In the absence of descendants, the question of succession arises. Who will inherit your property in the event of death? Do nephews and nieces inherit automatically? And what are the tips to know to pay as little estate tax as possible? We answer all your questions to know how to pass on your heritage to your nephews. Also follow our tips for writing your will.
Can we inherit our nephews and nieces rather than our children?
The freedom to inherit your nephews and nieces varies depending on the family situation. If you have no children, you are free to pass your assets on to your nephews and nieces.
On the other hand, if you have descendants, the children remain legal heirs, in the same way as the surviving spouse. This means that part of the inheritance must necessarily go to them. Consequently, the donation to nephews and nieces cannot exceed half of the reference patrimony in the presence of a child (one third in the presence of two children and one quarter in other cases).
Do nephews inherit automatically?
If the deceased has no spouse, parent or siblings, the nephews and nieces inherit automatically. They receive the share that would have gone to their deceased parents.
Those who wish to pass their heritage on to their nephews and nieces must draw up a will. It is then possible to bequeath all of your assets to them if you have no descendants or a spouse.
On the other hand, if you are married without children, your spouse has the right to receive at least a quarter of your inheritance.
The order of heirs in the absence of descendants
It is the Civil Code (articles 734 and following) which sets the rules of succession and the order of heirs if no will has been drawn up. The heirs refer to the parents in the broad sense as well as the spouse.
Without successible spouse
In the absence of a successible spouse, the heirs are, by order:
- the father and mother, the brothers and sisters and the descendants of the latter;
- ascendants other than fathers and mothers;
- collateral other than siblings and descendants of the latter. Collateral refers to uncles, aunts, cousins, grand-cousins …
With successible spouse
On the other hand, in the presence of a successible spouse, the transmission takes place in a different way. In fact, since 2002, the surviving spouse has been better protected. From now on, we inherit between spouses. Although it is still not integrated into the order of heirs, the law grants it a specific status since it inherits in all cases. His share of the inheritance varies according to the other heirs involved:
- if there are children from the couple, the surviving spouse inherits either the entire estate in usufruct, or a quarter in full ownership;
- if the deceased leaves one or more children not born of his union with the surviving spouse, the latter can only claim a quarter in ownership of the existing assets not bequeathed;
- if the deceased has no children, the surviving spouse shares the estate with the parents;
- finally, if the deceased has only brothers and sisters, the spouse inherits full ownership of all property.
the tax share
Transmission of patrimony to nephews:
After an allowance, the inheritance is subject to 55% inheritance tax. So that the share of the tax is less important, it is therefore necessary to organize upstream.
In the case of a life insurance policy of which your nephews are beneficiaries, the money paid into this contract before your 70th birthday comes back to them without any tax up to 152,000 euros each. Beyond that, a tax applies. However, it turns out to be less burdensome than in the case of inheritance tax.
And after 70 years, the exemption on the sums paid is no more than 30,500 euros, all contracts and beneficiaries combined. The accrued interest is not subject to tax.
How to transmit real estate to its nephews?
A donation is still possible if you are ready to give up during your lifetime. This process is interesting if you keep the usufruct. If you are between 75 and 80 years old, this usufruct represents 30% of the value of the property. And your nephews will only be taxed at 70%. On your death, they will recover full ownership without paying more.
On the other hand, if you bequeath the house by will so that they inherit, the amount of inheritance tax will be very high. For a house of 200,000 euros, they will be of the order of 105,000 euros. And with this process, you can no longer sell your home without their agreement.
The other solution when it is impossible to get rid of it, as part of a main residence, for example, is to provide a bequest to an association recognized as being of public utility. This must be done by will. The association will then have to pay a certain sum to the nephews, net of all costs and inheritance rights. Since associations are exempt from inheritance tax, your nephews will receive more capital than if you had bequeathed your entire estate to them. It also helps support a good cause.
Heritage : how to make a will?
First, you should have your will registered with a notary. Thus, by being kept in the notarial office, the will can neither be lost nor destroyed. In addition, it is entered in the central file of last will dispositions (FCDDV). Regardless of the notary responsible for the succession, he will know that a will has been drawn up by the deceased.
Then, registering a will with a notary costs around one hundred euros for the formalities. And this, whether the document is holographic, that is to say written by hand, dated and signed by you, or authentic (drawn up by the notary). However, in case of advice, plan for additional fees.
Finally, you don’t necessarily have to wait until you are old to make a will. This is possible at any age, because we do not know what can happen. And if you change your mind, the document remains editable at will. Moreover, the more your heritage is important, the more it is better to start early to transmit. This makes it possible to limit the rights as much as possible.
Read also : Passing on a heritage through dismemberment