English and French Wills and succession planning

When buying a property abroad many people forget to review their Will to make sure it adequately covers the distribution of their new cross-border estate. This can lead to complications particularly when another country’s succession and tax laws apply.

Whilst English law gives a person (testator) free choice how to distribute their estate after their death, France has a concept of forced heirship, protecting close family members, such as children, from being completely disinherited.

If the local laws are not considered and catered for in a Will (where applicable), it can lead to upset for loved ones following a death, at a time when emotions are already fragile. Better to understand the position now and make sure that your Will is drafted in the best way for you.

EU Succession Regulation

A Will review is particularly important now, in light of the EU Succession Regulation, known as Brussels IV. It has significant impact on the way estates will be distributed and administered where there is some connection with an EU country.  Our experts in French succession law will guide you through the process.

Reviewing your Will as a French property owner is a must

  • We will find out from you who you want to leave each asset in your estate to, and advise on any constraints the relevant succession laws may have on your wishes.
  • Furley Page will also consider any options you may have for the structure of your Will, and advise on the suitability of having a separate French Will.
  • Where applicable, we can advise on matrimonial property regimes.
  • We can give you UK and French inheritance tax advice and discuss with you any options to mitigate the tax liability for your beneficiaries.

Why choose Furley Page for advice on French Wills

We have a great deal of experience in advising clients with cross-border estates. We can help draft an English Will for you or liaise with your current English lawyer who is advising you on your Will. We can help draft a French Will.

How can we help you

Call us on

0333 331 9877

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Key Contacts

Sarah Bogard

Senior Solicitor & Chartered Tax Adviser

Florence Richards

French Property/Tax Adviser