Checking for missing legal heirs with a reserved share.
Some heirs cannot be excluded from the estate, regardless of the wishes expressed in the deceased’s will: these are called the "legal heirs with a reserved share" (Articles 912 to 917 of the French Civil Code). These are the deceased's children (and their descendants), and the surviving spouse if the deceased had no children. Under an estate settlement, ADD Associés is commissioned to check for missing legal heirs with a reserved share so that the notary can certify the list of the entitled beneficiaries.
Legal security: ADD Associés guarantees the notary settling the estate that there are no missing legal heirs with a reserved share.
What the law says
French law guarantees legal heirs with a reserved share a part of the estate called the “reserved portion,” which the deceased cannot dispose of freely. This is a share of the estate that never represents the entirety of the deceased’s estate. The remaining share of the estate is called the available portion. The deceased may freely dispose of these shares of the estate to a relative, whether an heir, or to a third party via his or her will.
If there are no legal heirs with a reserved share, the testator may decide to pass all or part of his or her assets on to one or more persons by universal legacy or by universal title. The size of the reserved portion of the estate depends on how many children the deceased had.
|Number of children||Reserved portion||Available portion|
|1||1/2 of the estate||1/2 of the estate|
|2||2/3 of the estate||1/3 of the estate|
|3 or more||3/4 of the estate||1/4 of the estate|
If the deceased had a will, ADD Associés checks that there are no legal heirs with a reserved share, to guarantee the liquidating notary that the bequest is legally sound.