Bank account of the deceased: what happens?
Under Italian Law, if the holder of a bank account dies, the heirs inherit his bank deposits, including investments and cash.
Only heirs who have accepted the inheritance are entitled to inherit the bank account, even when the acceptance has been made with the benefit of inventory.
The first step is to notify the bank about the decease of the holder, then submitting the relevant death certificate. This is done with the purpose to block the account and protect it from withdrawals of other unauthorized individuals.
How can an heir withdraw money from the bank account of the deceased?
Once the bank has blocked the account the heirs are not able to make operations on such account.
The Bank, in order to unblock the bank account, needs an affidavit (atto di notorietà) or a declaration in lieu of affidavit (dichiarazione sostitutiva), depending on the bank’s requirements. The affidavit is a document stating the status as heir of the applicant. As an alternative, declaration in lieu of affidavit is a document signed by the heir himself and authenticated by a public officer. If there is a will, a valid copy of the will shall be submitted in order to establish the status of heir.
In case of funds or securities deposited with the bank, a copy of the declaration of inheritance registered within the Inland Revenue (Agenzia delle Entrate) shall also be submitted. Only upon completion of this probate procedure, the bank will unblock the account of the deceased.
The procedure for unblocking the bank account may vary from bank to bank. VGS Lawyers Probate Team can assist you in the probate process aiming at letting the heirs enter into the possession of the cash and funds in the bank account of their deceased relative.