It is possible to identify the notary in charge of a succession and, since March 2022, to know the vacant successions.
During a succession, it is the notary, public and ministerial officer, who carries out the mandatory formalities, including the search for possible heirs. If you have not been contacted, you can find the name of the notary in charge of the succession or find out if it is a vacant succession.
How do I find the name of the notary in charge of an estate?
In France, we inherit up to the 6th degree, which means that some heirs may not know the name of the notary in charge of the succession, because they had not been in contact with the deceased for several years. If you are in this case, know that you can initiate certain steps or entrust this task at the notary of your choice.
Thus, you are entitled to contact the Departmental Chamber of Notaries of the place of residence of the deceased. You can also apply to the Central File of Last Will Dispositions (FCDDV) which contains all the information on wills that have been deposited with a ministerial officer.
Who are the heirs concerned by the succession?
In the absence of a will, the heirs of the deceased in order of priority are his children and their descendants, his parents, brothers and sisters as well as their descendants, his other ascendants (grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.) and his ordinary collaterals (uncles, aunts, cousins, cousins).
The spouse is also an heir, but benefits from a special regime depending in particular on the composition of the family, the matrimonial regime and the existence or not of a will.
In the presence of a will, the deceased was able to designate a third party other than his compulsory heirs to receive a share of this inheritance.
How to initiate a search in the event of the opening of a vacant succession?
A succession is considered “vacant” if no heir has accepted or claimed it within 6 months of the date of death or if all the known heirs have renounced it.
In this case, the notary, the public prosecutor, any person managing the estate of the deceased or the creditors may seize the judicial court of the domicile of the deceased. A curatorship order is then published in a newspaper of legal notices and the State represented by the Direction Nationale d'Interventions Domaniales (DNID) is appointed curator of the estate. He then ensures the management of the deceased's property and the settlement of any debts. Thus, in 2021, more than 216 million euros were consigned to Caisse des dépôts by the Estate.
To cope with the large number of abandoned inheritances, the State has set up an online tool to find vacant estates related to deaths occurring after January 1, 2007. If you do this yourself, you must provide a death certificate. You will then obtain information on the opening of a vacant succession and the progress of the file.
For deaths prior to January 1, 2007, you must contact the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP).