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French legal glossary

Finding your way around French legal terminology is not always easy. Here is a glossary of some of the most commonly used phrases and terms…

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New EU succession regulations raise concerns

French inheritance law is substantially different from the position in the UK. After much debate on the new EU succession regulations effective August 2015 it is still a fact that owning assets in another jurisdiction increases legal and tax complexity.

Trusts in France

The legislation in France relating to trusts has changed. Historically, France had not recognised trusts as a vehicle of asset ownership or protection…

Retiring to France

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 …

French rules on septic tanks

Certain 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.

One will or two?

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.

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Buying in France – avoid the common pitfalls

The 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?

French succession law & the family of the 21st century

Nowadays, few families exactly resemble the nuclear/traditional family which the French Civil Code seeks to protect with its strict succession laws – often referred to as “forced heirship rules”. Deciding who will benefit on your death is a complex subject.

Renting your business premises

If you intend to set up a business in France, it is advisable, at least in the beginning, to rent out rather than purchase your business premises as it will give you time to familiarise yourself with an area and its amenities, and to ensure that it suits your business.

The new French trust: registration regulations

Until the introduction of a French finance law in July 2011, there had been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the treatment of foreign trusts with any connections to France. The new regime has brought in different rules regarding inheritance and gift tax, wealth tax and income tax of trusts.

Case study: buying property ‘en indivision’

Unmarried persons who are not in either an English civil partnership or have entered into a French PACS (which can only be done if both parties are resident in France) should always try to ensure simplicity and clarity in respect of a purchase of French property.

Using a lawyer as a property agent

Such an extension of the fields of activity of French lawyers can only be of benefit to potential buyers and sellers. Indeed, a lawyer is a necessary intermediary to guarantee optimal security concerning the legal situation of a property.

EU adopts new rules on inheritance law

The 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.

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Noisy neighbours

Clients are generally very happy with their French properties and we seldom hear about noise disturbance and the annoyance and stress this causes. But one particular case has encouraged us to write this article…

The French ‘Mandat de Protection Future’

A growing number of us are buying homes abroad despite the downturn. But what would happen to those assets if you lose mental capacity gradually following an illness, or suddenly following an accident?

Protect your overseas assets

Too many overseas property owners fall foul of international inheritance laws and tax regimes. Protect your foreign assets for future generations.

So you can’t pay your French mortgage

There is an underlying expectation in the UK that banks should show consideration for borrowers who find themselves in difficulty and should treat them gently. However, that’s not how it is seen in France. The mortgage deed entitles the bank to repossess if the loan is not repaid.

Home inspection reports and the law

When selling (or letting) properties there are a number of reports that must be available to a prospective purchaser (or tenant) before they enter into a binding commitment. Edward Coxall provides a summary of some recent changes in property law including home inspection reports.

French property ownership solutions

Simple steps to take before and after you become the owner of a French property in order to ensure your French estate is dealt with in the way you wish during your lifetime and after death

Procedures on repossession

It will not be something that buyers will wish to contemplate when they are taking out a mortgage for their purchase, but it is important to understand just what may happen if the lender has to repossess a person’s property in France.

Purchasing land in France

The purchase of land in France is reasonably similar to the purchase of an existing property. However, there are a few differences to be aware of and additional considerations are necessary…

When French Property is Left to Minors

If a married couple who have bought a French property en indivision wish to leave their interest to the surviving spouse, they cannot do so by their wills because in France each person must leave a portion to their children.

The need for a French will

It is always better for people who own a property in France to make a French Will disposing of their interest in that property, whether they live in France or not. In some cases, it is absolutely vital.

Boundary disputes between neighbours

Why should it be so complicated to live peacefully with neighbours? Territorial instinct may play a part, but some people are more sensitive than others to any annexation of their territory.

Consumer protection in France

French legislation was modified by the July 2010 Act in order to provide the consumer with a more secure position, notably when a loan is offered or when insolvency is close.

The conditions in your Compromis de Vente

There 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.