When a person dies, it is possible that he or she has left debts that are transferred with the inheritance. In Italy, however, there are some debts that cannot be transferred by law.
First, inheritance is not immediately and automatically transmitted to the heirs. Italian law requires that the inheritance is transmitted only after acceptance, which can be express or implicit.
In fact, it is also possible to renounce to the inheritance within 10 years of the death. Once accepted, however, you can no longer decline your status of heir.
Once the inheritance has been accepted, the heirs are liable for the debts of the deceased, according to their respective shares. However, Italian law provides that certain debts may not be transferred to the heirs:
1. Tax penalties
All tax penalties are not transmitted to the heirs. In fact, the penalty for the tax violation committed by the deceased while he was alive is not transferred to the heirs.
2. Administrative penalties
In addition to tax penalties, the other penalties for non-criminal offences are also not transmitted.
3. Traffic road penalties
According to the Italian Codice della Strada (equivalent to the Highway Code), heirs do not have to pay traffic fines.
Some Italian crimes provide for the payment of a penalty, also in replacement of imprisonment. In this case, the heirs do not have to pay anything.
The debts of the deceased could also be expired under Italian law. The expiry time varies according to the type of debt.
In conclusion, to avoid paying debts that are not actually transferred with the inheritance, it is always advisable to be assisted by a lawyer. In fact, it is often necessary to file a proper request to avoid the payments of these debts.
Our Inheritance and Tax Teams work together to offer you a wide and accurate assistance and advise. Please contact us through our Contact Form and you will be contacted back within 24 hours.