The estate of the deceased is always an interesting topic, especially when there are no debts charged to the inheritance.

Finding out that the deceased had a bank account is good news, a little less if it turns out that the bank account was in the name of both the deceased and another person.

If the joint bank account existed at an Italian bank or located in Italy, except for a few rare exceptions, Italian law shall apply and the internal relations between the joint holders are regulated by the Italian Civil Code and, in particular the art. 1298, II paragraph, says that the parts of each are presumed to be equal unless it turns out otherwise.

In order not to disappoint the expectations of the heirs, it is necessary to find a solution that leads to the claim of we will call “the largest slice of the cake” belongs to the deceased.

This is not impossible; according to the Supreme Court (Suprema Corte di Cassazione) (sent.N.28839/2008) if it is true that the joint account, attributing to the holders the status of joint creditors of what exists on the bank account, is an early indication of the co-ownership also of the money lying therein, it is true that the presumption can be overcome by demonstrating a different situation, and that is by proving, for example, with documents, that the money came exclusively from one of the joint holders of the account; so in our case, the heirs will have to prove that the money came only from the deceased.

Therefore, we advise you to find a good detective or, even better, a good lawyer.


Milano, 26 May 2020

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