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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
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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 • October 2013 © mediterranean - Action should be taken now by people owning property in France in order to benefit from the new 2015 European inheritance rules. 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 - Part 1

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...

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FrenchEntrée Premier Partners - Poitou-Charentes

FrenchEntrée Premier Partners - Poitou-Charentes

We can give you lots of free advice and introduce you to recommended agents in the Region. View properties for sale.
Looking for advice about where to buy in Poitou-Charentes and what you can get for your money?
Contact our FrenchEntrée
Property Consultant

Tel:  + 44 (0)1225 463 752
Contact:  Gaelle Perreaux

FrenchEntree Premier Partners


MoneyCorpFrenchEntrée works with foreign exchange specialist Moneycorp to offer you the best exchange rates. Moneycorp can offer better rates of exchange and a personal, proactive and efficient service that could save you a considerable amount of money.
100 Brompton Road

Tel:  +44 (0)207 828 7000
Contact:  Sales Team

A & S Self Storage Ltd

A & S Self Storage LtdQuality internal and drive-up 24/7 access secure storage, supporting individuals and removers with small or large loads. Convenient, Dover ferries 3 and Channel Tunnel 14 miles. Visitors welcome, see website for full details.
Menzies Road
CT16 2HQ

Tel:  +44 (0) 1304 822844
Fax:  +44 (0) 1304 822866
Contact:  George Pelly

Afa Expertise

Afa ExpertiseWe provide a full range of French and UK tax and accounting services for your cross border interests. We expect you to take high quality advice as a given, and we believe you expect not just to be told what the tax law is, but real practical advice on how best to proceed taking real life, commercial factors and the language barrier into account.
1 la Touche Gilbert

Tel:  +33 (0)2 99 48 72 88
Mob: +33 (0)6 20 28 71 44
Contact:  Joanna Reintjes

Agence Eaton French Insurance

Agence Eaton French InsuranceAgence Eaton is a leading bilingual insurance bureau of 'Generali Assurances'. Since 1996 we have assisted thousands of English speakers in arranging and supporting insurance policies for their French assets.
1 rue Doaren Molac

Tel:  +33 (0)2 97 40 80 20
Contact:  .

AIC Immobilier - Agence Immobilière Céret

AIC Immobilier - Agence Immobilière CéretAIC was created in 1988 by the architect C. Roux. We operate primarily in Vallespir, Haute Vallespir, Aspres and Albères. Member of SNPI (National Union of Real Estate Professionals).

Contact us for buying or selling a house, villa, apartment, farmhouse or land.
Place de la Mairie

Tel:  +33 (0) 4 68 87 02 84
Contact:  AIC Immobilier



Allez-FrançaisFrench property agents - Houses for sale in South West France.

Houses for sale in the Poitou Charentes, Dordogne & Dordogne Valley, Limousin, plus Gascony, particularly the Gers and Tarn & Garonne departments.

Established since 2002, we are a small professional team offering the highest levels of service. We also offer a range of complimentary services such as insurance, currency exchange and mortgages.

Highly acclaimed website, with quality photographs.
Le Cros
Puy d’Arnac

Tel:  +33 (0)5 55 28 46 40
Contact:  Peter Elias

Animal Couriers Ltd

Animal Couriers LtdPet Transport between UK and France, we offer a kind caring friendly hands on service for you and your pets either shared or bespoke. We can advise on export /imports and pet passports.
Durfold Wood
Plaistow, nr Billingshurst
RH19 0PN

Tel:  +44 (0) 1483 200123
Or: +44 (0) 7736 251800
Contact:  Julia

Astrasat.tvFast satellite broadband & SKYTV Subscriptions, product installation and support. Up to 40 times faster than fixed line ADSL connections, UK IP address, no phone connection required, VOIP available. Flexible packages.
68 Chemin du Fond de Taconnaz
Les Houches

Tel:  +33 6 24 68 17 28
Contact:  Andy Sutton

Auvergne Properties

Auvergne PropertiesAuvergne Properties is an estate agent specialized in the sale of properties in the Auvergne region of France, with more than twenty years experience in this region of France we can offer you expert advice with regard to both the purchase and/or sale of your property.
Sarl Auvergne Properties
20 Le Pré Jandion
St Sylvestre Pragoulin

Tel:  +33 (0)4 70 59 06 54
Fax:  +33 9 81 40 36 85
Contact:  Frederika Bosman

Ballards Removals Ltd

Ballards Removals LtdA family run, specialist removals company. Guided by essential principles of: Tradition, trust, honesty and good old fashioned hard work. We offer a quality service, at the right price. Our flexible approach means we are able to offer a solution for most household removal needs between the UK and France.
British Fields
Ollerton Road
Tuxford, Near Newark
NG22 0PQ

Tel:  +44 (0) 1777 871871
Contact:  Matthew Ballard

Bel Air Homes Agence Immobilière

Bel Air Homes Agence ImmobilièreAgence Immobilière Low Cost Estate Agency.

Why buy through a high commission agency?

It will always be a good idea to buy your property in Brittany with Bel Air Homes, as our sales commission is the lowest at just 2.5 % including VAT.
11 rue du Bel Air

Tel:  +33 (0)2 97 27 01 71
Contact:  Robert

British Corner Shop

British Corner ShopWe are the online supermarket for British expats, delivering over 8,000 British food, drink and household products worldwide, straight to your door.
B7/B8 Backfield Farm Business Park
Iron Acton
BS37 9XD

Tel:  + 44 (0) 1454 228870
Contact:  Hannah Ward


Burgundy4uFull service estate agent in Burgundy. 500 plus character property listed in the vineyard towns, and rolling countryside. Charming holiday homes, to castles. Our 8 local bilingual agents help you through the whole purchase process.
8 place de l’hotel de ville

Tel:  + 33 3 80 20 86 20
Contact:  Benjamin Haas

Cadogan Tate

Cadogan Tate Cadogan Tate Côte d'Azur (incorporating Tooth Transport) is based on the Côte d'Azur and has provided international packing, moving, storage, shipping and insurance services for over 30 years.
Côte d'Azur SARL
631 Route du Tiragon,
Mouans Sartoux

Tel:  +33 (0) 4 93 90 01 01
Contact:  Enquiries

Centre Linguistique pour Etrangers

Centre Linguistique pour Etrangers- Courses for adults from one week to several months
- Small group classes, maximum of 7 students per class
- Private tutoring
- Professional and enthusiastic teaching staff
- Welcoming host families or furnished apartments
- In Tours in the Loire Valley, where the «finest» French is spoken
- Direct flights from London, 55 minutes from Paris by TGV
7-9, place de Châteauneuf

Tel:  +33 (0)2 47 64 06 19
Contact:  Isabelle Aubert

Compass Moving Services

Compass Moving Services Compass moving services are a family operated company offering weekly removals to and from France. Our services range from full and part loads. Professional packing service, export packing, part packing, fully insured fully trained and uniformed staff.

Boakes Oast
Horns Hill
TN18 4XG

Tel:  +44 (0)1580 754391
Contact:  Lee

Curry Cuisine

Curry CuisineDelicious curry sauces & spices for home cooking and catering.
Produced in India to local recipes.
Vegetarian & Gluten Free Food.
Curry in a Hurry - Ready in 20 minutes.
User friendly French & English instructions.
Home delivery throughout France (& Europe on request).

Tel:  0033 (0) 296 36 68 49
Contact:  Curry Cuisine

Fabrica Design

Fabrica DesignA family run business, was set-up in 2003, primarily as stockists for Oak, travertine flooring and internal joinery. Since then, the showroom has expanded its range and is now stockists for woodburners, stoves, paint, and accessories.
12 - 14 rue du veau

Tel:  +33 (0)5 53 22 46 84
Contact:  Michelle Simms

Fairfax Décoration

Fairfax DécorationTransforming your French house into a Home. English-speaking Interior Designers specialising in makeovers and renovations from a room to a whole house. We have thousands of wallpapers and fabrics to choose from.
5 rue Victor Millot

Tel:  +33 (0)3 80 20 71 04
Contact:  Graham

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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.

French Property Legal Services

Mayo Wynn Baxter Solicitors
Mayo Wynne Baxter's French Property Team advises clients on buying and selling property in France and has first hand experience and knowledge of French and English Legal systems.

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.

Expat Health Insurance in France

If 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.

Financial advice & solutions for people relocating to France

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

French Legal Advice

Stone King
Protect your assets across borders and jurisdictions covering Wills & succession planning, Inheritance Tax, Probate following death of a family member plus more... Visit for more information.

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.

Fed up of high UK taxation?

Euro Notes and CoinsTax planning is essential if you are to avoid paying on to Caesar more than is due to him. Blevins Franks mini-site explains more.

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.

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

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