In France, all marriages are subject to a “regime” determining how property is owned with a couple.
This can affect divorce and inheritance.
People with foreign marriages can change to a French regime such as communauté (property owned in common).
This ensures the marital home goes in full to their spouse on their death as opposed to shares going to children under French rules. Until this year, UK residents could also do this for French property, but no longer.
As of 2020, there will be stamp duty at 0.715% of the value if including real estate in a communauté arrangement.
A notaire completes the change and it can take several months.
Notaire François Trémosa said a change of regime remains a useful tool.
Britons in France could instead opt in a will for UK law to apply to their estate, bypassing French rules, but it may cause extra legal complications for the notaire dealing with the estate after your death.