Succession and inheritance tax in France

The people affected by your estate are not necessarily the ones you think about. Determining the order of the heirs will establish devolution of the estate.

Order of heirs

If the deceased has not made a will :

the transfer of assets is in the order of heirs established by law.

If the deceased was not married:

  • If the deceased had children, the estate goes to them all (or their descendants if they themselves are deceased).
  • If he had neither child nor brother and sister, his parents each receive half of the estate.
  • If there were no children but brothers and sisters, his parents received a quarter of the estate each and siblings the remaining half (three quarters if one parent is deceased or if all both died).
  • If there were no children, no parents, no brothers and sisters (living or represented), the estate is divided into two equal parts: one half of the maternal family, the other for the paternal family. In both families, it is the closest heirs who inherit: uncles or aunts first and cousins.

In the presence of a widow or widower:

  • If the deceased had children, the estate is divided between the surviving spouse and children.
  • In the absence of children, the spouse inherits the estate he shares with the father and mother of the deceased if they are still alive. If both died, it inherits all.

Warning PACS partner is not an heir :

To have rights in the succession, it should have been appointed in a will. The married or civil union partner is exempt from inheritance tax .

Tax payable on inheritance or gifts between parents and children

Net taxable share after allowance

Taxation rate

Up to €8,072 


Between €8,072 and €12,109


Between €15,932 and € 552,324


Between €552,325 and € 902,838


Between €902,839 and € 1,805,677


Above €1,805,677


Others successions


Taxation rate 

Between parents and until the 4th degree of relationship  55% 
Between parents and beyond the 4th degree of relationship 60%

Tax payable on inheritance or gifts between brothers and sisters

Net taxable share after allowance 

Taxation rate 
Up to €24,430  35%
Above €24,430  45%

Tax allowance

Free transmission on-line direct


Transmission for the benefit of handicaped heir 


Free transmission for brother and sister 
Exemption between brother and sister under certain conditions (living with the deceased for more than 5 years prior to death; aged 50+ or invalid, widowed, unmarried, divorced or living apart)


Free transmission for nephews and nieces


Donation to grandchildren


Additional abatement for financial donation
(under certains conditions)


Allowance applicable in the absence 
of another reduction


These abatements are renewable every 15 years.

Frequently asked questions