Estate administration and foreign assets

The administration of an estate following a death can be more complicated when there are foreign assets involved.

The process of administering an estate in France is very different to the UK. Assets vest directly in beneficiaries who are all responsible for completing the estate administration. The use of a testamentary executor is not only very rare, but he does not provide the same role as an English executor.

With the introduction of the EU Succession Regulation (known as Brussels IV) from 17 August 2015 many estates will be administered in a different way, with English law being chosen to apply to French assets in many cases.

If you do not understand French, having to sign French documents to wind up the estate, the process can be very daunting and without expert guidance, you cannot guarantee that they are accurate.

Our specialists in administering French estates can guide you through the process.

Making the administration of a French estate free from worry

If the deceased did not get advice on the structure of their Will, as a surviving spouse, you may have to cope with the shock realisation that your children may now possess inheritance rights, regardless of the terms of any Will made. This is because where French law applies to an estate, it  protects close family members by granting them fixed inheritance entitlements which override the terms of a Will.

Our aim is to take away the concerns you have about getting involved in a foreign legal and tax process. We will liaise with the French Notaire for you to sort out the distribution of assets located in France.

  • We will explain how French law applies and clarify the inheritance tax position for you. We will ensure you understand the documents and deeds you will be required to sign as a beneficiary, explaining them to you in English and checking that the drafting is accurate.
  • We will organise the translation of any documents (such as a Will and the death certificate) and we can help you sort out the transfer of monies from France.
  • We can do this work in conjunction with helping you administer the English estate, or we can work with your probate adviser as necessary.

Why choose Furley Page to administer a French estate

We understand that this will be a very difficult time for you. We offer a professional and efficient service which is delivered with care and compassion to give you the support you need.

How can we help you

Call us on

0333 331 9877

Email your enquiryEmail your enquiry

Key Contacts

Sarah Bogard

Senior Solicitor & Chartered Tax Adviser

Florence Richards

French Property/Tax Adviser