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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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My wife (we married in Ireland in 2012) owns the French home

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My wife (we married in Ireland in 2012) owns the French home we live in for c4 months pa, which we bought in her name in 2006. At the time of purchase, we sought exemption from French Law under the Hague Convention as we are both Irish by domicile and residence. This was denied us as we were not man and wife at the time. My wife now wishes in the event of my surviving her to leave this French home to me. She was never married before, has no children, her parents are dead and she has 4 adult siblings, all living in Ireland. As I have 5 children from a previous marriage (my former wife died 2 years ago), my wife would like our French home to pass eventually to my children. Is there any obstacle to my succeeding her as the owner of this house under the terms of her proposed will should she pre-decease me? XXXX XXXXX

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Further to my first reply, sent a few minutes ago, I want to confirm that I do wish to continue waiting for a reply from one of your experts. To date, I have received no answer to my question nor have I been asked for any further information.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thanks for your response. While I accept that delays can occur, it gets confusing when your replies to me come up as if they are the expert professional's reply!

Thank you for giving my business priority is now almost 24 hours since I submitted my question and I do hope, as I was originally told, that a professional expert was already working on my question.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.


While I am disappointed that it is taking so long, I am willing to continue to wait for a professional answer, particularly as this is what I have already paid you for.


Your question is open to all of our legal professionals and site researchers. I will mark your question high priority for you.

The only obstacle could be (will probably be) the children of your wife because in French law it is illegal to disinherit ones children.. In fact, French estate/succession law reserves a percentage of the deceased parent's property to the children (around 35 %) no matter what the deceased parent's (spouse's) will may specify (and even if the children were estranged, never contacted or visited the parent while alive, never went to that parent's funeral, and hated the deceased parent with a passion). This is the position under French law.

It is important to also underline that under international law all the real estate property in France will be governed under French estate law no matter what country the owner dies in or was the last country of residence.

In France, a Notaire (a ministerial officer) deals with the transferring of the title of real estate property to heir(s) (person(s) legally entitled to inherit the property) after death. The French Notaire will also have to see what matrimonial status you have because in French law the matrimonial status determines whether or not the property can go totally to the surviving spouse or not and make an exception to the 35% children's reserve rule.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Mr Kenney,

I thought I made it clear in my question that my wife (aged 57) has no children. My concern was that her brothers and her sister might have rights to her property under French law.

It seems from what you say that, as her lawful husband, her leaving the house to me under her will is free of obstacles. Is this correct?

Brían Howlett

Thank you for clarifying your facts. Your wife's brothers and sister will have no rights to your wife's property under French law, unless she was not married. In French law everything goes to the surviving spouse and their children if any. Your wife has no children therefore everything goes to you.

Yes, you are correct, as the lawful husband, your wife, with no children, leaving the house to you under her will is free of obstacles. (Unless your wife's brothers and sister decide to challenge the validity of your marriage and the will).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your advice which I value.

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!!
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
TKenney, Ph.D. and other French Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Mr Kenney,

I sent a very positive rating on 29th August to JustAnswer and, I'm pretty sure, directly to you too. I'm sorry if you do not appear to have received it.

My thanks again for your helpful judgement on the question I raised.

Brían Howlett