Intestate Succession in Italy
KGC Reid, MJ De Waal and R Zimmermann (eds), Comparative Succession Law, volume 2. Intestate Succession (Oxford, OUP 2015) 67-95
Posted: 29 Nov 2015
Date Written: November 28, 2015
Like most legal systems, Italy recognises two modes of succession on death, the inheritance devolving either by law or by will. The rules of intestate succession serve a subsidiary function, as they provide for situations in which a person has not made a testamentary disposition in the form of a will, or has made a will, but the will does not take effect or fails to dispose of all of the testator’s assets. It follows that the practical relevance of intestacy rules depends on how frequently people make wills and on whether these wills are exhaustive. Given that only sixteen per cent of Italian citizens seem to make wills, intestacy rules are of considerable practical importance.
This chapter explores how the rules of intestate succession operate in Italy and how they have evolved over time. In doing so, it examines the rationale of these rules as well as their limitations, in an attempt to outline possible ways of improving the current provisions.
Keywords: Intestacy, presumed intention, comparative law, legal history
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