Marriage and inheritance laws

Hi I am British with dual nationality (french) living in France.
I have been recently married to my English partner. We live in the house owned by myself and purchased before being married and my husband owns a flat in France which he rents out and also purchased prior to marriage. My husband has three daughters from his last wife who has passed away. My brother has two children. I do not have any. We did not take out a marriage contract so have defaulted onto the normal state regime. Please could you help clarify our situation. We have done a lot of research but are still confused. In the event of either my husband or myself passing away what would happen to either properties and would anyone know of the recent laws coming in regarding inheritance. Two years ago we made a will Under English law in the presence of two French notaires. Is that will still acceptable under our new marriage?
Help much appreciated. Thanks in advance Fiona

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In a similar situation Fiona, be interested in any responses you have.

Nice to know not alone!

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Hi Fiona… to be clear…

You both made a Will here in France, in which you chose the " Inheritance Laws of the country of your Birth" to be enacted in the event of your Death…(there is a specific phrasing which the Notaires will have sorted out)

Is this correct???

As far as I am aware, in France, Marriage does not change anything (unlike UK, where Marriage would/could make an existing Will null and void.)

Under UK inheritance laws… you can leave your estate to whom you wish… and/or the dogs home… or whatever…

By inserting the correct wording in your Will, although you live in France, your estate will be handed over to whomever you have designated.

However, your Estate will be regarded by the French for Inheritance Tax purposes… and this can be quite steep.

Death and Taxes, no getting away from 'em

EU Directive 650/2012 allows you to opt for UK law over your estate. Are his children dependent in any way, as they might have a claim. The properties will pass to whomever you choose in your testament. I’m only concerned that as you have dual nationality then there might be a loophole there, but I’m not sure. Other than that, 650/2012 should pretty much allow you to leave to your partner 100% or he to you.


Of course… the best thing, might be to contact your Notaire and confirm what we are talking about, here on this thread.

then you can rest easy…

Spoken to two notaires, neither were totally confident, as the law hadn’t been tested as far as they knew, that was a few months ago, when I did the UK Will bit. Things may have changed!

Yes, you’ve mentioned that before Bill… .but I really cannot understand their uncertainty… it is clearly written into French Law.

Believe me S’ they were uncertain :slightly_smiling_face:

I do believe you Bill… I really do… it is just that I cannot understand the “why”…

Can they identify a loophole in the Law ??? or something that could be read this way… or that… ???

I have not heard/read any problems with Inheritance under these new Laws… and I cannot believe that no-one has died in the meantime, since the Law came into being.

The only person who has had a problem is Johnny Hallyday… who was born in Paris (which makes France the land of his birth) …

Stella, I am repeating, what they said to me, I can only listen to their professional opinions, they are supposed to know 'better than wot I doe’s! :slightly_smiling_face:

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This may help.

Might be worth contacting them.

We go to professionals for professional advice…:relaxed:, that’s for sure…

However, it would be nice/useful if the professionals you have used, would go a little further with their explanations… especially when it relates to something as important as this… (well, important to every immigrant IMO)

Cheers for the Blevins Link Mandy… in which they clearly highlight the possible Tax Disadvantages of the Brussels IV clause in a Will…

For some folk, the price to pay in Taxes may be worth it… to ensure the remainder goes where they would like it to go… and Advisors are always on hand to help with Tax Loopholes… (a Loophole in place before death, is always handy… :wink:)


Thanks! That sounds hopeful!

Ok Stell, but the pro’s can only go as far as their experience of the situation allows :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Now then Bill… my name is Stella… no diminutions/diminutives please…you may call me Artois if you prefer… :wink::relaxed:


What about “WILL”? I didn’t mind, thought it was just being ‘chummy’ :wink:

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Bill… if I called you Will … it was a mistake/typing error… certainly not deliberate. :thinking:

Yes I’m sure people have died since Brussels IV @smw, but have their wills been challenged? For example by french children of English parents that have found they get nothing or believe their human rights have been in some way violated?

Experience tells me that laws are often tested and found wanting, and it’s wise to be cautious until a good body of precedent to back them up.

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