I wanted to write something on this subject because there are big differences between British law and French law. However, the subject is so complex that I am out of my depth and still wanting answers for our own situation. However, I found this interesting letter in the Telegraph written by Nicholas Wightwick. “In the UK, large estates are left to the eldest child. The Napoleonic Code has destroyed large estates to no one’s benefit. It decrees that estates, property and money must be divided equally between all direct claimants. Furniture, pictures and other valuables are quickly distributed and probably sold, while the house – now belonging to several people – becomes no one’s responsibility. Moreover, there is no organisation like the National Trust in France, which means that large, unwanted houses are often left to rot.”
The division of property into smaller and smaller pieces can be seen in the vineyards. An owner might have many small fields all over the village. As a result organic production is often laughed at as an impossibility because the plots are small and surrounded by owners who use pesticides. However, the organic samples I have tasted speak for themselves.