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protecting your partner


Angela

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Hi there

I hope you will bear with me as I explain the situation.  My partner and I have been together for twenty years but are not married. We had a joint property in the UK. We sold the property in the UK and all proceeds including my share has now gone into the project here in France.  However the property here was bought only in my partners name 19 years ago. We have no children.  My partner has a father and two sisters.  We want to protect each other and under French law I apparently do not exist should anything happen to my partner - in fact I would be homeless and penniless - hind sight is a wonderful thing but here we are. Does anyone know what is the best way to protect each other so that if anything should happen to either or, the survivor gets everything without paying inheritance and also the costs that may be involved.  I am becoming very confused by all the conflicting advice and as money is hard won I would like to be more informed before I approach a professional who wants €100 as I walk through the door.  Hope someone out there has some good advice. 

Regards to all and Happy New Year.

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Angela, it is imperative you get urgent French legal advice, as I believe your worst fears are correct, in that if your partner were to die, you would be entitled to nothing. I would also be concerned about your situation, should you and your partner seperate.

The only straightforward solution is probably for you to marry, as there would be significant cost in transferring title to joint names and even then the surviving partner could have to pay French death duties on inheriting their late partner's interest in the property, if you are not married.
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[quote user="Angela"]... but the €100 is just for a chat - if I want anything in writing it would be an awful lot more.[/quote]

IMO this is not necessarily so, I think it depends on whom you consult. Our local notaires - there are 4 of them - operate a system whereby advice is free and only if a letter, a document or an action is produced might there be a charge. Perhaps you might want to think of consulting a different notaire.

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[quote user="Angela"]Hi there

I hope you will bear with me as I explain the situation.  My partner and I have been together for twenty years but are not married. We had a joint property in the UK. We sold the property in the UK and all proceeds including my share has now gone into the project here in France.  However the property here was bought only in my partners name 19 years ago. We have no children.  My partner has a father and two sisters.  We want to protect each other and under French law I apparently do not exist should anything happen to my partner - in fact I would be homeless and penniless - hind sight is a wonderful thing but here we are. Does anyone know what is the best way to protect each other so that if anything should happen to either or, the survivor gets everything without paying inheritance and also the costs that may be involved.  I am becoming very confused by all the conflicting advice and as money is hard won I would like to be more informed before I approach a professional who wants €100 as I walk through the door.  Hope someone out there has some good advice. 

Regards to all and Happy New Year.

[/quote]

Hi,

     Taking up woolybanana's point---why not get married?  If either of you is still married to someone else, I can see it might be difficult, but if it is just a "life-style" choice then it's one that will cost you very dear.See a notaire by all means but I guarantee his advice will be the same--the only way to get what you want is to marry and have a notaire draw up a  simple will for your partner to ensure that should he die first you get his estate with no rights going to his father. His sisters will have no claim on his estate. Civil marriage is free , and the Will should  cost about 100-150€.maximum.

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[quote user="Albert the InfoGipsy"]Wouldn't a PACS have thje same effect as a marriage in terms of property rights?[/quote]

Hi,

    Yes, you are correct, provided the partners make wills expressing their wishes, and excluding their other relations.( I'm afraid I'm a bit of an old fogey and didn't pick up on this possibility).

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Just please go and talk to a notaire. Notaires do not charge for that kind of advice. They charge if they need to make any official kind of act to put the advice in place. Tell the notaire your position and what you want to achieve. The notaire will tell you what options there are and how much each option will cost. You can then make an informed decision.

This kind of thing is important to get right. If your French is not good either pay a translator or find an English speaking notaire.
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[quote user="Angela"]thanks for the honesty - I think I need to speak to the Mayor of the commune to get the ball rolling!!
[/quote]

Cerise is 100% correct, see a Notaire.

I have been racking by brains to think why you believe you should speak to the Mayor but can't come up with a reason, could you explain?

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Just in passing I have heard of a worse case.

Very similar circumstances except that her money paid for the house which for some bizarre reason is in his name, and now he's seriously ill.

God knows what that was about or intended to achieve but no doubt, to quote those immortal words, it must have seemed like a 'good idea at the time' [blink]

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