Inheritance: Your Rights and Obligations


Your notary can assist you in the settlement of a succession.

Your notary can also help you determine inheritance rights of the rightful heirs and advise on the opportunity of last wills or gifts between spouses and draft all notarial deeds required.

The notary will prepare with you a summary of the personal assets of the deceased. This requirestransmitting all elements related to the inherited assets (bank account statements, retirement and social security statements, titles of property, etc.) and owed amounts (invoices, taxes, etc.). The evaluation of the different elements can sometimes require establishing an inventory with the assistance of a professional auctioneer. Otherwise a fixed amount of 5% is calculated based on the overall value of the personal assets.

The beneficiaries then choose either to simply accept the succession or a portion of the succession, or to give up their rights to the succession.

The notary then proceeds with liquidating the spouses’ matrimonial regime, and in certain cases, determines the financial gain or liability between the spouses, calculates the inheritance tax and registers the declaration of inheritance with the French tax authorities. The tax authority processes the declaration within a period of six months from the date of death or one year if the death occurred abroad.

At the same time, the beneficiaries are required to pay their inheritance tax or request a fractioned or deferred payment. Failing to file or filing an inheritance declaration after the required deadline can incur penalties and interest.

Finally, in cooperation with the beneficiaries, the notary drafts the certificates of property with regard to real estate assets, co-ownership agreements when necessary, partial or joint beneficial interest agreements, in accordance with the assets involved in the inheritance.