Avoid losing your French property by creating a Will, warns Kingston Smith
Lynne Rowland, private client tax partner at Kingston Smith LLP, highlights the difference between French and English inheritance tax.
“Many English owners of French properties do not realise that if they were to die owning property in France, French law could dictate who inherits it – irrespective of the wishes of the deceased,” says Lynne. “The rules are known as the ‘forced heirship’ rules and can lead to a Brit’s petit chateau passing to unintended beneficiaries.
“To avoid this unfortunate outcome and allow an English Will to prevail, Executors must show that the testator was ‘most closely connected’ with the UK. Anyone with property abroad should ensure that they have a Will in place and should take care to choose Executors familiar with ‘conflict of law’ matters.”