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Since 6 November 2023, the Voluntary Register of handwritten Wills has been operational in Italy, by the National Council of Notaries, to enable the collection and search of data on such wills that have been deposited fiducially with member notaries. This service is intended to facilitate the…

The contributions of the International Forum on Inheritance Law are now available online (https://inheritanceforum.com/reports/). The reports on the inheritance law of the individual states were written by renowned inheritance law experts from the respective jurisdictions.

Dr. André Castelli,…

The slowness of the Italian judiciary has repeatedly been the subject of the Client Letter; it is not uncommon for legal disputes to drag on for more than ten years. The following case, however, is:

The testator died in 1952, leaving ten children, including the plaintiff, who was to inherit a piece…

Germany - The Cologne Court of Appeal (judgment 22.04.2021, 24 U 77/20) found that English succession law was incompatible with the German public order insofar as it did not provide for the rights of compulsory portion of estate, and upheld the claim of the son of a British citizen who had been…

1. On 1 September 2021 the CJEU by order (C-387/20) considered as inadmissible the reference for a preliminary ruling by a Polish notary's assistant on the interpretation of the European Succession Regulation, due to lack of standing as it considered that he did not have, in the present case, the…

In its judgment of 01.07.2021 (C-301/20), the European Court of Justice, in answering the questions of the Austrian Supreme Court on the interpretation of the Succession Regulation 650/2012, has laid a further stone in outlining the functionality of the ECS in favour of its usability for citizens in…


By order of 10 February 2021, the Regional Court of Milan, applying Art. 2 terdecies of the Ital. Data Protection Act (Legislative Decree 196/2003), which regulates the rights of deceased persons, ruled that, contrary to the objection of Apple, which stayed away from the proceedings but had referred…


The pandemic has greatly promoted the holding of court hearings in the form of video conferencing. In Germany, the corresponding provision (§ 128a ZPO) was amended to the effect that videoconferencing can also be ordered unilaterally by the court without obtaining the mutual consent of the parties.…


The Italian Federal Chamber of Notaries has updated and revised its commentary on the granting of the European Certificate of Succession under the EU Inheritance Regulation ("Il certificato successorio europeo, un aggiornamento del Vademecum alla luce della prassi" - Consiglio nazionale del…


Inheritance tax is a non-harmonised tax at European level, excluded from the scope of the European Inheritance Regulation (No. 650 of 2012) and for which each State sets its own conditions, limits, rates, allowances, with the consequent risk of double or even triple taxation if the inheritance has…


Latest newsletter

Newsletter 54

In the Middle Ages, natural intelligence was partly banned and persecuted. The Italian data protection authority followed this example in March 2023 and first banned artificial intelligence. It is common knowledge that the ban on intelligence did not hold in the Middle Ages either. Now AI is everywhere, making work easier for many and yet spreading general unease - and rightly so. But maybe it really is just a new tool and it depends on the user. We wish all users a peaceful and responsible approach!


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Newsletter 53

Germany and Italy have always cross-fertilised and complemented each other in legal policy - it does not look as if this will change in the foreseeable future. It is an interesting competition between the two legal systems in some areas of law, for which there has been an arbiter in Luxembourg for 70 years: The ECJ. Here is an example:

In our grandparents' era, only the Grim Reaper could end an Italian marriage. Divorce in Italian" (see also the film with Stefania Sandrelli and Marcello Mastroianni) did not mean formal proceedings, but pure bloodshed. Many Italian couples who wanted to separate looked enviously to Germany.

Today it's the other way round. Italian divorce seekers do not even have to go to a judge to get divorced; the registrar is perfectly sufficient, and their "divorce light" must now be recognised by the German state (see ECJ judgment of 15.11.2022, Case C-646-20).

Nevertheless: For the Christmas holidays, we wish neither the Italian, nor the German, and certainly not the mixed couples any intentions of separation! Stay together!

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Newsletter 52

The means to deal with the energy crisis are still being sought in Italy; in Germany two original ideas have been implemented. Firstly, the mineral oil tax was temporarily reduced by € 0.30 to relieve consumers of the rapidly rising petrol prices. However, instead of choosing a voucher system that would have directly benefited the consumer, the tax burden of the mineral oil companies was reduced in the naive hope that they would pass the tax reduction on to the consumer. Petrol prices then did not fall significantly, but the profits of the mineral oil companies increased considerably. There was rare agreement between government and opposition that this attempt had failed. The second interesting idea is the introduction of a 9 euro monthly ticket for absolutely everyone, with which all train traffic in the Federal Republic - with the exception of express trains - can be used. More than 7 million tickets have already been sold. It remains to be seen with excitement whether this will be a real first step from individual transport to public transport. The experiment is initially limited to 3 months.

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Newsletter 51

At the last minute, we are able to report that the major Italian civil procedure reform was passed by the Chamber of Deputies on 25 November 2021. In part, the German civil procedure was the inspiration (see below, News from Italy). In part, there are many innovative approaches that are intended to relieve the judiciary and could also be a model for Germany, such as mandatory out-of-court mediation in many areas of law. The primary goal is to significantly reduce the duration of litigation. In Italy, a civil case took 7.3 years (2656 days) in 2018; the ministry hopes for a reduction of about 40%; it would then still be 1593 days for a civil case.

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Newsletter 50

Difficult, difficult! When the First Client Letter appeared, the world seemed healthier and the judiciary more peaceful. Today, the world is heated and the judiciary is bursting at the seams: both in Germany (Federal Constitutional Court) and in the Netherlands (Hague District Court), the executive is being ordered to act. Not a very good sign when we lawyers (!) have to save the world. But whatever happens, we are ready...

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Newsletter 49

The ambitious goal of this issue was to not even mention Corona or Covid19 . We didn't quite make it, as some areas of law - such as insurance law or family law - are currently dominated by C19 . The pandemic will soon be overcome, what is questionable are the late effects. We fear a world in which everything takes place on the couch. The Amazon boom will possibly further lead to the desolation of cities.... But we are optimistic. At the end of the pandemic, all the people will come out onto the streets, populate the cities, and shop for real again instead of online. That's the way it should be!

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Newsletter 48

Frederick the Great would have liked legal Tech (see Information for Colleagues, p.6). He was suspicious of any judicial discretionary decision. In his code of laws with over 29,000 paragraphs, everything was to be conclusively regulated and derived directly from the law. With such a database, every case would have to be solved automatically. Covid 19, for example, shows that something completely new can arise that could not be regulated beforehand. It is not the pandemic itself that is new, but the positive reaction of the state. In the past, as recently as the last 1950s with Asian flu, people just died, most of them at home. So let's be glad to live in our age and creatively tackle the legal problems that arise with genuine common sense (human tech)!

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Newsletter 47

This year there was 70 years of the Basic Law to celebrate. Article 1 reads, "Human dignity is inviolable." This provision is very topical in the age of the Internet, both in Italy and in Germany. A regional court in Berlin has ruled that it is a sign of freedom of expression for a deserving politician to be subjected to the very worst insults imaginable for a woman. At the same time, the former Italian interior minister is anything but restrained in his choice of words when he seeks adjectives for the current members of the government. In the movies of the fifties of the last century, children's ears were covered during such cannonades. A certain nostalgia is spreading among the editorial team members of the client letter, who are no longer dewy-eyed.

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