How can we show family link with British nephews?

We have dual French and British nationality and are resident in France. As we have no children, we wish to leave our house and the rest of our possessions to our British nephews and nieces in the UK, but apparently we need to prove that they are directly related. As the livret de famille does not exist in the UK, how can we prove that they are directly related to myself or to my husband? The proof appears to be a requirement for our French wills. A.S.

The Livret de Famille includes a record, for French nationals or persons married in France, of relevant immediate family events of each individual, such as the birth of children, death, marriage or divorce.

It is issued upon marriage in France or upon the birth of the first child of an unmarried couple.

It does not, however, provide details of the extended family, so I am not sure how useful a Livret de famille would be in providing evidence of your relationship to your nieces and nephews.

A full copy birth certificate shows the parents of the child. In order to prove their link to you, you would need copies of full birth certificates for your nieces and nephews, and for their parents, and for you.

This should then show the link back to common grandparents.

You could obtain French language multilingual copies from the General Register Office, or you could obtain standard English copies and then pay a sworn translator (traducteur assermenté) to translate them.

The General Register Office (for England and Wales) can be found at and it has online ordering, or you can order by telephone +44 (0)300 123 1837. For Scottish birth certificates, visit

Question answered by John Kitching of Heslop & Platt answers a reader query

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