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Communaute Universalle


Flossy

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Is there a Notaires Ombudsman in France?

My husband and I have just been to see 2 different Notaires to have a Communaute Universalle (French Marriage) drawn up, so that if one partners dies the other partner inherits the house. Then after both partners die the children inherit the house. The first Notaire quoted 1,000 euro and the second Notaire quoted 2,200 euro. Can anyone advise me if they can make up these figures, or is there a standard charge for this contract. Thanks
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[quote user="Flossy"]Is there a Notaires Ombudsman in France?

My husband and I have just been to see 2 different Notaires to have a Communaute Universalle (French Marriage) drawn up, so that if one partners dies the other partner inherits the house. Then after both partners die the children inherit the house. The first Notaire quoted 1,000 euro and the second Notaire quoted 2,200 euro. Can anyone advise me if they can make up these figures, or is there a standard charge for this contract. Thanks[/quote]

Hi,

       Changing to the com. universelle can be expensive where a house is already owned -as I understand it there are registration fees etc.   However , such a large difference seems to imply that one notaire is overcharging ; you could complain to the local "chambre des notaires" , or you could take the lower quote , which seems quite reasonable.

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There are some standard charges to the Contact yes. You will find them out if you Google. The problem comes because there are two parts to the Communauté Universalle, one = the work put in by the Notaire and the second = the costs when you go to the Tribunal. Normally - how long is a piece of string ? - these costs start at around 1000€ and go up from there, depending on lots of factors.

So why would you need an Ombudsman if you only asked for a quote? Perhaps the second Notaires didn't fancy the amount of work involved and so hiked up their price. You do not have to choose them.

Edit: Snap Parsnips beat me to it.

Sue

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Would not a "donation entre epoux" achieve what you want, much more cheaply? It gives the surviving spouse the right to go on living in the house and using the contents, though the children cannot be deprived of their heritage in the long run.

My husband and I did that some 15 years ago, and it seemed to work out fine when it was actually needed.

Angela
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I looked into it well before the law improved. We already owned our property AND had children, our own children rather than step children and they were still minors.

I was told that it would not be possible. But when the children were 18 we would need their approval to do this, and it would have to go to court.

 

It would also cost a lot.

 

We did nothing about it and then the law changed.

 

There are laws in France that I have never liked and the inheritence one was certainly one. I'm not so keen on the UK ones either, but at least for forward thinking people the choice is there. I wanted to be out of France so IMO we could chose and decide.

 

And yet, I grew to understand french thinking on this and agree to some extent with the sentiment behind it. I just believe as a general rule that the kids should always have to wait until the parents are dead and gone before getting anything, which still is not quite the case in France. As it is, even with the new laws, they still  have that 'power' to stop the surviving parent doing as they please...... that is something that truly revolts me.

And I have heard people say, that their kids are good kids.... and probably they are. But they usually end up with someone and then how a person's child behaves then, can sometimes be very much at odds with the way they were brought up. My eldest was engaged to a wicked, greedy vicious little sow, and I could see her whisperings affecting my son's behaviour, if one of us had died then and still been in France, we would have been right in the c a ca. He is with a decent girl now, what a difference.

OP I understand why you want to do this, but is it so easy as just paying up, what ever the price to a notaire?

 

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[quote user="idun"]I'm not so keen on the UK ones either[/quote]I'm afraid I do not understand that comment, in England at least you are free to leave your entire estate to whom you like so what's not to like about that ?

To the OP, without prying what marriage regime are you under now and why do you want to change it ?

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[quote user="AnOther"][quote user="idun"]I'm not so keen on the UK ones either[/quote]I'm afraid I do not understand that comment, in England at least you are free to leave your entire estate to whom you like so what's not to like about that ?[/quote]Nothing if it's your will. A lot if you are the spouse or child who is being disenherited.

Actually that only applies in England and Wales. In Scotland the surving spouse is entitled to 50% of the estate and the children are entitled to 33.3% divided between them.

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Free to, in the UK, yes, I agree!

As I said, forward thinking people do, but it is all the other people that die and haven't done the necessary where the UK system can be very very unfair.

 

EDIT, I wouldn't mind anyone making a will that disinherited, they have made a proper choice and that as far as I am concerned is good. 

It is when people don't make a will and english law at least, has it's way of dealing with these things that are very unfair.

 

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[quote user="idun"]

EDIT, I wouldn't mind anyone making a will that disinherited, they have made a proper choice and that as far as I am concerned is good. 

It is when people don't make a will and english law at least, has it's way of dealing with these things that are very unfair.[/quote]

But don't the laws of intestacy follow '..the blood line...?  Isn't that the fairest thing, where the testator has not made a will?  How else would you do it?

 

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[quote user="Rabbie"]

Actually that only applies in England and Wales. In Scotland the surving spouse is entitled to 50% of the estate and the children are entitled to 33.3% divided between them.

[/quote]

Far be it for me to argue with someone called Rabbie about Scottish law, but I think you're incorrect[:)]

"A surviving spouse or civil partner and children are entitled to

certain "legal right" out of the deceased person's moveable estate. In

Scots law, heritable property means land and buildings, while moveable

property includes such things as money, shares, cars, furniture and

jewellery.

The surviving spouse or civil partner is entitled to one-third of the deceased's moveable estate if the deceased left children or descendants of children, or to one-half of it if the deceased left no such children or descendants.

The children are collectively entitled to one-third of the deceased's moveable estate if the deceased left a spouse or civil partner, or to one-half

of it if the deceased left no spouse or civil partner. Each child has

an equal claim. Where a child would have had a claim had he (she) not

died before his (her) parent, his (her) descendants may claim his (her)

share by the principle known as representation."

After any prior rights and legal rights have been satisfied, the

remainder of the intestate estate, both heritable and moveable, devolves

(without distinction between heritable and moveable estate) in the

following order, any surviving relative in an earlier group taking

precedence, thereby precluding any surviving relatives in a later group

from succeeding to any part of the estate"

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2005/12/05115128/51285

Complex No?

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Alex, I welcome your correction made in such a polite way. As you can see I am not a lawyer and was remembering the situation incorrectly.

I should have looked up before posting but there was an assumption by a previous poster that UK law applied which I was eager to correct. There are dfifferences between Scots and English law both in detail and in procedure.

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To go back to the donation entre epoux idea, here is a link to a page about that particular process: http://www.notaires.fr/notaires/media/document/1224/160R

It seems that the process would cost just under 350 euros.

Angela

Sorry, am on iPad and can't make that link live.
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Hello Flossy. We have been thinking of doing the same thing for some time now, but haven't got round to it yet. I'm surprised at the costs that you have been quoted having read on another site that they are usually around 5oo euros with extra fees and taxes being payable on the death of the first spouse. The website does say that it is advisable to seek more than one quote which implies that there is no standard charge.

The advantage of a French marriage contract, so I have read, is that the surviving spouse is able to do whatever they wish with the assets, whereas in other circumstances the consent of other inheritors would otherwise be required if, for instance, they wished to sell the main home.

PS I have read somewhere that in a couple of year's time 2014? we can have a UK will which will be recognised in France ie be able to will our half of property to each other. Perhaps other posters know more about this.

Regards Hester.

 

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[quote user="Loiseau"]To go back to the donation entre epoux idea, here is a link to a page about that particular process: http://www.notaires.fr/notaires/media/document/1224/160R

It seems that the process would cost just under 350 euros.

Angela

Sorry, am on iPad and can't make that link live.[/quote]

Hi,

   Something which no-one has mentioned is the "legs residuel" where you can, by will, leave part or all of your assets to your spouse, with the proviso that on the survivor's death the assets, or what remains, pass to a 3rd party or parties, usually the children or step children.  The advantage is that the 2nd beneficiaries are treated for IHT as if they received the assets directly from the 1st deceased .   This is useful in families with children from previous relationships.  It is possible for children/step-children to renounce their right to challenge such a legs during the testators lifetime in a "pacte de famille"  The 1st beneficiary can sell , and in the case of a house, rent or mortgage , but cannot give or will the assets to anyone except the 2nd beneficiaries.

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