In regards to his or her quality, the surviving spouse possesses different rights in successions.
Free transfers (“mutations à titre gratuity”) concern two categories: transfers by death (legal or testamentary successions) and inter vivos transfers (direct or indirect donations, shared donations (“donations-partage”) or manual donations).
The declaration of succession is mandatory for any heir, legatee (« légataire »), beneficiary (« donataire »), guardian (« tuteur ») or curator (« curateur ») (article 800 of the French general tax code). It can be filled in without the intervention of notary as the latter is not required.
The holographic will is a private deed that presents advantages due to its freeness and secret nature. It does not require any registration or administrative formalities; the intervention of a notary is for instance not a validity condition for this type of will.
Testamentary revocation is of public order; its principle is stated in article 895 of the French civil code. A will can therefore freely be revoked by its testator. This right being discretionary, it cannot be considered abusive.