Italian domestic partnership: does the partner have the right to inheritance?
Relationships other than marriage have always struggled to be fully recognised by Italian Law. Domestic and civil partnerships were not considered enough to trigger family or inheritance law provisions. However, recent socio-legal evolution brough some changes in terms of different form or partnerships that find the same type of protection that is normally recognised for marital relationships. Therefore, marriage is no longer the requirement to have access to certain kind of legal provisions.
For instance, after that Italian regulation on civil partnership came into force in 2016, it established that the domestic partner has developed the right to inherit partner’s estate. While in the past civil or domestic partners did not have the right to be recognised as legitimated heirs, nowadays the civil partner is treated in the same way as the spouse and then entitled to the a reserved quota of the estate (Quota di legittima)
With the purpose, it is necessary concluding the partnership agreement before the civil registrar in presence of two witnesses. A different course of events takes place in presence of a domestic cohabitation; which is when two partners decide to live together regardless a legal formalisation of their relationship.
In this last case, the partner is not entitled to the reserved quota as established by the law. However, he/she can become heir only in the case the testator actually arranged a share for him/her. In the event on premature death of the owner of the property of residence of the couple, the surviving partner has the right to live in the same property for a two years period or for a period equal to the duration of the relationship; in any case no longer than 5 years after partner’s death.
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