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TKenney, Ph.D.
TKenney, Ph.D., French Attorney (Avocat à la Cour)
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 831
Experience:  Practicing law in France, 10+ years of experience on Paris Bar. Taught French Business Law in US
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When we got married in 1984 my wife and I signed a CONTRACT

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When we got married in 1984 my wife and I signed a CONTRACT DE MARIAGE. We have a flat in Paris and she is the legal owner of the property. We have one son who lives in his own studio flat in Paris. This studio property was also owned by my wife but she transferred the deed of the studio flat to my son through a noter .
My question is : If and when my wife dies do I have to pay any inheritance tax for the flat we live in ? Who will be the legal owner of this flat in case my wife dies? If there is any inheritance tax to be paid how long time is allowed to pay the tax and what is the the tax percentage applicable.
Thank you .
Mr. Haluk Alim ([email protected] )

P.S: My wife, my son and myself are all French nationals and live in France.

TKenney, Ph.D. : You will have no inheritance taxes to pay.
TKenney, Ph.D. : In french law, since August 22, 2007, surviving spouses and partners related to the deceased by a civil solidarity pact (PACS) are exempt from inheritance tax.
TKenney, Ph.D. : In case my wife dies, the legal owner of the flat will depend on if your wife leaves a will or not.
TKenney, Ph.D. : In the absence of a will, If the deceased spouse leaves descendants, the surviving spouse receives either: All the assets of the deceased usufruct right to use the property and collecting the fruits of the (housing tenure, collecting rent a property ...). A quarter of the estate of the deceased freehold. The option of the surviving spouse must be exercised within three months after the death, otherwise it receives the assets in usufruct. exceptions: In the presence of children whose paternity is established in respect of the deceased spouse, the surviving spouse has no choice: he receives a quarter of the assets with freehold. The spouse who opts for the usufruct can transform into a life annuity.If the deceased spouse leaves his father and / or mother, the surviving spouse receives: half of the heritage of the deceased spouse if both parents of the latter are alive; three quarters of the heritage of deceased spouse if one of the parents of the latter is still alive.In addition, regardless of the family situation, the surviving spouse receives: free allocation of housing for one year; the right to use the housing and furniture until his/her death, against remuneration; alimony paid by the heirs in case of need.
Customer: Thank you. Is the Contract de Mariage considered a Civil Solidarity Pact PACS ?
TKenney, Ph.D. : No, the Contract de Mariage is not considered a Civil Solidarity Pact (PACS). A PACS is a civil union in France.
TKenney, Ph.D. : I am glad I was able to answer your question. Please don’t forget to provide a positive rating so I can get credit for the service I provided to you. If the answer was particularly helpful a BONUS is always appreciated too! Best regards XXXXX XXXXX!
Customer: Thank you. Can you please confirm that in case of my wife's death; I will not be liable for any inheritance tax for the flat we live in, which is owned legally by my wife, inspite of a Contract de Mariage between me and my wife . Am I also correct in understanding that if there is no " will " I become the legal owner of the property in spite of the Contract de Mariage and my son will not be liable for any inheritance tax as long as I live . The services you have provided has been very helpful . Mr. Haluk Alim
TKenney, Ph.D. and other French Law Specialists are ready to help you

What you wrote is not exactly what I wrote in my answer to you. You misunderstood my answer.

The answer I gave you is because you have an antenuptial agreement (contrat de marriage)..

You wrote : 1) “Can you please confirm that in case of my wife's death; I will not be liable for any inheritance tax for the flat we live in, which is owned legally by my wife, inspite of a Contract de Mariage between me and my wife .

Yes I can confirm that.

You also wrote :

2a) “Am I also correct in understanding that if there is no " will " I become the legal owner of the property in spite of the Contract de Mariage”

My answer to 2a is no. This is not what I wrote.

2b) “and my son will not be liable for any inheritance tax as long as I live .

My answer to 2b is no. This is not what I wrote.

Because you have a “contrat de marriage,” in the absence of a will, and because your deceased wife leaves a descendant (your son), you as the surviving spouse receives either: All the assets of the deceased usufruct right to use the property and collecting the fruits of the (housing tenure, collecting rent a property or a quarter of the estate of the deceased freehold. This option must be exercised within three months after the death, otherwise you will receive the assets in usufruct. In this case the house will be your son’s house but you have the right to use it. : In the presence of children whose paternity is established in respect of the deceased spouse, the surviving spouse has no choice: he receives a quarter of the assets with freehold. If you opt for the usufruct, you can transform it into a life annuity.In addition, regardless of the family situation, you (the surviving spouse) receive: free allocation of housing for one year; the right to use the housing and furniture until your death, against remuneration; alimony paid by the heirs in case of need.