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Case Digest Beatriz Nera v Narcisa Rimando

G.R. No. L-5971 February 27, 1911

18 Phil 450 Succession What In the presence of each other means

When a certain will was being signed, it was alleged that the testator and some
subscribing witnesses were in the inner room while the other subscribing witnesses
were in the outer room. What separates the inner room from the outer room was a
curtain. The trial court ignored this fact in its determination of the case as it ruled that
the determination of this specific fact will not affect the outcome of the case.
ISSUE: What is the true test of the testators or the witness presence in the signing of a
HELD: The Supreme Court emphasized that the true test of presence of the testator
and the witnesses in the execution of a will is not whether they actually saw each other
sign, but whether they might have seen each other sign, had they chosen to do so,
considering their mental and physical condition and position with relation to each other
at the moment of inscription of each signature.
The position of the parties with relation to each other at the moment of the subscription
of each signature, must be such that they may see each other sign if they choose to do
The Supreme Court, in this case, determined that all the parties were in the same small
room when each other signed. Hence, they were in each others presence (though the
facts of the case didnt elaborate the SC just ruled so). The SC ruled that if some of
the witnesses were really in the outer room (a fact which was not established according
to the SC) separated by a curtain, then the will is invalid, the attaching of those
signatures under circumstances not being done in the presence of the witness in the
outer room