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In the absence of a will, how much is due to each heir? (Calculating the inheritance share)

Pubblicato in Family
da Mariasole Trotta
Home > In the absence of a will, how much is due to each heir? (Calculating the inheritance share)

If someone passes away without leaving a will, Italian law governs who the heirs are and how the share of the inheritance is to be calculated.  The following article provides some basic rules on inheritance:

  1. Who are the heirs as defined by the Civil Code?
  2. What share of the inheritance is due to the spouse?
  3. What share of the inheritance is due to an only child?
  4. What share of the inheritance is due to the children?
  5. What is the parents’ share?
  6. What is the grandparents’ share?
  7. What share of the inheritance is due to brothers and sisters?

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1.- Who are the heirs identified by the civil code?

In the absence of a will, the so-called “legitimate succession” occurs, governed by Article 565 et seq. of the Civil Code. The criteria adopted by the law to assess each share of the inheritance are derived from the intensity of the parental (and presumably emotional) relationship with the deceased.

For the purposes of calculating inheritance shares, the Italian Civil Code essentially splits heirs into three groups.

The first group comprises:

  • the spouse/civil partner;
  • the descendants (i.e. the children of the deceased).

The second group comprises those who acquire the status of heirs only in the event that the deceased dies without leaving any children, i.e:

  • ascendants (i.e. the parents and grandparents of the deceased);
  • collateral relatives (i.e. the brothers and sisters of the deceased).

The third group comprises:

  • other relatives (up to the sixth degree);
  • the State.

2.- What share of inheritance is the spouse entitled to?

Regardless of concurrence with other heirs, the spouse/civil partner is entitled to the right of residence in the former matrimonial home…

  • If he/she is the sole heir (no children, ascendants, siblings, etc.) – > he/she is entitled to the entire inheritance;
  • If he/she is joint-heir with only one child – > he/she is entitled to half of the estate;
  • If he/she shares the inheritance with several children -> he/she is entitled to 1/3 of the estate;
  • If they have no children, but share the inheritance with relatives in the ascending line, brothers, sisters etc. -> he/she is entitled to 2/3 of the estate.

3.- How much is due to an only child?

As the heir, here is what an only child is entitled to.

  • In the absence of a surviving spouse -> he/she is entitled to the entire estate;
  • If the child shares the inheritance with the spouse of the deceased -> he/she is entitled to half of the estate.

4.- What share of the estate do children get?

As heirs, here is what children are entitled to (when they are ore then one).

  • If there is no surviving spouse -> they are entitled to all the assets divided equally;
  • If the children are joint heirs with the deceased’s spouse -> they are entitled to 2/3 of the estate, divided equally between them.

5.- How much do the parents get?

Parents are only entitled to a share of the assets if there are no living children.

  • In the absence of other heirs -> the parents are entitled to the entire estate;
  • If they share the estate with the surviving spouse -> the parents are entitled to 1/3 of the estate;
  • If they share the estate with the deceased’s brothers and sisters -> the estate is divided equally among them, but the parents are entitled to at least half of the estate.

6.- How much do grandparents get?

Grandparents are only entitled to a share of the estate if there are no living children or parents.

  • If there are no other heirs -> the entire estate (half to the maternal grandparents, half to the paternal grandparents);
  • If sharing with surviving spouse -> 1/3 of the estate;
  • If they share the estate with the deceased’s brothers and sisters -> the assets are divided equally between them all (but the grandparents are entitled to a minimum of half the assets);
  • If they share the estate with the spouse and his/her siblings -> ascendants and siblings share 1/3 of the estate (ascendants are guaranteed a minimum of 1/4 of the estate).

7.- Quale quota ereditaria spetta a fratelli e sorelle?

Il nostro studio ha una competenza qualificata proprio in materia di contenzioso ereditario. Ai fratelli e alle sorelle del defunto spetta una quota dell’eredità solo se il defunto non lascia figli.

  • In assenza di altri eredi –> tutto il patrimonio in parti uguali (i fratelli e le sorelle unilaterali conseguono la metà della quota che spetta ai fratelli germani);
  • Se concorrono con i genitori –> ai fratelli/sorelle spetta tutto il patrimonio diviso in parti uguali (ai genitori però è garantita almeno la metà del patrimonio);
  • Se concorrono con il coniuge superstite –> 1/3 del patrimonio;
  • Se concorrono con il coniuge e con i nonni –> Si dividono la quota di 1/3 del patrimonio, ma agli ascendenti è riservato 1/4 della stessa.

Quello successorio è, per ovvi motivi, un momento critico per la famiglia, e le norme che regolano la materia non sempre agevolano la gestione di questo delicato frangente. Con le risposte schematiche fornite qui sopra confidiamo di avervi dato un primo strumento tecnico-giuridico di supporto. Per ricevere assistenza sulle quote ereditarie è possibile contattarci. Un appuntamento in materia di successioni può essere effettuato, su prenotazione, anche in videoconferenza.

7.- What share of the estate is due to brothers and sisters?

Our firm has qualified expertise precisely in inheritance disputes. The brothers and sisters of the deceased are only entitled to a share of the estate if the deceased does not have any children.

  • If there are no other heirs -> the entire estate in equal shares (unilateral siblings receive half the share of the siblings);
  • If they are joint-heirs with the parents -> the siblings receive the entire estate divided equally (but the parents are guaranteed at least half of the estate);
  • If they share the estate with the surviving spouse -> 1/3 of the estate;
  • If they share with the spouse and grandparents -> they share 1/3 of the estate, but the ascendants are guaranteed 1/4 of it.

Inheritance is, for obvious reasons, a delicate moment for the family, and the regulations governing this matter are not always helpful. With the aforementioned summary we have hopefully provided you with an introductory technical and legal support tool. You can contact us for assistance with wills and testamentary succession. Appointments on inheritance can also be made by videoconference if booked in advance.

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Publication date: 5 January 2022
Last update: 13 April 2022

Mariasole Trotta

Laureata magna cum laude all'Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Avvocato appassionata di Diritto di famiglia.
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