PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE BY SONS AND DAUGHTERS TO THEIR PARENTS
AS A NEW REASON FOR DISINHERITANCE:
A LEGAL AND MEDIA APPROACH AND ITS HUMAN INTEREST
© Olga Pérez Arroyo
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (España)
In the summer of 2014 the Spanish press spoke of a novel jurisprudential expansion of causes of deprivation of the legitimate inheritance line. The descendants could be disinherited by their parents if it is proved that the ascending family members had been victims of psychological abuse. The media were not oblivious to the component of human interest awoken by the judgment of the Supreme Court´s First Chamber, in June the 3th, 2014. The mass media coverage of that judgment expanded its echo beyond the judicial circles and the legal profession. The media headlines presented the message happily as it had been a social demand for some time. Thus, many parents could deprive of his own property the one who to some extension they felt as an intruder, be him or her of his very same blood or an adopted child.
Here we try to make a jurisprudential, theoretical and reflective review of how the courts make up caselaw, in this case, focused on the disinheritance by parents of their descendants on grounds of psychological abuse. The mass media play the role of disseminators of this judicial information, taking into account the human interest of these stories and facts. This paper proves that judges in Spain might be considering the human interest of newspaper stories to right certain wrong situations in our secular statutory minimum share of a descendent's estate.