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Brexit: will inheritance law be affected?

Every other day, we share a reader question from our Brexit and Britons in France Help Guide. Get your copy of the guide via the link at the end of this article. 

14 August 2020
European Union flags.Reader question from Connexion's Brexit Help Guide: will inheritance law be affected by Brexit?
By Connexion Journalist

We live full-time in the Charente. Will we still be able to make use of the EU inheritance regulation after Brexit to leave our house according to British inheritance law?

Yes, Brexit does not change anything with regard to this. The EU inheritance regulation which allows you to opt for the law of your nationality to govern your worldwide estate, applies because your property is located in France and France signed up to the regulation.

Even though you have become a non-EU citizen due to Brexit the regulation can apply to non-EU citizens – as it does now to Americans and Australians, for example.

Do bear in mind, however, that French inheritance law is in fact not as inflexible as sometimes thought and an existing French legal solution may be possible to leave your house as you wish. This can sometimes help minimise any practical complications that might result after your death from choosing to apply British law to a French property.

Our advice would be to discuss the implications with a notaire before deciding whether or not to opt for this.

Get our Brexit and Britons in France 2020 Help Guide 

In our comprehensive help guide, you'll find information on what Brexit means for British residents, second homeowners and visitors in France - now and after December 31, 2020. Recently updated following on from the delay of the new residence card website for Britons (now set to launch in October), this 64-page handbook outlines what you need to do as Britain leaves the EU. We answer your questions on whether second homeowners can spend more than 90 days in France after Brexit, would you be better covered for healthcare by becoming French, future guidance on pet vaccinations and more.


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