@ Christine, I have looked up the relevant papers from when we bought the house. Here we go.
I am reading from the e-mail sent by Matthew Cameron our English Solicitor.
"I shall look first at the change of regime, this being the shorter of the two documents. It is possible that the notaire will want you to complete the acte de vente first, since specific reference is made to your new property. It is stated that you will be submitting this to the new regime of communaute universelle de biens, while otherwise remaining subject to English matrimonial law (this being equivalent to the French regime of separation de biens) for the remainder of your assets.
This change is completed, as you will recall, subject to the terms of the Hague Convention on matrimonial regimes, and accordingly extends only to the French real property. At the same time this also means that there are no registration formalities or court approvals necessary; the only formal procedure is that it would be registered at the French Foreigh Affairs Ministry in Nanters. The notaire will address this."
Designation dela Loi Applicable au Regime Matrimonial - Mise en Communaute des Immeubles Sis en France.
ClauseD'Attribution Integrale de Communaute.
It comes under l'article 1397 -3 alinea 2 du Code Civil et de l'article 1303 -1 alinea 2 du Nouveau Code du Procedure Civile, les epoux ou l'un d'eux feront inscrire au fins de co au repertoire civil annexe mentionne a l'article 4 -1 du decret no. 65-422 du 1 JUIN 1965 portant creation d'un Service central d'Etat Civil au Ministere des affaires etrangeres a NANTES,le certificat qui va etre delivre a cet effet par le notaire soussigne.
This only applied to the house, we have made English wills which will divide all our property equally between our two daughters. This extra procedure was to ensure that the French house passes to the surviving spouse entirely, with the children having no interest until the death of the surviving spouse.
I hope this is of use to you.
I was a bit put out that we didn't have any ceremony, just signing some papers at the same time we bought the house!