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Everything You Need to Know About "Donation between spouses": A Strategic Option for the Surviving Spouse

Updated: Mar 19

The donation to the last survivor, commonly referred to as "Donation between spouses," is a process that significantly increases the rights of the surviving spouse beyond what is typically provided by civil law.

This type of donation is particularly flexible as it can be revoked at any time by the person who set it up, thus offering valuable adaptability throughout life.


Upon the death of the donor, the surviving spouse is presented with a choice thanks to this donation:

- Receive the disposable portion in full ownership.

- Opt for the entirety of the assets in usufruct.

- Select a mixed option: one-quarter in full ownership and three-quarters in usufruct.


One of the main benefits of this donation is that it allows the surviving spouse to benefit from the usufruct of the estate, an option not provided by civil law in the presence of children from previous mariages. The beneficiary also has the freedom to limit their rights or to renounce them entirely.

In opting for usufruct, it is wise to establish quasi-usufruct agreement. This agreement allows the surviving spouse to use the assets, with the obligation to restore their equivalent upon their death, thus clearly defining the rights and duties of each party.

Upon the death of the surving spouse, the bare owners will appear as creditors of the estate, and this claim will be recorded in the surviving spouse's estate liabilities. For bare owners, it is crucial to be mindful of the statute of limitations, set at five years, to assert their rights.

For the usufructuary and bare owners looking to simplify their situation and end the property division, Article 761 of the Civil Code allows for the conversion of usufruct into capital.

This donation remains subject to the rules of imputation and reduction to ensure the protection of the heirs' reserved share.

For any questions regarding the "donation between spouses" or any other concerns in estate law, do not hesitate to reach out to us.


 Post 15/03/2024


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