The unusual fate of Cesar Alierta’s millionaire inheritance

Cesar Alierta, former president of Telefonica and Tabacalera and prominent shareholder of Real Zaragoza, died last Wednesday, January 10, at the age of 78 in Zaragoza due to complications caused by heart disease.

The former Telefonica president amassed significant assets during his time at the helm of one of Spain’s most powerful companies. A fortune comprising 75.5 million euros of accumulated salary, a pension of 54.2 million and shares worth 45 million at the end of his term, according to Worldit remains to be decided who will be the heir to his legacy.

His nephew, one of the main beneficiaries

With no obvious direct heirs (he had no children with Ana Cristina Placer and they refused adoption), rumors and speculation revolve around names such as Isabelle Sartorius, who shared important moments with Alierta at the end of her life, and his nephew Javier Placer, who worked with him at Beta Capital and Telefónica.


The law says your brothers are forced heirs

Emilia Gutierrez / Own

The relationship between Alierta and his nephew was very close. In fact, after his wife’s death in 2015, Alierta became even more committed to Placer on an emotional and professional level. Thus, they developed a very special relationship between parents and children.

Although the businessman also adored the rest of his nephews, he decided to choose Javier Placer, with whom he worked at Beta Capital in the 90s, to lead Telefónica’s innovation direction, a testament to the trust and strong bond they shared. He held this position until 2017.

What does the law say?

The application of Spanish inheritance law in the case of Cesar Alierta, who died without children and without a widow, meant that his estate would be distributed first to his parents – if they were alive – and then to his siblings. Since the first assumption is not fulfilled, the inheritance will go to his brothers.

However, the presence of a will can change this distribution if the portion legally assigned to the forced heirs, which in this case would be the brothers, is respected. Moreover, his close relationship with his nephew Javier Placer may have influenced his decisions regarding the will, although this would depend on the specific contents of Alierta’s will. In any case, no disputes regarding distribution are expected.

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