|Luis Batiston in what was then his apartment|
Sr. Batiston had inherited the apartment from his maternal aunt, as specified in her will. Under Argentine law, however, a direct descendent has rights to real property that trump any bequest to another person, related or not. Although Srta. Paulliere never married and had no known descendents, the law also provides for the possibility of offspring and stipulates a 10-year period from the date of death to allow any offspring to make themselves known.
All this was carefully explained to us when we entered into the contract to buy the apartment and at each subsequent step in the process. The escribano (a cross between a lawyer and a notary who handles real estate transactions) called the issue a "cloud" on the title, or escritura. This cloud previously had dissuaded an Argentine family from purchasing the apartment. But Escribano Monte - as well as Sr. Batiston - also told us it was highly unlikely an heir would materialize. Being the adventurous souls we are, we readily committed to the deal. We had fallen in love with the apartment and felt that in this case the cloud was sure to have a silver lining.
Yesterday, all clouds lifted. Cheers!