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In re: Will and Testament of the deceased REVEREND SANCHO ABADIA. SEVERINA A. VDA. DE ENRIQUEZ, ET AL. vs.

MIGUEL ABADIA, ET AL. G.R. No. L-7188 August 9, 1954 Facts: Andres Enriquez, as one of the legatees in a document purporting to be the last will and testament of Father Sancho Abadia, which was executed on September 6, 1923, filed a petition for its probate. Some cousins and nephews of the deceased, who would inherit his estate if he left no will, filed opposition. The trial court ruled in favor of Enriquez, stating that even if the said document is a holographic will, one which is not permitted by law at the time it was executed and at the time of the testators death, such form of a will is already allowed at the time of the hearing of the case since the new Civil Code is already enforced, and that to carry out the intention of the testator which according to the trial court is the controlling factor and may override any defect in form. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether the reckoning period in deciding the validity of the holographic will of Rev. Sanchio, the time of the hearing of the case shall be considered and not the time of its execution Held: No. The validity of a will is to be judged not by the law enforce at the time of the testator's death or at the time the supposed will is presented in court for probate or when the petition is decided by the court but at the time the instrument was execute, as supported by Art. 795 of the new Civil Code. One reason in support of the rule is that although the will operates upon and after the death of the testator, the wishes of the testator about the disposition of his estate among his heirs and among the legatees is given solemn expression at the time the will is executed, and in reality, the legacy or bequest then becomes a completed act. When one executes a will which is invalid for failure to observe and follow the legal requirements at the time of its execution then upon his death he should be regarded and declared as having died intestate, and his heirs will then inherit by intestate succession, and no subsequent law with more liberal requirements or which dispenses with such requirements as to execution should be allowed to validate a defective will and thereby divest the heirs of their vested rights in the estate by intestate succession. The general rule is that the Legislature cannot validate void wills. Hence, the trial courts decision was reversed. IN THE MATTER ESTATE OF EDWARD RANDOLPH A.W. FLUEMER vs. ANNIE COUSHING HIX G.R. NO. L-32636 MARCH 17, 1930 Facts: The special administrator of the Estate of Hix appeals from the decision of Judge Tuason of the CFI denying the probate of the document alleged to be the last will and testament of the deceased. Petitioner alleged that the will was executed in Elkins, West Virginia, on November 3, 1925, by Hix who had residence in that jurisdiction. Issue: Whether the will should be allowed probate in the Philippines despite the absence of proof showing compliance with the laws of West Virginia for the execution of wills HELD: No. The laws of a foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. Such laws must be proved as facts. There was no printed or published copy under the authority of the State of West Virginia, as required by the law nor was the extract from the law attested by the certificate of the officer having charge of the original, under the seal of the said state. There was even no evidence introduced to show that the extract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time the alleged will was executed. In addition, the due execution of the will was not established. There was nothing to indicate that the will was acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two competent witnesses, that these witnesses subscribed the will in the presence of the testator and of each other as the law of West Virginia seems to require. On the supposition that the witnesses to the will reside outside the Philippines, it would then be the duty of the petitioner to prove execution by some other means. Probate of the late William R. Giberson. LELA G. DALTON vs. SPRING GIBERSON G.R. No. L-4113 June 30, 1952 Facts: Lela Dalton presented an application in the CFI of Cebu asking for the legalization of a document, which was awarded in San Francisco, California, purporting to be the holographic will of William Giberson, who was a citizen of the State of Illinois, USA, a resident of Cebu and died in Manila.

Spring Giberson, son of the deceased, filed an opposition claiming that the will is apocryphal, that it does not represent the true will of the deceased, and that it has not been in accordance with law. The trial court dismissed the application stating that under our existing rules only those wills that have previously been proved to be allowed in the United States, or any state or territory thereof, or any foreign country, according to their laws, may be allowed to be filed or recorded in the proper court of first instance in the Philippines. Hence, this petition Issue: Whether the will of William Giberson can be authenticated in the Philippines, although such document Held: No. A will awarded outside the Philippine can be legalized and registered in the Philippines, provided that it was awarded in accordance with the laws of the State or country where it was awarded. This is supported by Article 637 of the Civil Code wherein it was stated that wills authenticated and legalized in the United States, or any state or territory thereof in accordance with the laws of that state, may be be legalized and recorded in the CFI of the province in which the testator has a real property or estate. PAULA DE LA CERNA, ET AL. vs. MANUELA REBACA POTOT, ET AL., and CA G.R. No. L-20234 December 23, 1964 Facts: Spouses Bernabe de la Cerna and Gervacia Rebaca, executed a joint will and testament in the local dialect whereby they willed that the properties during their marriage be given to Manuela Rebaca, their niece, because they did not have any child. Bernabe died on August 30, 1939, and the aforesaid will was submitted to probate by said Gervasia and Manuela before the CFI of Cebu. Upon the death of Gervasia, another petition for the probate of the same will insofar as Gervasia was concerned was filed on November 6, 1952 of the same CFI, but failure of the petitioner and her attorney to appear, the case was dismissed. The CFI ordered the petition heard and declared the testament null and void, for being executed contrary to the prohibition of joint will in the Civil Code. On appeal, the CA reversed the decision on the ground that the decree of probate in 1939 was issued by a court of probate jurisdiction and conclusive on the due execution of the testament. Issue: Whether the joint will executed by the spouses, despite its prohibition under the Civil Code, can be considered as valid Held: Yes. Admittedly the probate of the will in 1939 was erroneous, however, because it was probated by a court of competent jurisdiction it has conclusive effect and a final judgment rendered on a petition for the probate of a will is binding upon the whole world. Still, this is only true with respect to the estate of the husband but cannot affect the estate of the wife, who was then still alive, and over whose interest in the conjugal properties the probate court acquired no jurisdiction, precisely because her estate could not then be in issue. Be it remembered that prior to the new Civil Code, a will could not be probated during the testator's lifetime. Considering that a joint will is a separate will of each testator, It follows that the validity of the joint will, in so far as the estate of the wife was concerned, must be, on her death, reexamined and adjudicated de novo . Hence, the undivided interest of the wife should pass upon her death to her intestate heirs and not to the testamentary heir A decree of probate decree is conclusive on the due execution and the formal validity of the will subject to such probate. Testate estate of the late Bernabe Rodriguez. MARTINA ARANIEGO vs. ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ ET AL. No. 1627-R. July 1, 1948 Facts: Martine Araniego, widow of the deceased, filed a petition for probate of the latters alleged will before the CFI of Bulacan. Herein respondents, the deceased brother, niece and heirs of Bernabes brother, opposed the petition alleging among others that the will was obtained by undue influence, that the deceased had no mental capacity to execute the same and such was not the will of Bernabe. The will was then admitted for probate by the court. Oppositors then alleged that the deceased named petitioner as universal heir and was likewise named the deceased by the latter as her universal heir in her own will, making them reciprocal beneficiaries of each other, thus violating the prohibition on joint wills under the Civil Code. Issue: Whether the will is valid, given that it violates the prohibition on joint wills under the Civil Code

Held: Yes. It will be noted that the law prohibits two or more persons to make a will conjointly or in the same document. In the case at bar, the subject wills are not conjoint since they are in a separate documents. Hence, the provision in the Civil code does not apply. As to other allegations of the respondents, no sufficient evidence was presented. In fact, there is a testimony by a medical doctor that testator is of sound mind when the will was executed. Hence, the decision was affirmed. IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN, DECEASED. ADOLFO C. AZNAR and LUCY CHRISTENSEN vs. HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA G.R. No. L-16749 January 31, 1963 Facts: This is an appeal from a decision of the CFI of Davao approving among others, the final account of the executor, directing the executor to reimburse Maria Lucy Christensen the amount of P3,600 paid by her to Helen, respondent herein, as her legacy, and declaring Maria entitled to the residue of the property. Helen filed an opposition alleging that it deprives her of her legitime as an acknowledged natural child of the deceased Edward and that the distribution should be governed by Philippine Law. The lower court ruled that the deceased was a US citizen (State of California) at the time of his death. Thus, his successional rights and the intrinsic validity of the will are to be governed by the law of California, in accordance with the testators right to dispose his property as he desires. Issue: Whether or not the successional rights should be governed by the law of California. Held: No. There is no question that Edward was a US citizen and was domiciled in the Philippines at the time of his death. The law that governs the validity of his testamentary disposition is his national law as provided in Art. 16 of the Civil Code. The term national law in Art. 16 does not mean any general American law but the private law of the State of California. Art 946 of the Civil Code of California provides that the place where the personal property is situated, it is deemed to follow the person of its owner, and is governed by the laws of his domicile. The Conflict of Law rule in California referred back (renvoi) the case in the Philippines. The Philippine Court must apply its own law for its determination. Hence, Helen is a legally acknowledged forced heir as provided in Arts. 887 (4) and 849 of the Civil Code of the Philipines. TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS G. BELLIS, deceased. PEOPLE'S BANK and TRUST COMPANY, executor. MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS and MIRIAM PALMA BELLIS, oppositors-appellants, vs. EDWARD A. BELLIS, ET AL G.R. No. L-23678 June 6, 1967 Facts: Amos Bellis was a citizen of the state of Texas of the United States. In his first wife whom he divorced, he had five legitimate children; by his second wife, who survived him, he had three legitimate children. Before he died, he made two wills, one disposing of his Texas properties and the other disposing his Philippine Properties. In both wills, his illegitimate children were not given anything. The illegitimate children opposed the will on the ground that they have been deprived of their legitimes to which they should be entitled if Philippine law were to apply. Issue: Whether the national law of the deceased should determine the sucessional rights of the illegitimate children Held: Yes Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national law of the decedent, inintestate or testamentary successions, with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession; (b) theamount of successional rights; (e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the capacityto succeed The parties admit that the decedent was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law,the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis

POLLY CAYETANO vs. HON. TOMAS T. LEONIDAS and NENITA CAMPOS PAGUIA G.R. No. L-54919 May 30, 1984 Facts: Adoracion Campos died, leaving her father, petitioner Hermogenes Campos and her sister Nenita Paguia, private respondent herein, as the surviving heirs. Hermogenes, as the only compulsory heir, executed an Affidavit of Adjudication unto himself the entire estate of the deceased testatrix. Eleven months later, Nenita filed a petition to reprobate the will, which was allegedly executed in US, and for her appointment as administratix of the estate. Paguia alleged that the deceased was an American citizen at the time of her death and a resident of Pennsylvania and her last will and testament were made according to the Laws of Pennsylvania. That after the death of Adoracion, the will was probated and registered with the Registry of Philadelphia and the appointed administrator declined and waived his appointment as executor, thus, there is an urgent need to appoint another to administer the properties in the Philippines. An opposition to reprobate was filed alleging that such will was a forgery and that the intrinsic provisions were null and void. Respondent judge allowed to reprobate the will and appointed Nenita as administrator. Hence, this petition. Issue: Whether a compulsory heir may be validly excluded by a will executed by a foreign testator Held: Yes. Although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus, the respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright, the private respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was, at the time of her death, an American citizen and a permanent resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. The law which governs Adoracion Campo's will is the law of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., which is the national law of the decedent. Although the parties admit that the Pennsylvania law does not provide for legitimes and that all the estate may be given away by the testatrix to a complete stranger, the petitioner argues that such law should not apply because it would be contrary to the sound and established public policy and would run counter to the specific provisions of Philippine Law. It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will, as provided for by Article 16 (2) and 1039 of the Civil Code, the national law of the decedent must apply. This was squarely applied in the case of Bellis v. Bellis wherein it was ruled that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's national law. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE REVEREND FATHER PASCUAL RIGOR. THE PARISH PRIEST OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF VICTORIA, TARLAC vs. BELINA RIGOR et. al G.R. No. L-22036 April 30, 1979 Facts: Father Pascual Rigor, herein deceased, left a will which was executed on Oct. 29, Dec. 1933 and contained a provision that his ricelands shall be given to his nearest male relative who shall enter priesthood, and that during the interval of time that no nearest male relative of the testator was studying for the priesthood or the testator's nephew became a priest and was excommunicated, the parish priest of Victoria would administer these propertied. When a new administrator was appointed as prayed by herein petitioner, a petition for the delivery of the ricelands to the church as trustee was filed by petitioner. The intestate heirs of the deceased countered with a petition praying that the bequest be inoperative and that they be adjudged as the persons entitled to the said ricelands since no nearest male relative of the testator has ever studied for the priesthood. The lower court granted the legal heirs petition. This was reversed on Dec. 10, 1957 in a motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner on the ground that the testator had a grandnephew, Edgardo Cunanan, who was a seminarian. On appeal to CA, the order was reversed, hence, this petition. Issue: Whether Cunanan entering the seminary shall affect the legal heirs right to inherit the subject ricelands Held: No. As provided in Article 1025 of the Civil Code, in order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper.

In 1935, when the testator died, his nearest leagal heirs were his three sisters or second-degree relatives, Mrs. Escobar, Mrs. Manaloto and Mrs. Quiambao. Obviously, when the testator specified his nearest male relative, he must have had in mind his nephew or a son of his sister, who would be his third-degree relative, or possibly a grandnephew. Following that interpretation of the will the inquiry would be whether at the time Father Rigor died in 1935 he had a nephew who was studying for the priesthood or who had manifested his desire to follow the ecclesiastical career. This was answered in the negative. Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in question was ineffectual or inoperative. There being no substitution nor accretion as to the said ricelands the same should be distributed among the testator's legal heirs. The effect is as if the testator had made no disposition as to the said ricelands. Therefore, the administration of the ricelands by the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the wilt was likewise inoperative. Hence, CAs decision is affirmed.

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