Gal’s inheritance dispute

Gal’s inheritance dispute
Gal’s inheritance dispute

The dispute over the inheritance left by Gal Costa (1945-2022), considered one of the greatest singers in Brazil, continues to yield new chapters and controversies. The latest, revealed on Sunday (March 31), placed the singer’s only son, Gabriel Costa, and the boy’s godmother, businesswoman Wilma Petrillo, on opposite sides, who also claims to have been not only responsible for the singer’s business, but companion.

As soon as he turned 18, at the beginning of this year, Gabriel went to court with a case that questions the sharing of assets left by the artist and even the cause of his mother’s death, which he wants to prove by exhuming Gal’s body, which is buried. in a tomb belonging to Wilma’s family in São Paulo.

The biggest controversy, revealed in an interview given by the boy to “Fantástico”, is that he had been coerced into signing a document in which he recognized the stable union between Wilma and Gal Costa. The document was presented to the Court and served as proof for Wilma to also become one of the heirs to the artist’s estate.

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On national television, Gabriel confessed that he asked the court to annul the document and that he was unaware that Wilma and Gal were a couple.

Experts consulted by Infomoney They say that there are many variables to be analyzed in the case, but they reinforce in unison: the validity of a document signed under duress can be questioned in court.

According to Aílton Soares de Oliveira, lawyer and founding partner of the firm A. Soares de Oliveira Advogados e Advogados, what determines a stable union is not just an isolated document, but a series of other factors.

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Oliveira also highlights that it is necessary to know whether the boy had the capacity to attest to the union in terms of intimate coexistence. “We also need to know whether the moment he signed was ideal, because it seems to me to be a troubled psychological moment, as he had just lost his mother. There is no guarantee that there was complete discernment of the legal content of what he was signing”, explains the specialist in Succession Planning and Family Litigation.

For lawyer Suzana Camarão Cencin Castelnau, partner at Donelli, Abreu Sodré e Nicolai Advogados (DSA), the issue of civil capacity is fundamental, because whether he signed the document before the age of 18 makes a difference. “Minors under 16 do not have civil capacity and, in this condition, it is easier to cancel a declaration. If he was between 16 and 18, he was relatively capable.”

Wilma declared, in the same report, that Gal’s assets were not that large and that, in fact, the singer had a lot of debts. Performer of hits such as “Baby”, “Força Estranha” and “Chuva de Prata”, the artist maintained a company in partnership with Wilma. GMC Produções Artísticas would have a debt of approximately R$ 730 thousand in taxes with the Union and the City of São Paulo.

But Gabriel’s defense found that the artist had, in her assets, the mansion where she lived in Jardim Europa, an upscale neighborhood of São Paulo, valued at R$5 million, as well as works of art, two luxury cars, jewelry and resources. financial information in bank accounts in Brazil and abroad.

Regarding debts, lawyer Suzana says that the heirs of the estate are responsible for them. In this case, the estate’s assets will be used to pay off the debts left by the person who died.

“If there is a positive balance left, it is shared among the heirs. If the balance is negative, debts are paid to the extent that there are assets, and creditors cannot claim the heirs’ personal assets. In short, if there is more debt than equity, creditors are left unpaid and heirs do not respond with their personal assets,” he explains.

What does the law say?

Gabriel was adopted by Gal when he was little and, in the eyes of the law, there is no difference between biological and adopted children: they are all necessary heirs. Therefore, he is entitled to 50%. The remaining 50% could go to Wilma, if she can prove the relationship is stable. Just like Rose Miriam, mother of Gugu Liberato’s children, she asked for recognition in court.

But there is still another aggravating factor in this case, which concerns Wilma’s actions, and which could make her unworthy to receive an inheritance, if some signs of conduct subject to punishment in the Penal Code are confirmed.

In “Fantástico”, the businesswoman denies everything, but there are predictions of the unworthiness of an heir in the law, as happened, for example, with Suzane von Richthofen, who was convicted of the death of her parents. But, in Wilma’s case, it will be necessary to confirm all suspicions, as she does not have any legal conviction, like Suzane’s.

According to the partner in the Family and Succession Law area at Marzagão e Balaró Advogados, Daniela Rocegalli Rebelato, in addition to the recognition of the stable union, it will also be necessary to raise Gal’s private assets, acquired before the supposed union.

The process is being carried out in secret at the São Paulo Court of Justice (TJSP), but Gabriel’s lawyer, Luci Vieira Nunes, who also worked on his adoption process, said in a statement that the boy, at the time of Gal’s death , in November 2022, he had no means of defending himself because he was a minor and was under the custody and guidance of Wilma Petrillo. Now, upon reaching the age of majority, he “can take several actions to act in accordance with his conscience free from influence”.

The article is in Portuguese

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