How to Write a Valid Will in Italy
Writing a valid will in Italy is essential for determining the distribution of one’s assets after death. While making a will is not obligatory, it allows individuals to allocate their inheritance to specific recipients. To write a valid will, several factors must be considered: respecting statutory shares, having testamentary capacity, and ensuring the correct form to avoid errors.
There are four types of wills in Italy:
- Holographic Will: Handwritten by the testator, it can be kept at home or entrusted to someone for publication after death.
- Public Will: Drafted in the presence of a notary and witnesses, the notary formalizes the testator’s wishes.
- Secret Will: Rarely used, it combines features of holographic and public wills, and a notary acquires and seals it.
- International Will: Used for assets with international characteristics, it can be prepared by notaries in Italy or diplomatic agents abroad.
A will can encompass both patrimonial and non-patrimonial provisions, including the distribution of assets (movable and immovable) and non-material matters like funeral arrangements or acknowledgments.
Wills are revocable until the testator’s death, and newer wills supersede older ones, unless otherwise specified.
Consulting a notary is advisable for complex divisions of substantial assets to prevent challenges based on authenticity.
When writing a will, clarity and precision are vital in identifying beneficiaries and assets, such as “I leave my house to my niece Gina.”
Certain individuals, such as minors and those temporarily incapacitated, cannot make a will.
Foreigners in Italy can create a valid will in their native language, but assets abroad may require an international will to avoid legal conflicts.
Wills made abroad are valid in Italy if they meet the legal requirements of the country where they were written or where the testator was a citizen, domiciled, or resided.
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