Patto di famiglia

aggiornamento: 27 marzo 2020

Last updated on 27 March 2020 by the Italian Ministry of Justice


The family pact is a contract governed by Article 768 bis et seq. of the Italian Civil Code by which an entrepreneur or associate of a company can transfer, in whole or in part, to one or more descendants, i.e. to children or grandchildren, the business or his holding in the company. In practice, the family pact enables the entrepreneur to prepare his succession by allowing the transmission to the new generation and preserving it from future disputes between the heirs.

The possibility of drawing up a family pact is an exception to the rule against succession pacts according to which agreements concerning property under a succession that is not yet open are void.

The family pact must be made with the consent of all those who would be forced heirs (i.e. of all those individuals for whom the law reserves a share; the pact must be by public deed before a Notary and must be free of charge. Not only the entrepreneur and the beneficiary must be parties to the contract but also the spouse and all those for whom a share is reserved in the deceased's estate) if the succession were opened at the time.

The beneficiaries must liquidate - in money or in kind - the other parties to the contract, unless the latter renounce in whole or in part, by paying a sum that corresponds to the value of their reserved shares.

Essentially, it is an advance on the succession. In fact, the forced heirs who take part in the succession pact renounce to participating in the succession and in the division of the assets making up the business or the holdings in the company.

The family pact is also an exception to the action in abatement as per Article 533 of the Italian Civil Code, by which the forced heirs can take legal action to obtain the restoration of their reserved shares if they are not respected by the testator's dispositions.


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