Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fight Over Italian Tycoon's Estate

Estate DisputeThe niece and nephew of Piero Curati and his sister are at odds over which of his two wills should control the disposition of his estate. The two wills at dispute are one that he created in 1980 while Mr. Curati was in United Kingdom and the 1994 will that he created in his native country of Italy. If the 1980 will is valid, then his niece and nephew, Sylvana and Roberto Perdoni, will inherit about £1.8 million after taxes. However, if the Italian will is valid, then his sister, Carmen Curati, will inherit the entire £4 million estate.

At court, his sister testified that Mr. Curati never considered himself to be an English citizen even though he made his fortune in United Kingdom. She stated that while he lived in United Kingdom he continued to speak his native language. The barrister who represented the sister claimed that Mr. Curati would have likely wanted his English will destroyed and his nephew and niece disinherited. While an english court heard the dispute over the will, the hearing divulged into a discussion of the character of the deceased. His niece testified that Mr. Curati was a cruel man who enjoyed the company of prostitutes. Even with his deplorable character, Sylvana claimed that Mr. Curati always considered home to be where his wife Emilia lived. She argued that because Emilia was British, Mr. Curati must have believed that his home was in the United Kingdom. The court agreed with the niece and nephew because Mr. Curati considered "England as his home and considered himself to be British." His sister is challenging the decision.

See Telegraph Reporters, Family At War Over Legacy of Italian Tycoon, The Telegraph, Oct. 10, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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