Thousands of elderly Spaniards are taking the vengeful step of disinheriting their children if they have shown no regard for their well-being during lockdown.
According to Spanish support networks for the elderly, many older people have been so heartbroken by the lack of contact from relatives during the pandemic that they are seeking advice on how to cut them out of their will.
“Our motto is ‘if they don’t look after you, don’t leave them anything’,” Marcel Cornellá, who runs an association for the elderly in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada, told the Sunday Telegraph.
Mr Cornellá said he has been receiving 220 calls a month from elderly people asking for advice on how to disinherit a child or children, five times more than pre-pandemic levels.
“Typically, this is a problem that was already there and now it has come to the surface as people suffer confinement and health problems,” said Mr Cornellá, citing the example of an 81-year-old widow who had no contact from her daughter for 18 months despite suffering from terminal cancer.
“This law of forced inheritance is from the time of horse and carts, and has nothing to do with today’s world. People should be free to choose what they wish to do with their property,” he added.
In Spain only Navarre and the Basque Country regions make it easy for parents to disinherit offspring. Elsewhere, the law says that parents must demonstrate cause for doing so, such as physical abuse.