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Inheritance law and inheritance tax

Italy has rules of ‘forced heirship’, whereby specific members of one’s family are entitled to specific proportions of one’s estate on death and it is not possible to disinherit them.

Such forced heirship rules may well apply in relation to real estate owned by foreigners in Italy, unless specific action is taken to ensure that the laws of the county in which the deceased was resident immediately prior to his / her death apply to the distribution of his / her estate on death. This may come as a surprise to foreign clients who come from jurisdictions based on ‘free testament’ so long as an individual executes a will determining the distribution of his / her estate after death. We are able to advice of the impact of Italian succession law, liability for inheritance tax in Italy and in the country of origin and the double tax treaty rules which apply in each case.

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