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T Perrin C
T Perrin C, Consultant: information en droit du travail
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 1412
Experience:  8 years as a Senior judge at Paris Conseil de Prud'hommes (Paris Industrial Tribunal)
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Hi there My mother has asked me to sign a document Procuration

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Hi there
My mother has asked me to sign a document 'Procuration pour accepter la succession'
My parents moved to France 5 years ago and did not enter into a 'tontine' so when my father passed away, my sister and I by their marriage are to inherit 3/16th of the bare ownership of the estate. At the moment, I do not understand all of the document, so am not signing. What happens if I never return this document?
The document says
1.I, bla bla bla - to which I agree
2. Give all powers to my mother, or any articled clerk of her local notary - to which I do not agree
3. Affirm that I intend to collect - I agree
4. Accept simply the succession of my father - I agree
5. Require the local Notary to draw up the Affidavit regarding to the dwelling and land - is this normal procedure? (it gives a declaration of the value and which only half is transmitted) - the value is not important as I gleaned from one of your previous answers, only for tax purposes and at the time of any sale. (Value is Euro 230,000)
6. Leave the free availability to the surviving spouse, the cash in France forming any part of the estate - is this normal procedure? (My mother has been known to 'tidy away' money.
7. The document then goes into a series of statements which will need further scrutiny.
My mother says I can phone the Notaire and talk to him about any misgivings I have. Would this be advisable?

5 - the notaire needs to put a value of all elements of the estate. And, regarding dwelling and land, will need to modify the deeds.
6 - Your mother, as a surviving spouse and in the absence of a pre-nuptial contract, can opt for the usufruct of the entire estate (including cash..., yes) or 25% in full ownership - and the matrimonial home in usufruct in any case.

The notaire can indeed provide you with any explanation you feel you might need. Or you can consult another notaire, or choose to seek the assistance of an avocat.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

6 - Your mother, as a surviving spouse and in the absence of a pre-nuptial contract, can opt for the usufruct of the entire estate (including cash..., yes) or 25% in full ownership - and the matrimonial home in usufruct in any case.

Ok. I get it that the house is hers until she dies.


The next statement for plain english translation please

Quote 'that I am aware of the provision of article 766 of the French civil code and renounce asking the conversion of the surviving spouse rights in the habitation to a life annuity' (I have no idea what this means)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

also, she is asking for exemption to do an inventory. Are items listed in an inventory then subject to the same constraints as the house? If she sells the property or listed items, she then has to give over the appropriate portion of the proceeds? If she sells the house, she has to give my sister and I our money right? And what happens if she rents out the house?

This means that you renounce the possibility to ask your mother to accept a life annuity (paid by yourself) in place of her lifelong right to all assets belonging to the estate.
The inventory is used to value all "biens mobiliers" not valued otherwise. Usually the content of the house. If no inventory is done - it involves paying an assessor , the contents are valued at 5% of other assets for tax purposes. If she sells assets belonging to the estate she has to give your sister and yourself a share which depends on her age at the time of the sale (ex: if she is 68, she gives your sister and yourself 60% of the proceeds of the sale, if she is 70 she has to give 70%). If she rents the house, all the proceeds are legally hers.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

1. I thought you could only rent out the home if it was not your only property in France? Is this the case?




You can rent out the home even if you have no other property in France. There is no such restriction.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello again and thank you for your answers yesterday.


A few more questions if you please.


1. Can my mother just do as she pleases with the property - without consulting my sister and I, ie, rent it out, extend it - or any such things?


2. Would my sister and I be responsible for any maintenance costs on the property whilst my mother is still living there/alive?


3. Can I sell my share to either or both of my mother and sister if they wanted to purchase it from me.


4. If my mother sells up in the next 5/10 years, does she have to pay my sister and I? (I did not understand yesterday if this applied to just possessions or the property as well)


5. When my mother dies, does she have to leave her whole portion to my sister and I, or does she get to bequeath that to whomever she likes?

1) She can rent it, or decide to sell it (and leave you your share of course). She cannot do structural modifications without your agreement though.

2) General maintenance costs will have to be borne by your mother. Structural, major, maintenance costs, if any, will be yours to pay.

3)You can sell your share to either of them, if they wish to buy it.

4) Yes she will have to pay your sister and yourself a share of the selling price which will vary depending on her age at the time she sells.

5) Under French inheritance law, at least 66% of your mother's estate has to be shared equally between your sister and yourself. If she writes a will, she can dispose freely of the remaining 33%
T Perrin C and other French Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello again


A few final questions please.


1. What happens if I do not sign this agreement.


(I do not wish to renounce, just do not wish to sign) (there must be cases where the family are in dispute and members do not sign, or family members cannot be found, ie moved to far flung places, or travel and live in very remote places, without communications)


2. My mother says she will be fined if I do not sign - is this true?


3. If I do not sign, am I still responsible for any structural repair costs?


4. What happens if my mother dies without me signing?


Thank you



1) you will have to go to the notaire to sign the succession documents yourself. If you do not, other heir will have to take you to court to obtain a court order to unlock matters. And maybe obtain damages if your position causes them any undue harm.
2)Yes, if you have not signed anything, the declaration de succession cannot be filed with the tax authorities. Not only your mother but your sister and yourself face penalties (these vary much depending on the value and nature of the assets in the estate) and much aggravation from French tax authorities.
3) Yes. Unless you eventually renounce the succession. You will be responsible + interest and penalties (and maybe damages) on what will have been your "latent" property.
4) Once the penalties on your father's estate paid, you will have to sign at that time unless you wish to renounce everything.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok. I understand the implications. Is there a time limit on me accepting my succession? My father died just two years ago and I received the document in February this year. How much more time do I have?


Thank you