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 Post subject: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:00 pm 
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We have a house in France (we don't live there permanently) we have recently made Wills in England but were advised not to include the house in France. The solicitor advises that this goes to our only child when we have died, or his children if he is dead, if he doesn't have children it goes to brothers/sisters - they are older than us or already dead, then its brothers/sisters children - is this right please?
8-| :-o


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:44 pm 
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Hi Sidneyworm - and a warm welcome to the forum !

Your house in France would come under French inheritance law which would normally favour your child. In France you cannot disinherit your children ! If you and your wife bought the house with the proviso that the survivor would inherit, it would go there first, then to your child.

I expect someone else here can explain this a little better than I can !


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:50 pm 
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Blaze is right under French inheritance rules.

However a new law means that you can use a UK will (assuming you are British and have wills that specify who gets the house) to determine who inherits what in France (namely the house). However beware, although you can now leave the house to whomsoever you want, French inheritance taxes will still apply and this means that anyone or any organisation outside of the determined family hierarchy defined by Blaze will be stuck with inheritance taxes on nearly the whole value of the property.

It remains very unclear exactly how this new law is going to be applied and it seems that many notaires in France are still very much in the dark. You would almost certainly need as a minimum a sworn translation of a UK will plus quite probably a lot of other documents that perhaps attest that the UK will is valid under UK law (and duly translated as above). It may be an idea to have any UK wills translated and take them to your notaire and see where that takes you.

A bit of a mine field at the moment until the application of the rules becomes clear, but the key point is that strictly speaking your solicitor is wrong.

The other potential problem is that I am unsure if the new law applies only to EU citizens. If it does, then Brexit rears its head and you may well be back to Blaze's inheritance hierarchy.

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:03 am 
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I'm surprised that the new law (source?) now includes real estate.

Talk to your notaire, but a marriage contract would solve the problem and allow the survivor to inherit the house, saving a packet on estate duty at the same time.

The problem with wills is that they can be changed at any time up to the moment of death and as thelastoneout says, who knows what will happen after 2019?

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:28 am 
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As I understood it, in some cases, the rules of inheritance when applied to houses are determined at the time of purchase or when any declaration is made to a notaire (donation entre epoux, for instance) and can't be changed to something else later.

If I am right, it remains to be explained whether this new law is retrospective, or whether it only applies to new arrangements.

Either way, if you both are happy for your son to inherit, then it would seem you need do no more.

That assumes he doesn't pre-decease you. Then the other elements of the chain come into play.

The only other thing that is in doubt depends on any declaration, and which kind, you have made to a notaire in France. This determines whether the survivor of you both, assuming you don't die simultaneously, has rights to live in the property, or not, after one of you dies.

However, if you are on good terms with your son, and that doesn't change, it is immaterial.

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:16 am 
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Another factor is that should your son predecease you, you need to determine who would inherit otherwise the property could be sequestered by the French state as they would probably look no further than your son !


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:21 am 
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More information on the EU rules:

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/civil/famil ... dex_en.htm

Quote:
As Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom do not participate in the Regulation, succession procedures handled by the authorities of these three EU countries will continue to be governed by their national rules.


J


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:00 am 
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niemeyjt wrote:
More information on the EU rules:

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/civil/famil ... dex_en.htm

Quote:
As Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom do not participate in the Regulation, succession procedures handled by the authorities of these three EU countries will continue to be governed by their national rules.


J


That is quite an eye-opener for me J, does this mean that, after all, we should now make UK wills in order to avoid the one thing that has exercised us for over 20 years, avoiding one son in particular from inheriting in order for all the others to recieve their just share?

In other words, can a UK will now disinherit kids from French property? :o

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:18 am 
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There is this from The Connexion, though there might have been updates since it was written :
https://www.connexionfrance.com/French-news/New-EU-inheritance-rules-now-in-force

@ David - this may be relevant to you :
the connexion wrote:
Do also be aware that even under English law, you cannot necessarily leave your estate entirely to whoever you want, as was highlighted in a recent Court of Appeal ruling which gave a woman a third share in her mother’s estate despite the fact her mother had disinherited her in favour of animal charities (see September’s paper for more on this).


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:34 am 
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As per Blaze's link - UK wills can be over-ridden - but whatever happens you should make one and stipulate what you want and why you want it - an explanation of your reasoning may be important if it goes to court.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:59 am 
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niemeyjt wrote:
As per Blaze's link - UK wills can be over-ridden - but whatever happens you should make one and stipulate what you want and why you want it - an explanation of your reasoning may be important if it goes to court.

J
Thanks to both of you, I was aware of the Appeal Court ruling, which only confirmed my view that appeals, if good grounds could be found, can be successful.

But I had always thought that there was no point for us in making UK wills because of the overriding principle in France regarding children.

We, or rather my wife, has a son, living in Ireland who, for reasons best known to himself, cut us both off from him and his children. Not only that he cut himself off from his English children too, and thus we have a very good relationship with those grand-children.

We always resented the fact that he would inherit something, but this latest info may infer something else can be done. Now to find a good ( :YMPRAY: ) English solicitor. Recent experience over my disputed Father's will, has made us wary. 8-|

Sorry to hijack your thread Sidneyworm, but perhaps all the info expressed here has been useful too. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:17 am 
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Our notaire in France was quite clear that we could opt for a UK will for all our assets in France, as France is a signatory to the agreement. We are French residents but have opted for a UK will. This did not need to be translated but we did need to write a handwritten French will referring to our UK will. Copies of the whole lot have been registered with our notaire. I should say that in our case our UK wills do not contradict French inheritance laws as we have no children, and no other family members are automatically protected by French law. Hence, under French law you can't disinherit a child but you can disinherit just about anyone else.

The only way to protect a partner is either through marriage or a PACs. If you have a PACs your partner is only protected if you have a will. The issue is one of inheritance tax. If there is no legal arrangement between you, your partner will get a tax bill as if there was no relationship between you.

We are currently involved with the estate of someone who died in France and left no will. If it isn't clearly documented somewhere potential inheritors have to prove their relationship to the deceased and if they are UK residents they have to do this under UK law. This is not always as simple as it sounds and can result in lengthy delays. From experience I would advise a simple French will lodged with a notary in France, including contact details for the inheritors. It will save those left sorting it out a lot of time and anguish.

Spardo..we used the notaire in Beaumont who was very up to date and very knowledgeable


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:57 am 
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We were not advised of the possibility of making a UK will, but that was 24 years ago, and thus we made a donation entre epoux simply to protect each other. We have 5 children between us.

The question is, can we, by making a UK will, disinherit one of those children? Didn't think it was possible before reading this thread. :-?

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:05 am 
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@spardo - not wishing to interfere in private family matters, but a couple of thoughts for you.

1. If son has cut himself off then he has no reason to claim a dependency which as I recall was at the heart of UK appeals

2. Why not skip a generation and leave things to your grand children? He may be less advised to contest a will than benefits his immediate family and why should they suffer for his actions?

J


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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:46 am 
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niemeyjt wrote:
@spardo - not wishing to interfere in private family matters, but a couple of thoughts for you.

1. If son has cut himself off then he has no reason to claim a dependency which as I recall was at the heart of UK appeals

2. Why not skip a generation and leave things to your grand children? He may be less advised to contest a will than benefits his immediate family and why should they suffer for his actions?

J


Yes, quite so, it's just that previously we thought that under French law, that couldn't be done.
Certainly no dependency involved, the one time in 20 odd years that he got back in touch, and we thought that there had been a thaw, it was simply to show off how affluent he was during the building of his magnificent 5 bed house in Ireland. Then, the return of the ice age.

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:53 am 
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No matter what your situation, if you live in France you should make an English will if you have any assets in the UK (even £10 in a bank account). This was brought home to me when I had to translate a 15-page French probate for an English client whose wife had left a (very) few thousand in premium bonds. Costa bomb, and could have been avoided by having an English will.

You don't need to spend money on a solicitor - download a bog-standard will from tinternet and fill in the details. 2 independent witnesses (neither family nor beneficiary) sign at the same time as you, and you're done.

If anyone wants any help with a will, just ask.

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:36 pm 
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Thank you, I'll check it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Who will inherit our house
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Thanks for all your replies, they're great, and have told me what I needed to know. I have another query, on the net about inheritance tax it says that there are allowances/exemptions and it says its 100,000 euros from each parent to a child, so does that mean that if the house is not worth more than 200,000 euros he doesn't have to pay inheritance tax? as below

The thresholds applicable in 2016 are as follows:

Children - €100,00 each parent to each child (or child to parent).

but down the page it gives the following :Table: Parents/Children

Taxable Amount Tax Rate
Up to €8,072 5%
€8,072 to €12,109 10%
€12,109 to €15,932 15%
€15,932 to €552,324 20%
€552,324 to €902,838 30%
€902,838 to €1,805,677 40%
Greater than €1,805,677 45%

so I'm a little confused!

Thanks :-??


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