Gifts and Inheritance

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Rules related to gifts and inheritance are bounding with passing on an estate.

Gifts (Inter vivos gift / Will)

Passing on an estate which is the result of years of work and savings has to be anticipated. Particularly in France, where social contribution and taxation are heavy.

Mrs. Elisabeth ROUSSET, member of the Bar of Hauts-de-Seine, advices you to develop a patrimonial strategy, which protects your interests, those of your spouse, of your descendants or those of a third party you would like to favor, whether you are alive (donation) or after your death (will), whatever your familial situation.

FOCUS on Life insurance

Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the "benefits") upon the death of the insured person or upon the survival of the insured person.

Life Insurance can be part of the inheritance transfer, in parallel to inheritance rules, because it is subjected to special clauses of the Insurances Code, which provides for that

Art. L.132-12: The capital or annuity stipulated to be payable upon the insured’s death to a specific beneficiary or to his heirs shall not be part of the insured’s estate. The beneficiary, regardless of the form and date of his designation, shall be deemed to have been entitled thereto as from the date of the contract, even if his acceptance thereof is subsequent to the insured’s death.

Art. L132-13: The capital or annuity payable, upon the death of the contracting party, to a predetermined beneficiary shall be subject to neither to the rules applicable to the returning of property to the deceased’s estate nor to those applicable to the reduction for undermining the portion of the estate allocated by law to the heirs of the contracting party.
Neither shall said rules apply to sums that the contracting party pays in premiums, unless they have been clearly excessive having regard to his possibilities.


Losing a close relative is a painful hardship. Grieving often comes with a multitude of administrative procedures which are complicated but essential to settle the deceased’s inheritance.

The consequences of this hardship can suddenly be increased greatly when former resentment arises again and present discords rise.

I am the surviving spouse of the deceased: what are my rights concerning his children ?
The Life Insurance subscribed by my deceased parent deprives me almost completely of my heir reserve: is it legal ?
The deceased has left a will: is it valid and how can I interpret it ?
The partner with whom I had concluded a Civil Solidarity Pact dies: what are my rights ?

Mrs. Elisabeth ROUSSET, member of the Bar of Hauts-de-Seine, guides and assists you to enforce your rights and your interests. The interventions of your lawyer concern notably :

Preparation and presence at the appointments with the notary

Judicial authorization to pass an act

Procedures to name a proxy for the inheritance

Inheritance release

Procedures to get the authorization to receive your gift

Request for will interpretation

Litigations and prelitigations regarding gifts and inheritance law

Court-ordered appraisal

Statement of Claim to get a court partition or defense

Nullity of amicable partition

To finish off a co-ownership stemming from the inheritance

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