French assurance-vie payout ruled to be inheritance

Those opting to leave money to loved-ones via an assurance vie (AV) contract should avoid mentioning this in their will after a court ruled that such a payout may be deemed a bequest where there is an ‘obvious link between the AV capital and their estate’.

In a case in Aix-en-Provence a court found that dispositions in a will concerning an AV policy were equivalent to a bequest despite the fact that AV payouts are usually not deemed to be inheritance and are therefore usually outside the estate for inheritance purposes.

It follows that it is best not to refer to such policies in a will or if you do you should ensure that you do not use any language that sounds like you are ‘bequeathing’ the money from the AV.

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