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Mandates in france

French Power of Attorney Mandates

As Forrest Gump once said, “life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get”. Life can be tricky, and it doesn't always go to plan. That's why having the right strategies can help protect your assets should the worst happen.  

Lawyers meet people who have lost a relative daily. The possibility of losing a loved one is scary. It brings with it the possibility of losing the capacity to deal with your own affairs. This is where a Lasting Power of Attorney comes into play. It acts as a way to anticipate and curb a problem. Alternatively, we may create a trust to take care of your assets posthumously. It was not until recently in France that either of these options existed. A change in the law meant that mandates were now available, providing flexibility for the administration of assets and estates.

The Two New Mandates

Mandat a Effet Posthume

The first of these mandates was the 'Mandat a Effet Posthume', which came into force on the 1st of January 2007. 

  • This mandate allows a person to organise the administration of their estate and assets after their death. In principle, the estate will be inherited by the heirs but administrated by a mandatee.
  • The Mandat a Effet Posthume is a solution to release some of the beneficiaries' concerns or worries when somebody else is appointed to guide and assist them.
  • The mandate must comply with several conditions in order to be valid.
  • Primarily, a legitimate reason must be self-evident for one to be set up.

A Mandat a Effet Posthume must also be signed before a notaire. The mandatee will then accept this before the death of the individual. This mandate is recommended when the deceased owns a company and feels that his heirs will not be able to run the business successfully. An experienced mandatee could guide them for the duration of the mandate.

Mandat de Protection Future

The 'Mandat de Protection Future' is the second mandate, introduced in March 2007.

  • It allows for the nomination of an attorney during an individual's lifetime.
  • This attorney will act on behalf of an individual in the case of mental or physical deterioration.
  • As of 1st January 2009, anyone is entitled to organise their own or their children's (under 18 or more, subject to conditions) legal protection or care.
  • This is done by nominating a third party to look after the financial assets for the individual when they lose the capacity to do so themselves.
  • The Mandat de Protection Future can be created in an individual's interest or on behalf of another.
  • The mandate is flexible and can be signed formally or informally in the presence of a notaire.

The informal mandate can be handwritten and duly signed, and dated. The attorney will also have to sign it. Unless the mandate extends these, their powers can be limited to administrative duties (Actes Conservatoires) and non-disposal acts (Actes d'administration). Those with UK Enduring Powers of Attorney should not be concerned. The only requirement for an enduring power of attorney is a registration with the UK authorities.

Arrange Your Power Of Attorney Mandate

Now that you know both options available to you when taking out a mandate in France, you can decide which is best for you. Depending on your personal requirements, one may suit your needs better than the other. Mandates are an excellent way of ensuring your assets are protected even if you cannot manage them yourself. It is always essential to prepare for the worst case scenario. Having a mandate in place can help ease the stress of trying to arrange your assets at inconvenient times.  

You can enquire about setting up a Mandat a Effet Posthume or Mandat de Protection Future with one of our expert France Tax Law solicitors. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action and the best possible guarantee for your assets in the future.

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