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Outstanding debts upon property inheritance.


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My mother died in testate last year leaving me a semi derelict house in Aude. It transpires now that there are sums outstanding in respect of personal banking, though the bank was visited last June and they confirmed that the small mortgage was covered by insurance, despite enquiries they failed to disclose any other outstanding indebtedness.

Also, electricity, taxes Fonciere and D'habitacion and a substantial amount in respect of water.  To my knowledge the house has not been lived in since purchased years ago.

Firstly, I should need to quantify how the figures oustanding have been determined, thereafter might it be possible to have them written off, reduced and or penalties/interest waived? My notaire whilst not speaking English has failed to follow my requests regarding the aforementioned and I would be interested if any members have similar experience.


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You must speak to a Notaire, who is the person who will deal with your Mothers estate, in France at least. French inheritance is very strictly controlled to the extent that your Mother will have no say in how the house is disposed of, I'm afraid.

The services bills are due and are unlikely to be written off. It is also your responsibility to ensure that the service providers are notified of your Mothers death, so that they can make arrangements for final bills, and to stop applying standing charges.

This sort of matter is really best dealt with in person, by you or a legally appointed representative in France. If you are having problems finding an English-speaking Noatire, then perhaps you could speak to your Solicitor, who will have channels to legal people in France.

French inheritance law can make a stressful time worse, I'm afraid.

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