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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.

In the event that 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  5%
Between €8,072 and €12,109 10%
Between €15,932 and € 552,324 20%
Between €552,325 and € 902,838 30%
Between €902,839 and € 1,805,677 40%
Above €1,805,677 45%

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%

Others successions

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

Tax allowance

Free transmission on-line direct €100,000
Transmission for the benefit of handicaped heir   €159,325
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 €7,967
Allowance applicable in the absence 
of another reduction