A new law in France curtails British testators’ freedom to leave French assets to whomever they wish in their wills. This will have an impact on charities being left legacies of French assets, because in certain circumstances such legacies can now be challenged by the deceased’s children.

Charity publication Third Sector covered the news, quoting Stone King Partner Dan Harris, who heads the firm’s International and Cross-Border and Charity Legacy teams.

Dan says he believes the law is contrary to the principles of the European Succession Regulation and the ‘free market’ principles of the EU itself, and believes that ultimately it will be successfully challenged at a European level, but that this will take a number of years.

“In the interim,” he says “charities entitled to a legacy of French assets should be aware that their entitlement may be affected if the children of the deceased are able to bring a claim under the new law.

“It is difficult to estimate the scale of the issue, but at Stone King we help our charity clients with a constant stream of matters where French assets are left to UK charities every year and the value of these assets can be considerable. Across the country, there are hundreds of these cases.”

To read the full Third Sector article, please click here.

To read more about the new law in France, please go to: New 'French law curtails freedom to leave charity legacies'.