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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone her have experience of buying a house in France and the succession laws?

My question revolves around the idea that when my wife and I buy our retirement house in France, we thought about making our daughter a one-third owner as well in the hope that it would ease succession taxes etc.

Are there any pitfalls to be aware of? Is it a waste of time?

Obviously, when the time comes, we will seek full professional legal advice, but hearing first hand experiences would be great.

Thanks in advance.
 

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For starters it depends on the value of the house.
Each child can inherit up to a certain threshold tax free from each parent. I think the threshold is around 100,000€? So your daughter could inherit up to 200,000 from the two of you combined, before succession tax kicks in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For starters it depends on the value of the house.
Each child can inherit up to a certain threshold tax free from each parent. I think the threshold is around 100,000€? So your daughter could inherit up to 200,000 from the two of you combined, before succession tax kicks in.
Probably in the region of 300k-350k. Making her a 1/3 owner would potentially leave her free of tax (on a house of 300k). Thanks (obviously, I'll go through the details at the time (y) )
 

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I'm not sure exactly how it works, but to be a part owner of the house, she would have to provide that part of the purchase cost. Otherwise you're "gifting" your daughter one-third of the purchase price and that figures into gift tax (and ultimately inheritance tax) calculations later on. This stuff gets complicated remarkably quickly - and more so if either of you has any other heirs (other children or surviving parents on either side). Just remember, too, that on the death of one of you, your daughter would get her share of the decedent's share of the house - so her part of the decedent's one-half of the house unless you set it up in some other way. So at that point, the surviving parent would have shared ownership of the house with the daughter. There are also considerations of usufruit that can be used to make things a bit smoother in some cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm not sure exactly how it works, but to be a part owner of the house, she would have to provide that part of the purchase cost. Otherwise you're "gifting" your daughter one-third of the purchase price and that figures into gift tax (and ultimately inheritance tax) calculations later on. This stuff gets complicated remarkably quickly - and more so if either of you has any other heirs (other children or surviving parents on either side). Just remember, too, that on the death of one of you, your daughter would get her share of the decedent's share of the house - so her part of the decedent's one-half of the house unless you set it up in some other way. So at that point, the surviving parent would have shared ownership of the house with the daughter. There are also considerations of usufruit that can be used to make things a bit smoother in some cases.
I can see it could become a bit of a messy legal minefield and legal advice will need to be taken. Good points, though, and thanks.

There are no other heirs. And yes, we would be "gifting" it. She currently lives in Scotland so not sure how that will affect things (that said, with her work she could end up anywhere).
 
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