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Inheritance law change approved

A new EU regulation enabling expats to bypass restrictive French inheritance rules has been given the final go-ahead

The EU has given final approval to a new regulation which will enable expats in France to bypass restrictive French inheritance rules and opt instead for the law of their country of nationality.

As revealed in The Connexion in April, the regulation will greatly benefit Britons as the UK inheritance laws allow people to leave their inheritance to whom they wish.

Under French inheritance law you must leave set portions to your children (blood or adopted but not step-children).

Scottish law also has certain restrictions on this, though not as onerous as the French ones.

Please note – this change does not affect inheritance tax, it affects the right to leave your estate, in whatever share, to whom you wish. The changes will “enter into force” later this month but will not be in practice until summer 2015.

We will be covering this change in depth in the July edition of The Connexion and have secured the help of two legal experts to answer a selection of reader questions on the topic.

If you have a question about this change please send it as soon as possible to news[at]

Please restrict questions to the impact of the regulation as opposed to general questions on French inheritance. Please understand that we cannot select every question for an answer or enter into private correspondence on the matter. We will withhold names and addresses for print.

A spokesman for the Council of the European Union confirmed that, as expected, the regulation was adopted without changes from what was proposed.
Photo: Photolia Irina Fischer

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