Many foreigners face difficulties with French banks or the French Tax administration when attempting to close a decedent’s bank accounts and forward the funds to an estate located overseas.
The rule is simple:
- If the death occurred in France, the heirs have 6 months to report it to the Tax Administration
- If the death occurred overseas, the heirs have 12 months to report it to the Tax Administration
It is of utmost importance that you know precisely how much money the estate and its heirs owe to the French Tax Administration.
The main issue you will face will be obtaining the funds available on the decedent’s estate.
Indeed, since the estate is located overseas, French banks are concerned about tax evasion and do not allow you to collect the account’s assets without proper documentation.
The French Tax administration requires the estate and its administrators to first obtain a tax certificate which shows that the estate was established in France and the heir intends to deal with the inheritance tax.
Without this document, no bank will transfer any funds to you or other recipients of an estate!
This is precisely why you will need a French lawyer who is able to negotiate with the banks and tax administration in order to encourage them to pay off the fees directly from the account and transfer the remaining balance.
The French administration is a complicated entity; therefore, you must talk to the right person at the right moment.
Traveling overseas will hinder your ability to contact them with ease… an issue that is exacerbated by any language barrier that might exist between you and the French authorities!!!
In matters of estate administration and planning, only a local French law firm has the knowledge and tools necessary to motivate French banks to transfer the funds overseas.