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Everything posted by Blodwyn

  1. I'm still struggling with this! I was told a 'donation entre epoux' would not apply to a house. Certainly not to one in the UK. Our French house is en tontine, but we have a UK one also and I assumed that under French law UK property would still be inherited by the survivor and the children. So the notaire told us we'd have to revoke the Tontine and do a 'communauté universelle'. She thought doing an English will could be even more expensive as the solicitor would have to translate everything into French for the Notaire to deal with.
  2. A French friend wes able to get a delay when his mother died, but it was exceptional circumstances. He was in Tahiti, mother died in Paris but had requested to be buried in our village, 400 miles away. I must say, when my sister in law died in London on 10th December, we were relieved that the funeral was not until 5th Jan. It could have been difficult for us to get over from France just before Christmas..
  3. Our electricity bills are divided into heures creuses and heures pleines but it doesn't switch automatically to hc (22.30-6.30) so we have to remember to switch the hot water on every night and occasionally forget. An electrician recently replaced the immersion tank and is to come back and sort the heures creuses issue - but I'm wondering if another tariff would be cheaper. In our old house we had hc in the afternoon as well as overnight, and a storage heater came on in both. Also using the washing machine and oven was hc in the afternoon. Now only dishwasher, fridge and freezer are going overnight (washing machine too noisy). Any thoughts before the electrician comes back? I looked at the eDF website but can't see how to work out if there is a tariff that would work out cheaper.
  4. I've stayed at the Premier Inn within easy reach of St. Pancras. Not horrendously expensive, clean and with helpful staff. (I hope they won't be kicked out after Brexit as all were from mainland Europe.)
  5. I downloaded forms from the Internet. GP completed his bit and we took them along to the appropriate office with the proof of address etc. Ironically, it's hard to find parking anywhere nearby. I preferred to go in person as there's always some complication and a friend posted two applications with no response. Surprise! There was now a different, very long form for the GP, luckily he's a friend and was very patient. Back to the office, all OK and the receptionist vigorously stamped every page. GP marked it urgent but we don't expect to hear very soon!

  6. ! We have no outbuildings, but have found no treasure. OH gave me a metal detector for my birthday, he seems to like gadgets. I tried it in our field and over some newly dug earth. It's most frustrating as it keeps pinging and we get all excited - only to find a rusty nail. It's supposed to be a good one you can set for specific metals. So far a base-metal thimble is the most interesting find.

  7. Not sure he'll ever have the energy to go to the UK again and we won't be registered with a GP there. It seems odd the hospital here can't sign the application as they know all about him and agree it would be a good idea. I guess he'll need to visit the GP; he hardly ever goes. Last time I saw him he said ' well everyone has to die of something and people don't die of this.' He's wrong there as they certainly do, I've known of several, not all old people either. Lovely person apart from that!
  8. I gather it takes months to actually get the badge. I'm thinking of applying for OH who is increasingly weak and likely to get much worse in future.

    Is it very complicated - as just about every other admin. procedure is in France?
  9. Do you still have to visit an ophthalmologist, to get a prescription, then go to an optician to buy specs? I fear it could be very expensive and the health service and mutual wouldn't pay much.

    Last time we went to Specsavers while on a UK visit but it's hard to organise now OH has a health problem, finds travel difficult and has hospital treatment every 3 weeks. The cheap magnifying specs are no good for us.
  10. A British friend has a daughter at school in France who was told by her English teacher that 'flour' is pronounced 'flooeur'. Child said, 'But my mother is English and she says 'flower'. Response: 'Your mother is wrong' !
  11. A friend wants to take a puppy but isn't driving to UK. Airlines no good unless you pay a fortune to have it crated and put in the hold. You can take a dog on a French train but not on Eurostar. Any ideas? She was offered a lift but was let down.
  12. I suspect Tarn et Garonne will make it as difficult as possible. After the saga of the driving licence application I dread going to Montauban prefecture again. They still haven't replied to my letter posted in their box 2 years ago!
  13. I don't think the cats are playing! They are terrified by a heavy barking dog rushing at them. They look round before they enter a room to check if she's there. Dog is rather dim and 9 years old, but I can try teaching her to 'leave'.
  14. Thanks for helpful replies, not for the irrelevant ones! We've had dogs and cats for years with no problems. Now they are kept apart when we are out. As I said, we are looking after the kitten and he should go home in a week or so. Two cats are mostly indoors and another only comes in for meals now.

    The problem is in the house when we are there - every now and then a switch seems to go in the dog's brain and she goes into chase mode. Our other dog is no problem and the cats know that but are very wary of the chaser. The house is small so it's hard to keep them apart all the time, and I like my cats around me.
  15. Our dog, adopted 9 months ago, has started chasing our cats in the house. They are terrified of course. We are looking after a kitten and the dog opened the door into the room, chased and grabbed him. He appears unhurt but traumatised and is keeping to a high shelf.

    People have suggested a water spray or one of those electric shock collars, but the problem is occasional and we probably won't have the items to hand, she moves fast. Any ideas?

  16. We want to give a garage that we don't use to a friend who helped us a lot when we were renovating our house, and in other ways.

    A notaire says if it's a gift, he'll have to pay 65% tax as a non-relative. If it's based on what we paid, that's an awful lot. He's already using the garage for storage. (It's not near our current house.)

    If we 'sell' it at what we paid, fees would bet 2000 euros. It seems to be impossible!
  17. Yes! That was mentioned on 'Rip Off Britain'. Father died, having agreed with 2nd wife that his son would inherit something, she changed her will to disinherit him and nothing could be done. I've told OH that if he finds someone else and disinherits our children, I will haunt him for the rest of his life! Actually I could make a will leaving something to the kids, just in case.

  18. The article does say that people already living in Europe probably won't be affected. And it only mentioned Spain and Italy.

    It would be a change if we have to prove our income before living in France - we didn't have to do this 8 years ago.

    I think that supermarket might be in Spain!
  19. Good advice Nectarine, I've started listing banks accounts and possessions - we have no items of much value but bits can add up. The furniture isn't worth taking g back to UK, that's for sure, and the car we have at the moment isn't worth much. I plan to give them each a key too.

    Only 2 kids, so house, possessions and savings could come to more than 100k euros each, depending how things go.

  20. The notaire says there are two options. An English will, which could be expensive and the solicitor would have to contact a notaire to sort out French tax.

    Or we could cancel our tontine and replace it with (I've forgotten what she said it's called) a document leaving everything to the survivor. Not cheap either.

    If we do nothing, we'd trust our children to renounce their inheritance on the death of the first of us. I can't imagine them insisting on their share immediately but I suppose people can behave unexpectedly.

    Apparently the thing about renewing our marriage status after 10 years in France only applies to marriages after 1992,
  21. Thanks Andy. We will contact a notaire. There is an English speaking one a few miles away; we manage OK in French but it would be simpler.

    I'm trying to think of ways to make things easier for our children when the time comes. I have no plans to return the UK, which would probably be the simplest option...

    I guess getting rid of lots of our stuff and going minimal would reduce the burden of clearing the house! As for the pets.... oh dear.
  22. In the current edition of The Connexion a reply to a question seems to suggest an English will would be appropriate for us.

    We are happy for our children to inherit anything that's left when we've both popped our clogs. As far as I can work out, the property would go to the survivor (as it's en tontine) but anything else including cash in the bank, would be split between the survivor and the children.

    If OH goes first, my income will be less than half our joint one, so we'd like everything to go to me (or him). Can this only be achieved with an English will?

    Also, I worry what would happen when we both die as our kids live in the UK, have no money to pay any inheritance tax (which I gather has to be paid before they get their inheritance?), don't drive and don't speak French and would have a terrible time trying to organise a funeral in 6 days.
  23. Well, new to me. Yesterday a dialogue box popped up on my laptop, accompanied by an audio message in French telling me there are problems with my computer and to phone a number starting with 01. Reminds me of the dodgy Microsoft scan, but this one expects me to make the call! I googled the number and several people have reported it.
  24. Well someone said 'Money doesn't make you happy but at least you can be miserable in comfort'.

    I was happy enough when the kids were small, we lived on OH's student grant. We had very little money and worried about paying the mortgage and unexpected bills. I'm happy now we are retired in France and have no mortgage. We did not come because we wanted a big house with a pool, still haven't got one, but because we have always liked France and speak French well enough to chat with people in the village, negotiate the health system etc.

    I'm happy that it's summer and OH is well enough, for the moment, so we can enjoy life here with our silly cats and dogs. Also, we don't need loadsamoney but it's good not to have to worry too much about money now. So maybe the amount to make us happy is a little more than we need for the basic essentials.

    I just said to a younger friend, who has a small income and partner with no thought for economy: ' Why spend money you haven't got on things you don't need?' That would make me miserable, not happy!
  25. Wife beaters? What a horrible expression! What are they?
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