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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Italy Law
Satisfied Customers: 30008
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Deceased Client resident in UK, but with Italian domicile

Customer Question

Deceased Client resident in UK, but with Italian domicile and lived most of life in England. Went to Italy for a visit and died there on the visit. English Will. Probate granted. He had Italian properties. I am one of the Executors of the Estate. Will English law prevail? The main assets are in England and the Italian properties have a value of less than on-tenth of the total Estate. There is one Italian beneficiary, a niece who was gifted an Italian property free of tax. I have not authorised any transfer of the property, but it appears to have been transferred to the niece who has received tax demands from the Italian tax authorities and is now asking for a refund from the Estate because the gift was made "free of tax". I think that the property should not have been put into her name yet, especially as there is still Inheritance Tax payable here and also because the Will has been contested. Any insights on this please?
Submitted: 13 days ago.
Category: Italy Law
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 12 days ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above. For the avoidance of doubt, may I confirm that no will was also made in Italy please?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I am content for you to take time to answer. The deceased did not make a Will in Italy.
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

thank you. On the basis of what you describe, the UK well would have effect on the deceased's worldwide assets. however, how a UK will will affect foreign assets depends upon the jurisdiction in question. For example, some jurisdictions have so-called forced succession laws which override free testamentary will (such as France) and others may or may not recognise foreign Wills. Italy is another example of the country that has some provision for succession law to relatives regardless of a will. accordingly, if the deceased had a spouse, children or parents alive at the date of their death, then they may be entitled to a share of his Italian assets irrespective of his will.

Italy recognises foreign Wills and subject as above, the provisions of the UK will will take effect in respect of his Italian assets though the grant of probate obtained here will need to be resealed in Italy. It may be that you will need to seek assistance from a local Italian lawyer in this respect.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you. I am aware that the English Will has to be resealed in Italy and the English Will and English Grant were notarised in order for that process to happen. However, here the deceased did not want his children to inherit outright and gave them only a life interest. My query is how was it possible for the niece to have properties in Italy transferred into her name without the English Executors approving this and participating in the transfer? The English Will must surely have precedence, especially as there is potential litigation whereby the gift to the niece could be overturned. I look forward to receiving your further comments.
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

so far as I am aware, and I have very limited expertise as regards ***** ***** succession law, nieces are not provided for by Italian succession laws which are principally limited to the above parties - spouse, children etc. accordingly, I cannot see that the niece would have a claim to the Italian properties by way of succession law. Further, because Italy recognises foreign Wills as discussed above, I cannot either see how the niece would be able to shortcut that process in any way. However more detailed advice in this respect may be required from a local Italian lawyer. in the first instance, this site does maintain an Italian legal board which may be worth raising an additional question upon:

Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

I trust the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please do reply back to me.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
You say that the site does have access to further expertise where more detailed advise can be given. Can you rfer my questions to them for me? Will there be an additional fee for that?
Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

I hope you have been able to see the above link I have posted in relation to Italian law. You can consider raising a new question in regards ***** ***** element there. I am afraid I am not given access to your account for billing purposes so cannot comment on the question regarding fees however all does are clearly displayed ahead of any question asked.

Expert:  Joshua replied 9 days ago.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.