French wills & inheritance

If you have French assets, understanding your rights under French law can help you avoid inheritance complications.

Sarah Walker, Bishop's Stortford

French Wills and inheritance - legal advice

Why do I need a French Will?

Inheritance rules in France are very specific, and very different to the rules in the UK. After your death, any French assets you own may be subject to French law or English law. If you've made a will in the UK, it won't necessarily apply to any assets you hold in France or the application of English law could have adverse undesirable consequences, including on the tax front. Your assets may be sizeable if, for example, you have bought a house in France.

If you have French assets, we may advise making a French Will depending on your individual circumstances and wishes - even if you're not a French citizen, or living in France. If you don't make a French Will, this may give rise to issues among others regarding trusts and executors.

A French Will offers peace of mind about the future. You can be certain that your loved ones will be provided for, and your wishes carried out. Your Will can also help speed up the inheritance process, and make the practical arrangements easier for your family. Our fully bilingual French team will guide you through the complex French system, to a solution that works for your individual circumstances. We can also assist in arranging gifts during lifetime and lasting powers of attorney.

Specialist advice for beneficiaries

If you're named as a beneficiary of an estate which includes French assets, we can help. French assets are subject to French laws, which can be complex – especially at an already difficult time. For example, the purchase or sale of a French property must be dealt with by a Notaire in France. Our experts take the pressure off of you; liaising with the Notaire, translating French documents and handling the process on your behalf. This knowledge of the French legal system moves the process forward quickly. If you’re not sure where to start, or need advice about your options, get in touch.

How we can help you

Our French law specialist has over 25 years experience helping clients navigate French laws. Your Tees lawyer will take the time to truly understand your situation, and what you want to achieve. We'll support you with our depth of knowledge - and many years of practical experience.

Fixed-fee French Wills

Simple will, drafted from information provided to us by the client, according to our information request form, (no additional advice required):

  • Wills for a couple: mirror wills £500 plus VAT,
  • 2 wills with different beneficiaries: not mirror £600 plus VAT,
  • Single Will: £450 plus VAT

If specific advice is required, eg: who to leave property to, various options to avoid inheritance tax, options to keep control of property (eg Usufruit), complications if children from previous relationships or choice of jurisdiction, the fixed fee will apply as above, PLUS advice on succession and options available will be charged at the hourly rate of £250 plus VAT.

Optional : Fee for organising registration of the will in France with the national wills registry:

  •  £75 plus VAT, plus Notaire’s fee of approx. £100 per Will.

What to do next

If you’re thinking about the future of your French assets, we can help. We will give you a clear picture of your options, and practical advice on how to plan for the future.

Give us a call for a free and confidential discussion and let’s talk about how we can help get things moving for you.

We have offices in:

  •     Cambridgeshire: Cambridge
  •     Essex: Brentwood, Chelmsford, and Saffron Walden
  •     Hertfordshire: Bishop's Stortford and Royston 

Call our specialist French law solicitors on 0808 231 1320

Call us for an initial chat, at no obligation, or fill out our enquiry form and a solicitor will contact you.

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