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Succession 2010

Succession 2010

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Published by: hotjurist on Jul 07, 2010
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MLQU School of Law
Arlegui St., Quiapo Manila
2 0 0 9 C E N T R A L I Z E D B A R O P E R A T I O N S
Succession is the last mode of acquiring ownership. It is an independent mode of acquiring ownership.
Requisites of Succession:
(1) Death of the predecessor;(2) Existence and capacity of the successor;(3) Provision of the law or provision of a willgranting the right of succession;(4) Acceptance by the successor.
Q: Is tradition (delivery) required for ownershipto transfer?
A: No. Ownership is transferred by succession, notby any other mode.
Etymology: Succession
is derived from 2 Latinwords:
, meaning under (e.g., an underling, asubordinate, if a plane travels at a subsonic speedor fly below opposite- subsonic) and
,meaning to give, to pass.Succession, therefore, is a passing under.It gives the idea of the nature of succession asoriginated from Roman Law. Why do the Romanscall it a passing under? Because of the fiction inRoman Law that a personality occupies a space,that is, a legal personality is permanent. Apermanent fixture but the occupant will go away.And it is the successor who will occupy the spaceyou left vacant. There is always what you call
"Sound through" like a play, whereyou wear a mask, and the one behind the curtainis sounding through. That is, somebody is reallytalking behind you. This, by analogy issuccession.
means "you," the character.
or personality which is always thereand there is or there will always be an occupant,who comes and goes; it may change thecharacter, the person passes under. What isbehind all this? Personality never dies. We arebut dust and shadows based on the reality of death.Why do we have to devise this fiction?Why the law on succession? The Law onsuccession has various underpinnings in RomanLaw, that is,
, the vague idea of after life, likethe ideas of Horace - state of good in the Elipianfields;
, that the law develops based onconditions of society. One of the most basicdesires of man is the desire for immortality.How, When, To Whom, In What proportion arethey transmitted - Succession.
1. Succession provides the vehicle for satisfyingyour yearning and longing for immortality. Itsatisfies or consoles yourself that something inyou lives forever and this is your personality.Others usually leave something like paintings,book of poems, statue so that they will beremembered forever, e.g., Horace byShakespeare.2. Concept of 
 pater familias
. Diligence of 
 pater familias
Pater familias
means head of the family.The basic unit of Roman society. It is he whomanaged and exercised authority over hischildren, absolute control over his wife. In Romanlaw, a man's wife is his child. It is he who is theguardian of the family gods. It is a position thatmust be occupied every time. It is unthinkable tobe otherwise. Once he dies, it is absolutelynecessary not only in religion that he is to bereplaced immediately. This is indispensable.These underpinnings are gone now. Today,succession is nothing but a mode of acquiringownership. Why? Because you do not have thefiction to have succession, because of the spreadof Christianity which took the place of thoseyearnings that is believing in God and life after death. No more yearnings for immortality, unlessyou do not believe in the teachings of Christianity.Also, the concept of 
 pater familias
is nolonger applicable because of parental authoritywhich restricted the authority of the head of thefamily. We no longer have slaves, absolutecontrol over children, etc.But old beliefs do not die easily. Someprovisions of the Law on Succession areinfluenced by these underpinnings. Like, "heirsare the continuation of the personality of thedecedent." Another is: when a condition isimposed upon the substitute, does the substitutehave to fulfill the condition? All of these areresidual elements of Roman Law.
Definition of Succession:
Succession in a juridical sense is the substitution of one person for another in a determinable relationship or asubrogation of one person by another in a juridicalsituation. (Manresa.)Succession is the substitution of a personto the determinable legal relationship of another.(Castan.)
Castan's definition is better.
PHILIPPINE LAW ON SUCCESSION (Based onthe lecture given by JBL Reyes.)
Every person during his lifetime is at thecenter of a number of juridical relations flowingfrom personality. Some of these legal relationsare permanent, some are transitory. Some of these relations are: paternity and filiation, marriageand maternity, membership of the bar, student of MLQU, etc., which other persons do not have.There are transitory relations, and examples of these are one when bought a bottle of Coke; leaseof an apartment unit; a mortgage; a contract of partnership; when one rides a bus, etc.When a person dies, personality isextinguished. Some of these juridical relations willdie with you-
intuitu personae-
SSS, GSIS- if theydie with you, no problem. But some of themsurvive,
land, say a thousand hectares. If it isonly a ball pen left by the decedent, it is not a bigproblem. But what if the decedent left a big tractof land, or there is a contract of sale which
hotjurist 2009
transfers ownership between the decedent andthird parties. You have to set a devise. Youcannot leave them hanging in the air. You have todevise a set of rules to determine how, when, towhom, to what extent these rights will betransmitted. The law which governs them issuccession. And that is all on succession,everything is footnotes.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF SUCCESSIONA. By the moment of transmission:
Mortis causa- takes
place by virtue of death2.
Inter vivos-
takes p
lace independentlyof death during the lifetime of the parties (nowcalled Donation
inter vivos
B. Extent of rights involved:
- this is very catchy- itinvolves the entire estate or fractional or aliquot or undivided part of the estate, e.g., I give you 1/2 of my estate.2.
Particular/ partial 
: succession tospecific itemsa. legacy- specific personalproperties, e.g., I give you my car b. devise- specific real properties,e.g., I give to G my fishpond in Laguna. 
C. As to cause:
that effected by operationof law to forced heirs even if not in a will;succession to the reserved portion/ legitime.2.
by will3.
Intestate or legal:
succession in defaultof a will; subordinate to testamentary succession4.
: combination of the above.5.
: E.g., donation
 propter nuptias
by one to another of future propertieswhich takes effect after death. Why contractual?Because of the transfer of properties is not byvirtue of a will but by contractions So it isgoverned by the law on contracts. Hence, it mustbe governed by the Statute of Frauds. It must bein writing to be enforceable.
D. As to parties to succession:
1. Decedent, transferor,
causante, acutor,de cuius
2. Successor, transferee,
causa habiente
E. As to terms:1. Testator: decedent left a will2. Intestate: decedent did not leave a will3. Heir: one who succeeds by universaltitle or to a share of the estate.4. Devisee: one who succeeds byparticular title to real properties.5. Legatee: one who succeeds to aspecific personal properties.
Elements of Succession (
1. Change of subject (
cambio de suheto
)-ownership is transferred from deceased to hei(subjective change.)2. Identity of Object (
identidad de objecto
) - sameproperty is involved, only the owner is changed.The right is the same (objective identity)
Important Principles of Succession (whichpermeate the entirety of Succession):
Mortis Causa:
Succession cannot takeplace while the owner is still alive. The heir/successor have a mere expectancy right to theproperty of the decedent, during the lifetime of thelatter.2. Interest of the family may override thewill of the decedent because of compulsory heirs.There is a legitime reserved for the family. A willcannot impair the legitime.3. The estate passes or devolves to thefamily unless the decedent expressly ordersotherwise in a will. Family covers spouse,ascendants, descendants, and collateral relatives.4. The family cannot be entirely deprivedof the estate because of the system of legitime.5. Within the family, heirs of equal degree/proximity inherit in equal shares. Presumption of equality. This is only the general rule. There areexceptions.6. The State has a share in the inheritancethrough taxes.7. The heirs are not liable for the debts of the estate beyond their share in the inheritance.Estate is liable for the debts left by the decedent.Debts are to be deducted before the heirs can gettheir shares. Procedure: Collect all assets,deduct debts, and then partition the shares. Up towhat extent? Up to all its assets. If the estate iszero balance, the heirs get nothing.Under the modern civil law, if the decedent leftmore debts than assets, it will not change or affectyour status anyway, but not with the decedent'screditors- they have to be aware- caveat
Basis of the Law on Succession:
Some say it isthe law on property which seems to be the basicattitude of the Code. Others say succession is alaw on persons because of the compulsory heirs.How can you explain that? Is there some linkbetween the law on succession and property?There is.
said that law on succession isboth law on persons and property. However, in apure testamentary succession, the law on personsdoes not come to play. Say, a will giving MLQU aproperty. This is more on the law of property.This is the eclectic theory of 
Major Changes in the New Civil Code onSuccession:
1. Allowance of holographic wills (Art.810.) It gives greater freedom to the decedent tochoose in what form he can dispose by will hisestate. Holographic will is not a novelty but arevival. This was allowed in the Spanish times butwas abrogated during the American regime. Itwas only restored under the NCC.2. Improvement in the successionalposition of the surviving spouse. Under the OCC,the surviving spouse had a right of usufruct only.Under the NCC, the surviving spouse is given fullownership and is a compulsory heir. The share isvariable that it is so bewildering.
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MLQU School of Law
Arlegui St., Quiapo Manila
2 0 0 9 C E N T R A L I Z E D B A R O P E R A T I O N S
3. Abolition of the right of 
or betterment (the right of the parent to give a childmore than the other.) This is basically a portion of the legitime, 1/3. Freedom is given to the testator as to who among his children he will give the 1/3.This system was never utilized because it wasnever understood by the people.4. Abolition of the
. The NCC restored
reserva troncal,reversion adoptiva
(under PD 603.)5. Granting successional rights to/ for spurious children- illegitimate other than natural.This is one of the revolutionary changes in theNCC. Under the OCC only legitimate childrenhave successional rights. NCC liberalized it bygranting successional rights to spurious children.6. Greater facility in the probate of wills.Why? Because of the allowance of 
ante mortem
probate, that is, during the lifetime of the testator.Now, probate may be
.7. The application of the prohibitionoutlined in Art. 739 to succession. This is by virtueof Art. 1038. Art. 739 provides that: 
Article 739.The following donationsshall be void:(1) Those made between personswho were guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of thedonation;(2) Those made between personsfound guilty of the same criminaloffense, in consideration thereof;(3) Those made to a public officer or his wife, descendants andascendants, by reason of his office.In the case referred to in No. 1, theaction for declaration of nullity maybe brought by the spouse of thedonor or donee; and the guilt of thedonor and donee may be proved bypreponderance of evidence in thesame action.
 8. Increase of the free portion- corollary tothe abolition of the
9. Limitation of the fideicommisarysubstitution to one degree (before, two degrees)10. Intestate succession is narrowed fromsixth degree to fifth degree.11. Abolition of the institution unde
(substitution.)12. Allowance of lifetime probate.
Areas in Succession Affected by the AmericanCode:
1. Rules in interpretation: Articles 788-7922. Rules on formal requirements of a will: Articles804-8093. Rules governing witnesses to wills: Articles820-8244. Rules on republication and revival of wills:Articles 835-8365. Rules on revocation: Articles 829-8316. Rules on allowance and disallowance of wills:Articles 838-8397. Rules on Testamentary capacity.Chapter 1
GENERAL PROVISIONSArt. 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property,rights and obligations to the extent of the valueof the inheritance of a person are transmittedthrough his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law.
Succession is a mode of acquisition:
Property, rights, and obligations are transmitted;those which are not extinguished by death of thedecedent is inheritance. Succession is but aprocess of transmission.Succession is a mode of acquisition of inheritance transmitted to the heirs upon the deathof the decedent through a will or by operation of law.
2. Two elements of Succession:
(1) identity of objects; (2) change of subjects.
3. Rule:
The estate of the decedent pays for theobligations of the decedent. What is left is givento the heirs.
4. Connect Art. 774 with Art. 776, supra.
For money debts: If not paid in settlementproceedings, heirs could be liable to the extent of what they receivedFor obligations: E.g., lessee-lessor-obligation to keep the lessee in the peacefulpossession is transmitted to the heirs.
5. Property and Rights- Passed
on to thedecedent's successors
6. Obligations:a. Monetary:
General rule: The estatepays for them before the estate is partitioned.Exception: Alvarez case. Predecessor fraudulently disposed of the property duringlitigation. SC held that heirs cannot escapeliability for their father's transactions which gaveway to this claim for damages. Even though theydid not inherit the properties, the monetaryequivalent thereof was devolved into the mass of the estate which the heirs inherited. Hereditaryestates are always liable in their totality for thepayments of the debts of the estate. Whatever payment made by the estate is ultimately apayment by the heirs because these paymentsdecrease their inheritance.
b. Non-monetary:
Transmitted to theheirs.
Art. 775. In this Title, "decedent" is thegeneral term applied to the person whoseproperty is transmitted through succession,whether or not he left a will. If he left a will, heis called the testator.
hotjurist 2009

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