Can we bequeath a lot to an association even if we have children?

Question to an expert

I have two children, can I still bequeath a large amount to an association or foundation?

When his succession is governed by French law (that is to say, as a general rule, when he has his habitual residence in France at the time of his death) and when he has children, it is not possible to bequeath to an association or a foundation only a part of its heritage, called “disposable quota”.

This available portion is half of the assets in the presence of a child, a third in the presence of two children and a quarter with three or more children. When the proposed donation exceeds this available portion, however, there is a little-known option: suggest that your children give up, in advance, to question this donation.

They will then sign an early waiver of the reduction action. It is also possible to designate an association or a foundation as beneficiary of life insurance. Since the capital of a life insurance contract is transmitted outside the estate, it escapes in principle (unless the premiums are “manifestly excessive”) to the rules on hereditary reserve.

It is therefore possible to designate an association or a foundation both as legatee of the available portion and as beneficiary of life insurance. To avoid any difficulty of interpretation, the designation must be precise – full name, address of the registered office, etc.

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