Home Costa Rica Legal TopicsCivil Law Strengthening Protections for the Elderly in Costa Rica: New Legal Reforms

Strengthening Protections for the Elderly in Costa Rica: New Legal Reforms

by rpetersen

Costa Rica has always stood out as a country that has respect and care for its senior population, embodying a tradition that venerates the elderly. This tradition is not merely a cultural footnote; it is woven into the very fabric of Costa Rican society, where older adults are revered as custodians of wisdom and family heritage.

Recently, Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly has passed Law 10455, which significantly amplifies the legal protections afforded to older adults against various forms of abuse. The new law meticulously updates and extends the provisions within the existing law for the protection of the elderly,  aiming for a more robust enforcement of civil sanctions in cases of physical, sexual, psychological, and financial violence against the elderly.

The Legislative Framework of Law 10455

The essence of Law 10455  is  in its comprehensive approach to updating existing statutes to provide clearer, more enforceable protections for the elderly. By amending Articles 62 and 65 of the  Law for Older Adults, Article 1405 of the Civil Code, and introducing a new Article 103 bis to the Penal Code, Costa Rica underscores its commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of older adults.

Amendments to The Law for the Protection of the Elderly

  • Article 62: Introduces a special disqualification for individuals convicted of crimes involving violence against older adults. This extends to barring these individuals from owning, managing, or working in elder care centers. Such a conviction is also deemed a serious labor violation, warranting dismissal without employer liability.

  • Article 65: Specifies the conditions under which a person may be deemed unworthy of inheritance or receiving donations due to actions against an older adult. This includes convictions for abandonment in a state of vulnerability and sentences for any form of violence against older adults.

Civil Code Amendment (Article 1405)

Clarifies the conditions under which donations can be revoked due to the legal definition of ingratitude. These conditions range from acts of violence against the donor or their family to abandonment or exploitation of the donor, particularly when the donor is an elderly adult.

Criminal Consequences (Article 103 bis):

The new law establishes  the legal basis for declaring an individual unworthy of receiving an inheritance or receiving donations from an estate following a conviction for acts of violence against older adults, abandonment of an older adult in a vulnerable state, or any form of violence where the victim is an older adult.

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