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Old Nov 19th 2012, 1:40 pm   #1
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Default Death In France 2

DMU - towards the end of 2011 - very helpfully provided a list of some of the formalities necessary for dealing with the death of a family member whilst in France.

At the time I copied the link & filed it away on my hard drive, thinking that it could come in handy one day. That day came quicker that I ever anticipated - for one of the in-laws.
Over the last month that file has proved to be so useful, and I can't thank DMU enough for taking the time necessary to compile it.
And over the events of the last month I have learnt a great deal more, which given time I will enlarge upon in due course.

As a recap here is what was originally posted:
"Hi, if you don't mind, I thought I'd take this opportunity of giving the time-line for all the formalities, so that other expats in France will know what treacle they may have to wade through one day. This is one aspect of French bureaucracy that I haven't had to face yet and I've kept the pamphlet from our Pension/Mutuelle of which translation follows:
WITHIN 24 HOURS OF DECEASE: Declare the death at the Mairie, armed with Doctor's Death Certificate, the Livret de famille (if the deceased was married in France) or ID, the declarant's ID. Ask them for a good dozen copies of the Acte de Décès, to send to all the organisations below:
WITHIN 7 DAYS OF DECEASE: Inform by Registered letter the following organisations: Banks, Life Assurances, Insurances, all social Security/Pension funds. Lessors, tenants, "syndic" (where applicable).
WITHIN 30 DAYS OF DECEASE: inform les Impôts, designate a Notaire to organise the Succession
WITHIN SIX MONTHS: Remit the Déclaration de Succession to the Impôts (according to French OH, for the Tax Office to calculate Inheritance Tax, but the Notaire will explain this). Pay deceased's Income Tax, Taxe Foncière, Taxe d'Habitation. Change a joint account into a personal account. If applicable, request personal registration with Social Security. Amend the Carte grise of a vehicle. Sorry it's so long, and this is only the Administrative side."


For those who are resident in France, a quick copy/paste/save of above could well save you a certain amount of heartache in the future.
A suivre......
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Old Nov 19th 2012, 5:51 pm   #2
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Default Re: Death In France 2

First Tweedie, I'm sorry for your loss. Secondly a thank-you to dmu and yourself for the consistently wise and helpful postings that you each regularly offer.
I will copy your advice but hope I never need to take it. You're are both a
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Old Nov 19th 2012, 6:00 pm   #3
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Default Re: Death In France 2


Glad to have been of some help during a difficult time.
It's a subject no one wants to think about, but oh so important in France where you have to follow the red-tape.
I'd like to add the following advice:
Married couples should have joint bank accounts, as the deceased spouse's personal account is frozen and there are so many various regular expenses for the surviving spouse to pay (and even in order to survive).
Unmarried (or unpacséd) couples who will have the additional problem of sorting out and paying Inheritance Tax, should consult a Notaire to protect each other mutually.
@ Tweedpipe, please do add any extra info that you've experienced.

Last edited by dmu; Nov 19th 2012 at 6:02 pm.
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Old Nov 19th 2012, 7:30 pm   #4
 
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post
DMU ....
Sorry to hear about it, Hope all goes as well as it can. We had a crash course in this subject area when the mil passed away here a couple of years ago.
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Old Nov 19th 2012, 7:40 pm   #5
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Many thanks for your thoughts and comments.
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Old Nov 19th 2012, 11:21 pm   #6
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post
Many thanks for your thoughts and comments.
I'd like to add my condolences on hearing your news. It's not an easy thing to deal with, bureaucracy aside.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 5:08 pm   #7
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Default Re: Death In France 2

My condolences too.
To clarify things a little more,
The death has to be certified by a doctor.
To organise the funeral one must get in touch with a funeral parlour or "Pompes funèbres", who will generally speaking deal with all formalities such as administrative red tape or organising a church service. This comes at a cost, and although at these times one doesn't wish to appear mercenary it is the done thing to obtain an estimate, or even shop around, incongruous. though that may look or sound. The funeral must take place within six days. Should one wish the deceased to be buried in the UK, the Pompes funèbres will normally look after everything, but of course again at a cost. The body must be in a sealed coffin, "la mise en bière" or placing of the body in the coffin must be witnessed by the police and a doctor must certify it is not a carrier of a contagious disease.
Cremation is increasingly the norm in France compared with, say thirty years ago; it's up to the family. Burial usually takes place in the town or village cemetery where the deceased lived; however it is now possible to bury someone on private land but an authorisation has to be obtained. A coffin is compulsory. To be buried in the cemetery the family has to buy a "concession" there, which is a lease of varying length on a plot. It used to be possible to get une concession perpétuelle but this possibility is being phased out in many places to save space. The maximum length of time is often 50 years.

It might be useful to add that, though it is very tempting to do so, one should in no circumstances withdraw money from the deceased's bank account, as this will be deemed attempted fraud to avoid death duties. In my limited experience, death duties are not a big deal in France . Incidentally, the death of the first spouse triggers une succession, or inheritance process. Hence the importance of "une donation au dernier vivant" by which the surviving spouse will be entitled to "l'usufruit" of the estate but will not inherit everything if there are children. Under French law, one cannot disinherit one's children, (which CJM might want to add to the advantages of pets over children.)

Sorry to have been a bit long,
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 5:49 pm   #8
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Be as long as you like, helpful information is not subject to any constraint. Thanks. Also copied and pasted into my C Drive.
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Old Nov 20th 2012, 5:55 pm   #9
 
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peabrain View Post
Under French law, one cannot disinherit one's children, (which CJM might want to add to the advantages of pets over children.)

Sorry to have been a bit long,
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This is a subject that has come up many times, Basically it is possible to disinherit children but it becomes more complicated the older they get.
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Old Jan 16th 2013, 3:47 pm   #10
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Here's an update to my original post.

Most Pompes Funèbres here, do in fact provide a complete package, which alleviates a measure of additional stress for the family. I would agree that it may pay to get several quotes, however we were advised that the Pompes Funèbres adjacent to the hospital were excellent and came highly recommended.
In fact everything was catered for in their standard package, including coordination with a local priest if required for a memorial service, and also putting an advisory notice in the local or national press - although this was invoiced separately, being dependent on length of the obituary, number of days to appear etc. They also arranged for the required services of a stonemason, this too being invoiced separately.
On a slightly lighter note, during the meeting with the Pompes Funèbres manager, I asked if the optional memorial service was free (much to the obvious displeasure of my OH), and was told, yes of course it was. Then (fearing an additional icy stare) rather than asking whether the priest expected a bottle of wine or Ricard for his services, I tactfully suggested that I was sure the priest would probably appreciate some token gesture. I was informed that the most common sign of appreciation was to leave a contribution in the restoration fund box at the back of the church.
Also when the question arose dealing with the choice of material for the coffin, when I heard the associated phrase "la mise en bière", knowing that the departed had always enjoyed a good pint of the similar sounding brew, a smile crept over my face - which my OH caught in an instance - and this was met with a reprimanding, albeit discrete kick to the shins!

There was one additional thing that came to light some time later, that I thought I would share, possibly to assist others.

The couple were Pacséd and had some time previously contacted a Notaire to formulate their respective wills, and provide protection for their property.
The surviving partner we learn had quite recently refused offers of marriage (being particularly elderly) and not clearly realising that this was being proposed by her partner in order to provide a maximum of future comfort in the event of his death.
There were two quite substantial pensions being paid, which have now been cancelled, as pensions cannot be transferred to a surviving partner either pacséd or unpacséd.
This could leave similar persons in a very precarious financial situation - which fortunately is not the case here.
The underlining message therefore for any un-married couples is, if you are dependent on your partner's income - and especially if you are elderly and wish to benefit from an eventual pension, then seriously consider marriage!
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Old Jan 16th 2013, 7:54 pm   #11
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post

The couple were Pacséd and had some time previously contacted a Notaire to formulate their respective wills, and provide protection for their property.
The surviving partner we learn had quite recently refused offers of marriage (being particularly elderly) and not clearly realising that this was being proposed by her partner in order to provide a maximum of future comfort in the event of his death.
There were two quite substantial pensions being paid, which have now been cancelled, as pensions cannot be transferred to a surviving partner either pacséd or unpacséd.
This could leave similar persons in a very precarious financial situation - which fortunately is not the case here.
The underlining message therefore for any un-married couples is, if you are dependent on your partner's income - and especially if you are elderly and wish to benefit from an eventual pension, then seriously consider marriage!
Good post, as usual. I didn't realise that the Réversion de Pension didn't apply to pacséd couples...
A little-known factor to be taken into account with married couples - all the surviving spouses, past and present, of the deceased have a pro-rata share of about half of the French Pension in question. Something to consider when marrying an older multi-divorcee!
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Old Jan 16th 2013, 8:28 pm   #12
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Quote:
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Good post, as usual. I didn't realise that the Réversion de Pension didn't apply to pacséd couples...
A little-known factor to be taken into account with married couples - all the surviving spouses, past and present, of the deceased have a pro-rata share of about half of the French Pension in question. Something to consider when marrying an older multi-divorcee!
Didn't know that either.
A mine of information on this forum!
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Old Jan 18th 2013, 8:30 am   #13
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Default Re: Death In France 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ka Ora! View Post
This is a subject that has come up many times, Basically it is possible to disinherit children but it becomes more complicated the older they get.
The following article was published on Le Monde's website this morning about 'disinheriting' one's children, and after a cursory read through it I still maintain that, though it is possible to favour one child over the others, it is not possible to cut one out, unless one is prepared to go into exile in order to do so.
http://www.lemonde.fr/argent/article...=EPR-32280229-[NL_Titresdujour]-20130118-[titres]
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