THE SEARCH FOR INHERITANCE IN ITALY
INHERITANCE IN ITALY
Currently, the descendants of Italian citizens who emigrated in the late 1800s and early 1900s and now live in North and South America, are in the tens of millions. There are also tens of millions of descendants of emigrants who went to other European countries after World War II. In addition, emigration to Brazil, Venezuela and the United States continued after 1950 and is still continuing today, reaching the third generation. However, there are assets which have not been claimed by the rightful heirs, and currently there are lawsuits to gain adverse possession.
PROTECTING THE INTERESTS OF THE HEIRS
During the previous century communications were difficult, therefore, only members of the first generation were able to protect their possessions in Italy; in the years after 1960, with the increasing ability to travel, many heirs (second generation) were able to exercise their rights. In most cases, these legal actions were undertaken directly by the heirs with the assistance of foreign law firms.
THE ITALIAN CONSULATES
Very often potential heirs, in their search for information and assistance, contact the Italian Consulates; however, even though this is one of their specific duties as stated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Consulates lack the tools, sufficient personnel and the knowledge to provide such assistance. They can provide an efficient notary service for the preparation of certificates and power of attorney documents. This service is also economically convenient in comparison with the process to obtain such documents from notaries and translators.
WHO HAS A RIGHT TO INHERIT? LEGITIMATE AND NATURAL HEIRS
According to the Italian Civil Code, the legitimate heirs are the spouse, the children of the deceased and his ascendants (parents and grandparents), brothers and sisters, also nephews if they are alive. Also, according to said Italian Civil Code, even natural children, that is, children born out of wedlock, and adopted children, are all heirs equal to the legitimate children
There are several cases where “too smart” heirs have made wills to suit themselves or created problems regarding succession, even by means of requests for adverse possession, in order to exclude the rights of joint heirs living abroad. Because possession can be relevant for the purposes of adverse possession, it is necessary that the possession be open and non-violent (art. 1163 of the Civil Code), then it is possible to assert one’s rights before the Judge.
We are a group of professionals: lawyers, notaries public, land surveyors, public workers, who for several years have been providing assistance to the DESCENDANTS IN ITALY of EMIGRANTS in their search for and recovery of their inheritance rights.
The search covers the entire national territory, and is always necessary to have precise reference data:
Last and first name of all interested persons: parents, grandparents, uncles, etc.
Date and place of birth: this information is found in old documents and passports.
A copy of all available documents, sent by e-mail or by fax.
The preliminary phase to determine whether or not there are any possessions, assets or rights is FREE OF CHARGE.
Send all information with a return address to ensure that you can be found by the CONTATTI office.