Protecting your heirs from succession tax in France

There are various issues to consider once you have moved to France – particularly if you have retired and plan to spend the rest of your days here. While financial planning for your new life will be high on the list, you also need to think about estate planning and protecting heirs from succession tax and France’s strict succession law.

French succession tax works differently from UK inheritance tax.

While your children can each receive €100,000 tax-free, for other relatives and non-relatives (and this includes step-children) the allowances can be very low and tax rates very high.

Likewise, French succession law dictates who you have to leave much of your estate to, so your succession planning needs to be specifically set up for your family situation and wishes.

Succession tax rules and rates

French succession tax is applied when assets pass on death or as lifetime gifts.

The tax is charged on each beneficiary individually, with the level depending on their relationship to the owner and the amount they receive.

If you are resident in France when you die, each heir has to pay succession tax on their inheritance. This applies to worldwide assets.

Likewise, if you have been living in France for six out of the last 10 ...

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