Inheritance & Probate in Italy

The way inheritance and probate works in Italy is very different to the UK and other countries. This can make planning for the future of your estate, dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away or receiving an inheritance more complicated where Italian assets are involved.

Getting expert legal advice from experts in Italian inheritance and probate can make dealing with these matters much simpler, saving you time, stress and money.

Judicare is a leading international property law firm that regularly assists clients with investments in Italian property and land, as well as providing legal advice on Italian inheritance and probate.

Our Italian inheritance lawyers can assist with all areas of your inheritance planning and estate administration, including:

  • Advice on how Italian inheritance laws apply to your estate
  • Making an Italian Will[EP1]  (including clear advice on the benefits of doing so)
  • Italian inheritance tax planning (to minimise the tax burden on your estate)
  • Italian Powers of Attorney (to empower someone else to act for you in Italy)
  • Italian probate (including handling the process for you)
  • Advice on how an Italian Inheritance affects your UK inheritance
  • Advice for people who have inherited property in Italy

We are headquartered in the UK, meaning we offer the security of dealing with UK-regulated and insured solicitors, combined with comprehensive knowledge of foreign inheritance and probate rules in Italy and a range of other overseas jurisdictions.

For specific advice on inheritance and probate in Italy tailored to your needs, please get in touch with our friendly, expert Italian inheritance legal team based in the UK.

Call: 01438 840 258                     Email:


How Judicare can help with Italian inheritance and probate

Advice on how Italian inheritance laws apply to your estate

If you own property or other assets in Italy, you need to give careful thought to how these will be dealt with when you pass away. Under Italian law, your assets will automatically pass to certain close relatives (with spouses and children being prioritised) unless you take steps to put other plans in place.

While you may be happy for your spouse and/or children to inherit, it is still a good idea to make sure you understand exactly how these rules work and that they will work to your advantage. If you would prefer your estate to go to other beneficiaries, it is essential that you make appropriate plans, including a valid Will.

Our Italian inheritance lawyers can explain exactly how your estate will treated under Italian inheritance law and help you with your estate planning, giving you confidence that you have made the best possible preparations for the future of your estate.

Making an Italian Will

It is usually sensible to make an Italian Will for your Italian property and assets, even if you already have a UK Will. This will help make estate administration easier and (usually) less expensive, as well as allowing you to plan in a way that takes full advantage of Italian inheritance tax laws.

The usual approach is to have both an Italian and UK Will (assuming you also have assets in the UK). While having two Wills might seem more complicated, it actually makes things much simpler in the long run. However, it is best to have both Wills drafted by a specialist in both countries’ inheritance laws to avoid unexpected issues or conflicts between the two documents.

Our team can help you draft an Italian Will which can be prepared and signed in your local area or in our offices – there is no need to go to Italy. We can ensure this works with your UK Will so your estate will be dealt with exactly as you intend when the time comes.

Find out more about our expertise with making Italian Wills

Italian Inheritance Tax Planning

Italy has very different inheritance tax rules to the UK. Italian inheritance tax is generally lower than UK inheritance tax and there are reduced rates for close relatives, such as your spouse and children.

Smart inheritance tax planning can significantly reduce the tax burden on your estate, allowing more to pass to your beneficiaries. It is therefore strongly advised to seek help from an expert in Italian inheritance law (such as the ones at Judicare).

Inheritance tax on property or assets in Italy has to be paid in Italy. The property or assets also have to be declared back in the UK, although due to Double Taxation Laws you can offset the tax paid in Italy against the tax payable in the UK.

Our Italian inheritance tax lawyers can advise you on the steps you can take to ensure your estate is as tax efficient as possible, making sure your heirs received the maximum benefit.

Italian Powers of Attorney

Most people would prefer not to have to go all the way to Italy to deal with Italian inheritance matters. Fortunately, this can usually be avoided by creating an Italian Power of Attorney that allows someone else to act on your behalf for any matters that need to be dealt with in person in Italy.

While an Italian Powers of Attorney can, therefore, be very useful, it is important to understand that they give much more latitude to the recipient than UK Powers of Attorney. The documents must therefore be very carefully drafted so as to restrict the authority it grants only to what is strictly necessary.

Our Italian Power of Attorney experts can draft effective an Italian Powers of Attorney that exactly matches your needs, giving your representative the ability to do everything you need them to and nothing more.

As part of an overall inheritance, we charge £250 plus VAT for drafting an Italian Power of Attorney. On top of that you will have Notary fees, foreign and Commonwealth Legalisation fee (£30 per document) and often Courier fees. If we are not dealing with the inheritance, then a standalone Power of Attorney would cost more.

Italian probate

Dealing with the estate of someone who has died can be complicated and stressful at the best of times. Where that estate includes property or other assets in Italy, it can make things even more challenging.

Getting expert legal support to deal with probate in Italy is strongly advised as it can help to ensure the process goes ahead as smoothly and swiftly as possible, allowing you to focus on dealing with the loss of your loved one.

It is also worth noting that, in Italy, you have one year from the date of death to pay the inheritance taxes. Getting expert legal assistance can help to ensure this deadline is met, avoiding any fines and added interest for late payment.

Our Italian probate lawyers can assist with probate and estate administration for estates containing Italian assets, ensuring every stage of the probate process is handled correctly while making this as easy as possible for you.

Advice for people who have inherited property in Italy

The idea of inheriting property in Italy can be both exciting and a little intimidating, especially for those who aren’t used to dealing with such matters and don’t know what is involved.

Issues you will need to wrangle with include formally accepting the inheritance, paying inheritance tax (where applicable), when and how to sell the property (if you intend to do so) or what steps you need to take if you wish to keep the property.

One key issue to take care of is the need to formally accept or renounce the inheritance. If a beneficiary wishes to accept an inheritance, they must do in a deed prepared by a Notary or privately. Should they wish to renounce an inheritance, they will need to formally declare this to a Notary. Reasons one might renounce an inheritance include where the liabilities owed by the estate exceed the estate assets.

Our Italian inheritance lawyers can guide you every stage of inheriting a property in Italy. We can make the process as simple and stress-free as possible for you, helping you to do whatever you decide with the property.

Italian inheritance and probate costs

At Judicare, we want to make the cost of dealing with inheritance and probate in Italy as inexpensive and straightforward as possible.

We can provide an upfront quote for the costs involved, including our fees and any third-party costs (such as court fees). Once a price is agreed, we will only revise this in exceptional circumstances and any additional cost will always be explained and agreed in advance.

Examples of our Italian inheritance and probate fees include:

Notary fees for signature of Deed of Acceptance of Inheritance – Typically €1,000-1200

Notary fees for Power of Attorney (if applicable) – Typically around £250

Legalisation fees – £30 per document. Total cost of typically £60-£120 depending on how many documents are required

Land registry fees – Typically around €300 (including searches)

Taxes - Dependant on a number of factors including who is inheriting, where the assets are in Italy and the value of the assets.

Note: When the payment is to be made in Italy, we have quoted the cost in Euros and, where the payment is in the UK, we have quoted Pounds

For more general information about our fees, please take a look at our pricing.

Why use Judicare for inheritance and probate in Italy?

Italian inheritance law experts. Plain English advice.

Our team includes experts in Italian inheritance law who are fluent in Italian, so you can be confident that no detail is overlooked, and everything will be handled the right way.

At the same time, as UK-based lawyers, we can answer your questions and keep you informed in plain English, with no unnecessary legal jargon.

UK-regulated solicitors. Real peace of mind.

As a UK law firm, we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). This means you can be confident we will adhere to the strict standards expected of UK lawyers.

Complete understanding of how UK and Italian inheritance laws interact

While a law firm in Italy might be able to help with Italian inheritance law, what happens if an estate has assets in both the UK and Italy? Or even spread over three or more jurisdictions?

As a firm of UK solicitors who are experts in Italian inheritance law and inheritance rules in many other jurisdictions, we are perfectly placed to advise on what happens when you need to deal with the inheritance rules in more than one jurisdiction at once.

AIPP membership

When dealing with Italian property inheritance, working with a law firm with strong international property expertise is a good idea. This is one area where Judicare particularly excels.

We are a member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP), which was set up to improve standards of professionalism in a largely unregulated overseas property market. As AIPP members, we have signed up to a Code of Conduct that assures we adhere to the highest standards of honesty and professional integrity.

Decades of collective experience dealing with Italian inheritance & probate

Our Italian inheritance lawyers have many years of experience dealing with all aspects of inheritance planning and estate administration in Italy. This means we know all of the issues you need to consider, exactly what needs to be done and all of the common problems you can run into (and the not so common ones).

Drawing on our collective experience, we can help you to plan effectively and make sure every stage of your inheritance planning or estate administration goes ahead as smoothly as possible.

Need expert help with inheritance and probate in Italy?

Looking for a highly experienced, trustworthy, and reliable team of Italian inheritance experts in the UK?

Need expert guidance and plain English advice on any aspect of inheritance planning and estate administration in Italy?

Want peace of mind that everything has been properly taken care of?

Then get in touch with the team at Judicare today!

Call: 01438 840 258                   Email:

Italian inheritance and probate FAQ's

Is inheriting a property in Italy the same as the UK?

No, inheritance works quite differently in Italy to the UK and it is important for everyone involved to understand this. The Italian probate process involves more steps than UK probate and the costs are generally higher although inheritance tax is often much lower.

There are also various ways in which the two countries inheritance laws can interact, so it is highly recommended to deal with a legal expert who understands both sets of laws if you are dealing with inheritance involving Italian property and/or other assets.

Do UK citizens have to follow Italian forced heirship laws?

Like a number of European countries, Italy does have forced heirship laws (known as ‘eredi legittimari’). However, if you are a UK citizen or resident, it is possible to sidestep these rules when planning for your estate.

Something that is worth considering, however, is that there are often tax advantages to leaving assets to close relatives in Italy, with different close relatives paying a reduced rate of inheritance tax compared to non-relatives.

Can you include an Italian property in your UK Will?

Yes, but it is rarely a good idea to do so and is likely to cost more in the long run, so saving money should not be a reason to do so.

Creating a separate Italian Will might cost more upfront, but it can save money in a number of ways, including avoiding the need for your UK Will to be translated into Italian (which would be required during probate). The cost of a translation is often more than the cost of making an Italian Will, so this is generally the more cost-effective option.

Having an Italian Will drafted should also make estate administration simpler as the Italian authorities will know how to deal with an Italian Will and fewer additional steps are likely to be needed. This can make probate much faster and less stressful for your loved ones.

Finally, making an Italian Will can also allow you to plan your estate more tax efficiently, by helping you to take full advantage of Italian inheritance tax rules.

How quickly can you sell an inherited property in Italy?

This is a difficult question to answer as it really depends. People often ask whether the property can be sold during probate, allowing them to just receive the money. While this might theoretically be possible, it can be hard to find an estate agent who will list the property until a beneficiary has formally accepted the inheritance.

A common point of concern is whether the property can be sold before the one-year deadline for paying inheritance tax falls due. If probate can be completed promptly and the property sold quickly, then this is certainly possible, but it really will depend on the circumstances, including how easy the property is to sell. If you are keen to make a quick sale, it may come at the cost of a reduced sale price.

Italian probate checklist

Get copy of Death Certificate

Instruct your independent lawyer (hopefully Judicare)

Get copy of Will - if applicable

If it is a UK Will get copy of Grant of Probate

Consider whether you want to keep the property after the inheritance

Consider whether you want to vary who should inherit the property

Speak to currency dealer about getting the best rate for your money transfers

Lawyer carries out checks on the property and advises you on the inheritance

Arrange NIE numbers for all beneficiaries

Arrange Power of Attorney if needed

Lawyer deals with inheritance

Arrange insurance contents / buildings / health

Signature of deeds of acceptance of inheritance

Pay taxes

Registration at the Land registry

Make an Italian Will and review your English Will

Arrange for Fiscal representation