There are many reasons why it is desirable for foreign citizens with assets in Italy to draft an Italian will:
Italian inheritance and tax law is rather daunting for foreigners, as it provides, for example, that members of the Testator’s immediate family (i.e. spouse and children) have a mandatory statutory minimum entitlement (called: “quota di legittima”);
Unfortunately, Italian public and tax offices still prefer to deal with an Italian counterpart and to read a will written in Italian;
the statement of succession, called “dichiarazione di successione” (a very important document that must be submitted within 12 months by the time of the Testator’s death), should be drafted in Italian;
It will allow you to decide which law will regulate your succession in italy;
Selling or simply disposing of inherited property will be much easier
It is well known that, within common law systems, a will executor is required and administers the testator's property according to the instructions provided within the will. More specifically, the main executor’s tasks are:
To track down testator’s assets;
To maintain property of said assets until the estate is settled;
To pay creditors, bills, and taxes;
To make sure that every beneficiaries named in the will receive property to which they are entitled according to the will.
In Italy, however, it is not required to appoint a will executor because Italian inheritance law provides that the ownership of the assets vests directly in the beneficiaries.
In other words, despite what usually happens within common law systems, beneficiaries are left to deal with the inherited assets and are supposed to cooperate with each other regarding the distribution of assets in compliance with the testator’s Will dispositions. Failing to do so, for whatever reason, could end up into litigation.
If you want to avoid it and want that your assets pass smoothly to the beneficiaries, appointing an Italian will executor is the right solution for you.
According to Italian law, the testator can appoint within the will an executor, called “esecutore testamentario” (article 700 of the Italian Civil Code).
Although, according to Italian inheritance law, the executor’s duties will not be exactly the same as its english counterpart, an Italian executor will be able to both administer your Italian assets and to avoid litigation among the beneficiaries.