Inheritance: donation and peculiar clauses

Updated on Tuesday 4 October 2022

A donation may include special clauses, to meet the desires of the donor. A notary’s intervention is necessary to draft a valid clause and in accordance with the will of the donor.


Protect your donation with specific clauses. The following clauses may be mentioned in a donation:

Clause of entry into the community or exclusion from the community

If the donation is made only to one of the spouses with the mention that the donated property will belong to the community, the spouse will not be considered as joint donee. The major drawback of this clause is that the divorce of the donee makes no impact on this donation, nor on the common nature of the given property.

Conversely, the community exclusion clause allows the donor to prohibit the donee from bringing the donated property into the community (present or future) which exists between the latter and his or her spouse.

Conventional right of return

The conventional right of return i a mechanism that allows the donor to recover the donated property, if the donee dies before him or dies before the latter without posterity.

Inalienability clause

This clause prevents the donee from selling or giving away the donated property. In order for this prohibition to be valid, it needs to be temporary and justified by a serious and legitimate interest.

Donation with charges

The donation with charges consists of the donee imposing an obligation on the donee (for example, paying him a life annuity or organizing his funeral…).

Donation for the benefit of two successive beneficiaries

It is possible for a donor to carry out two successive transmissions, within the same donation. These are gradual and residual donations.

  • Gradual donation

This donation entails the obligation for the donee to keep the property or rights which are the subject to it and transmit them, on his death, to a second beneficiary designated in the deed.

  • Residual donation

The residual donation obliges the first gratified to transmit to the second gratified, what remains, at his death, of the goods which have been received. The distinction relates to the absence of a legal obligation of conservation, unlike the gradual donation.