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Anyone else taken advantage of the law changes re English wills?

Posted by wizzywhiskas - Created: 3 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by brendas - 3 years ago

Oh, the above post is in reply to Janet.

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Posted by brendas - 3 years ago

No we are not excluded, according to this solicitor, Dan Harris, of Stone King, LLP who is a specialist in international succession and probate:

"Interestingly the Regulation does not restrict the choice of law to EU nationals, and so, for example a Hong Kong Chinese national with property in France, could nominate Hong Kong law to apply to the succession of their property, a New Zealander could nominate New Zealand law, a Japanese, Japanese law, and so on."

This above excerpt is from French Entree site. 

So it appears I can have a will executed according to US laws, probably my state (CA) as my choice.

And it appears  I can have two wills, one for the US assets and one for French assets.

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Posted by Tryval - 3 years ago

Agree with Tigre, and yes, my willl is hand written in English as advised by our notaire, I think P&N you are wrong, and I have made the claim for it to be executed under English law. I don't think I have misunderstood to much at the notaire as my wife is French.

But an interesting thread, and as previously stated, this new rule is untried, at least, by me!!!

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Posted by tigre-979768 - 3 years ago

Noblesse, if the UK does pull out of the EU, then the rules will change for UK citizens that move over after this if it happens, UK citizens that have established lives in another EU country will not be affected to that extent.

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Posted by wizzywhiskas - 3 years ago

paul & nadine,

I don't want to say 'you are wrong' but unless you have actually gone through this process I think you are mistaken.

If you are 'assuming' that the wills will be written in French then you are wrong - we already have wills written and prepared in France, in French and these will be destroyed as a professional will-writer specialising in 'ex-pat's' wills will write ours - and they most certainly not be written in French!!

The reason for the Notaire to become involved is to issue some kind of 'acte' that verifies that we have chosen that UK law will take precedence over French law - if however you have actually gone to a Notaire and had this acte drawn up then please reply and tell us what to expect - otherwise I think that you are assuming and not certain.

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Posted by noblesse-404553 - 3 years ago

Whoever is thinking about taking advantage of the new law might, unless they are near death, wait until the results of the UK out of Europe referendum before going through the process.

I'm sure someone will come on and say nothing will change if the UK is not in the EU, but I doubt  very much that anyone can be sure of this. If the UK leaves, many of the advantages of EU membership, such as the right to travel and live anywhere you want to in Europe and to leave your estate according to inheritance rules of any country other than France may disappear.

Just a thought.

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Posted by paul & nadine - 3 years ago


Your will will be executed in France and therefore should be written in French.  It must be in the form of a French will to be valid.  Your Notaire will have done this correctly.  By claiming British Law you can leave your estate to who you want, but it must still be a valid French will and claim your right to British Inheritance Law. 

If it was written in English, but did not specifically claim the right to British law, it would be translated into French and then executed, which might mean it were not valid. 

Just to add a spanner to the works the inheritance law in the UK depends on whether it is English, Scottish or Northern Ireland (think Wales is same as England), so you need to claim whichever is relevant.  The Notaire might not know this, so it should be made clear.

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Posted by tigre-979768 - 3 years ago

Marv Meringue,  you are correct, but as you say the tax under these circumstances are dealt with under french law. Do let us know how you get on with the Notaire, it may help Whizzywhiskas.

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Posted by Marv Meringue - 3 years ago

Tigre, my understanding is that you can nominate the succession laws of your country of nationality if you live in one of the member states that have signed up to this new rule.  The following gives a good impression.


I have concerns that even is my understanding is correct the tax threshold of your country of residence will still apply and I need to know what that figure is and if on all assets.

 I will find out this week at the Notaire appointment, assuming he is fully up to date with the rulings.

The en Tontine option when buying can be restrictive, what happens if one person becomes incapable of making a decision say through accident or illness, should a power of attorney equivilent be drawn up at the time of purchase? now that is something else I need to look into.


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Posted by tigre-979768 - 3 years ago

Whizzywhiskas, I suppose the problem is nobody has put this to the test, so if you had lots of replies saying we went to our Notaire and he/she did this and that etc until a wife or husband that has set this up dies who is to know if it's been set up correctly, as steverockers points out in his post.

Marv Meringue, it's a good link that you have posted, I have only read it quickly, but get the impression that under this new law the property is still dealt with when a spouse dies as it is in under french law, am I correct? Iv'e probably misunderstood it.