Bequests and notarized donations

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is registered as a non-profit organization in France since 1995. As such, we can receive your support in the form of bequests, notarized donations and life insurance benefits on which no estate tax is levied in France.


It is the transmission, by means of a will, of all or part of a person’s possessions to one or more beneficiaries of that person’s choice. The beneficiary may be a non-profit organization such as RSF.

A will can be changed or annulled at any time and does not take effect until the death of the testator (the person who made the will).


The general bequest: the testator bequeaths all of his or her possessions to one or several beneficiaries (called legs universel in France).

The partial bequest: the testator bequeaths a part of his or her possessions (called legs à titre universel in France).

The individual bequest: the testator bequeaths one or more specific possessions such as an apartment, a sum of money or a work of art (called legs particulier in France).


There is no minimum value for a bequest. Possessions of all kinds can be bequeathed to RSF:

- real estate: apartment, house, land etc.

- movable property: furniture, artwork, jewellery etc.

- a sum of money, shares, bonds, treasury bonds, a life insurance benefit etc.

A way to reduce estate tax that benefits RSF’s work

Thanks to its status a non-profit organization, RSF is exempted from paying any estate duty, regardless of the value of the assets it receives.

In order to reduce your estate duty, you can designate RSF as general legatee (légataire universel in France) in charge of transmitting individual bequests net of costs and duty to the person or persons you have chosen. This means that RSF pays the estate duty on behalf of the individual legatees, who receive their bequests without having to make any payment of their own. RSF thereby receives money at no loss to your heirs.

Bequeathing all or part of your estate to RSF is an extremely generous act that provides us with additional resources and, above all, enables us to undertake long-term projects. Bequests are regulated by legislation that you should be aware of. Before writing a will, consult a lawyer, who will assist you and give you the benefit of his or her expertise.


Unlike a regular gift or donation, which usually involves a sum of money, a notarized donation (called simply donation in France) is a transfer of money or property that is certified by a lawyer or notary. It is like a bequest but it is carried out during the person’s lifetime, it takes effect immediately and it is irrevocable.


Notarized donations usually involve real estate, objects of value and any possessions for which a transfer of rights or property must be registered, such as vehicles, copyright and so on.

Any kind of asset can be transmitted by notarized donation and can be transmitted in various forms: full ownership (with all rights), ownership without usufruct (without right of use) or temporary usufruct (for a minimum of three years, without transfer of ownership). The asset can be real estate (apartment, house, land etc), movable property (furniture, an object of value etc), a sum of money, shares or a life-insurance benefit.

Property transferred by notarized donation to a non-profit organization such as RSF is exempted from any transfer tax or duty, regardless of its value.

Elodie Truchon, who is in charge of administration and finances at RSF, is available to answer any questions you may have: [email protected]

If you like, we can also put you in touch with a lawyer or notary who will advise you free of charge if you want to make a bequest or notarized donation to RSF.