or Not?

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Italian Property Surveysurvey

For most people buying a property in Italy is a major expense; in our view at De Tullio Law Firm, not commissioning a property survey is a false economy.

A surveyor, “geometra”, will provide you with invaluable information and support during the property purchasing process, which will help save you money both prior to and after completion. Read more