What is the reduction action in Italian succession?
To prevent anyone from circumventing the rights of legitimate heirs by gifting all or part of their assets while they are still alive, the law also provides for the possibility of exercising the reduction action against gifts, following the death of the donor (art. 555 of the Italian civil code).
In fact, to establish what assets belong to the legitimate heirs, the estate existing at the moment of death (relictum) is added to any gifts (donatum) made while the decedent was still alive. The forced quota is calculated on the total sum (relictum + donatum), and if the remaining assets do not suffice to satisfy the legal rights of the legitimate heirs, they may request the reduction of testamentary dispositions and gifts, starting with the most recent ones. As a result of the reduction action, the assets of the donations must be returned, in whole or in part, to the legitimate heirs, not only by the person who has received the gift, but also from any subsequent buyers of the assets in question.Read more