How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask A.Valcke Your Own Question
A.Valcke, Solicitor
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 740
Experience:  Lawyer with Maîtrise en droit & Licence spéciale en droit européen.
Type Your French Law Question Here...
A.Valcke is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife and I are both Americans and have joint-owned a house

This answer was rated:

My wife and I are both Americans and have joint-owned a house in France for over 20 years. We both have wills in which all possessions go to the surviving spouse. We just learned that French laws have changed which allows non-French citizens to have wills which take precedence over the French inheritance law. What do we need to do to ensure that our wills will take precedence?
Thanks in advance,
Thank your for your message.

I suspect you are referring to the new EU Regulation 650/2012 on matters relating to inheritance.

This Regulation will only apply to the estates of persons who are deceased after 17 August 2015.

Article 22 of the Regulation allows you to choose to have your will governed by the law of your country of nationality. Article 20 specifies this may be the law of any country even non-EU countries.

As a result, you should be able to choose to have the laws of one of the US states apply to your will. You would need to make a will in accordance with the laws of the state which will apply to your will. This should specify that you are electing to choose the law applicable to your will in accordance with EU Regulation 650/2012.

For good measure, you may want to also include a French translation of your will.

I hope this answers your question.
A.Valcke and other French Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much for your quick reply.


I have contacted a friend in Washington State to check the requirements there -- she prepared our wills ten years ago.


As soon as I hear back -- in case there are other questions -- then I will rate your answer.


Again, thank you.

I'm glad that I could be of assistance.

I look forward to hearing from you after you have spoken to your attorney.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I still haven't heard back from my attorney. Is it possible to give a preliminary rating?


I just thought of a follow-on question. Do we need to do anything else in France (statement, fill out a form, etc)?


Thanks for your patience.


It would be a good idea to make a French version of your will. There are different ways to write a will in France. The formalities are explained on this official French government website: