July 12th, 2011

Inheritance, France, 1910's

I'm looking for information on the inheritance laws in France in 1910's. My story has a family with two children, the older one is a woman and the younger one a man. Their father dies and leaves them quite a large estate and a moderate amount of money. If he does not have a will, how is the fortune divided? What if his wife is still alive? How much can he do with a will?

I'm under the impression that Les lois de la révolution ordered women equal rights to inherit, but that was abolished later. So, what was the law like afterwards? Did primogeniture exist, or did daughters also inherit their fathers? In what proportion?

I've searched this with terms 'primogeniture', 'inheritance law', 'France', 'rights to inherit', 'women', 'histoire du droit de succession', 'droit d'aînesse', 'droit à l'héritage', 'droits de la femme', etc. I seem to find information only on the current law and on the situation between the Middle Ages and the French Revolution, or on succession in European monarchies. GoogleBooks mentions some interesting-looking books, but without a preview.

Thank you in advance!

Gilles de Rais' estates, 15th century France

I know he was a great landholder, with estates concentrated mostly in north-west France. But apart from Tiffauges, Machecoul, Champocté and Ingrandes, I don't know exactly where they were. (I found one very fuzzy map, which I can't read properly.)

Can anyone help? I’m interested in his holdings at their greatest extent.

Googled: “Gilles de” Rais, Retz, castles, estates, properties, lands, holdings.

Thanks in advance!