I LIVE in France and own my property. I am unmarried and have no children and want to leave my assets to my brother. What happens to my home if he cannot pay the inheritance tax in six months? D.J.
One option is for the heir to request payment by instalments. Bear in mind though that the tax office is not obliged to accept and it may favour cases of inheritances by parents or children. Interest is payable. The payments are six months apart, usually for a maximum of five years.
The request is made at the time of declaring the inheritance and the tax office will ask for guarantees, which can be based on the inheritance itself. The period is extended to 10 years for parents and children where at least half of the inheritance is bricks and mortar property.
If the property is put up for sale once inherited, the tax office can usually be persuaded to wait to be paid from proceeds, though there are costs that can be incurred in doing this.