Recommend to a Friend 
 
    
 French Law Pages
 Buy/Sell A Company
 Hiring/Firing Staff
 French Construction Law
 Agents/Distributors
 Buy/Sell A Property
 French Trade Marks
 Litigation in France
 French Tax Law
 Road Traffic Accidents
 Wills & Testaments
 French Criminal Law
 Immigration & Visas
 French IT Law
 Company formation
 Medical Devices
 Pharmacovigilance
 Back To Home Page
Les 3 rosettes
 

Disclaimer:
This page does not set out to give anything other than a glimpse of certain aspects of this area of French Law and professional advice should always be sought from a duly specialised French practitioner prior to undertaking any steps whatsoever.

French Wills & Testaments Law in France


Whilst the applicable law relating to succession matters might be affected both by the "domicile" (a complex legal concept under French Law) of the deceased as well as by the country in which assets are found at the date of death, French Law will automatically be applicable to real property (houses, land etc) situated on French territory.

However if the real property is owned by a company, then (depending on a number of criteria relating to movable property generally) it is possible that French Inheritance Law may not be applicable to the part of the estate which holds the shares if they are not held in France by French residents.

It may therefore be appropriate to envisage a separate will covering those assets which are held on French territory and it would be advisable to arrange for this will to be lodged with the French National Registry of Last Wills and Testaments in order to avoid difficulty in finding it were the person concerned to be living outside France at the moment of his or her death.

It should also be noted that French Inheritance law is notoriously complicated and despite recent changes remains based on fundamentally different principles from those under common-law systems.

Two areas of French Law worthy of particular note are

- first, the fact that it is not possible to disinherit one's children and that all offspring, from whatever current/previous marriage or relationship, must be treated equally in the succession

- second, France has adopted the system of pre-nuptial settlements (in French 'regimes matrimoniaux' or 'contrats de mariage') which determine the ownership of goods, chattels and real property as between the spouses during the course of, as well as after, the marriage.

Inter-vivos gifts and tax issues should also be carefully considered when dealing with the Estate planning of one's French assets and specialist advice should be sought in these respects.

 
French Wills & Testaments Law

Recommended lawyer(s) for advice
on Wills & Testaments

If you wish to be put in touch with a maximum of three English-speaking fully trained and qualified French lawyers specialising in this particular area of French law, please click here.

Useful related links

1. French Law Society (Notaries)

2012 French Law Publications Limited, All Rights Reserved - About us

French Law Home Page | Buy/Sell a company in France | Hiring/Firing Staff in France | French Construction Law | Agents/Distributors in France
Buy/Sell A Property in France | French Trade Marks | Litigation in France | French Tax Law | Road Traffic Accidents
Wills & Testaments in France | French Criminal Law | Immigration & Visas | French IT Law | Company formation in France
Medical Devices in France | Pharmacovigilance in France