The importance of veteran trees is well recognised nowadays. The sudden breakage of some of these plants in Trentino (Italy), mainly due to Kretzschmaria deusta, prompted a survey of the veteran beeches reported in this area. Visual tree assessment was carried out in 40 sites with either single trees or groups of beeches, for a total of 115 trees evaluated. Most trees showed serious defects or problems in need of management and 19 had a high level of risk of breakage because of the presence of several structural problems. The presence of K. deusta was recorded on 50.4% of the examined trees. The pathogen was also identified in the proximity of investigated trees at 29 sites. Laboratory tests confirmed the identity of K. deusta by microbiological and molecular approaches and also identified Cosmopora berkeleyana as mycoparasite on K. deusta fruiting bodies. Isolates obtained from declining trees and old stumps showed the same pattern of growth at different temperatures. The risk evaluation emphasised how the fungus could affect the survival and safety of these veteran trees; this was confirmed by the collapse of four of the investigated trees in the last years. Therefore, K. deusta, which has been considered as a facultative parasite up to now, could play a more incisive role both in the decline of old beech trees and the natural evolution of aging beech woods.