Supreme Court denies an ‘unworthy’ father the right to the inheritance of his deceased son

The civil chamber of the Supreme Court concludes that a father from Avilés, Oviedo, Spain is “unworthy” of inheriting the legacy of his deceased son. It is said that whilst the son was alive he suffered from cerebral palsy, yet the father abandoned him and failed to fulfil his duties as a parent.

The district court of Avilés dismissed the initial claim of the child’s mother as she failed to prove that the father had abandoned the child. The court granted the legacy in favour of the father, on the grounds that he had partially paid for the maintenance of the child as agreed in the regulatory agreement.

However, the Provincial Court of Oviedo revoked the sentence and declared the defendant as unworthy to succeed his deceased son. Against the ruling, the father filed a cassation appeal, which has now been dismissed by the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme court affirms that, having taken into account the serious disability of the son, “the breach of family duties of the father towards his son must be classified as serious and absolute”. At the age of sixteen months, the son suffered from meningitis which in turn led to cerebral palsy, a severe disability demanding special care from another person, as stated in the judgment appeal. The magistrates highlight that, “the child from the year 2007 until his death in 2013 lacked a parental figure – a parent who communicated with him, who visited him and provided him with affection and care”.

To conclude, although the district Court of Avilés initially granted the inheritance in favour of the father, the Supreme Court on the same grounds revoked the grant and granted it in favour of the mother.

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