UK child inheriting French property

Does anyone have any experience of the process for transferring inherited French property to an English minor?
My child has inherited a share of their fathers house in France. Internet searches tell me that I will need a UK court order giving me permission to both receive and subsequently sell my child’s share of the house, and that it’s costly.
Someone I’ve spoken to recently, experienced in French inheritance matters, but with no legal qualifications/memberships in France or UK, has told me that he ‘has a way’ of circumventing the need for this court order. Initially an attractive selling point, but I’m rather uneasy about it.

Has anyone been in a similar position to me and either obtained a UK court order or completed the transfer and sale without one?

Just wondering if you spoken with the Notaire dealing with your child’s father’s Estate…

Now old is your child?

Speak to a French Notaire it is free for legal advice

A notaire hasn’t been engaged yet, even though he died 18 months ago.

My child is 13.

I have tried to speak to the notaire we dealt with when the property was purchased, though they don’t speak English. I’ve not found one yet that I can just talk to. The situation is a little complicated.

to get back to basics… did the father live and die in France… or live and die in another country?

Stella, he lived and died in England. The French house was a holiday home.

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Then it should normally be dealt with in accordance with his will under English law unless he died intestate.


I agree with @vero . As the deceased was UK resident, it is a matter for the Executor of the deceased’s estate to deal with in accordance with the terms of the will. I think you need advice from a UK lawyer.

The only experience I have is when a friend in UK inherited a French property via a third party (also UK)… it was not quite as direct as your situation.

The Notaire who was involved in the original purchase (many years before) was approached and it was that Notaire who explained what would be necessary to make the transfer of Ownership. This involved the UK solicitors, proof of Probate, the UK Will… etc … and seemed to go on for ages.

Thus my advice is that you do make initial contact with the Notaire, explain the situation either personally or using a UK solicitor… and move on from there…

best of luck

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I thought that under the France UK tax treaty inherited property is always subject to the succession laws of the country it is in. As such the transfer of ownership will have to be dealt with by a notaire, as will the subsequent sale. Ideally your UK solicitor would liaise but that might mean using a specialist which would in itself be expensive.
I would be wary of following unqualified advice on how to circumvent French law. The process of selling a property is pretty thorough, legal ownership is checked and signatures must be obtained from or on behalf of all the owners. If the notaire finds anything irregular, for instance if he or she does not have the correct documentary proof that you are entitled to sign on your child’s behalf, the sale process will be halted and held up until it is resolved.

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Whatever the law ultimately relevant in this case the first port of call is going to be the notaire who handled the original purchase of the property by the deceased.

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As others mention, inheritance of a French property, or part thereof, cannot occur without recourse to a Notaire in France. Irrespective of a Will and the nationality of the beneficiary, the laws of succession in France (which favour children) apply to French property.

This link will allow you to find a Notaire within the locality. Note that you can specify your language preference in the search: Home | Notaires de France.
Hopefully this helps communication with the Notaire who conducted the sale. Good luck.