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Registering a Canadian will in Italy

1) You need to obtain a certified copy of the will along with the Probate from the relevant Superior Court of Justice.

Probate is the process whereby the court recognizes the authority of an estate trustee. One of the reasons for probate is to provide needed assurance to certain third parties that the will is valid and that the executor is authorized to act in the name of the person deceased in accordance with the wishes of the will.

2) Official signatures (i.e. Chancellor of the Tribunal) on the above documentation must be legalized by the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is therefore necessary that you contact the Canadian Office of Foreign Affairs and International Trade at the following address:

Tel.: 1-800-267-8376   Fax: 613-996-9709

Enquiries Service (BCI)
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, Ont.
K1A 0G2

3) All documentation must be translated by an ATIO-certified translator (Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario). For information regarding ATIO translators, please visit, call 1-800-234-5030 or e-mail

4) Only after the above steps have been completed, the documentation can be brought to this Consulate General for the final legalization. The documentation will then be returned to the bearer who will then need to finalize the process in order to make the will valid under the Italian system. This procedure will usually entail the publication and registration of the will at the office called "Conservatoria dei Registri immobiliari" (a special Registrar of the place where the estate of the deceased is located) and the payment of inheritance related taxes if these are applicable.

5) Please be advised that consular fees for the above legalization will apply, with the amount varying according to the fluctuation of the cross exchange rate between the Euro and Canadian dollar; this Consulate General will certify the correspondance of the translation from English into Italian and will legalize the Canadian records after a pre-emptive authentication by the Canadian Foreign Ministry.

6) The will must be subsequently sent to Italy for registration at the expense and responsibility of the sender.

7) Considering the complexity of this procedure, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer specializing in international succession of wills.