When you purchase a property in France, French inheritance laws apply to that property.
These laws, which are very different from the Separate Estates laws in other countries, can have an impact on the use of the property in the event of a spouse-owner’s death. Unless specified beforehand, a surviving spouse/partner residing in France will not automatically become the legal beneficiary of the property prior to any children’s rights. To counter these effects, specialised lawyers could advise setting up an SCI or changing one’s marital status and have it validated in France only for French assets.
It is also possible to draw up a personal will. This is an important and complex issue.
For more detailed information on the implications of marital status and inheritance laws, we recommend that you seek advice from your Notaire or a specialised lawyer.
Specific advice applicable to your own circumstances should be sought from a French Notaire and a tax advisor.