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French renovation rule over children having to OK work is insulting

Firm told readers they needed to have their children sign-off on a payment they need to make to it

French law is generally protective of children’s inheritance rights when it comes to big payments such as renovations Pic: Jat306 / Shutterstock

We recently decided to have work done on our house and were told by the firm that we needed an attestation giving approval from one of our children. 

We are owner-occupiers with no debt and, although both over 75, we are in good health and not suffering from any physical or mental decline. 

Fortunately, we have a good relationship with our children and the signature was a formality, but clearly that would not be the case for everyone. 

It seems that in France we cannot ‘spend our children’s inheritance’ without their permission! My (French) son-in-law tells me this is put in place for our protection, but I cannot quite get over the insult! 

Catherine King, by email

Editor’s note: French law is indeed generally protective of children’s inheritance rights but this scenario sounds excessive, assuming the property is not partly-owned by your children. 

This was confirmed by notaire François Trémosa of Tremosa-Leschelle et Associés, near Toulouse: there is no law imposing any permission unless you are deemed mentally incapable but in such a situation it would be a judge that imposes precautions, not a renovation company.

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