Pitfalls for Owners of French Property

Homebuyers looking for a place in the sun in France should make sure they seek proper legal advice, the Law Society has warned.

Differences between the French legal system and our own mean that British homeowners are not always getting what they bargained for across the Channel, the Society has said.

Around 250,000 Britons own property in France, but often remain unaware that, for example, when they die, their spouse may not automatically inherit their property, or that if a gift is left to a non-relative, it will be taxed at 60%.

Commenting on the need for specialist legal advice when buying property abroad, Edward Lally, Law Society President, said: ?A growing number of people with homes in France find themselves in legal difficulties after not getting proper legal advice. It is essential that everyone buying property abroad has confidence that their affairs are in order and that their wishes will be carried out after they die.?

The Law Society has urged members of the who are considering buying in France to search for a solicitor who specialises in French probate and conveyancing law at www.lawsociety.org.uk

For more information on buying in France and many other countries, click here