Legal Costs

Can anyone advise the costs of obtaining a "Pacte Famille", a legal means of avoiding the problems of children inheriting part of a French property on the death of one parent, thus leaving the surviving parent as only part owner of their home.

Is there a standard charge on top of a sum based on the value of the property? What exactly does the Notaire have to do?

Guidance appreciated - thank you.

Hi Guillaume

Thank you for your detailed answer. The document our children have signed is the one you mention and the result i.e. to delay the transfer to the second death, is the result we require. I appreciate you cannot be 100% accurate but what should this have cost? Is there a tariff for this?

Dear Tony,

A “Pacte de Famille” is not a deed per se (it is a generic term which can mean different estate planning options) so it would be useful to know which deed the notaire advised (maybe a donation-partage?). The choice of the appropriate solution depends on your circumstances and objectives. The adapted deed should not be a complex operation if you wish to solve a simple issue. Although I would not be certain without all relevant details on the matter, it seems that your children will sign a "renonciation anticipée à l'action en réduction" (effectively a relinquishment to their share upon the first death). The procedure is quite heavy so make sure this is absolutely necessary and no other "lighter" option would be available.

A notaire must provide a detailed quote at the outset and will usually request a provision for a slightly higher amount so he can be sure that all fees and taxes will be covered.

Legally, children cannot be disinherited but it is possible to delay the transfer to the second death. Children can also be disinherited as a result of certain estate planning measures.

I hope this helps.

We understand you can if the children agree in writing and their agreement is posted in appropriate public notices. Is this as common as our Notaire has suggested and what is a reasonable charge for arranging it?

Our notaire told us that you cannot disinherit your children (not that we would want to) but this doesn't mean that the kids can turf out mum when I pop my clogs. That of course only applies to whatever property you have in France. I think you can do whatever you like with stuff in the UK. I'm planning to get all this wrapped up definitively over the next few weeks so if you haven't got it sorted by then I can let you know how I got on.