Property Inheritance tax

I think the simplest and surest solution in such cases is to arrange things to that your wife outlives you.
Now there’s a dangerous notion for the notaire to float…

From each parent, no? So if you legally adopted them, they would have a 100K allowance when they inherit from whichever out of you and your OH goes first, and then another 100K allowance when the other of you follows. Am I wrong?

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You can also adopt your stepchildren (unlike the UK you can adopt an adult) which changes the IHT situation completely in the event of your wife predeceasing you.
Edited to say @Sandcastle @tim17 snap!
Argh should have read further upthread.

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I don’t think that’s correct, this shows only one allowance/reduction -


As far as I can find out… the surviving spouse might/will (in all probability) have an “estate” to leave on eventual death and thus the Inheritance Law clicks in again… with the tax-free levels coming into play for the heirs… once again

anyone got another slant/more info… ???

Yes but I think you’ll find that each inheritance is treated separately.
E.g. the allowance you get on inheriting from a sibling applies every time. If you have five siblings and they all leave you something, the process would be the same each time and you would get the same allowance each time.
The death of parent A is one inheritance, it is processed as per succession law and any taxes due are calculated and paid and the exercise is closed.
The death of parent B is a separate inheritance. It is processed as per succession law and any taxes due are calculated and paid.
If a child’s parents have separated and one or both has remarried, there has been no adoption, the direct line allowance will apply to its inheritance from its natural mother and its natural father, even if they’re no longer together, but not to the inheritance from any step parent.
That is how I have always understood it.
I have no experience of adoption but I imagine it would change things.

This explains more (extracted from a recent article) and updated to include 2021 information on a pending change to the law.
inheritance France.pdf (69.5 KB)


Good article, however the last section regarding EU 650/12 has recently changed. Changes come into force 1 Nov 21.

"On 13 August 2021, the French Constitutional Council will give its opinion regarding the “Law to strengthen republican principles” which was adopted on 23 July 2021. This ruling may have far reaching consequences… "

I’m searching for the update which tells us exactly what was agreed…

does anyone have the new link… ??

perhaps it’s been buried under all the covid data.

I was just about to post similar thing from France Tax Law, but given your warnings about them I was hesitating. However, I can’t find what you were alluding to…no record on the solicitor’s register?


The reform was approved on 13 August 2021 by the Constitutional Council.

Ah… cheers Jane … my brain is definitely swamped with covid data at the moment.
(glad you booked your 3rd)

Christophe Kelvin Dutertre (director of FranceTaxLaw) formerly of CKD Consultants and AFL (although I believe AFL asked him leave). Regular poster on FB Strictly Legal (and whose moderators are aware of his history). Having bought a house where he acted for the sellers, I can attest to him taking shortcuts. This said, I believe him to be very knowledgeable, but I would not engage him personally. Here is his lamentable SRA entry -

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Good grief… having wandered through page after page/site after site … it’s seems (to me at least) that the inheritance bit of the Constitutional Council’s debate/ruling/whatever…
is as clear as mud and will probably/hopefully be clarified (in simple layman terms) at some stage.

meanwhile the sunshine beckons…

Thanks Paul. I’ve updated the pdf to reflect the changing status of this situation.


On the face of it adopting the children will double the inheritance allowance and almost reduce the IHT hit to an acceptable level.

The Connexion: 11 changes for residents in France from September 2021.

Behind their paywall John.

Sorry Jane, I can read the article but dont subscribe, must be a location thing.

I’ve noticed that Connexion articles seem to follow behind the French Press (and this forum)… so I suspect many of us will have seen/heard/read about… whatever “11 changes” they are offering.

However, they do sometimes come up with an interesting angle…

@Corona Perhaps you could simply list the 11 subjects of these changes… ???
if not… which of the 11 do you reckon impacts you most… (and possibly many of us) ???

I can’t find 11 in this publication… (the Spain/France motorway was reported elsewhere)