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Thursday, September 7, 2017

DNA test proves woman who claimed part of Salvadore Dali's estate is not his child

When you're doing your estate planning, you probably try to anticipate the "what if" questions that seem reasonable. For example, what if my spouse dies before me? What if my executor refuses to take on the job? What if one of my children is still a minor when I pass away? Those are things that you can cover off in your will because you can anticipate they may happen.

But it seems there are some things you simply cannot anticipate. A case in point is a recent lawsuit brought by Pilar Abel, a Spanish woman, who claimed a share of the estate of the famous artist Salvador Dali. Ms. Abel claimed that she was his daughter, born as the result of an affair between Dali and her mother. Her claim was based on information she received from her grandmother and mother.

Salvador Dali's estate is held by a foundation created by the artist. The foundation denied the claim from the start. The latest development in the case is that DNA testing was done using Dali's exhumed body, and the results prove that Ms' Abel is not biologically related to Dali. To read more about this in a story from NPR, click here.

Since Dali had probably never even heard of Ms. Abel, there was nothing he could have done to protect his estate from her claim. It's unfortunate that it had to go so far that a man's body was exhumed, no doubt at great expense and great upset to his family.

Did Ms. Abel solidly believe she was his daughter, or was this an opportunistic money-grab? We can only give her the benefit of the doubt.

The above photo of Salvador Dali accompanied the article in and is credited to Eustache Cardenas/AP.

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