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My husband and I to are just about to sign our compromise, for a maison secondaire, soon to be our home for life next year.

We engaged an English speaking Notaire/Solicitor before the viewing, and he has been absolutely amazing verifying information about the property. Also, he will advise us on our correct inheritance buying regime, conveyance, at no further cost above the normal 7.5%! The point I am making here is you don't have to pay £1500 for outside firms to do this.

I have been reading about inheritance issues for the past 2 years, as it has been of great concern to me, because I have two grown up girls from previous marriages. My husband has none, and no living relatives up or down the bloodline scale.

The Tontine clause and "Universal Community with attribution to the survivor" are a live now pay too much later arrangements, for those with step children.

Why not consider the french 'separation des biens' ? The property is owned equally by both parties, and for those who are residents, all assets worldwide. For money in France Assurance Vie will give you an income, and allow up to 150.000e per person tax free sum to remain outside the inheritance loop.

One partner passes away, and 50% of the assets are shared with the resevertaires.........kids, 2.... 1/3 each, with the tax free sums 46.000e each, and the final 1/3 disposable portion willed to the spouse with a tax free sum of 76.000e and a life interest in the property. Further tax 20% on the remaining money with a sliding scale. if the property is sold at a later date, yes, they must be paid, but more money stays in the family, and does not go to the french government!

With the Tontine sit...if the wrong spouse dies first, who wants to be paying 60% tax on the whole lot!

Spend it?....you may not get the chance!



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Annee, if you take out your assurance vie before becoming resident the 150000€ limit is not imposed, in other words it is all free of inheritance tax.

You could also avoid the imposition of wealth tax for a couple of years if it is based outside of France, possibly Luxembourg?

You can start an assurance vie now with a small amount and add to it later, the 8 years required to qualify for extremely low taxation starting from when you started it.

Effectively better than having your money in a building society in terms of reduced taxation, even in the early years.

Suggest you speak to a financial advisor now before becoming resident.

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