Marriage Regimes

Hi, I have searched the forums here but not found the answer.

If two British people were married in the UK but now live in France, my understanding is that you’re deemed to have a “separation des biens” regime in France - eg when you buy a house.

I never really worried about this before because we don’t have children and have made wills under UK law making each the inheritor of the other. But when we looked at opening a joint assurance vie in France, it says you have to have a “régime communautaire”. So I wondered if anyone has changed regime from the default for foreign marriages?

The reason I ask is that, when I started looking at what it would take to, eg, change to “communauté universelle”, although the site is pretty vague about the costs, I read elsewhere that, in addition to paying the notaire’s 250€ fees, there are also various pro rata fees, social contributions and taxes that add up to about 1% of the total value of all your assets. Is this right? It seems pretty steep!

We changed our marriage regime when we first came to France at the same time as we purchased the house.
The partner who is left now inherits everything and any children get their share on the death of the second partner.
I am pretty damned sure that we didn’t pay and pro rata fees etc.


The only issue we have found with the UK marriage regime is in not being able to run our gîte through the micro regime because of not be a single entity owner.

Does it make a big difference otherwise? We each have assurance vie and other partner is the beneficiary, and same with the house our wills set out that other partner gets it. We have a slightly complex family structure which causes complications, but not sure that changing our marriage regime would make much difference. Is there a big advantage?

It’s the difference between whether we take out a joint assurance vie or two separate individual ones.

Changing our marriage regime was just making it easier here in France and ensuring that the surviving partner could choose what to do with the estate…

I get that. But is there a big disadvantage of two separate ones that being able to have a joint one would solve?

As far as I can see, a joint A-Vie needs the agreement of both and the signatures of both at all levels.
EDIT: which I class as a disadvantage. :rofl:

Can’t do joint if married under UK regime.