Yesterday’s webinar, hosted by FrenchEntrée Property Director Alistair Lockhart, focused on Buying in France Post-Brexit and saw our experts from Moneycorp, Stone King, and Quilter take to the stage (or rather their living rooms and home offices) to address all your questions and concerns about buying in France from 2021 onwards.
We received dozens of questions relating to buying in France, French succession laws, and residency in France post-Brexit, and we’ll be addressing many of them with dedicated articles and expert FAQs over the coming weeks, so watch this space!
Missed out on the big event? You can watch the full webinar online here. But as a taster, here are 4 things we learnt from yesterday’s webinar.
1. French Succession and Tax Laws Have Not Been Impacted by Brexit
David Denton from Quilter International offered specialist advice for French property owners and residents on ways to best manage their wealth, investments, and inheritance in France. David reassured us that as far as succession laws, inheritance planning, and tax concerns, nothing has actually changed since Brexit. Being as the UK never opted into the EU’s Succession Regulation in the first place, and the Double Taxation agreement between France and the UK still stands, there’s no change in that regard.
So, does that mean you have nothing to worry about? Not exactly… it just means that the same issues you had to worry about before Brexit are still applicable post-Brexit!
Foreign nationals resident in France have a number of different things to consider when it comes to wealth management and in yesterday’s webinar David explained how an Assurance Vie can be a tax-efficient option for investment, with beneficial implications on inheritance tax. Watch David’s full presentation on the webinar playback to find out more.
2. You Don’t Need a French Bank Account to Buy a House in France
Mar Bonnin-Palmer from foreign currency exchange specialists Moneycorp gave her advice for potential property buyers in France. As she put it, you would never agree to buy a property in your own country for an asking price of “€250,000… but maybe €262,000!”, but making mistakes with foreign currency exchange could affect the final purchase price just as dramatically.
For anyone who’s been worried about issues regarding opening bank accounts post-Brexit, she also reminded us that—while it could be useful for paying utilities and may be required if you take out a French mortgage—you don’t actually need to open a French bank account to purchase a house in France!
3. You Can Complete Your French Property Purchase from Home
In this week’s FrenchEntrée News Digest we announced that France has eased travel restrictions for travellers from the UK—great news for those who were hoping to organise French property visits or move ahead with a purchase. (Don’t rush to pack your suitcases just yet though! The UK government has restricted travel until May 17 for holiday-makers and second-home owners).
But it turns out that you don’t even need to travel to France to complete your French property purchase. Daniel Harris, international cross-border specialist for Stone King advised that they can carry out virtual meetings, arrange for a power of attorney to sign contracts in your absence, and even verify your identity using facial recognition software (this isn’t just due to Covid-19 either—they’ve been doing this for their international clients for years).
He also offered excellent advice on joint-property purchases, whether or not you need your own notaire, and situations in which you might lose your 10% deposit, so be sure to check out his webinar presentation.
4. Your Biggest Post-Brexit Worry is Residency
Our webinar poll confirmed what we already suspected —your biggest concern post-Brexit is that of residency. Our Moving to France After Brexit article lays out what has changed regarding French residency for UK nationals, but we know that there are still numerous unanswered questions.
How difficult will it be to get a long-stay visa for Brits? What will the minimum income requirements be? What are the implications for retirees regarding healthcare and pensions? And for those of us currently resident in France, when will we finally be able to get our driving licenses changed?
FrenchEntrée is currently in talks with the British Embassy and other immigration specialists to find out the answers and get you the best advice. As soon as we know, you will too!
In the meantime, head over to our Brexit zone for the answers to all your other questions regarding pets, second-home owners, and healthcare after Brexit.
Don’t Miss Out on the Next FrenchEntrée Webinar
You can check out our previous FrenchEntrée webinars here and keep a lookout for the next instalment over the coming weeks. Better yet, sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any of our property updates, latest articles, and upcoming webinars.