Mar 22

Some basic information on French inheritance law and inheritance taxes

It is generally agreed that French inheritance law allows less freedom for individuals to decide what will become of their assets after death in comparison to countries of Common Law tradition.

For instance it is not generally possible for parents to pass a will to advantage unreasonably one child rather than another.

On the other hand, the law is protective of heirs, since it is generally not possible for the children or spouses of deceased to dispose of property without the consent of all the other heirs.

Nevertheless, under certain conditions, since 17 July 2015 it si possible under EU Regulation 650/2012 for individuals to choose, in their will, to apply the law of their nationality to the succession and administration of their estates.

(You should refer to earlier poste Inheritance law, enforcement of EU REGULATION 650/2017 in France


Here is a non-binding table of tax rates applicable 22 March 2018, this document is purely indicative since, as always in tax matters, rates can evolve depending on government policy or personal situation.

Direct line:

• 5% on tranche upto 8072€
• 10% from 8072€ to 12109€
• 15% from 12 109€ to 15 932€
• 20% from 15 932€ to 552 324€
• 30% from 552 324€ to 902 838€
• 40% from 902 838€ to 1 805 677€
• 45% on tranche above 1 805 677€

Civil partners and spouses no inheritance taxes Brothers and sisters:

• 35% on tranche under 24 430 euros
• 45% above 24 430 Euros

Nephew uncles, first cousins, great uncles:

• 55% on total

Other heirs:

• 60% on total

This is a general table, it does not take into account tax deductions and penalties, I advise owners to seek specific advice on their personal tax situation.

For instance, each child could possibly be eligible to 100.000 € tax relief.

Once again, I must warn you that each tax situation is different and would have to be analysed individually. Indeed, tax law is subject to regular amendments. The information given above is of general order and cannot be binding for individual situations.

Vu the complexity of situation, I do not recommend “home-made” will or just relying on this general advice since each situation is different and owners should seek the guidance of a legal professional.

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