Making an Italian Will when Buying Property in Italy

Changes in the laws of Europe introduced in August 2015 allow you to draft a Will where you can elect that the law of your nationality regulates your worldwide inheritance.

Italian inheritance laws are very different to those that you are used to in your home country. In Italy, you cannot leave your assets to whomever you wish: the Italian Law in fact grants a share of your assets to your closest relatives.

We can advise you on the various different options regarding your Italian Will. It is possible to have two wills – one in Italy covering your Italian assets and one in the UK covering your other assets. Both Wills need to be drafted carefully to make sure that they do not revoke each other.

Confused? Take a look at our guide to foreign Wills.

Can you use a UK Will for Italian property?

You can leave your assets in Italy to somebody with a UK Will, but this doesn’t make sense – the cost of the subsequent inheritance will be more and it is possible that you will inadvertently cause inheritance tax problems.

What happens if you don’t make a Will?

The cost and extra complications of leaving no Will at all is great and should be avoided.

Whilst as a foreigner you do not have to follow the same rules that Italian people do in terms of who you have to leave your property to, (unless you are resident in Italy at the time of your death and haven’t made a Will) it often makes sense to do so as this can save your beneficiaries huge amounts in tax.

What do you need to do to make an Italian Will?

For those who want to have a Will disposing of their assets in Italy, you can:

  • Sign a Will in front of an Italian Notary Public, it costs overall around €1,000-1,500, plus taxes per person


  • Sign a Will which can be prepared and signed in your local area or at our offices – without the need to go to Italy. The testator needs our assistance to ensure the Will contains all the necessary legal requirements to be valid and can arrange for the receipt of your Will by a Notary Public in Italy.

Need help with a Will for property in Italy?

Our UK-based property law team are highly experienced in helping clients who own property in Italy to make appropriate Wills for their Italian assets.

With a thorough understanding of both UK and Italian law, we can provide clear, reliable legal guidance in plain English, giving you the confidence to deal effectively with inheritance issues for property in Italy.

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