Does my late father's UK will need a notaire in France?

Rules vary dependent upon the assets addressed within a will

Is a notaire always necessary to deal with a will if it involves property in France?

Reader Question: My parents retired to France and owned their house jointly. My father has died and his English law will leaves everything to my mother. I will inherit from her. Since the wishes are simple, is it obligatory to use a notaire?

Even though your situation appears straightforward, it is necessary to use a notaire in any inheritance situation where real estate is involved.

In this case, your father’s part of the home is passing to your mother and so a notaire must be involved.

You can search for one by postcode here.

There is an option to find an English-speaking notaire by clicking ‘spoken languages’.

Read more: Can I write my own will in English in France?

A notaire is needed to check the correct passing on of the house under the English-law will.

The notaire will also check any other issues that might affect the inheritance, for example if the property was bought with a tontine clause, meaning the deceased’s part automatically passes in full ownership to the survivor of the couple, and also what marriage regime applies.

The latter refers to how property is owned within the marriage and depends on where and when the couple married, and whether they ever made a formal choice of regime.

Under a 2021 French law, the notaire should in theory also advise you of your right to half of the value of the property under the French ‘reserved inheritance’ rules, though not in the case of a tontine.

Read more: How does France’s 2021 law affect wills choosing foreign legal rules?

However, you are free to waive this and agree to your parents’ wishes if appropriate

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