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Keeping Your Affairs In Order In France

Planning your affairs can be a daunting process, and it is also one that you should not take lightly. You need to consider several things when getting your estate in order. You need to think about whether you are planning for what will happen after you're gone or if you're just trying to be more organised with your finances.

Anyone can benefit from documenting their assets and having a good idea of their available money to save or spend. Planning is crucial when keeping your affairs in order. You will benefit significantly from ensuring you and your family are financially secure.

Asset Protection

To fully protect your assets, you need to look at all potential financial arrangements and determine which is best for you. Ensuring your assets are protected keeps you safe from creditors. It also insures you in cases of legal disputes such as divorce. Whether you have a large estate or a modest one, you will likely want to keep your assets as your own, and rightly so, you have earned them. However, you can be subject to potential insecurity in your earnings without adequate measures. 

What You Should Consider

If you are just beginning to organise your finances, the overall process can be overwhelming. This is where we advise you to use a service experienced in notarial law and writing wills. This will ensure you receive the best possible advice about the steps you need to take to make the most out of your money. You can break down everything you need to take into account into manageable steps.

1. Deal with any outstanding debts

Initially, you need to settle any money you owe to gauge your financial standing. 

2. Build Up Your Savings

Making sure you have enough money set aside for a rainy day is one of the best things you can do when it comes to getting your affairs in order. Regularly adding to a savings account is a way to consistently build up a nest egg.

3. Write Your Will

Having an up-to-date will is essential for succession planning. It ensures that the people you love inherit your estate after you pass. Will writing can be confusing and emotional, so having the right people to help. France Tax Law are expert in will writing and can help you organise your assets in the best way for your family.

4. Plan For The Worst

This can be difficult to think about, but you can save yourself and your family a lot of avoidable stress by putting a few plans in place for worst-case scenarios. For instance, you may become ill or injured and be unable to continue working. An early retirement plan can give you the extra financial stability you need.

5. Minimise Your Tax Bill

Reducing your tax bill can make a massive difference to the fees your family will have to pay on the assets they inherit after you pass. If you plan to give any money directly to a named loved one over the threshold, you can avoid owing as much in taxes.

Key Facts About French Inheritance Law

There are some key differences between English succession laws and French law. At France Tax Law, we are experts in succession law for both countries. We can advise you in detail on the best measures you can take to ensure financial security. Whether you are located in your home country or living abroad, we will work with you to assess your current assets and plan the best moves for your future. Here are some of the differences between French and English inheritance law.

1. Spouses are not protected

Unfortunately for widows in France, they are not automatically protected heirs of their partner's estate. The main bulk of inheritance defaults to the whole family and even cousins before it reaches the spouse. Spouses can inherit a minimum of one-quarter of their partner's income.

2. La Reserve & Quotite Disponible

'La reserve' is the reserved estate left for any descendants of the deceased. It prevents them from disenfranchisement and being cut out of any inheritance they are entitled to. 'Quotite disponible' is the remaining disposable estate that you can give to a spouse after their bloodline has received their share. 

3. En Tontine

This section of French succession law regards homes bought in France. By having en tontine in place, you can ensure that your spouse is the default heir to your home after you have passed.

4. French Marriage Contract

If you are worried about your spouse not receiving enough of your remaining assets, you can opt for a contract that will ensure they acquire one-hundred percent of your inheritance. They can then distribute it to other family members if you have specified so in your will.

5. Biens de Famille (Heirlooms)

Family heirlooms can be a grey area in any country's inheritance laws. Half of the heirlooms default to any siblings to avoid conflicts unless otherwise stated in a will. However, if heirlooms are the only assets left after somebody's death, they are automatically handed to the widow.

If you wish to understand more regarding your affairs or will and testimonies, you can do so with us. We are happy to settle any legal questions whether you are a British or French citizen. Our team of experts has excellent experience in property, tax, and succession law. Whatever your requirements we will be happy to help you. We will ensure you and your family have the best possible financial outcomes and promised security for those rainy days.

Call us today to arrange a consultation with a member of our team. We have offices based in London and Newcastle so that you can reach us in multiple regions. 

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