Institute of Global Law

French Legal News - Inheritance Law

On 11 January 2005, the Second Civil Section of the Cour de cassation ruled that a claim that a will was void for mental disorder was invalid because it should have been made within five years. In doing so the court quashed a decision of the cour d’appel, which had allowed the action on the basis of article 489-1 of the French Civil Code. Article 489-1 limits claims of nullity on the grounds of mental disorder to certain circumstances, except where the claim relates to a will or donation. The cour d’appel had inferred from this distinction that wills and donations could escape the five year time limit imposed by article 1304 C. civ. for claims of nullity based on a lack of real consent by one of the parties. The Cour de cassation held that article 489-1 was not relevant to the issue of time limits and that the five-year limit should therefore have been applied.



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