We act as a CONDUIT between you and your objectives in France.
‘I strongly recommend Samantha’s legal services. She took just a few months to solve a seemingly intractable legal problem that had been dragging on in France for years. She showed great skill and determination and is well worth having on your side.’ John Ingham, Daily Express, London.
‘Samantha has been hugely helpful in resolving annoying snagging issues relating to the settlement of my late parents’ estates in France. She nullified a summons from a bank and then liaised with insurance and utility providers on my behalf to tidy up loose ends. I’ve valued not just her language skills but also her ability to cut through French bureaucracy and solve real problems very quickly.’ Ben Emm, Hertfordshire, UK.
We offer the following services:
- BUYING property in France?
We’ll manage the purchase process working alongside the Notaire and/or estate agent in France to deliver the best deal for you. We’ll explain the terms of the pre-sales agreement (‘compromis de vente’) and the final title deed (‘acte de vente’) to ensure that your best interests are protected. We’ll examine the mandatory diagnostic reports and make enquiries with the local authorities so that you know exactly what you are buying. This groundwork could save you a major headache in the future. For example, a windfarm could be planned within view of your dream house, a contractor could have been been granted planning permission to build an apartment complex next door or your potential neighbours could have right of way through your garden!
- SELLING property in France?
We’ll find an estate agent and report back to you on their progress ensuring that they are working hard to sell your property. We’ll also manage the sale on your behalf as above. We will ensure that the house insurance, gas, electricity, water bills, local ‘taxe d’habitation’ and ‘taxe foncière’ are up to date. We’ll even find a gardener to cut the grass! Please note that we will not pay the utilities on your behalf but will contact the relevant companies, tax offices to obtain the outstanding amounts of house insurance, tax, water and electricity and transmit these to you.
- Confused as to how to STRUCTURE YOUR OWNERSHIP when you purchase property in France?
Should you buy ‘en indivision’, or ‘en tontine’? Do you want your dreaded stepchildren to inherit your French property or do you want to end up sharing ownership with them? We’ll explain the pros and cons of different types of ownership depending on your circumstances.
- ‘Succession’ (INHERITANCE) matters:
Do you own property in France with your spouse who is recently deceased? Or have you inherited property from deceased parents? We will contact the French Notaire to arrange for the property to be transferred to you (and your children, if applicable) and for the mandatory inheritance taxes to be paid. We will ensure that the Notaire instructs the French bank(s) to close accounts of the deceased and transfer the funds to the heirs. We will manage the ‘succession’ process to give you peace of mind. Please note that ‘succession’ matters in France can take years to conclude (one client had been trying to obtain his inheritance from his late uncle for nine years! The Notaire was obstructive and refused to be pressured into concluding the matter. That is until we came along…).
- DIVORCE: TRANSFER SHARE OF FRENCH PROPERTY to ex-spouse:
We will manage the process working alongside the Notaire who will arrange transfer of ownership.
We offer a fixed fee service which is agreed before we proceed with any work. We find that clients prefer to know in advance that they will not be surprised by increasing demands for payment. Our service is transparent from the start.
WHO WE ARE: Founder SAMANTHA van DALEN has worked as a clerk at two Notaires in the Charente region since she permanently moved to France and is well placed to offer her experience in French Property and Family law. Since 2015 she has also collaborated with dozens of Notaires on behalf of English-speaking clients to verify that the ‘compromis de vente’ and ‘acte de vente’ reflect their interests and to manage their inheritance matters. Samantha has over twenty years of conveyancing, residential sales, lettings and relocation experience in the UK and founded her own relocation company in the City of London. A graduate of Bordeaux University, Samantha is fluent in French.
Why you NEED OUR HELP: French Notaires do not generally meet buyers or sellers to discuss how to represent their best interests in property transactions or succession matters. Due to their excessive workloads and difficulty in retaining support staff, files can languish on a Notaire’s desk for months. The Notaire is foremost a civil servant whose responsibility is the transfer of property from Person A to Person B and like everyone, they can make mistakes.
WHERE WE ARE: We are based in the Charente, France. Samantha travels frequently across France to assist clients.
WHAT WE DON’T DO: We do not handle contentious matters. We work exclusively with French Notaires on property purchases, sales and succession matters. If you require assistance on a contentious issue in France, you will need an ‘avocat’. We can recommend an English-speaking ‘avocat’ in France.
We do not draft French Wills. This is best done by your own UK solicitor. If you own assets in France, you should register a handwritten copy of your French will with the local Notaire.
We have dealt with dozens of Notaires some of whom do not have a clue regarding BRUSSELS IV, a new European regulation, which allows British citizens who own property in France to have their assets in France administered under the law of their nationality (i.e. English, Scottish etc.) provided that they have made wills to this effect. We can help you find a competent Notaire who understands Brussels IV to administer the estate of a relative or to help draft your will.