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Comparative Succession LawVolume II: Intestate Succession$
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Kenneth Reid, Marius de Waal, and Reinhard Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198747123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198747123.001.0001

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Intestate Succession in France

Intestate Succession in France

(p.33) 2 Intestate Succession in France
Comparative Succession Law

Cécile Pérès

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a historical background of intestate succession law in France. Before the Civil Code of 1804, the law was diverse and complex. In the north, customary law (droit coutumier) prevailed; in the south, there was the so-called droit écrit. The 1789 Revolution marked a sharp and painful break with the past. Succession law was manipulated to win over younger generations to the new regime. Unity of succession was introduced, so that property was subject to the same rules regardless of origin or nature. The Code civil of 1804 sought to reconcile the old traditions with the results brought about by the Revolution: it combined and tried to accommodate both mandatory law and party autonomy. The chapter then discusses relatives’ rights in the absence of a spouse; the surviving spouse’s rights; cohabitation and same-sex partnerships; adjustments for gifts and services; and the extent of the estate.

Keywords:   French law, intestate succession, succession law, Civil Code 1804, rights of relatives, spousal rights, cohabitation, same-sex partnerships, gifts, services

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