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Important Legal Information

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All our agreements and legal documentation are written in English but governed by French law and operate in accordance with French regulatory requirements and subject to the jurisdiction of the French courts in relation to any dispute about a mortgage secured on a French property. For UK resident only: From 1 January 2021 the regime for new mortgages sold to customers in the UK will change slightly - insofar as how they are treated under UK law, because the UK will no longer be subject to the same EU and EEA legal arrangements.  These changes do not generally affect the rights and obligations of you or BNP Paribas Personal Finance, as set out in our agreements, which continue to reflect the requirements of the Mortgage Credit Directive implemented in French law (which also previously applied to the UK), and as further described in the “General Information Document” in the link on this page of our website.

For UK resident only: If you are uncertain about your legal obligations and rights under our agreements – either in France or the UK - you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified French and/or UK legal practitioner before signing any mortgage loan agreement and becoming bound by its terms.  BNP Paribas Personal Finance is able to explain the main obligations set out in the agreements in English but we cannot provide detailed legal advice to potential borrowers or existing customers.

Content Legal topics

Marital Status

It is important for international buyers, and in particular those from the UK, to be aware that there are two main types of marital status in France:
 

 

Unless specific steps are taken before purchasing, British married couples buying property in France will be deemed to be in the “séparation de biens” status. There are possible advantages to adopting the “communauté de biens” status for inheritance reasons.

 

 

To learn more about the full implications of these marital schemes, please seek advice from your notary or a specialised lawyer.

 

 

 

Inheritance Laws

 

 

When you purchase a property in France, French inheritance laws apply to that property. These laws, which are very different from the Separate Estates laws in most Anglo-Saxon countries, can have an impact on the use of the property in the event of a spouse-owner's death. Unless specified beforehand, a surviving spouse/partner residing in France will not automatically become the legal beneficiary of the property prior to any children's rights. To counter these effects, specialised lawyers could advise to set up an SCI or change one's marital status and have it validated in France only for French assets. It is also possible to draw up a personal will. This is an important and complex issue.
 

For more detailed information on the implications of marital status and inheritance laws, seek advice from your notary or a specialised lawyer.

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