We have recently advised in a number of cases where the children of a deceased parent had potentially been deprived of their rights to receive a part of that parent's property in France on death. Under the private international rules which are applicable, an English national owning real property in France will have to leave a part of that property to his or her children on death even if he or she leaves a Will purporting to give the property exclusively to the surviving spouse. This is the case even when the parent has entered into a French marriage contract with his new spouse with the aim of giving all his or her assets to the new spouse.

We have been able to assist in liaison with the notaire responsible for the succession in France in quantifying the share to which the children are entitled and then agreeing a form of definitive settlement with the surviving spouse on behalf of the children.