Legacies: Everything you should know

  • What is a legacy?

As opposed to a donation which transfers property during one’s lifetime, a legacy is a testamentary disposition. A legacy takes effect only after death. Before that date, the testator (the person giving) remains owner of his property and is free to do as he wishes with it.

  • Are there different types of legacies?

Depending on your plans, you can choose one of these three possibilities:

  1. You wish to leave to the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation all your estate without distinguishing between real and personal property. This is a universal legacy.
  2. You decide to leave a part of your estate (half, one quarter, etc.) or a category of property (personal, real). This is a legacy by universal title.
  3. You wish to leave one or more specific things, nominally designated (a portfolio of securities, an apartment, copyrights, etc.). This is a legacy by particular title.


  • Specifically, how do I leave something?

What are the procedures I need to follow to make a legacy? To make a legacy, you must write a will in which you designate the thing you wish to leave. In order to do this in the most efficient way, we recommend you to use, in France, a “notaire” (French notary) (see p.10). You can also contact our Legacy and Donations department which will guide you. (Call Anne at +33 (0)1 44 49 73 33) If you wish to leave something to the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation and you have already made testamentary provisions, it is best to let us know. To do so, send us an original copy of your will as well as the name of the notaire with whom you have deposited it.

I have heirs.

  • May I leave my property to the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation?

In France and in certain other countries, if you have compulsory heirs (living spouse, children or ascendants) you may not dispose of your entire estate by will. One part, the value of which may be evaluated by the notaire, is reserved exclusively for them. It is from the other part, called the disposable portion, that you may leave something to the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation.


  • If I change my mind or wish to make clarifications, may I modify my will?

Of course.Until your death, you are free to do as you wish. At any time you may modify or even redo your will. To terminate the validity of a will, all that is necessary is to write a new one beginning with this sentence: “This is my will which revokes all prior provisions”. Then mention your new wishes and date and sign it. From that time, these last wishes will apply (even if the prior will has been registered with a notaire).


  • I have no more family and have decided to make a legacy to the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation.What will happen after my death?

If possible, keep with you the contact information for your notaire or our Foundation. You can be sure that we will scrupulously comply with your last wishes.

  • What will become of the property I leave to you?

If you leave real property (house, apartment) the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation will take professional advice to realise the best sales price possible. Of course, tenants’ rights will be respected.

If your legacy includes personal property, it will be evaluated by auctioneers who will put it on sale.

Your personal papers, photos and souvenirs will be given to your family unless you specify otherwise. At your request, they can also be destroyed.

Of course, if you express other wishes in your will, the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation will scrupulously respect them, to the extent they are not harmful to the proper operation and reputation of the Foundation.

Dear Future Mom

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