It was in 876 that life annuity was introduced in France. Since then, the device has not ceased to exist. Basically, the principle is simple: you buy an apartment occupied by an elderly person at a reasonable price and you also pay him an annuity until he passes from life to death, the moment from which you can enjoy the apartment for which we did not pay very much. Unless of course if the old man decides to prolong the pleasure indefinitely, as described in the film The life annuity where Michel Serrault refuses to die.
1. Jeanne Calment
The story is well known and even inspired a film, Un duplex pour 3. In 1965, a notary, Maître Raffray, had the good idea of buying the apartment of a 90-year-old lady for life. The 90-year-old lady is Jeanne Calment… Finally, after having spent 30 years paying 2,500 francs a month to the dean of humanity, Raffray died in December 95 without having been able to take advantage of the apartment whose he will have finally paid twice the value. Bad luck, especially since Jeanne Calment did not finally die until two years later, in 97, at the age of 122.
2. Maupassant’s Little Barrel
Inspired by a news item from the time, Maupassant’s short story tells how a farmer buys his neighbour’s farm for life and, surprised at not seeing her die quickly enough, decides to convert her to alcoholism to accelerate his loss, offering him every week a small cask of the fine that he distills on his land. And until the old woman dies and leaves her house to the applicant.
3. The crooked notary of Brittany
In 2010, a notary from La Baule was banned from practicing after realizing the following: having linked “quasi-filial” ties, according to him, with an old client, he had convinced his quasi-mother to sell at a very friendly his house to his girl, in life, of course. The profession turned against him, especially since in the meantime the old woman had died and the notary had settled down. Finally struck off and prosecuted, he had already been prosecuted for similar facts several years earlier and had then benefited from a dismissal.
4. The guy who poisoned the occupant of his life annuity
In Cannes, in 2015, a 46-year-old guy bought the apartment of his neighbor, 85, for life. As a good neighbor, he regularly came to visit her. Until the day when, following one of these visits, the old woman falls into a coma and the guy feels very bad. The analyzes carried out at the hospital are formal: the mineral water they both consumed was armored with lethal drugs in high doses or for sensitive organisms. Oupsie: we find the medicine box at the guy’s house. Perhaps he was considering expanding his home. The old woman got away with it and he was put on trial.
5. At 96, she died barely ten months after concluding a life annuity
In 2008, a couple acquired the apartment of a 96-year-old girl, who soon died, barely 10 months later. Except that the tax administration finds this coincidence suspicious and looks into the finances of the couple, already worried by repeated tax audits. And it turns out that the couple has not paid a penny to the old woman since the life annuity acquisition. Suspicious. The couple defend themselves by invoking exceptional circumstances explaining the non-payment of the money, but the court rules on a disguised donation. They must therefore pay significant inheritance tax.
7. Another crooked confidant
The Auger spouses had a confidant, a bankrupt restaurant owner who had power of attorney over their account. He had bought their apartment for life. And then one day, shortly after the death of her husband, Madame Auger realizes that 23,000 bullets are missing from her account. Obviously, the guy is in the crosshairs, rightly so. But she is not at the end of her surprises: she discovers that her husband has left a will in which he bequeaths all the furniture in their home to the trusted man, already a beneficiary of the walls following the life contract passed. between the parties. Ah and who discovered the body of the husband and gave 3 different versions of the discovery of the body to the police? Always this dear trusted man. Who also received substantial life insurance following this death. Nothing weird about all that, huh.
8. De Gaulle, VGE and Kennedy had bought apartments for life
Colombey-les-deux-églises, the castle of d’Estaing (hence the added particle to make it look like), and a house in the US (of which he probably did not have the usufruct given his reduced lifespan) : Heads of State are life annuity fanatics. Perhaps because, when you command the army, you know that you can intervene if ever the occupier’s life drags on.