Donation and succession: a practical guide

Donation and succession: a practical guide

Transmit his heritage to his descendants, his spouse or his family or to third parties or association is a major concern from a certain age. And not only among the wealthy.

The transfer of assets is an operation that can be prepared by early donations or by will, or run more improvised after a death.

Whether donations or inheritance, heritage transmission has two distinct aspects, one relating to family law, the other to taxation.

Taxation gifts and inheritance

Any transmission for free (gift or inheritance) is subject to any inheritance rights

The fee schedule

The scale of the gift and the scale of inheritance tax, on the whole identical, are progressive and increments.

The scale of rates depend on the relationship between the two parties and are applied after deduction of allowances.

This is the net wealth so transmitted, after deducting any debts of the deceased, which is taxed.

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The declaration of succession

In case of death, the heirs are required to send a declaration of succession to the tax authorities, if the assets exceeds € 50,000. The declaration of succession

Some well benefit from reductions or exemptions.

Life insurance and estate

This is the case of life insurance contracts, which are reported but are not subject to the scale of inheritance tax, but at a reduced tax system, whose rates depend on the subscription date . Life and death duties

The payment

In some, especially in matters of succession, the law provides for the possibility to shift and spread the payment of duties. The payment

Right donations

Donations (or gifts) are governed by Articles 893 and following of the Civil Code.

The manual gifts

The most common donation is the gift guide. That is to say, the mere physical delivery of any personal property, an object, a piece of furniture, a sum of money, a check or securities. No form of condition is required. The manual gifts

The cash donations

All transmissions for free (gift or inheritance) are subject to transfer tax. But donations of money (or liquidity) in cash, by check or transfer between up and down, enjoy a special reduction, in addition to ordinary allowances. Relief on donations of money

The vivos gift

If several children, a donation can always create family disputes. To prevent and avoid, the best is to achieve a shared gift is to give and distribute, in his lifetime, all or part of its assets. The donor's death, the estate no longer cover only the remaining property. The vivos gift

Donations between spouses

In principle, a donation may only relate an existing property. Donations between spouses exception to this rule: Spouses or future spouses may thus give present goods and future. With the marriage contract and the will, it is a good way to ensure the future of the surviving spouse. Donations between spouses

Canceling a donation

In principle also a donation is irrevocable. Except in specific well defined by law. Cancel a donation

The rules to respect

You should also know that disguised donations, particularly in the form of a sale, can be sanctioned. But we can also give conditionally or playing successive donations between several people

The inheritance law

The heirs

In the absence of specific provisions made by the deceased, his wealth is distributed among his heirs according to the rules provided by the Civil Code. Who are the heirs

Testament and legacy

Any person may also write a will, itself or with the intervention of a notary, to change this legal division, including through specific bequests. Wills and Legacies


But a will must not encroach on the minimum inheritance share to which are entitled heirs (children and in some cases, the surviving spouse), without which they can sue for reduction. The reserved

See as well

  • Giving up a legacy
  • Donations to return
  • Evaluation of property

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