The Agnelli Inheritance War
A new chapter has been added to the twenty-year-long war over a million-dollar inheritance bearing the name of one of Italy’s wealthiest and most illustrious families: the Agnellis. The Turin court has in fact suspended the succession lawsuit brought by Margherita Agnelli against her three children: John, Lapo, and Ginevra Elkann. This is a point in favor of the Elkann siblings, but the game is not over yet: the court has “frozen” the proceedings initiated in Turin by Margherita Agnelli in 2020 pending the outcome of similar cases pending in Switzerland: one in Geneva, one in Thun. So now Margherita will focus her legal and judicial efforts in Switzerland to challenge the inheritance of her father Gianni Agnelli, who died in 2003, and her mother Marella, who passed away in 2019 leaving everything, with Swiss wills, to her three grandchildren Elkann.
The Battle of the Heirs
Margherita, 67, has had other five children from her second husband Serge de Palhen: Maria, Pietro, Anne, Sofia, and Tatiana. And the children from de Palhen, a French count, have reportedly sided with their mother – claiming more than 1 billion – in the legal battle that sees her pitted against John, Lapo, and Ginevra. In short, a war in perfect soap opera style: mother against children, stepbrothers against stepbrothers.
The Frozen Proceedings
The roots of this war go back to 2003, when the Lawyer passed away. The following year, his daughter Margherita entered into an agreement whereby she renounced her inheritance in exchange for 1.2 billion euros. But then she discovered the existence of foreign accounts owned by her father to offshore companies. Wealth of which, she claims, she had never known anything about. So in 2007 she brought a legal action to get an account of her father’s assets: the request was rejected by the magistrates. Later, Gianni’s widow Marella Agnelli Caracciolo named her three grandchildren John, Lapo, and Ginevra as her sole heirs. Margherita now contests the validity of those wills. The Elkann brothers, for their part, have repeatedly stated through their lawyers that in 2004 “two fundamental agreements” were “negotiated and freely signed by the one who now, as in 2007, wants to erase them from the world of law” and thanks to which she has obtained no less than 1.2 billion. The Turin court, accepting the request of the Elkann brothers’ lawyers, has just suspended the proceedings. Now Margherita’s match to annul the billion-dollar inheritance moves between Geneva and Thun. And according to various observers, the seventy-seven-year-old has certainly not an easy path ahead.