French probate law

Details of Keith Floyd’s estate revealed

Details of Keith Floyd's estate revealed.

The details of the late Keith Floyd's estate have been revealed, showing that the chef managed to leave only £7,500 of his English estate to his children, Patrick and Poppy.

Sadly, this is another case which resembles that of the late film director, Michael Winner.  In this instance, Floyd's extravagant lifestyle, combined with his lack of business knowledge, led to financial difficulties, and he was forced to declare bankruptcy for a second time in 1996 – 13 years before his death at 65, caused by a heart attack.

During his years as a TV celebrity, Floyd had to sell his three restaurants in Bristol, in order to pay off outstanding debts.  In addition, he also faced financial problems with his restaurant in Provence and his pub in Devon.

Amazingly, he did not even draw up an English will until ten months before his death.

Living out his final years in Provence, Floyd will undoubtedly also have a French will, but the contents of his French estate are unknown and according to French probate law, may not be revealed publicly.

Having worked so hard throughout his life – firstly as a journalist, then an army officer and finally a celebrity chef, it is tragic that Keith Floyd never took the time to invest his money wisely and through careful estate planning, ensure that his beneficiaries would benefit as much as possible from the wealth he amassed during his lifetime.

Have a property in France?-French probate law

An individual wrote recently to say that they had a second home in France and ask, on the basis that they had no surviving relative other than their sister, whether or not they could legitimately leave it to their friends?
Of course, owning a property abroad will always complicate the probate process, due to probate laws varying in each individual country.
However, in this instance it was agreed that the best way forward would be to include the legacy of the French house within the English Will, given that the individual was resident in England.
The only problem with this is that a delay would inevitably occur as English probate must be completed before the property could be legally dealt with in France. 
There is no probate law in France which states that the property must be left to a certain individual within a Will. However, it does mean that the beneficiaries (ie the friends) must pay 60 percent Inheritance Tax on the home. Specific wording within the Will can arrange for this to be paid out of the proceeds of the English estate.

Contact us


Call us for a quote, instant help or impartial advice on freephone
0800 612 6105 0800 calls are free - 0333 are local rate - Just click to Call

Or complete the form below