Reader question: I am due inheritance including money from a livret A but Crédit Agricole says it needs an acte de notoriété to close the account and transfer the proceeds. A notaire said that, due to Brexit, notaires cannot provide this if someone dies in the UK. The person concerned lived in England. The bank suggested I find a ‘British notary’. Can you advise?
An acte de notoriété is a legal document that, as you say, is usually supplied by a notaire. It proves a person’s rights as an heir to property in the estate of a deceased individual.
In the UK there is a legal profession called a notary public and you can find them here.
However, our columnist John Kitching of French Law Consultancy said they are not necessarily the right port of call as they have a more limited remit than French notaires.
A standard solicitor would also not know what to do, he said, but a UK-based French law specialist, such as he is, would be able to assist.
They would look at the will – if there is one – and work out who is entitled to the estate, and explain this in French in a document called a certificat de coutume de la dévolution successorale, which replaces the acte de notoriété in a format that a French bank will understand.
“We confirm the validity of the will, or who inherits if there is none, and explain why, and which law applies.”
The cost and complexity of doing this is variable on the amount of money in the livret A, he said.
It is often more expensive where sums of more than €5,000 are involved.
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