Inheritance for Estranged Child

I am trying to get advice on who to advise in France. I am estranged from my father who lives in France, I live in the UK. He contacts me about once a year. He lives with his wife and 3 children (my half siblings) in France but he is a Swedish National. They have a large property. I understand that under French Law I have a natural inheritance but should I be advising anyone in France of my presence by sending my birth certificate? If so, does anyone know where I send the birth certificate to?

I’ve never heard of anyone anticipating their inheritance by getting in touch with the notaire while the parent is still alive, AFAIK you have to wait until the succession process starts! Don’t worry, the notaire will contact you when the time comes.

Sorry, I don’t really mean it like that! What does AFAIK mean?
Thank you

Also how would the notaire know how to contact me?

No I know you didn’t :wink:
AFAIK=as far as I know.

Because it’s what notaires do. Bloodlines are what French succession law is all about, so the first thing the notaire does is trace all the living relatives and establish their exact relationship to the deceased. I don’t know how they do it but they do, it’s their job, and they would be in dereliction if they failed to find and contact a living relative who was in line for succession.
Because of this succession is generally a long drawn out business and in your case you say he contacts you once a year so I don’t think you need worry. But if you have cause for concern, you could have a word with the mairie at the commune where he lives, because the mayor is always involved in the process when anyone in his commune dies. Or if you happen to know which notaire he uses for his affairs you could have a word with that notaire, but if you’re not close, it might be difficult to find out tactfully.

Thank you SO much I really appreciate this

If he is a Swedish national, French law may not apply. If he has made a will it may be in accordance with Swedish law, this is now possible.

Wasn’t there an important inheritance contest…recently… where the mother had disinherited her natural son and left her large fortune etc to her adopted son… or has the weather affected my brain…

I thought it was in France… with both boys/men currently living in Switzerland…

Surely if the father has a share in a French property then by right any of his children will automatically inherit part of the property upon his death?

That’s true, never thought of that. If that’s the case I guess the daughter can’t challenge it?

surely it all depends on whether or not he has made a Will/Testament…

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And what the relevant law says.

Not when it comes to property, a child automatically inherits a share no matter what.

This is my own personal view on inheritance - it should never be seen as a right or an obligation on the parent/parents to leave something to their children.

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Actually Tim… nowadays, you can make a Will using the Inheritance Regime of the country of your Birth…

So, using that… children could be left with nothing and all things left to Charity or whatever…depending where the person was born.

Understand that Stella, I should have added ‘unless a will is made to the contrary’.

So there are a few options: no will has been made, French law will apply. A will has been made: Swedish or French law may apply (or whichever other jurisdiction may be relevant).
There is no point asking around local notaires for details about your father’s putative will, they aren’t allowed to tell you anything because of client confidentiality, and also you will look like a weird vulture-type person which might not be such a good idea, long-term.


And whilst we are on the subject - in case anyone is interested…

france is now beginning to accept wills as legal though. its EU Succession Regulation. so he has to specify he wants the law of his birth country to be in effect. also now its leaning towards accepting spouse as well as children so part of his estate can gop to his wife also if not all as you can now plan it. atm if I pop my clogs my wife will get everything and vice versa

I do believe france is coming into the 21st century with all this now. personally my advice is talk with your dad about this. but if it goes to his children that will include your half brothers and sisters too. I am not up on swedish inheritance laws but from what ive read if he is using swedish law his wife will get it all anyhow. not sure on the separation children though which might mean kids from a previous marriage

sweden is very similar to france when it comes to inheritance. I just rang my swedish friend. sound all rather complex. wills are so much easier