As you can see from my profile, I’m in the UK. And until the end of last year, I only owned property in France in an entirely detached and theoretical way. My parents have a second home in France and spent up to 6 months there each year. Nominally I have 1/3 share in the property but I’d just go out for a week a year to absorb wine and take a break from my charming offspring - in every practical sense, it was all theirs.
My father passed away unexpectedly at the end of November. He was the one who did all the French speaking - my mother’s French (like mine) is non-existent once you get away from menu vocabulary. He was the one who dealt with the forms, the legal stuff, the money, the Byzantine bureaucracy. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very equal partnership (she dealt with the cooking, the decorating, the driving, the navigation, the DIY, the garden, the plumbing etc etc) but each did what they were good at and without him she is completely at sea and leaning very heavily on me.
And so, on top of a bereavement, I find myself suddenly a real owner of a property in France, with all the fun and games that entails. You know in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons when a character is walking along the road when a piano inexplicably lands on his head?
Well, it’s like that.
I can assure you that each and every word of advice you can give me in the coming months will be like solid gold.
To use a cliché - I am sorry for your loss - butI hope that you and your mother will still be able to enjoy the property in France despite the bureaucracy and the absence of your father.
Welcome Sian, we’re sure everyone has experienced most things about life in France on here so feel free to share your problems and we’ll all do our best to help
Thanks Kathryn. If nothing else, France clearly needs more redheads…
Welcome Sian and condolences for your father. But feel free to ask away - there are lots of us here and we should be able to steer you in the right direction! As I’m sure you know, inheriting the paperwork isn’t the best part of owning a house of here, but hopefully it’ll give you the excuse to visit more often and get to enjoy the fun parts too…