Engaged with the woman or the man of your life, you raised together her child resulting from a first union. Be careful, if you consider the latter as your heir, it is not. “In the eyes of the law, the children of a partner, civil partnership or spouse remain foreigners”, recalls Laurent Mazeyrie, notary at DVML.
Consequence: not only will it not inherit from you, but above all, if you designate it in your will, the property transmitted will be taxed at 60% after an allowance of 1,594 euros.
To remedy this state of affairs, you can initiate an adoption procedure to make him a legal heir. In this case, a legal bond will be created between you. It will be kept, even if you separate from its parent at a later date, and it will be passed on to the children of your adopted child.
In France, there are two types of adoption: simple adoption and full adoption. The first is the most common. For it to be valid, its purpose must be to create or establish a filiation between you and your stepchild without causing prejudice to your own children. If its reason is only inheritance or tax, the courts could reject your request.
With a simple adoption, your stepchild will obtain rights to three estates. “This procedure creates a double filiation and the child inherits both from his two natural parents and from his adopting parent”, explains Arlette Darmon, president of the group of notaries Monassier. During your inheritance, he will also benefit from a more favorable tax scale for transmissions, that between parent and child. For this you must meet a number of conditions.
Proving strong emotional ties
If your stepchild is a minor, you must prove that this adoption materializes strong emotional ties between you and him and is not against his interests. More, “The adopter must be married to one of the parents, be at least ten years older than the adoptee and obtain the agreement of both parents and that of the child if he is over 13 years old”, states Vincent Lemée, communications delegate for the notaries of Brittany. If he is of legal age and you are married to his parent, only the age difference obligation of at least ten years remains.
If you are in a civil partnership or cohabiting with your parent, you must be at least 28 years old, be at least fifteen years older than your stepchild and be able to prove that you have brought him up continuously for at least five years during his minority, or at least ten years during his minority and his majority. Otherwise, you will give him rights to your inheritance, but “Fiscally, the transmission between the adopting parent and the adopted child will be subject to the tax scale for foreigners”, underlines Laurent Mazeyrie.
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