Throughout Southern California
View Our Practice Areas

The Red Duchess' Effort to Deny Her Children Their Family Legacy

The Duchess of Medina Sidonia was clearly not centered around her children. She feuded with them while she was alive and tried to prevent them from receiving any portion of the family archives and legacy. The children have now turned to the Spanish courts in the hopes that a right of inheritance in Spanish law will protect them.

Known as the Red Duchess for her strong political response to Franco, Luisa Isabel Álvarez de Toledo and her descendants trace their lineage back to the man who was best known for leading the dramatically failed Spanish Armada against England. While she was alive, the Duchess was in control of the family's historical archive, a private asset valued at some $67 million.

In the 1990s, her children successfully sued her to stop her from giving away portions of the family estate. This caused a permanent rift and the Duchess decided to leave nothing behind for her children. Eventually, she created a foundation to hold the archives.

On her deathbed in 2008, the Duchess married her longtime lover and put her in charge of the foundation, believing this would effectively cut her children out of the estate. The Telegraph reported this story in "Children of 'Red Duchess' who married lesbian lover on deathbed in battle over legacy." The children are now suing for part of the archive.

Under Spanish law children have a right to receive at least one-third of the estate of their parents. However, the courts will have to sort out whether that applies in a case such as this, where the property was actually given to a foundation before the parent passed away. It is clear that the intent behind the law is to make certain that parents cannot leave their children nothing. Thus, if policy dictates, it would seem the children should win.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Find Out The Difference That Experience And Expertise Makes

Get the peace of mind that you deserve. First, attend a seminar. This will entitle you to a free initial consultation and a discounted estate planning fee. To learn more about our services or sign up for a seminar, contact us online or call us at 866-402-1805. We have offices in Torrance, Orange, Newport Beach, Pasadena and Woodland Hills.

Questions? Contact Us.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Call Now For A Free Consultation: 866-402-1805
  • ${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt}
  • Main Office: Torrance

    Torrance Office
    990 West 190th Street
    Suite 500
    Torrance, CA 90502

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Orange Office
    333 City Boulevard West
    17th Floor
    Orange, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Newport Beach Office
    5000 Birch Street
    Suite 8000
    Newport Beach, CA 92660

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Pasadena Office
    790 East Colorado Boulevard
    9th Floor
    Pasadena, CA 91101

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Woodland Hills Office
    5850 Canoga Avenue
    4th Floor
    Woodland Hills, CA 91367

    Toll Free: 866-402-1805
    Map & Directions

    Office map
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis on Yelp
Check out Kavesh Minor & Otis on Yelp
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh, Minor & Otis - Orange on Yelp
Check out The Law Firm of Kavesh Minor & Otis - Pasadena on Yelp