Relationship between gifts and inheritance


A gift is a contract through which you can transfer certain goods to one or more persons.
Its legal form is the spirit of liberality, namely the desire to enrich others and therefore and it is characterised by the absence of a fee.
The gift must, on pain of nullity, take the form of the public notary deed and requires the presence of two witnesses, who are not relatives, spouses or similar, and have no personal interest in the outcome at the time of signing.

Requirements and characteristics

Since this is a contract, the presence of a whole series of requirements are necessary for its valid conclusion.

In particular:

  • the role of the donor and the role of the donee must respectively be able to bestow the gift (however, gifts bestowed by minors on the basis of marriage agreements are allowed) and to receive the gift (it is also possible bestow gifts to those not yet born or conceived) ;
  • legal persons can bestow gifts (as long as this is provided for by the statutes or instruments of incorporation and is not contrary to the purposes for which the entity was formed) and receive a gift;
  • you can bestow a gift by proxy with certain restrictions,
  • you can not bestow gifts of future property or the property of others;
  • The gift is unilaterally irrevocable, except for reserves already present in the gift deed. However, it can be dissolved by mutual dissent

Relationship between gifts and inheritance

Our legal system reserves to certain categories of persons, referred to as "heirs", a portion of the deceased person's estate.
The category of heirs include the spouse, descendants and ascendants of the deceased.
In the event that the gifts made by the deceased during their life affect, specifically, the equity of the deceased estate reserved by law for these categories of persons, the law provides them with means of protection to be resolved by court proceedings that aim to render ineffective the detrimental gift deed, bringing that asset within the estate.
It is therefore important to consider whether gift deeds intervened in the history of property ownership.


Donations shall be subject to indirect tax pursuant to Legislative Decree 346 of 1990.

In the case of gifts between spouses or close relatives, there is a 1 million Euro exemption for each heir, when the amount of € 1,000,000.00 is surpassed, each recipient will be charged 4% of the value of the gift.
An additional allowance is provided for gifts between siblings, but it has been reduced to 100,000.00 Euros, beyond which a tax rate of 6% is applied;

  • in all other cases the following rates apply:
  • 6%, no exemption, the value of the gift if the donors are relatives within the fourth degree, similar and related in a straight line in the collateral line to the third degree of the donor side;
  • 8%, no exemption, on the value of the gift, in all other cases.

In the event that the gift pertains to real estate, the deed is subject to transcription and transfer taxes on the following measures

  • mortgage tax equal to 2% of the cadastral value of the property;
  • cadastral tax equal to 1% of the cadastral value of the property.
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