Inheritance and non-divisible property
Under Italian Inheritance Law, Article 720 of the Civil Code provides that if there is a non-divisible property, as part of the estate, the Court may use the criterion of the preferential assignment to the holder of the greater quota of inheritance.
This principle was recently confirmed by the Italian Supreme Court, which ruled on a case of dissolution of joint-heirship concerning a property.
In particular, the party claimed that Article 720 of the Civil Code has been infringed and he also contested the assignment of the property to the other party, on the grounds that that was the holder of the greater quota of inheritance. The Court issued his judgement by declaring that the preferential assignment criterion was correct, in lack of alternative solutions.
Indeed, Article 720 does not impose to the Court to use the greater quota criterion, but it gives the judge the discretionary power to use it. However, the judge is obliged to assign the majority of the estate if this is useful to avoid the sale of the entire property, considered by Italian Law as an extraordinary measure to be adopted only in the lack of alternative solutions.