Check if a deceased's person made and recorded a French Will
Check if a French notary has been appointed to carry out the deceased's French Probate i.e. whether the French equivalent for Probate has or not been issued
If you are a heir or a beneficiary, or are acting for them as their lawyer, you can also obtain a cop of the deceased's French Will.
We confidentially undertake these searches for the legal profession, the public, charities and financial institutions to find missing French Wills and Testaments.
Average turnaround time to receive a reply to your Will Search ranges from 2 to 7 working days. Whether a registered French Will is found or not, we will provide you with a report regarding our searches.
We carry out nationwide searches for registered Wills, by checking the Last Wills Register's records.
The original death certificate, or a duplicate, is required and will be returned to you. We can retrieve the death certificate if the person concerned died in France or was a French citizen.
A French Will may be valid even if it is unregistered. In such a case, the deceased should have informed his relatives of the Will's existence and its location. Where the deceased made a Will yet did not register the same, no register or nationwide searches are possible.
After probate French Wills - whether registered or not - are being held by a French notary. We can apply for a copy if you are a heir, a beneficary, or have been named as an executor.
Once a Will is found, we will provide you with the details of the French Notary Public who holds the deceased's French will. We can also contact the said Notary Public on your behalf to retrieve a copy of the Will.
Not all Wills succeed in governing the distribution of a deceased person's property. This can happen if all of the deceased person's property consists of non-probate assets, such as Life Insurance policies. We recommend combining Last Will searches with wider assets tracing which includes searches for records held by:-
- The French Land Registry
- The French Companies House or Corporate Registrar
- Other Public bodies, for sums of money from dormant accounts and unclaimed life insurance policies.
I am Fabien Cordiez, a qualified French lawyer in legal practice since 1994. I re-qualified as Solicitor of England and Wales in 2000.
Having gained valuable experience practising in major law firms and banks in France and the City of London, I set up my own law firm in Southern France in 2002.
We focus on French property law and cross-border inheritance matters, for English-speaking corporate and private clients.
We recognise the increasing need for overseas-based individuals and law fims to get help with French Probate and Estate matters. French Will Searches is a specialist service we have developed to help individuals and Probate practitioners locate a Will, or French assets, for someone who has died leaving an estate in France.
French Will Searches
Fabien Cordiez Avocat & Solicitor 4CM-Law
4, Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence 13100 France
FR +33 (0)486 688 968 / UK +44 (0)203-445-0720
IRL +353 (0)1-431-1301 / US/CA (347)-746-8720 or (646)-547-1418
fc[@]solicitor.fr - fabien.cordiez.solicitor