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Succession Digests Part 2

Succession Digests Part 2

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Published by cmv mendoza
some are from the professors themselves. I do not claim any rights on the reviewers/handouts/presentation here. Just sharing for people who would want to learn more about the subject minus the confusing legalese words. Learning should be made easier for people.
some are from the professors themselves. I do not claim any rights on the reviewers/handouts/presentation here. Just sharing for people who would want to learn more about the subject minus the confusing legalese words. Learning should be made easier for people.

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Published by: cmv mendoza on Dec 15, 2011
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page 17
40 Phil 476AVANCENA
- On September 19, 1917, CFI of Cebu admitted to probate Ana Abangan'swill executed July, 1916. From this decision the opponents appealed.- The will consists of 2 sheets. The first contains all the disposition of thetestatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name andunder the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The followingsheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by thethree instrumental witnesses.
Neither of these sheets is signed on theleft margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numberedby letters
. These omissions, according to appellants' contention, aredefects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied.
WON the will was duly admitted to probate.
 YES. In requiring that each and every sheet of the will be signed on the leftmargin by the testator and three witnesses in the presence of each other,
Act No. 2645
evidently has for its object the avoidance of substitution of any of said sheets which may change the disposition of the testatrix.
Butwhen these dispositions are wholly written on only one sheet
(as inthe instant case) signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses,their signatures on the left margin of said sheet are not anymore necessaryas such will be purposeless.In requiring that each and every page of a will must be numberedcorrelatively in letters placed on the upper part of the sheet, it is likewiseclear that the object of Act No. 2645 is to know whether any sheet of the willhas been removed. But, when all the dispositive parts of a will are written onone sheet only, the object of the statute disappears because the removal of this single sheet, although unnumbered, cannot be
hidden.In a will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the testamentarydispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses and thesecond contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at the bottom by thethree witnesses, it is not necessary that both sheets be further signed on theirmargins by the testator and the witnesses, or be paged. The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the dooragainst bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and toguaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject should beinterpreted in such a way as to attain these primordal ends. But, on the other hand,also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrainand curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an interpretation alreadygiven assures such ends, any other interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing butdemands more requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustative of the testator'slast will, must be disregarded.
A.M. No. 2026AQUINO; December 19, 1981
- Respondent judge admitted to probate a will, which on its face is void because it iswritten in English, a language not known to the illiterate testatrix, and which isprobably forged.- Mauro Suroza, a member of the US Army married Marcelina Salvador. They werechildless but they reared a boy named Agapito. Mauro died and Marcelina became apensioner of the Federal Government.- Agapito married Nenita and had a child Lilia. Agapito was eventually disabled andNenita was appointed guardian when he was declared as incompetent in a courtproceeding. Arsenia dela Cruz also wanted to be Agapito's guardian. She tried toprove that Nenita was unfaithful to Agapito. The second guardianship proceeding wasdismissed and Nenita's appointment was confirmed.- Spouses Antonio Sy and Hermogena Talan begot a child named Marilyn Sy, who wasentrusted to Arsenia and later delivered to Marcelina Salvador Suroza. Marilyn wasbrought up as the supposed daughter of Agapito, but she was not legally adopted.Marliyn married Oscar Medrano- Marcelina supposedly executed a notarial will when she was 73 years old.
That willwhich is in English was thumbmarked by her 
She was illiterate.
Marcelina bequeathedall her estate to her supposed granddaughter Marilyn. When Marcelina died, sheowned a 150-square meter lot and house in that place.- Marina Paje, alleged to be a laundrywoman of Marcelina and the executrix in her will,filed with the Court a petition for the probate of Marcelina's alleged will. The case wasassigned to Judge Reynaldo P. Honrado.- Judge Honrado appointed Marina as administratrix.- Upon motion of Marina, Judge Honrado issued another order instructing a deputysheriff to eject the occupants of the testatrix's house, among whom was Nenita V.Suroza, and to place Marina in possession thereof. That order alerted Nenita to theexistence of the testamentary proceeding for the settlement of Marcelina's estate.She and the other occupants of the decedent's house filed a motion to set aside theorder ejecting them. They alleged that the decedent's son Agapito was the sole heir of the deceased, that he has a daughter named Lilia, that Nenita was Agapito's guardianand that Marilyn was not Agapito's daughter nor the decedent's granddaughter. Later,they questioned the probate court's jurisdiction to issue the ejectment order.-Judge Honrado issued an order probating her supposed will wherein Marilyn was theinstituted heiress.- Nenita filed in the testate case an omnibus petition "to set aside proceedings, admitopposition with counter-petition for administration and preliminary injunction". Nenitareiterated her allegation that Marilyn was a stranger to Marcelina, that the will was notduly executed and attested, that it was procured by means of undue influenceemployed by Marina and Marilyn and that the thumbmarks of the testatrix wereprocured by fraud or trick.- Marina in her answer admitted that Marilyn was not Marcelina's granddaughter butwas the daughter of Agapito a
nd Arsenia de la Cruz and that Agapito was not Marcelina's son
but merely an
who was not legally adopted.- Judge Honrado dismissed Nenita's counter-petition for the issuance of letters of administration because of the non-appearance of her counsel at the hearing.- In a motion for the consolidation of all pending incidents, Nenita V. Suroza reiteratedher contention that the alleged will is void because Marcelina did not appear beforethe notary and because it is written in English which is not known to her.
page 18
- Judge Honrado "denied" the various incidents "raised" by Nenita.- Nenita "filed a case to annul" the probate proceedings which was assigned to JudgeHonrado. It was dismissed.- Judge Honrado closed the testamentary proceeding.- About ten months later, Nenita charged Judge Honrado with having probated thefraudulent will of Marcelina. Nenita further alleged that Judge Honrado, in spite of hisknowledge that the testatrix had a son named Agapito, who was preterited in the will,did not take into account the consequences of such a preterition.- Nenita filed in the CA against Judge Honrado a petition for certiorari and prohibitionwherein she prayed that the will, the decree of probate and all the proceedings in theprobate case be declared void. Attached to the petition was the affidavit of DomingoP. Aquino, who notarized the will.
He swore that the testatrix and the three attestingwitnesses did not appear before him and that he notarized the will "just toaccommodate a brother lawyer on the condition" that said lawyer would bring to thenotary the testatrix and the witnesses but the lawyer never complied with hiscommitment.
- The CA dismissed the petition because Nenita's remedy was an appeal and herfailure to do so did not entitle her to resort to the special civil action of certiorari .
- We hold that disciplinary action should be taken against respondent judge for hisimproper disposition of the testate case which might have resulted in a miscarriage of  justice because the decedent's legal heirs and not the instituted heiress in the voidwin should have inherited the decedent's estate.- A judge may be criminally liable or knowingly rendering an unjust judgment orinterlocutory order or rendering a manifestly unjust judgment or interlocutory order byreason of inexcusable negligence or ignorance.- Administrative action may be taken against a judge of the court of first instance forserious misconduct or inefficiency. Misconduct implies malice or a wrongful intent, nota mere error of judgment. "For serious misconduct to exist, there must be reliableevidence showing that the judicial acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by anintention to violate the law, or were in persistent disregard of well-known legal rules"- In this case, respondent judge, on perusing the will and noting that it was written inEnglish and was thumbmarked by an obviously illiterate testatrix, could have readilyperceived that the will is void.- In the opening paragraph of the will, it was stated that English was a language"understood and known" to the testatrix. But in its concluding paragraph, it was statedthat the will was read to the testatrix "and translated into Filipino language". Thatcould only mean that the will was written in a language not known to the illiteratetestatrix and, therefore, it is void because of the mandatory provision of article 804 of the Civil Code that every will must be executed in a language or dialect known to thetestator. Thus, a will written in English, which was not known to the Igorot testator, isvoid and was disallowed.Under the circumstances, we find his negligence and dereliction of duty to beinexcusable.
132 SCRA 237MELENCIO-HERRERA; September 28, 1984
- On September 1, 1971, private respondent GREGORIO K. KALAW, claiming to be thesole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad K. Kalaw, filed a petition before the Court of First Instance of Batangas, Branch VI, Lipa City, for the probate of her holographic Willexecuted on December 24, 1968.- The holographic Will, as first written, named ROSA K. Kalaw, a sister of the testatrixas her sole heir. Hence, on November 10, 1971, petitioner ROSA K. Kalaw opposedprobate alleging, in substance, that the holographic Will contained alterations,corrections, and insertions without the proper authentication by the full signature of the testatrix as required by Article 814 of the Civil Code reading:Art. 814. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holographicwill the testator must authenticate the same by his full signature.- ROSA's position was that the holographic Will, as first written, should be given effectand probated so that she could be the sole heir thereunder.- After trial, respondent Judge denied probate in an Order, dated September 3, 197 3,citing that the NBI reported that the handwriting, the signature, the insertions and/oradditions and the initial were made by one and the same person. Consequently, thewill was in the handwriting of the decedent, Natividad K. Kalaw. However the Courtfinds, that the provision of Article 814 of the Civil Code is applicable to Exhibit "C".Finding the insertions, alterations and/or additions in the not to be authenticated bythe full signature of the testatrix Natividad K. Kalaw, the Court will deny the admissionto probate.- From that Order, GREGORIO moved for reconsideration arguing that since thealterations and/or insertions were the testatrix, the denial to probate of herholographic Will would be contrary to her right of testamentary disposition.Reconsideration was denied in an Order, dated November 2, 1973, on the ground thatArticle 814 of the Civil Code being clear and explicit requires no necessity forinterpretation.- From that Order, dated September 3, 1973, denying probate, and the Order datedNovember 2, 1973 denying reconsideration, ROSA filed this Petition for Review oncertiorari
WON the
original unaltered 
text after subsequent alterations and insertions werevoided by the Trial Court for lack of authentication by the full signature of the testatrix
- Ordinarily, when a
of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by thetestator in a holographic Will litem not been noted under his signature... the Will is notthereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular wordserased, corrected or interlined.- However, when as in this case, the holographic Will in dispute had only onesubstantial provision, which was altered by substituting the original heir with another,but which alteration did not carry the requisite of full authentication by the fullsignature of the testator, the effect must be that the entire Will is voided or revokedfor the simple reason that nothing remains in the Will after that which could remainvalid. To state that the Will as first written should be given efficacy is to disregard theseeming change of mind of the testatrix. But that change of mind can neither be giveneffect because she failed to authenticate it in the manner required by law by affixingher full signature.
ROUNDS 2 and 3
page 19
70 PHIL 865MORAN; June 28, 1940
Original action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari.
- Eliodora Lipana filed an application for the probate of a will supposedly executed bythe deceased, Manuela Lipana.- Natividad Lipana filed an opposition, alleging that evidence was unnecessary uponthe supposed facts and that the will was not executed according to law.- The application was dismissed on the ground that such copy could not be admittedto probate, it not having been signed by the testatrix and the attesting witnesses atthe end thereof and on the left margin of each page.
WON the dismissal by the respondent court was correct
- The pronouncement made by the respondent court that the will had not beenexecuted in accordance with law, is founded undoubtedly on the erroneousassumption that the probate of the carbon copy of the will was being applied for. Suchcopy was attached to the application merely to corroborate the allegation as to theexistence of its original and not to establish a full compliance with the requirements of the law as to the execution of the will.- Under section 623 of Act No. 190, if a will is shown to have been torn by some otherperson without the express direction of the testator, it may be admitted to probate, if its contents, due execution and its unauthorized destruction are established bysatisfactory evidence.- The applicant, therefore, was entitled to hearing to prove the due execution of theoriginal will and its loss or destruction, and the respondent court had no statutoryauthority to dismiss the application without such hearing.- It is alleged therein that the original was in the possession of a third person or that itwas either lost or destroyed by some person other than the testatrix. The applicant,therefore, was entitled to hearing to prove the due execution of the original will andits loss or destruction, and the respondent court had no statutory authority to dismissthe application without such hearing, all in accordance with Sec. 623 of Act 190.
49 Phil 902 JOHNSON; Jan 29, 1927
- Miguel Mamuyac executed a last will and testament on July 27, 1918 (first will). On Jan, 1922, Francisco Gago presented a petition in the CFI of La Union for the probationof that will. This was opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, FelicianaBauzon, and Catalina Mamuyac. The petition for probation was denied on the groundthat the deceased had executed a new will and testament on April 16, 1919 (secondwill). Miguel Mamuyac died on Jan 2, 1922.- The present petition, filed on Feb 21, 1925, is intended to secure the probation of thesecond will. Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and CatalinaMamuyac presented their oppositions, alleging (
) that the said will is a copy of thesecond will and testament executed by the said Miguel Mamuyac; (
) that the samehad been cancelled and revoked during the lifetime of Miguel Mamuyac and (
) thatthe said will was not the last will and testament of the deceased Miguel Mamuyac.- The CFI denied the probation of the second will, upon the ground that the same hadbeen cancelled and revoked in the year 1920.- Gago contends that the lower court committed an error in not finding from theevidence that the will in question had been executed with all the formalities requiredby the law; that the same had been revoked and cancelled in 1920 before his death;that the said will was a mere carbon copy and that the oppositors were not estoppedfrom alleging that fact.
WON the CFI erred in not granting the probation of Miguel Mamuyac’s second will
- As to the cancellation of the will, there is positive proof, not denied, which wasaccepted by the lower court, that will in question had been cancelled in 1920. The lawdoes not require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation of a will to bepreserved. The fact that such cancellation or revocation has taken place must eitherremain unproved or be inferred from evidence showing that after due search theoriginal will cannot be found. Where a will which cannot be found is shown to havebeen in the possession of the testator, when last seen, the presumption is, in theabsence of other competent evidence, that the same was cancelled or destroyed. Thesame presumption arises where it is shown that the testator had ready access to thewill and it cannot be found after his death. It will not be presumed that such will hasbeen destroyed by any other person without the knowledge or authority of thetestator. The force of the presumption of cancellation or revocation by the testator,while varying greatly, being weak or strong according to the circumstances, is neverconclusive, but may be overcome by proof that the will was not destroyed by thetestator with intent to revoke it.- In a proceeding to probate a will the burden of proofs is upon the proponent clearlyto establish not only its execution but its existence. Having proved its execution bythe proponents, the burden is on the contestant to show that it has been revoked. In agreat majority of instances in which wills are destroyed for the purpose of revokingthem there is no witness to the act of cancellation or destruction and all evidence of its cancellation perishes with the testator. Copies of wills should be admitted by thecourts with great caution. When it is proven, however, by proper testimony that a willwas executed in duplicate and each copy was executed with all the formalities andrequirements of the law, then the duplicate may be admitted in evidence when it ismade to appear that the original has been lost and was not cancelled or destroyed bythe testator. (Borromeo
153 SCRA 451SARMIENTO; February 29, 1988

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