FrenchEntré - Because you love France...

Free Newsletters

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 463752

French Law


French Law Zone

Law Zone
The French legal system can vary significantly from the laws of other countries, especially when it comes to owning property. The aim of these pages is to outline the implications of French law on property in France, the role of French officials such as the notaires, and other practical matters for example divorce and property, and inheritance law. For information about the French tax system please visit our tax zone.

Tax & Law Quarterly Newsletter

FrenchEntree Tax and Law Quarterly newsletter
To receive periodical French tax and legal updates, sign up to our newsletter.

Key French legal vocabulary

An avocat combines some of the functions of both a barrister and a solicitor and is best translated as lawyer. The French word for a court of law is un tribunal. Un testament is a will. The deed of sale in a property transaction is the acte de vente. A speeding ticket is une contravention pour excès de vitesse while une amende is a fine. View legal glossary...

More from FrenchEntrée Property....

Looking for a property in France? Visit our Property search. Are you already living in France? Sorted out you tax returns? Visit our guide to French tax or our top French tax tips.
Or perhaps you want to know whether your British pension will be taxed in France? Or, maybe you want to find out how other people have found the process of buying a house in France?

Editor's pick

What is, by law, included in the sale of a property and what condition should a purchaser expect to find it in at completion? more...

Warning for property owners. Act now on 2015 inheritance law changes

by Stone King LLP • updated June 2014 © mediterranean - Action should be taken now by people owning property in France in order to benefit from the new 2015 European inheritance rules. more...

The conditions in your Compromis de Vente

July 2014 Compromis de Vente ConditionsThere are three types of conditions in a purchase contract. If you want to make changes to them or add other conditions into a contract, it is important to understand their effect and the difference between them. more...

The cooling off period explained

July 2014 © Jeanette Dietl - Buyers of a property in France get a cooling off period before before the contract becomes binding. Here's how it works ... more...

Home buyers: avoid these 4 legal pitfalls

© nito - Fotolia.comLook out for these four definite legal"no-no's" when buying in France. more...

When can the Mairie block a sale of property in France?

July 2014 Packshot via Fotolia For foreign buyers of property in France the role of the Maire can be unclear. Here is one of the areas to know about ... more...

EU adopts new rules on inheritance law

September 2012 © Arcady - Fotolia.comThe Regulation will apply to the succession of persons who die on or after 17 August 2015 although there are certain transitional provisions now in force, so if a person chooses the law applicable prior to 17 August 2015 that choice will be valid. more...

Case Study: Mr Dunlop's cross-border inheritance

January 2014 ©Ben Küpper via fotolia So you think your international affairs are complicated?Part 1 in series of real life foreign inheritance stories from international succession and probate specialist Dan Harris of Stone King.


Retiring to France

by Matthew Cameron, Ashton KCJ • October 2013 © drubig-photo - If you are considering buying a holiday or permanent home in France as part of your retirement, it will be important to review the various implications and the changes coming in 2015 ... more...

Trusts in France

Updated December 2013
© piccaya - Fotolia.comThe legislation in France relating to trusts has changed. Historically, France had not recognised trusts as a vehicle of asset ownership or protection... more...

Buying in France – avoid the common pitfalls

ChecklistThe French conveyancing system is very well organised and secure. There is no equivalent of reported problems with non existent title deeds (such as in Cyprus) or invalid planning permissions (such as in Spain). So what should those preparing to buy a property in France be wary of? more...

International legal advice

Dan HarrisProperty ownership and personal relationships are becoming more international so Stone King have developed a range of specialist law services to reflect our changing world. Find out more inside... more...

Hidden problems in a house purchase, vices cachés

Updated December 2013 © sparky - Fotolia.comDo you have a right of action against the seller of your house in France if what you bought has a major defect which wasn’t apparent to you before you signed up and agreed to hand over all your money? more...

French rules on septic tanks

Updated by Heslop & Platt • October 2013 ©matthew debris via fotoliaCertain rules apply to properties which are not connected to mains drainage. French Law Solicitors Heslop & Platt, look at what this means for residential property buyer and sellers. more...

Incapacity; cross border concerns

By Mathew Cameron, Ashton KCJ • April 2013
 © sudok1 - Fotolia
Cross border issues can arise not only on death but also during lifetime, with the onset of incapacity. more...

Legal issues when purchasing an ‘eco-house'

August 2013 ©chesky via fotolia
Edward Coxall examines some legal issues that might arise when purchasing an ‘eco-house’ from a case with a recent client ... more...

The different ways of jointly owning French property

by David Barney, July 2013 © carballo -
A look at tontine, en indivision and société civile immobilière and how this affects the surviving spouse.


One will or two?

© Brian Jackson -
Is my English Will valid in France, or must I have a French Will as well? Before accepting a one-size-fits-all foreign will, here's what you should know. more...

The French legal concept of usufruit

by Overseas Chambers, July 2013  © JPC-PROD - Fotolia
It is essential to grasp the French ownership concept of propriété, and the implications of usufruit on inheritance, gifts and other transactions.

Money. Who, what and when?

By Sally Dilks, Heslop & Platt • April 2013 © JPC-PROD - Fotolia.comOf interest to both buyers and sellers. Legal experts from Heslop & Platt detail how money changes hands in a property transaction. more...

Loi Duflot, legal successor of Loi Scellier

January 2013 - The new incentive for investing in new-build, energy effcient ©doukeridis book via flickrTax reduction, strict conditions.The Loi Duflot, the new incentive for investing in buy-to-let energy efficient newbuilds. more...

The complete legal package

Heslop and Platt complete legal packageHeslop & Platt solicitors provide legal expertise in all areas of French property and succession law. Contact us today with your French legal query.

Fluent in French Legal Affairs

AshtonKCJExcited about buying or selling property in France, worried about the legal issues? Want to learn more about how we can help? Find out more or fill out an enquiry form.

Making French Property Law Simple

Kingsford Solicitors
Our French Property Department is ideally suited to assisting the most inexperienced and non-French speaking clients, as well as those who are more familiar with French and the French legal system. Find out more.

Financial advice & solutions for people relocating to France

Siddalls Download Siddalls help sheets for "your new life in France" by clicking here.

French property and succession law

Barney and Co SolicitorsWe help UK Nationals with buying and selling French property and French succession law problems including making wills. View our website to find out more.

Expat Health Insurance in France

Cigna InsuranceIf you’re thinking of moving to France, don’t forget your expat health insurance. Cigna are experts with over 30 years experience. Get a free quote.

Expert French mortgage advice

French mortgagesVisit the mortgage zone for up-to-date information, FAQs and best buy French mortgages. Repayment and interest only French mortgages available.

Save a Fortune on Currency Exchange

Currency ExchangeWhether you need advice or an international money transfer quote, FrenchEntree's currency partner - Moneycorp - can help. Visit the France currency exchange zone.

FrenchEntrée Magazine
FrenchEntree Magazine issue 99The best of France: the classiest food, culture, choicest properties and the most inspiring holiday and travel features. Subscribe from only £23 a year.

Looking for something?

Search the directory Looking for help with business law, tax returns or accountancy? Use our FrenchEntrée directories to find a specialist near you.

Latest Tax and Law Forum postings

Latest French property


Sign up for our free newsletters!

Our free email newsletters deliver France-fresh content
straight to your inbox every week. Subscribe today!

* indicates required

*You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of any newsletter.