Bringing my mother to live here

Hi, itmay be necessary to bring my elderly Mum to live with us over here…

I was just wondering about the ease of adding her as a depandant on my cartevitale and top up insurance etc.

I know there areothers on this site who have recent experience of this, so any advice, and do’s or don’ts will be much appreciated


Ann, Having read the dual taxation agreement between France & the UK concerning Inheritance/succession taxation , I believe that you are completely correct as to the fact that only UK tax (or lack thereof) is applicable to UK-situated immovable property, and to shares in UK-registered companies. Equally, only French tax rules are applicable to similar assets situated in France. Assets existing in third countries are taxed as defined in the double taxation agreement. unless the third country also has an inheritance tax agreement with the country of tax residence of the deceased or of the inheritor.

This does, however, have nothing to do directly with the rules that apply to asset disposition in each country. Currently, at least until 2015, French rules apply as to who is allowed to inherit French property, wherever the current owners are resident. My understanding is that, even if there is a valid will to the contrary, the 'old' Napoleonic minimum percentage allocation to the children of the deceased must be respected. If this has succession tax implications, that's the way it is, and those who don't like it can whistle.

What this all means is that the more complex your assets, the more you need really professional advice. Moving from country to country is simple enough, but the inheritance and tax implications can be anything but simple. Either simplify them in good time or be prepared that sorting them out after your decease will be profitable for lawyers and very expensive for your heirs.

Just further, immoveables - it comes under the dual taxation agreement between France and England. England doesn't want to give up any tax rights it might have over inherited property. It is a fact though that UK Inheritance tax is more generous than French. Inheritance tax is treated differently in as much - in UK the value of the estate is taxed. In France it is the inheritors that are taxed on how much they will receive. Each Inheritor has a tax free allowance of 150,000eu total, so if a spouse dies, the surviving spouse is allowed to live in the house, but he/she only owns 25% share, whilst the children then own 75%. It does mean that many surviving spouses have difficulty in moving. So - if two adult children inherit a property of 300,000eu - there would be nothing to pay in Inheritance Tax on the property, any other assets would be taxed accordingly.

I am no longer a French resident, but in 1999 I was and inherited an English property. It came under British Inheritance Law.

If you type into Google "Inheritance Tax on French Resident on UK property" you will come up a discussion on this site SFN which also bears out what I have said above.

I have British property, but was told that as property is immoveable it always comes under British Inheritance laws. Has the law changed? I see someone-else has also posed the same question. As far as I know - for Wealth Tax purposes, your assets worldwide are taxable, but not for Inheritance Tax. There are times when Notaires and French taxmen don't get things right.

That's my understanding also Sheila.

Yes, once resident in France, you are liable to pay tax on income earned anywhere in the world, but if you die leaving assets in your birth country, I am almost certain that the inheritance laws of your birth country apply.

I will have to get the exact text somewhere if you want it, but talking to my notary and taxman this is it.

Once you have registered as a resident in France or not registered and live in France more than 180 days a year(then you are in an illegal position) all your assets and bank accounts (including paypal if you use it to receive money) have to be declared to French tax.

You are then for all intent and purposes in the same situation than a French citizen.

The legislation may change in 2015 and follow European law that is trying to say that one can opt for the laws of one own country but if you believe the French are not going to put great spikes in it write you next letter to Santa Claus now.

That's interesting and alarming, Dominique. I was under the impression that assets owned in your country of birth are subject to the inheritance laws of that country. Can you tell me a bit more please?

One thing that has only been fleetingly mentioned is 'French inheritance laws'.

Do not forget that if your aged relatives become residents in France, all their assets including British properties will come under French law. it means that aside the 'part reservataire' set according to the number of children 1/3 if 2, 1/4 if 3 etc...all the rest is equally shared by all the children, worth knowing about it.

Just one further caution, re any annex that is paid for by the relative, if that annex forms part of their assets, then upon their death it will come under French inheritance laws, so please take advice from a notaire on doing anything like this.

good luck Danielle !

keep us updated please, yours is an amazing story at least I find it amazing !

my mother in law insisted she came and lived with us when she hit 75 in 2005, my wife was an only child (unwanted at birth) and brought up mainly by her grandparents when her mother preferred to advance her career rather than take responsability for her 'mistake'. She found a father to give my wife a name and some decency in the 50s. When my wife passed away a year ago I had promised my wife on her deathbed I would look after her mother out of duty. Fortunately, as my mother in law (is she still my mother in law ?) hates my guts equally as much as she hates France ! she decided to return to the UK.

I would have carried out my promise but thankfully this 'burden' was lifted from my shoulders....

Thanks to all, particularly Roger and Cynthia. You're very right and my husband and I have been coming to the same conclusion.

I felt a sort of moral obligation to take Dad in when he called to say he had nowhere to go. I'm sure you'll be even more astonished at my response when I explain that he has been there for me very little in my life, having abandoned us (Mum, little sister and I) to go to Japan when I was 10. He had 3 more children there, 2 of which when he was still married to my mother. We were completely out of contact for 12 years (until we moved to France 3 years ago).

I think we could manage to have Dad live in the annex if he was financially independant, paid towards setting it up etc. and lived fairly independently. But as things are, we cannot go on.

I just feel it is going to be very tough to 'put him out of doors' with nowhere to go, if his wife refuses to sort things out with him. She, after all, is trying to keep the house for the interests of herself and her children.

Dad lives on his own planet and has never taken responsibility for anything in his life (he does not believe in choices, for example - things just 'happen' to him...). He also has a lifelong alcohol problem that he refuses to acknowledge. I have spent enough of my adolescent and adult life trying to get back on my feet to have everything turned on its head again....

My half brother flies back to school today (taken to airport by my husband, at our expense!) so the 3 of us remaining are going to have a talk - very soon!

Thanks again all for the support - it really helps to get things off my chest to people with an outside perspective

Just been reading these posts re parents coming to live with you. Your situations sound awful and I feel for each and everyone of you going through such stress. Family relations are never easy - well not usually. I just wanted to add though that perhaps you may, one day, even though it may not seem like this right now, miss having your father or mother or siblings. Maybe I am wrong but I feel somehow that you are all very lucky to still have your parents and / or family / relatives. Both my parents and my brother have passed on and I miss them all, each one, so much and every day. Relations were never easy but I would rather have those difficult relations than none at all. I would give anything to have just another five minutes to chat and maybe share a joke with my mum or my dad or my brother. They will never come to stay with me or phone or email me. They are gone. Please try to remember this when feeling distraught at your relations turning up or asking for help. I know it is hard but families are meant to be there for each other, especially when help is needed. At least, that is the way that I see family. I am so sorry for all your difficult situations and I apologise for this post and hope it does not offend anyone. My only intention with this post is to try to remind people, in my clumsy way, that family should be a blessing and not a curse. Try to find kindness in your hearts in spite of the difficulties. I know it can be the hardest thing to do - after all we do not choose our families! However, some people like myself have no one left alive - please try to be kind in your thoughts to elderly parents or siblings - we all need help sometime and especially when we get old - I am not old but my family members simply died long ago....and I am the sole survivor. I was wondering as I write this post - Is there anyone else out there alone who has lost all family? Maybe it could be another discussion...? with very best wishes to you all for a healthy and peaceful 2014.

Mymum has opted to stay in the UK, that is not an issue, but she has sold her house and handed over everything to my sister as a lump sum up front " rent" payment…my sister has refused to give my Mum any legal agreement, equity in her property and already said that if her physical needs increase then the UK state can step in… We are horrified but even having offered to pay for an IFA and legal advise has just resulted in my sister accusing us of being difficult…she is a person who accused her Ex of all sorts of thing during their divorce, but then when the courts told her what she needed to do to have full custody decided that she wasn’t prepared to stop being a part time trolly dolly and “world shopper”…all we can do is having made our offer of a home and failing that legal / financial advice to protect Mum, is to leave things well alone…

your post intrigued me


Why are you putting you and yours through this stress ?

Your Father is an adult, with adult responsibilities.

Your father is a guest in your home.

At the end of the day it is his problem not yours.

Perhaps its time to play hard ball?

Thanks to all for the responses.

Things are pretty tense here as we all try to adapt to having no privacy, Dad to our rhythms of life, us to having a teenager in the house (even temporarily) and it is taking its toll. Dad is frustrated and unhappy after just a month and I am stressed, tired and ill already.

We may have to eventually look into where he could go in the UK but I am anticipating a very tough struggle to sort out the situation of his house in Germany.

also been there, still there, short answer - don't. No one happy.

My mother in law came to live with us when she was 75 years of age, she was entitled to her UK pension of course but also applied for her E111 or whatever the form is called for healthcare in another EEC country. She obtained her own Carte Vitale which she obtained after a few months, using the Attestation in the meantime. She was covered 100% for certain ailments ie. heart problems. The top-up insurance for her was prohibitive so we/she used her E111 or whatever for the other medical emergencies which included a broken arm. This worked fine for her and it saved her/us a lot of money !

She was very lucky during her seven-year stay in France as our GP speaks excellent english thus making life ten times easier for her.

She returned to the UK at 82 years of age earlier this year following the sad passing of her daughter and found it easy to re integrate back into the UK system.

If your father is entitled to a UK OA Pension then he should be able to obtain a S1 form so that he can sign into the French Health care system. via CPAM. Apply to the Newcastle office for the S1. Its the first I've heard about an EU minimum pension I have always thought that the C£400 single persons pension was it. If the relationship has foundered then he needs to realise all his assets, because you can be sure that any 'help' will take them into account.

My Uncle was in a similar situation and found that it was impossible to cope in France and was forced to return to the UK where accommodation in his old home town was found for him and a number of social security payments became available due to his low income and in his case nil assets. If Your Father is also responsible for your half brother then the allowances would reflect that.

Hi there,

My 73 year old Dad practically turned up on our doorstep in early December.

We had just a month's warning that his wife was leaving Germany where they had both lived with their 3 (nearly grown up) children to return to Japan "for work reasons". Effectively, Dad's wife was the main breadwinner for the last 20 years whilst he raised their children. Since she was made redundant and found it impossible to get a new job in Germany, it was decided that she would go to Japan with the eldest and youngest of the children whilst my middle half-brother would continue his A-levels at boarding school in the UK.

We only moved into our house in August and completed the purchase in October. Since then, we have been battling to deal with the most urgent of the problems (chaudière won't produce heating, dodgy electrics keep blowing, 2 leaks, small hole in shared garden wall turned into large hole after a storm - now falling down...). On a single salary, I am waiting for news of a 2% loan organised through my company in order to start addressing some of this. There really is no 'spare' at the end of the month, in fact we are not managing to cover all costs, save for tax etc. at the moment.

So I was rather dismayed when Dad informed us that his only income is €400 a month UK pension. In addition, his wife forced him to sell his car so he has turned up here without transport and is totally dependant on us, without possibility to get small English teaching jobs etc. which he used to do in Germany. This is barely enough for food shopping (and beer money!!) let alone to contribute to the extra household bills.

Their large house in Germany has been let on a long term basis rather than sold as they have a mortgage with heavy penalties if it is redeemed before 2017. The wife just left leaving Dad staying wt a friend's place before he came here.

Our feeling is that Dad's wife has no intention of coming back to Europe and has left him completely "swinging in the wind". My half brother has been also staying with us during the school holidays as he has nowhere else to go (and no financial support for him either...)

We are in the process of considering how we can manage to fit out a small annex that is to the side of our house. It needs everything - new window and door, electrics, plumbing, bathroom, heating etc. and will cost upwards of €15,000. This will basically eat up all the money we had pre-allocated to doing first bits to our house but that's another issue...

We have not yet started to get Dad's healthcare sorted out - he had not even the foresight to think about becoming resident here. I need to get onto CPAM, mutuelle etc. which is filling me with dread after our last 4 years of admin nightmares.

A French neighbour has told us that she heard European citizens of pension age who come to live in France are entitled to at least €750/month - I am rather sceptical.

So, does anyone know what his entitlements may be as a pensioner on low income, who has never paid into the social in France, previously lived in another EU country (but not his country of origin)?

I just don't see how we can cope unless there is some outside assistance or we would have to try to persuade Dad and his (difficult) wife across the other side of the world to sell their property to support Dad in his old age. This could be a long and complicated process.

Would be grateful to Roger or anyone else with experience for a pointer in the right direction.

Thanks to all,