Changing clause 'Tontine' to 'Societe Civile Immobilier' ownership

I’m wondering if anyone definitively knows whether it is possible to change the ownership of a house from 2 Tontiniers into a Societe Civile Immobilier where the syndicate (societe) members would be the current 2 tontiniers plus the two children of one of the current tontiniers ?
Clearly it would have to be done via a Notaire, but I’m just wondering if it is actually possible to do it ?

I know you can annul a clause tontine as we have one on our flat and had thought about doing as our need for one no longer exists. It just costs money to do so.

As for then placing the house in an SCI I have no experience to offer, presumably you have to “resell” the house to an SCI. But do work through all the implications with an accountant as well as a notiare to make sure this option works for you. You need to ask questions about capital gains tax, business tax, accountancy requirements on the company and so on.

Thanks for that Jane. I must admit that I hadn’t considered the need for accountancy advice which is something I will look into.

You should definitely take some tax advice on this as the 2 current owners will be disposing of 50% of the property even if it is just being gifted. The UK situation would be relatively straightforward (if you are UK resident and domiciled) but no idea about the French tax implications in terms of capital gains tax and inheritance tax. You don’t want to find yourself with an unexpected tax bill!

If you are considering doing this to protect the interests of the children of one of the tontiniers, you may want to consider annulling the tontine and reverting to owning 50/50 in indivision ,
then making a donation entre époux (cost about 140€).
This would ensure that if the parent of the children died first, the children would inherit 50% of the title , and the surviving step-parent would conserve the life interest in their 50%, which on the step -parent’s death would revert to the children without tax , leaving them full owners.
This would be a much less expensive option , without need for an accountant .
Discuss with a good english-fluent notaire. (find one near you on , where there is a national directory)

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I rather think you need to clarify why you wish to take this step…

What are you hoping to achieve ???

There are many options, but more details are needed to home in on the best solution… :thinking:

Thank you Patrick. Your suggestion seems to be a very good idea. I will look into the detail of that.

Hi Stella,

The detail of the situation is as follows:-
My American wife and I (English) own our principal home here in France as Tontiniers. We are full time resident and tax domiciled here in France.
As I am 1. male, 2. slightly older than my wife, and 3. in remission from lymphoma cancer, it is statistically likely that I will predecease my wife at some future time. Should that happen, then under the existing ownership regime my wife would become the full and sole owner of our home. At her death, or possibly before should she decide to return to the USA permanently after I’m gone, we both wish for the best part of the value of our house to go to my UK resident children, without attracting the punitive rates of inheritance tax applicable to legacies to non blood relatives as in the case of a step-mother to step-children situation.
We travel a fair bit together, both by car and by plane, and with the rate at which new aircraft seem to just drop out of the sky these days it seems sensible to make appropriate forward plans to cover as many eventualities as possible.

Mmm… yes, you need to get out of the Tontine… possibly getting onto the normal shared ownership husband/wife thingy…

Make a Will here in France, quoting the necessary Brussels paragraph… would let you leave your own share of the house to your children. (tax free for the first 100,000€ for each child)

Your wife would retain her own share.

Your wife makes a similar Will, in which she leaves everything to you (her own share)… thus, should she predecease you, your kids would be able to inherit the whole property from you… eventually.

Needs to be talked through with a Notaire… but perhaps I have given the glint of an idea…

Having looked at the OP’s explanation of the circumstances , it appears the problem is the transmission of his wife’s part to his children should he die first). Some points he could discuss with his notaire are - 1. It may be possible to divide the property in other than 50/50 shares when creating an indivision , particularly if he contributed all or most of the purchase price - then to create the donation entre epoux . -2. whatever form of ownership they adopt , if, as I assume , they are married in UK law , their estates are separate , so his wife could gift him 80,000€ of the house value without paying gift tax.

Another possibility , should your wife be left as owner of her 50% , would be , if practical -and I assume that she and the children are on good terms , for her to move to the UK ,perhaps staying with them , to establish UK residence , and then she could make a UK will leaving all her share to them. I believe that would remain in force if she then returned to the US.

The most important thing is to find a good , preferably english-fluent notaire , and discuss all angles .

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