When a parent passes away, who inherits the estate?

When a parent passes away, who inherits the estate

When a parent passes away in Italy, the distribution of their inheritance among family members becomes a crucial matter. In situations where a will exists, the estate’s division adheres to the testator’s instructions. However, the law ensures that certain family members receive a minimum share known as the statutory share or “legittima,” which cannot be overridden by the terms of the will. This includes spouses and children, or parents in the absence of children. The remaining portion of the estate, known as the disposable share, can be freely allocated as per the testator’s wishes.

The statutory share cannot be denied except in specific circumstances, such as when an heir is deemed “unfit to inherit” by the court or if the spouse has obtained a divorce or separation with fault attributed to the surviving spouse. The statutory shares reserved for children are determined based on various scenarios. For instance, if there is one child, the spouse receives one-third of the estate plus the right of habitation, while the child inherits the remaining one-third. If there are multiple children, the spouse receives one-fourth of the estate, and the children equally split the remaining estate.

If a parent dies without leaving a will, the inheritance distribution follows predefined rules. With a surviving spouse, half of the estate goes to the spouse, and the rest is divided equally among the children. In the absence of a surviving spouse, the estate is divided equally among the children. If a child predeceases or renounces the inheritance, their share passes to their descendants, typically their children. These rules ensure clarity and fairness in the distribution of a parent’s estate in Italy.

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