Legal Updates

An heir has no right to the assets included in a will whilst the testator is alive and the testator may do with such asset as he pleases

June 10, 2024

A woman contended that she suffered damage because she was prevented from receiving an apartment that her grandmother bequeathed to her, due to the fact that the apartment was sold using a notarized power of attorney signed by the grandmother while still alive and demanded compensation from the notary public who authenticated the power of attorney.

The Court held that the woman did not suffer any damage and has no right of claim against the notary public. An estate materializes upon the death of the testator, and not before. Until the demise of the testator there is no "estate". Therefore, the transfer of a person's assets while alive is not deemed "emptying an estate" and the intended heir has no future right of reliance on the testator’s assets. Here, because the apartment was sold during her grandmother's lifetime, the woman had no right to the property, and she was not entitled to rely on any ownership of the property. Therefore, she did not suffer any damage for the "loss" of the property and has no right of cliam.