The hot topic of conversation these last few weeks has been around the recent change in law, specifically Article 913 Code Civile, which refers to the réserve héréditaire (forced heirship), which has occurred relatively quietly. Whilst not wanting to go too deeply into this, it could mean that you are no longer able to bypass children when it comes to inheritance, or at least the inheritance of your property in France, if you die as a French resident.
As this contravenes the European succession law 650/2012, known more commonly as Brussels IV, which came into force on 17 August 2015 for all EU countries other than Ireland, the United Kingdom and Denmark, who opted out, many believe that the new article 913 of the Civil Code will not ultimately survive a challenge in the ECJ, but will potentially create chaos in the meantime.
This brings into play, more than ever, the need to carefully consider your succession planning now. This is particularly pertinent to those of us who have recently confirmed their residency by obtaining a Carte de Séjour under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Firstly, a review of your Will with a notaire, who is familiar with this change, may be necessary.
Secondly, a review of your current finances and how they are structured for providing both a tax efficient structure now and a suitable way to pass on your wealth to those that you really want to benefit from it in the future is a must.
France has investment structures that will enable you to dispose of your estate as best you can under the new rules and, as I have discussed in previous articles, the investment is not necessarily something that you have to hold in Euros or within the French Banking system.
Financial planning in this area has never been more relevant. Not only should you be considering this recent change in the law, but having obtained a Carte de Séjour you really need to be aware of how your finances will be affected as a permanent resident in France. What was previously tax efficient in the UK may no longer be the case.
As one of my clients recently told me “I am a great Googler, but this can be a minefield”. The best thing you can do is take advantage of the expertise available to you.
This article is based on the opinion of the financial adviser and author, and does not reflect the views of Blacktower. The above information is based on current legislation which is subject to change and does not constitute as investment advice, or investment research and you should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity.
Blacktower Insurance Agents & Advisors Ltd is regulated in Cyprus by the Insurance Companies Control Service and registered with ORIAS in France. Blacktower Financial Management (Cyprus) Ltd is regulated in Cyprus by the Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission and is registered with the AMF in France.
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