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“Mourning tax”: the Senate votes to eliminate inheritance bank fees for deceased minors

Losing your child and then having to pay fees to close your bank book: faced with this “mourning tax”, the Senate approved on Wednesday a text removing certain inheritance bank fees, for small sums or when the deceased is minor.

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“Mourning tax”: the Senate votes to eliminate inheritance bank fees for deceased minors

Losing your child and then having to pay fees to close your bank book: faced with this “mourning tax”, the Senate approved on Wednesday a text removing certain inheritance bank fees, for small sums or when the deceased is minor. After the National Assembly at the end of February, the upper house unanimously adopted a bill from socialist MP Christine Pires Beaune, supported by the government. The text, slightly modified, must now return to the Assembly.

The most evocative measure aims to eliminate inheritance bank fees for heirs in cases where the deceased person is a minor. This initiative comes following a high-profile case of parents having to pay 138 euros to close the booklet A of their 8-year-old child who died in May 2021. “If this text will never erase the pain and sadness inflicted by the loss of a loved one, it can at least contribute to not weighing it down,” underlined the Minister of Public Accounts Thomas Cazenave, in support of a text “of justice and humanity”. “The challenge is not to add fragility to fragility,” he continued.

Also read “Prolonged mourning”: when the pain caused by the disappearance of a loved one does not subside

The Senate also opted for free inheritance bank fees in cases where the sums involved are modest. If the National Assembly had set an outstanding ceiling at 5,000 euros, the Senate for its part preferred to match this amount to that set by a ministerial decree of 2015, revalued annually according to inflation and currently 5,909 euros .

With this text, “we avoid bludgeoning small assets”, was satisfied Senator Horizons Emmanuel Capus, who estimated the French average of bank charges on inheritances at 300 euros per deceased. “Three hundred euros in fees on 5,000 euros of outstanding debt is a kind of mourning tax,” he warned. For the most complex inheritances, the Senate proposed a capping of applicable fees at 1% of the total amount of sums held, accompanied by a maximum amount decided by decree.

With these measures, “between 30 and 40% of the population” will thus be covered by free access, estimated Thomas Cazenave, and “80% of our fellow citizens will pay a maximum of 200 euros in costs”, according to centrist rapporteur Hervé Maurey. All the groups voted for, even if the socialists raised “a small disappointment”: “the absence of a vote without modifications to the text, which would have allowed faster implementation”, pointed out the senator from Paris Rémi Féraud.

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