FAQs in our Wills and Inheritance Law in France guide

Order your copy of Connexion's Wills and Inheritance Law in France helpguide by clicking here

Thank you to the many readers who sent in questions for our new Wills and Inheritance Law in France helpguide. Questions selected and which have been answered for the guide are: 

Does Brexit affect our choice to follow UK succession law (in essence the parents leaving everything to each other with the children to follow on death of the second) on our French property?  

My husband and I are shortly moving to France. We intend to purchase a property in France without a mortgage from equity released when we sell our UK home. We haven’t yet made a will. Should we make an English will before we leave, or a French will after we move? If we don’t make a will, who would inherit if either of us die, or if both of us die, when we have no dependents? 

I understand that I can gift €100,000 to each of my 2 children. After 15 years I can do the same again. If I die within 15 years does the €100,000 go back into the estate for Inheritance tax purposes? Does the same apply to the €31,865 that I can gift to them each as a cash payment. Is there a maximum amount in my Assurance Vie that shall be free of inheritance tax when I pass away? 

I am resident in France for tax purposes and have assets in the UK - which tax authority has what rights over IHT/Succession tax and CGT on UK assets in an estate ? Does having a will made under English or Scottish law have any bearing? 

I am a British resident of France, have no children of my own and wish to make a will in favour of my three half-siblings, who are Britons living in London. Should I draw up a will under English or French law? 

What can we do to ensure that our will is dealt with in terms of UK inheritance law regardless of any French law, and regardless of Brexit or otherwise? 

What happens to people with no closer relatives than first cousins? I have no close relatives to leave my French house to and anyone I do leave it to will have to find a lot of money to pay the Government if they want to be able to take possession of the house. Is there any other option? 

I live in France and have made out a 'living will; based on English Law.  Will this still be legal when we leave the EU?

My husband and I have no children. Does all property, including any in France, automatically pass to the surviving spouse? Is there any tax to pay? Do we need a will? Will a British will be recognised after Brexit? 

Given French laws on inheritance, can you specifically disinherit a child and exclude them from succeeding to their share of your estate? 

I would like to know the most tax efficient way of leaving our French home  etc to our niece and nephews. 

We are married and have no children. We lived in France for 14 years but still have no wills organised.  We thought to do our wills according to the UK laws, but we need advice on what to do to make sure that this works under French law.    

Are Wills drawn up by English law firms legal in France, if so must they be written in French?

Post-Brexit can a UK citizen resident in France opt for UK (English) succession law to be applied to their French olographic will? 

My daughter was unofficially adopted at birth - will she now have to pay 60% inheritance tax? 

My elderly sister has made me her sole beneficiary in her will. I live permanently in France and have done for the last 14 years. If I were to inherit, would I be liable for French tax & if so at what rate? If I lived In the UK, I would not have to pay tax.  

What is the tax treatment of inheritance from an unrelated person in another EU country (not France, or the UK)? 

My sister & I have lived together for over 10 years in France in our house which is in both our names but not in tontine. When either or us dies will the other have to pay full tax rate as a sister or is it possible to pay a reduced tax rate like married couples do as we have lived in & owned the house for this length of time?  

We are intending selling our French second home in 2022. We have a simple French will. If we successfully sell our house, does this automatically become null and void? 

My wife and I are in our second marriages and we have between us four adult children. We made a will in the UK 27 years ago, does it still apply?  

I have a French holiday property in joint ownership with my wife. We are from Ireland and living in Ireland and we have an Irish Will which leaves all of our Assets to our children after the death of both spouses. My wife died 10 months ago. I now wish to regularise my French Property as a result of my wife's death. What will be the procedure to do this. Is the Irish Will covering all assets sufficient to have my sole name now on the French property?  

I and my husband live in France and own our property.  I have two adult children, who live in the UK, from a previous marriage. He has none and no previous marriage. If I die first, I understand my half of the property will go to my children and my husband will legally be able to remain in the property as long as he wishes or until he dies.  If he dies without making a French will, who inherits his half of the property? Can he make a French will leaving his half to a French charity or to my children? What would be the implications in either case? If he dies first, would I inherit his half of the property?  

Having recently made my British will must I now make a will in France as we own a property there which we use as a holiday home.

You can order your copy of Connexion's Wills and Inheritance Law in France helpguide by clicking here.

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