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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know if there is any way the french legal system can deal with the inheritance rights of a British individual with learning difficulties, who under British law has neither power of attorney or court of protection status?
 

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Given that the French educational system isn't all that great at recognizing learning disabilities, I suspect they may be treated like anyone else when it comes to inheritances.

If you're in France now (as it looks like you are), you may want to contact your local mairie to see if they have those "free appointment with a notaire" sessions (usually once a month or so). Sometimes they run it through the departement, but the mairie will know how to ask for an appointment. You may be able to find out enough in a 20 minute appointment (a freebie, no less) to at least know which way to go next.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I don't know what either of those terms mean so I'm not 100% sure what you are looking for. However, I do know that people with disabilities are often put under guardianship.

Two places you can look are at your Maison départementale des personnes handicapées and the Caisse nationale de solidarité. The second I think is more for disability benefits. But they might have some good information.
The problem is that my father has recently died, leaving his house to be shared as per french law between his five children. We are all domiciled in the UK at the moment. My brother has severe learning difficulties, and therefore is unable to understand any document that he may be asked to sign. (he does not really write either). I look after all his interests and can do that under English law as his named next of kin, but I suspect that this will not suit the french legal system. My query really is whether there is an equivalent to next of kin status in France, or whether I have to formalise his legal status somehow. If I have to do this in the UK I will have to apply for Court of Protection status and it will cost thousands, plus steep annual charges for auditing so I would prefer to avoid it if I can. I will follow Bev's advice and try a notaire at the Mairie, but I wonder if there notaires who specialise in Learning difficulties.
 

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The problem is that my father has recently died, leaving his house to be shared as per french law between his five children. We are all domiciled in the UK at the moment. My brother has severe learning difficulties, and therefore is unable to understand any document that he may be asked to sign. (he does not really write either). I look after all his interests and can do that under English law as his named next of kin, but I suspect that this will not suit the french legal system. My query really is whether there is an equivalent to next of kin status in France, or whether I have to formalise his legal status somehow. If I have to do this in the UK I will have to apply for Court of Protection status and it will cost thousands, plus steep annual charges for auditing so I would prefer to avoid it if I can. I will follow Bev's advice and try a notaire at the Mairie, but I wonder if there notaires who specialise in Learning difficulties.
As I wrote above, it is common for those with disabilities to be under "guardianship/tutelage". But I believe this is quite a formal status.

You might want to discuss this with the British consulate in France. Sometimes they are able to product documents that are required by France but don't quite have the equivalent in the UK.
 

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French inheritance law is pretty strict and rigid. In the case you describe, the house will have to be shared equally among the 5 heirs (called an indivisible interest) - and in order to sell the property, all 5 will have to be in agreement.

How your brother is represented may or may not come into question, as long as he has some form of legal representation (like a power of attorney or a guardianship) that is recognized in the UK. If you have the power to act for him in the UK, I suspect that may well be ok for purposes of the French inheritance. (In the case of a minor child who inherits something, the legal guardian - i.e. a parent - would act in their interest.)

If you're not in France, I'd try contacting the French consulate in the UK to see what they can advise.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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