Who remembers that the Washington Convention established the International Will?

In order to facilitate the planning of the international succession, protecting it from obstacles and legislative complications, the Washington Convention on the Adoption of uniform rules on the form of an International Will, was signed in 1973 and established the International Will.

Italy has ratified the Washington Convention by Law no. 387 of 29 November 1990, making it possible to publish the International Will on the national territory by applying the same formalities provided for by art.620 of the Italian Civil Code.

The International Will can be drawn up by a foreigner in Italy, or by an Italian citizen in a foreign country who has ratified the Convention.

The Annex to the Convention provides for formal requirements, the respect of which ensures the validity of the international Will, regardless of the place where it was drawn up, the situation of the property, the nationality, residence or domicile of the testator.

The will must be written (in any language) and the testator must declare in the presence of two witnesses that the act contains his last will; it is also necessary the signature of the testator, witnesses and person empowered under the law of each acceding State.

Other States which have acceded to the Convention or subsequently acceded to it are Belgium, France, Canada, Portugal, Australia, Cyprus and Slovenia.

The United States of America, Russia and the United Kingdom are also signatories to the Convention although they have not yet ratified it (however, under the 1961 Hague Convention, a document issued in one of the subscribing Countries may be certified for legal purposes in all other subscribing States).

In conclusion, the International Will is a further instrument to be considered in the inheritance planning.


Milano, 18 June 2021

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