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French Probate

French Probate

Several formalities must be completed in France for the heirs of the deceased to receive their French inheritance. It can be a long process depending on the number of heirs, their location and whether the deceased left a Will.

As part of the French probate legal formalities, the French Déclaration de Succession (inheritance tax declaration) needs to be filed within 6 months from the date of death of the deceased if he/she died in France. On the other hand, the Déclaration de Succession can be filed up to 12 months from the date of death of the deceased if he/she died outside France, otherwise, tax penalties may apply.

The Déclaration de Succession must also be accompanied by an Acte de Notoriété (equivalent to the grant of probate in England & Wales) and an Attestation Immobilière (the certificate transferring title of property to the beneficiaries). These documents are usually prepared by a French notaire and signed at his office, but you can also choose to grant a special power of attorney to the notaire’s clerk so he/she may sign the documents on your behalf.

We can guide you or your solicitor through the legal formalities which are required in France to settle the French estate of your family member. We will work in conjunction with the French notaire to obtain the necessary legal documents. We can also organise the signature and legalisation of a power of attorney, avoiding the beneficiaries to travel to France for the signature of the legal documents.

Dealing with the estate of a loved one is a difficult moment for family members especially when the estate is located overseas. At Francophile Legal Consulting, we will help you throughout the process in plain English to overcome the language barrier.

Should you need assistance in dealing with a French probate matter, please do not hesitate to contact us at