Presumed Death: Inheriting Will Become Easier

The Simplification Bill: Changes in Presumed Death Declaration and Inheritance Access

Reduced Timeframes and Easier Access to Inheritance

The Simplification Bill introduces significant changes regarding the declaration of presumed death, making it easier to access inheritance and remarry.
Proposed by the Minister for Public Administration, Paolo Zangrillo, the bill aims to streamline processes, although it is important to note that it is not yet law and must pass through both branches of the Parliament for approval, potentially undergoing modifications along the way.

Impact on Presumed Death Declaration

Currently, according to the civil code, after two years from the last known information about a missing person, potential legal heirs and anyone with vested rights in the deceased’s assets can petition the competent court to declare the individual as absent.
Subsequently, the court, upon a request from any interested party, can open the deceased’s last will and testament, if available.
Those identified as testamentary or legal heirs can request temporary administration of the assets, managing them in the best interest of the missing person.

Beneficiaries and donees can also request temporary rights to their entitlements, while those relieved of obligations upon the missing person’s death are temporarily exempt.
The declaration of absence creates a state of stasis, allowing eligible individuals to begin disposing of the missing person’s assets.
If the absent person reappears, under article 56, the assets must be returned to them.

The New Simplification Bill: Halved Timeframes

The Simplification Bill proposes halving the timeframes for presumed absence and death declarations.
Presumed absence can now be declared after one year from the last known information, while presumed death can be declared after five years.

For testamentary or legal heirs, this means gaining access to the inheritance after five years, allowing for proper asset management and avoidance of potential losses due to unclear ownership rights.
Naturally, this also entails fulfilling obligations such as inheritance taxes promptly.

The legislative intent behind these changes is to promote legal certainty and stability in relationships.
Additionally, the bill introduces streamlined procedures for authorizations related to funerals, cremations, and ash scattering, which can now be conveniently submitted online.
For further information, read about changes in inheritance tax and donation rules.

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