Getting off property deeds

I owned 50% of a property in France with my then husband. We divorced (UK) amicably. We went to a notaire in France so that my name could be taken off the property we co-owned as he was taking full ownership. We signed a ‘pocuration pour vendre a titre de licitation’ as advised by the notaire. My ex-husband has since died and I have been informed I am still named as owner of 50% of the property. Why is this? Has the notaire made an error?

Perhaps, but why worry. You have 50% of a property that you didn’t think you had.
What you signed was a ‘Procuration’ to enable the sale of the property that you half owned. That is to say, a document that gave someone else the power to effectively sign your name on your behalf. The procuration was probably in favour of your ex to enable him to sign sale documents without the need for your personal signature. The Procuration in itself would not have altered the title of who actually owned the property. As the property has not been sold, you are still part owner. As the Procuration was probably in favour of your ex, then that Procuration died with him.
So celebrate your good fortune. You have half a house, and your ex’s half will be disposed of according to his will.

Yes but also liable to any outstanding debts he may have run up and also if you are no longer a french resident, there will be an inheritance tax possibly of upto 60%. Be extremely careful and get in touch with the Notaire or his office asap because you could end up with a lot of trouble and also his part won’t be all yours if you had children together as they are entitled to their share as well. It is a minefield, the world of succession in France and I have been there! Forgot to mention it would be worth getting hold of a copy of his last Foncières bill because it will confirm if you have been deleted or not as it is marked with both owners name and usually Indivision if jointly owned.

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I cannot see why you are talking about inheritance tax. The poster has not said that (s)he has inherited anything from their ex. (And the 60% inheritance tax between non relatives is applicable regardless oi whether the beneficiary is French resident or not.)
There may indeed be complications depending on who inherits the deceased’s share of the house, but unless the ex willed anything to the poster, which seems unlikely, I do not see why they need be concerned about potential debts or succession tax.

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Hello Lizzer and welcome to the forum.

Seems to me that you simply need to contact the Notaire to clarify things.

We can’t answer your questions… and forum discussions on legal matters can sometimes lead to misinformation and unnecessary worry.

best of luck…


I have suggested the OP contacts the Notaire to find out what is what… that suggestion still stands.

from her own words it simply sounds as if she’s possibly always been on the Deeds and is (perhaps) not actually inheriting anything… half the house is still hers… ???

yes, heirs can find themselves in a pickle… notaires will give best advice.

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Yes, but what makes you think she will be inheriting anything?
She apparently owns 50% of the property. It is not something she inherited.
No mention has been made of who has inherited the other 50%, but whoever it is, they are the one(s) that has to deal with the succession taxes and any debts that come with the inheritance. Not the poster, who is not inheriting anything as far as we know, and if there is no inheritance then the question of accepting it or refusing it does not arise.

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A basic point here is that it is impossible to inherit something which you already previously own. If the house was owned 50/50, then the ownership of that 50% was pre-existing, and that has not been inherited from anyone. Therefore, inheritance tax cannot apply as nothing has been inherited.

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Thank you Robert I think you explained it better than I did.

Good warning from Shiba though, for those who may find themselves in that situation.