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Please help. Re death of my French dad

Please help. Re death of my French dad

Old Apr 1st 2022, 8:10 am
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Exclamation Please help. Re death of my French dad

I really don’t know here to get advice and I’m hoping someone can help me.

a very long story short.

I found out last week from a genealogist that my father passed away last year, in July.
his wife wasn’t, isn’t a very nice person and she of her two daughters, my half sisters didn’t have the decency to tell me.

I last spoke to my dad 12 years ago when I took my husband and our daughter to visit him. I ended up having a huge argument with his wife and left France that same day.
my dad was in his 70’s, quite frail and totally beaten down by this woman.

i wrote to him and tried to call but she would block my number and letters never got answered.

im devastated to hear of his passing and so angry with her, and my two half sisters but there is nothing I can do about that.

so here iare my questions, if you have any advice I’d be so grateful.

The genealogist hasn’t told me much, apart from my dad left a will but under French law it’s illegal to disinherited your children.

my dad lead, let’s say a very colourful life, he was married 5 times. Maybe he liked wedding cake 😳

altogether I have 6 half brothers and sisters.

The last time I saw him, my dad told me that he signed his half of their joint house n London over to the wife and that he had nothing as everything belonged to HER now.

they lived in France but didn’t own a house there, he is a French man who after living in London most of his adult life, moved back to France about 16-17 years ago.

how can I find out where he is buried, if he was. Or cremated.

this genealogist, who do you think instructed him to look into my father’s past and why. If my dad gave everything the HER surly it will show somewhere that he had nothing. And I can’t see HER telling anyone about me or my other half sister who also lives in the UK.

im so confused and at a total loss as to where I can find anything out.

any advice on this messy situation please.

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Old Apr 1st 2022, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

I think you should make contact of the mayor of the commune where his death was registered, and he/she may well be able to give you details of the funeral/cremation and/or put you in touch with the notaire who dealt with the succession.
If your dad left an inheritance, the notaire would have carried out standard procedures to identify and locate al your father's direct line descendants. Notaires do not rely on what other interested parties decide to tell them or not tell them about protected heirs, they check it out for themselves
Did the genealogist contact you, or did you contact them and ask them to check? If they contacted you, then presumably this genealogist has been appointed by the notaire to trace your father's living offspring. Which means the legal process is operating and you will hear from the notaire in due course.
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Old Apr 1st 2022, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Thank you so much.
I really didn’t know where to start.
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Old Apr 1st 2022, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

The genealogist hasn’t told me much, apart from my dad left a will but under French law it’s illegal to disinherited your children.

I think this only applies to French assets - not to anything in any other country
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Old Apr 1st 2022, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
The genealogist hasn’t told me much, apart from my dad left a will but under French law it’s illegal to disinherited your children.

I think this only applies to French assets - not to anything in any other country
Not totally sure but I think if he was resident in France at time of death it applies to worldwide estate apart from property in other countries?
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Old Apr 1st 2022, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Not totally sure but I think if he was resident in France at time of death it applies to worldwide estate apart from property in other countries?
This reminds me of the Johnny Halliday saga:

Johnny Hallyday was a French celebrity musician who had a 60 year career in France. In 2007, he moved to Los Angeles with his wife, where they raised their two children. Meanwhile, Hallyday had two grown children in France. Hallyday drafted estate planning documents in the U.S., leaving his assets largely to his new family. When he died, this led to his grown children contesting his estate plan, arguing Hallyday should be considered a resident of France and thus his assets subject to french inheritance law. Hallyday’s wife Laeticia fought back, arguing that Hallyday resided in California and thus his estate fell under California probate code. The French court did not side with Laeticia, ruling this week that France had jurisdiction over Hallyday’s estate. And with french jurisdiction comes forced heirship. The French await the final result, which could take years once the appeal process begins.

The OP could find herself/himself in court for a long time contesting his/her late father's estate which, by the sounds of it primarily included a house in London - especially with 6 half sisters and brothers!
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Old Apr 1st 2022, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Reminiscent of Picasso - maybe?
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Old Apr 1st 2022, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Originally Posted by Expatrick View Post
Reminiscent of Picasso - maybe?
Oh lord, yes..... what a saga that was ......
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Old Apr 2nd 2022, 7:40 am
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Sorry to hear about your situation. As ET suggests, contact the "Etat Civil" (Registry Office) of the Mairie of the Commune where his death was registered. They will know whether he was cremated (it's compulsory to inform them of the whereabouts of the ashes) or may know where he's buried.
If it's a small Commune, they may know which Notaire dealt with your father's Succession, otherwise, if the genealogist doesn't know, you'll have to contact all the local ones, getting their contact details from "Les Pages Jaunes". The Notaire will be able to explain what legal provisions your father made for his children. Normally the Succession must be completed within 6 months of decease, but, as said, the procedure might still be underway due to the complexity of finding all the direct heirs.... Unfortunately, since your father signed over his share of the UK property to his wife, it isn't included in his Succession.... If a lot of money or other assets are involved, you could get together with your half-siblings and act jointly against the widow and her children. The Notaire is best placed to advise on whether such steps can be taken, after which you'd need an Avocat to defend your interests in a long legal procedure.
HTH
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Old Apr 2nd 2022, 7:46 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Again thank you.

i composed an email today to the genealogist with a lots of questions so hopefully I’ll hear back next week.

if I have no joy regarding where he was laid to rest I’ll then go on the hunt for the notarie.

you have all offered some wonderful advice and knowledge. I don’t now feel as if I’m in the dark as to what and where to start.

❤️
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Old Apr 3rd 2022, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

If the genealogist reples then great, but I would not necessarily wait for his response, I would also approach the maire/notaire.
I guess that really the genealogist's job ended once he had discovered your existence, traced you, identified you and contacted you. I doubt he knows any details about your dad beyond his name, date of birth and other identifying information, and if he did, he may not feel authorised to share it.
I imagine he will be "généalogiste successoral" by profession. These are trained specialists who provide a service to notaires, lawyers, courts etc. He may have a working relationship with the notaire but I believe there are also online platforms where notaires etc have an account, they upload the details of the person whose relatives they wish to trace, and the job is allocated to one of the suitable genealogists who is registered on that platform. If that's the case, all your man (or woman) will know is the details that the notaire provided on the platform. I guess the process then is that the details of all the relatives that have been traced are passed to the notaire, and the notaire contacts them all in due course.
Of course it may be a traditional working relationship and s/he may know the notaire and be able to find the answers for you, all I am saying is, don't be too surprised if you don't get a reply next week.

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Old Apr 3rd 2022, 10:28 am
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
If the genealogist reples then great, but I would not necessarily wait for his response, I would also approach the maire/notaire.
I guess that really the genealogist's job ended once he had discovered your existence, traced you, identified you and contacted you. I doubt he knows any details about your dad beyond his name, date of birth and other identifying information, and if he did, he may not feel authorised to share it.
I imagine he will be "généalogiste successoral" by profession. These are trained specialists who provide a service to notaires, lawyers, courts etc. He may have a working relationship with the notaire but I believe there are also online platforms where notaires etc have an account, they upload the details of the person whose relatives they wish to trace, and the job is allocated to one of the suitable genealogists who is registered on that platform. If that's the case, all your man (or woman) will know is the details that the notaire provided on the platform. I guess the process then is that the details of all the relatives that have been traced are passed to the notaire, and the notaire contacts them all in due course.
Of course it may be a traditional working relationship and s/he may know the notaire and be able to find the answers for you, all I am saying is, don't be too surprised if you don't get a reply next week.
I agree.
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Old Apr 3rd 2022, 12:20 pm
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
If the genealogist reples then great, but I would not necessarily wait for his response, I would also approach the maire/notaire.
I guess that really the genealogist's job ended once he had discovered your existence, traced you, identified you and contacted you. I doubt he knows any details about your dad beyond his name, date of birth and other identifying information, and if he did, he may not feel authorised to share it.
I imagine he will be "généalogiste successoral" by profession. These are trained specialists who provide a service to notaires, lawyers, courts etc. He may have a working relationship with the notaire but I believe there are also online platforms where notaires etc have an account, they upload the details of the person whose relatives they wish to trace, and the job is allocated to one of the suitable genealogists who is registered on that platform. If that's the case, all your man (or woman) will know is the details that the notaire provided on the platform. I guess the process then is that the details of all the relatives that have been traced are passed to the notaire, and the notaire contacts them all in due course.
Of course it may be a traditional working relationship and s/he may know the notaire and be able to find the answers for you, all I am saying is, don't be too surprised if you don't get a reply next week.
I think you're right there. He/she will probably only be able/allowed to give the OP the Notaire's name and address.
Off-topic - I've never watched it, but there's a programme on France 3, called "Recherche Héritiers", which seems to relate to such professionals, an interesting enough subject to warrant a series....
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Old Apr 7th 2022, 9:41 am
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Default Re: Please help. Re death of my French dad

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
I think you're right there. He/she will probably only be able/allowed to give the OP the Notaire's name and address.
Off-topic - I've never watched it, but there's a programme on France 3, called "Recherche Héritiers", which seems to relate to such professionals, an interesting enough subject to warrant a series....
Still slightly off-topic. In addition to the FR3 programme 'Recherche Heritiers' there is also the M6 tv similar programme 'Heritiers' which we never miss. For those not familiar and may be interested these can be viewed on YTube - truly fascinating programmes to watch. Link below.




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