Death is a delicate subject for everyone and often constitutes an indisputable and unmentionable theme. It is obvious that it is a difficult phase for family members who, in addition to dealing with their own pain, must then meet the bureaucracies of hereditary succession. The latter is already a complex and articulated practice (if not “tangled” in some cases) in Italy, but when the heirs made the choice to live in a foreign country, managing the problem remotely can be a real nightmare.
We have recently dealt with the practice of a client resident in the UK who, together with his brother, received a property in Italy through his father’s holographic will. Within the will, however, the father (divorced for 10 years from his wife) specified that the partner (much younger than him, almost the same age as his children) with whom he had lived in his most recent years, could have the usufruct to life of the apartment. Therefore only the bare ownership was left to the children.
Finding a way out from such a situation, in which the will is absolutely valid and effective, is not easy at all, just as it is not easy to passively accept the decisions of the “de cuius” when the relationships between children and parents’ companions are not serene and peaceful. In the specific case, the heirs found themselves in the total impossibility of using or monetizing the good received from the father (for example dividing the proceeds) since his partner could enjoy it for life. The extended families are now a very frequent reality and therefore the occurrence of such hypotheses is no longer so rare. However, it is always possible to find an adequate solution to the customer’s needs, presenting agreements that can avoid going to trial.
Furthermore, when the properties are located in various States rather than just in one, it will no longer be necessary to resort to different legal and consultants depending on the State where the individual asset is located. For some years now, the jurisdiction that applies can be only one (as long as these are nations belonging to the European Union), generally the jurisdiction of the place where the “de cuius” lived the longest. But the person who is about to draw up his will has the possibility of deciding that, to rule the succession at the time of death shall be the jurisdiction of the place where most of his possessions are located, even if it is different from the place of origin of the testator.
The tendency of European countries is to standardize as much as possible the rules concerning hereditary successions, so as to allow all citizens to possess assets not necessarily in a single nation, without having to worry too much about the consequences that this situation may have on the own heirs.
It should be noted, however, that many of the regulations that the European Union countries have gradually adopted, have not been accepted by some legal systems such as Denmark, Ireland and Great Britain. One above all, the rule that allows legitimate heirs to have revoked the donations the deceased has done during his lifetime. This clause was rejected “a priori” by these three countries, which considered it unfair to question the will of the deceased to donate during his existence. Naturally this uniformity of the rules governing the succession finds a limit in the application of the taxes that each one Member State has the right to apply independently within its own borders.
As we know, Italian communities are very large in many foreign countries, and especially in England. Italians are born or moved to the UK and more and more are the requests we receive to manage trans-national successions. ILC & Associates guarantees a 360 ° service in this field, relieving the client of any task and procedure related to inheritance, avoiding him the inconvenience of going personally and frequently to Italy to manage such practices.
Contact us immediately at + 44 (0) 20 7038 8599 (if you are in the UK) or at +39 091 6162771 (if you are in Italy) for a free call advice or send us an e-mail at email@example.com to which we will reply as soon as possible.