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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Boston Inherits Italian Estate; Must Take Tenants for a Walk

POSTED ON: March 14, 2011

It’s everyone’s fantasy: a long lost relative you never knew you had passes away and in his will leaves you his entire estate, including an Italian villa. Well, for the City of Boston this dream has come true—but it’s not all roses and champagne down at City Hall.

In his last will and testament, Luciano Visocchi, an Italian from a small town who had never stepped foot in Boston, named the city as the heir to his estate, which an Italian newspaper estimated at $700,000 plus a house and other property.

Apparently, Visocchi’s mother and aunt had lived Boston for many years. Why exactly he decided to include Beantown in his will, however, remains unclear. What is clear is that his generous gift comes with one big catch—in order to accept the inheritance the city is responsible for taking care of the numerous pet dogs and cats he left living on his Italian estate.

Complicating things even further is the fact that the inheritance may be contested by a group of local Italian politicians who had originally been Visocchi’s beneficiaries until he changed his mind in favor of Boston just prior to his death.

Boston’s legal department is determining how to proceed but apparently is taking the bequest seriously. Could Mayor Menino be getting ready to welcome some furry guests to Massachusetts?