A small village in southern France is €14m better off thanks to the will of a man who used to spend childhood holidays there with his family.

Montézic, around 60km north of the town of Rodez in the Aveyron region, benefitted from the generosity of Bernard Milhau, a Côte d’Azur-based businessman who died in 2018.

According to website connexionfrance.com, Mr Milhau had drawn up a new will two years before his death leaving his entire fortune to the village, although none of its 234 inhabitants realised this at the time.

The will reads: “I leave, to the commune of Montézic alone, the entirety of my banking and financial assets, and the balance of the sale price of the universality of the goods, movable and immovable, which make up my estate.”

Mayor René Levastrou admitted he had not met Mr Milhau, who had never himself lived locally, but said he knew the latter had been “very attached to the village and to the local heritage”.

He added that he had first become aware of the legacy in 2018, but had only publicly announced the gift during a celebration ceremony in January, once it had been legally confirmed.

He said: “I waited until lawyers had checked that he had no heirs; I wanted to take the belt and braces approach.”

And, he told local news source France 3 Occitanie: “This legacy is very welcome. The coffers are never too full!”

In return for his generosity, Mr Milhau asked only that the family tomb – located in the village cemetery – should be well looked-after.