ESTATE OF HEMADY v LUZON SURETY CO., INC. No.

L-8437, 28 November 1956 100 Phil 388 Article 774 provides that by succession, the properties, rights and obligations of a deceased person are transmitted through his death to his heirs either by his will or by operation of law. Hemady holds that the contingent liabilities of the decedent are part of the obligations transmitted by his death to his heirs. Accordingly, contingent claims against the estate of a deceased person arising from the decedent's contractual undertakings under various indemnity agreements executed in favor of various persons and entities are money claims which may be proved against his estate and/or heirs. These contingent claims may be proved during settlement proceedings by an indemnified surety even if in the meantime, no actual liability on the part of an indemnified surety has arisen by reason of actual payment made under the suretyship agreement. Accordingly, Hemady holds that the contingent obligations of a deceased person arising from his personal guaranty are not extinguished by his death. NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY v ALMEIDA G.R. No. 162784, 22 June 2007 525 SCRA 383 An affidavit made a certain disposition of property which is to take effect upon the death of the affiant. This case holds that such an affidavit is in the nature of a will and that therefore, the transmission of the property and/or rights pertaining thereto is not in the nature of an assignment. The mode of acquisition is succession. However, Chief Justice Puno also insisted that whatever property, rights and obligations which a deceased person may leave behind, the same should go to his or her estate for eventual distribution to the heirs, either by will or by intestacy. This statement is prone to misinterpretation because in Article 777, the rights to succession are transmitted to the heirs from the moment of the death of the decedent. Therefore, ownership of the inheritance is automatically and immediately transferred to the heirs. Any proceeding to settle the estate is in the nature of an administrative formality in order to ensure the payment of liabilities, the proper identification of the heirs, and the correct allocation of hereditary shares. Note that in Speed Distributing Corporation v Court of Appeals [G.R. No. 149351, 17 March 2004 (425 SCRA691)], Justice Calleja, speaking for the Court, ruled that “The general rule under the law on succession is that successional rights are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent and compulsory heirs are call upon to succeed by operation of law to the inheritance without the need of further proceedings.” Note too, that in this case, Chief Justice Puno recognized explicitly that not only property and rights are transmitted to the heirs under the law; it includes the obligations that are not extinguished by the death of the decedent. Compare this statement to the ponencia of Justice Brion in Reyes v RTC Branch 142 Makati where he said: “This interest (referring to the co-ownership of the heirs over the undivided corporate shares), at this point, is still inchoate and subject to the outcome of a settlement proceedings; the right of the heirs to specific, distributive shares of inheritance will not be determined until all the debts of the estate of the decedent are paid. In short, the heirs are only entitled to what remains after payment of the decedent’s debts; whether there will be residue remains to be seen.”

The final outcome of this case is predictable. The Supreme Court considered the affidavit as a will. As such, it should comply with the formal requisites prescribed in Articles 804, 805, and 806 of the Civil Code. With only 2 attesting witnesses and in the absence of an attestation clause, the affidavit, most certainly, will be denied probate and the estate of Margarita Herrera shall be distributed under the rules of intestacy. NAZARENO v COURT OF APPEALS G.R. No. 138842, 18 October 2000 343 SCRA 637 The estate of a deceased person is a juridical entity that has a personality of its own. It therefore has a right to recover property belonging to it that were improperly disposed. PACIO v BILLON No. L-15088, 31 January 1961 1 SCRA 384 Properties not validly conveyed by a person during his lifetime will form part of his estate upon his demise. Pacio holds that a parcel of land which was not validly donated (propter nuptias) by the husband to the wife did not leave his patrimony, and therefore formed part of his inheritance upon his demise. USON v DEL ROSARIO, et al. No. L-4693, 29 January 1953 92 Phil 530 Article 777 provides that the right to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. Accordingly, Uson holds that the inheritance pertains to the heirs from the moment of the death of the ancestor as completely as if the ancestor had executed and delivered to the heirs a deed for the same before his death. This transmission takes place by operation of law. BONILLA v BARCENA No. L-41715, 18 June 1976 71 SCRA 491 The transmission of the hereditary estate from the decedent to the heirs takes place from the moment of the death of the decedent. A prior judicial declaration of heirship is not necessary to perfect the transmission. Bonilla holds that claims to or rights over property which were initiated by the decedent during his lifetime by appropriate court proceedings are not extinguished by his death. These claims or rights over property are transmitted to his heirs upon his death. BUTTE v MANUEL UY & SONS, INC. No. L-15499, 18 February 1962 4 SCRA 526 The right of legal redemption under Article 1620 of the Civil Code is property. Thus, where a decedent dies without having exercised a right of redemption (and provided it has not expired), the said right shall be transmitted to his heirs upon his death. In this event, the right of redemption is part of the inheritance. However, where the right of redemption was acquired after the death of the decedent, the same pertains to the heirs directly in their individual capacities, and not derivatively from the decedent. Butte makes a clear distinction as to when the right of redemption is part of the hereditary estate, and when it is not. Accordingly, Butte clarifies the issue as to who may exercise the
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right of redemption. This co-ownership prevents any heir from alienating a specific property without court approval. 23 February 2004 423 SCRA 497 Lee gives another dimension to the right of an heir to dispose properties forming part of the inheritance. De Borja must be distinguished from the prohibition against disposicion captatoria in Article 875 of the Civil Code. as the same shall be liquidated to pay the creditors. 24 September 1987 154 SCRA 270 Go Ong adds another dimension to the transmission of the hereditary estate from the decedent to the heirs. As to the scope of the property that must be sold. Justice Panganiban correctly ruled that the sale can only cover the undivided 2 . such disposition unjustly deprives the other co-heirs of their undivided interest in the thing alienated. the dispositions made by the two heirs relate to specific properties which have not been finally adjudicated by the intestate court. Note too the tactical move of Jose Ortañez in seeking the removal of the Special Administratrix Enderes. can any of the Ramirez heirs claim the right of redemption? The motives of Angela Butte might also be looked into.R. refused to accept the same? It would seem that the estate of Jose V. In this case. One wonders if the Court could have allowed the sale in Lee. While there is no dispute that the decision arrived at is correct. the heirs begin to enjoy all the attributes of ownership. De Borja confirms that from the moment of death of the decedent. the hereditary estate is transmitted to the heirs from the moment of the death of the decedent. it is worth remembering that the transmission of the estate to the heirs prior to partition is a transmission of aliquot shares. Go Ong holds that pending settlement proceeding. But the precise reason why such administration became irrelevant was his own unauthorized and surreptitious act of disposing the property subject of administration without court approval. There were also claims made by 5 illegitimate children which have not been acted upon. An heir may encumber his share in the estate during settlement proceedings. because all other co-heirs have an interest in each of the specific property of the estate. The decision in Lee is consistent with the law. Thus. Court omitted to state a very important reason why no heir can sell any specific property of the estate prior to the final settlement of the estate without court approval. the heirs are deemed to be the owners of the same. L-28040. Inc. Why was she eager to redeem the share sold by Garnier to Manuel Uy & Sons. LEE v REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY. By disposing the shares over which Enderes as administration. SANDEJAS SR. since ownership over the hereditary estate has vested in the heirs from the time of the death of the testator. Nonetheless. he claimed that the appointment has become moot and academic. 18 August 1972 46 SCRA 577 The right to the inheritance is transferred to the heirs precisely at the moment of the death of the decedent. Thus. It is only upon the partition of the estate that each of the heirs may probably acquire absolute title to specific properties. The reason is that prior to the partition of the estate among the heirs. 146006. L-75884. Justice Panganiban correctly classified the transaction between Buyer and Seller as a conditional sale. Was the tender of PNB cashier's check to Manuel Uy & Sons. De Borja holds that the pendency of the probate proceeding is no bar to the exercise of such proprietary rights. Inc. GO ONG v COURT OF APPEALS No. each having an ideal or pro indiviso share therein. when the intestate court approved the sale of the property. where an heir disposes a specific property for his own benefit. But more importantly. Also. Inc. the matter of tender of the redemption price and the fact of its judicial consignation invite further scrutiny. including the right to dispose (jus disponendi). but subject to the outcome of partition. R. HEIRS OF SPOUSES REMEDIOS R. it must be reconciled with the provision of Article 784 which states that the making of a will is a strictly personal act of the testator. even without prior approval of the court. However. to the exclusion of the illegitimate children. SANDEJAS AND ELIODORO P. a valid and proper tender of payment? Was Angela Butte required under the law to make a judicial consignation of the redemption price when Manuel Uy & Sons. pursuant to which they divided the estate of the decedent amongst themselves.? DE BORJA v VDA. BR. the condition of the sale was fulfilled and the Seller and the Buyer are obligated to perform their respective obligations under the contract. 85 G. in this case the legitimate family executed a deed of extra judicial partition. If indeed it could be proved that the claims of the creditors far exceed the value of the assets. thereby correcting the CA’s findings that the transaction was a contract to sell. And this deed of extra judicial partition was executed while the intestate proceedings remain pending in court. all of the heirs are co-owners of the inheritance. No. After all. 5 February 2001 351 SCRA 183 In this case. From such time. No. Likewise. not a transmission of specific property. Go Ong holds that the substantive rights of the heir cannot be impaired by the provisions of the Rules of Court. Justice Panganiban correctly distinguished between a contract to sell (wherein the transaction is subject to the positive suspensive condition that the buyer will deliver the purchase price) from a conditional sale (wherein the obligation of the seller to execute the deed of sale is conditioned upon the procurement of the approval of the intestate court). 141634. Inc. the half share of the surviving spouse in the conjugal estate is freely alienable by said surviving spouse. Ramirez was insolvent. Such machination constitutes a contemptuous act as it sought to indirectly frustrate the court’s directive to put Special Administratrix Enderes in charge of the Philinterlife shares. In this eventuality.? What is the immediate effect of her having redeemed the share sold to Manuel Uy & Sons. his illegitimate halfsister. DE BORJA No. pending judicial settlement proceedings. v LINA G. then none of the heirs would receive any part of the inheritance.

the heirs are. L-25952. there were fourteen (14) instituted heirs who were also named as substitutes in the reconveyance case. upon the demise of the stockholder. No. 11 September 2009 599 SCRA 585 Notwithstanding Article 777. PUNO v PUNO ENTERPRISES. SALVADOR v STA. It was argued that the property comprising the hereditary estate was in custodia legis and therefore could not be levied upon. Third. however. L-25049. Therefore. three things are interesting as they are puzzling. Therefore. pending judicial confirmation of heirship. as a rule the power to commence suit in behalf of the estate is generally given only to the administrator. Until then. the reconveyance case as well as the probate proceedings were then being heard in two different branches of the same court. or before tax obligations are fully settled. 30 August 1968 24 SCRA 918 While it is true that heirs inherit from the moment of the death of the decedent. It must be borne in mind. The right to commence suit is not. seven (7) were not instituted in the will. 177066. an alleged heir of a deceased stockholder does not. It must be noted that since the guardianship proceeding terminated ipso facto upon the demise of the ward. 142 G. This is a necessary consequence of the automatic transmission of ownership under Article 777. Second. 165744. pending judicial confirmation of heirship.. or be subject to execution. the argument was devoid of merit. First. Inc. The attachment or garnishment must refer to the hereditary share of the debtor-heir. and his 1/10 share as an intestate heir of Remedios. what led the Court of Appeals to order the reconveyance of the properties to the substituted heirs? The Court of Appeals virtually pre-empted the probate court in the task of determining who the heirs of Celestino Salvador were. that prior to the final distribution of the hereditary estate among the heirs. and is subject to the existence of a residue after the payment of debts. the heirs may commence the necessary action even if in the meantime. particularly if heirship is not disputed and the estate is not burdened by any debt. Therefore. the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. G. However. However. REGANON v IMPERIAL No. garnished. The reconveyance court must have known that probate proceedings involving the same properties were pending before another branch of the same court.R. of the twenty-three (23) instituted heirs in the will. And in any event. however. 11 August 2008 561 SCRA 593 Further to Puno v Puno Enterprises. where the administrator fails or refuses to act. The Court reiterates the basic rule that an heir may sell his ideal share of the inheritance. Judicial approval cannot adversely affect the substantive right of the heir to dispose his own pro indiviso share in the co-heirship or co-ownership. The rule is necessary for an orderly administration of the estate of the deceased person. L-24434. as well as the distribution of the shares of the instituted heirs. No. one of those rights granted to the heirs. precluded from commencing an action arising out of the rights belonging to the deceased. INC. the judgment of the Court of Appeals could result in a situation were the properties of the deceased would be transferred to the heirs even before the debts of the estate are paid. on the one 3 . Of the twenty-one (21) heirs substituted for Salvador. Hence the transaction between Eliodoro Sandejas Sr.interest of Eliodoro to the extent of his ½ conjugal share. As to the sale of the entire property to the buyer. an unpaid creditor may not attach or garnish a specific property forming part of the estate. Issues of ownership are beyond the jurisdiction of the probate court. and that the ownership of the same transferred to the heirs from the moment of such death. 17 January 1968 22 SCRA 80 The undivided share of an heir in the inheritance may be levied upon and/or garnished by an unpaid creditor in order to satisfy a judgment debt of the said heir. What is the justification for denying an heir the right to commence legal action before judicial confirmation of heirship? The very patent conflict of interest demonstrated in this case must be noted. likewise forms part of the estate. It must be noted that the reconveyance court had jurisdiction over the determination of ownership of the parcels of land subject matter of the case. the Supreme Court in this case clarified the relationship between the corporation. REYES v REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI BR. RAMIREZ v BALTAZAR No. automatically become a stockholder of the corporation. the obligation of the Administrator is to sell to Alex A. or cannot be expected to act in a particular circumstance. In addition. The fact that the hereditary estate has not been divided among the heirs is of no consequence. and Alex Lina cannot extend beyond Eliodoro’s undivided interest in the property. MARIA No. their heirship has not been judicially confirmed. Salvador further holds that the proceeds of the sale of a property forming part of the estate. the right of an heir to his share is not demandable.R. the attachment or garnishment will be effective as regards the properties which may eventually be allocated to the debtor-heir pursuant to partition. Court approval is not necessary before the heir could sell. Salvador holds that the right of an heir to his distributive share thereto is not determinable until all the estate liabilities have been paid. Lina ½ + 1/10 of the property or 3/5 thereof – undivided share. the probate court has exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the disposition of any property pertaining to the estate. 30 June 1967 20 SCRA 603 While the rights to succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. Justice Panganiban correctly ruled that the pro-indiviso shares of the non-selling heirs should be excluded from the sale. It would therefore seem that everyone knew what was going on. nine (9) were not among the so-called heirs of Salvador who were substituted in the reconveyance case. In general. In this case. then by way of an exception to the rule.

This ruling contradicts Justice Brion’s opinion that pending the settlement proceedings. where the testatrix enumerated the specific properties to be given to each compulsory heir and the testatrix repeatedly used the words "I bequeath" was interpreted to mean a partition of the estate by an act mortis causa. the substantive validity of the dispositions therein is governed by the laws in force at the time of the death of the testator. In addition. SANTOS v LUMBAO G. and the consequences thereof. where he stated: “In the present case. Nos. L-24561. DIZON-RIVERA v DIZON No. At best. the court ruled that the non-notation of the residence certificates of the notarial witnesses and/or the use of the testator’s expired residence certificate are sufficient to invalidate a will. The question now is: which decision is correct? BLAS v SANTOS No. 28 March 2007 519 SCRA 408 Santos explains in very specific terms the rights of the coheirs. is still inchoate and subject to the outcome of a settlement proceedings. on the other. “ You will note that Rita. SUROZA v HONRADO Adm. Article 1347 of the same Code prohibits any contract involving future inheritance. Therefore. While the ruling in relation to Section 63 of the Corporation Code seems to be correct. an interpretation which suppresses a provision cannot be adopted if there is another way of construing the said dispositions. the testamentary dispositions included that portion of the estate called "legitime. 28 February 1962 4 SCRA 550 The following decision illustrates the application of the rule that the language of a will must be interpreted in such a way that every expression therein must be given some effect. rather than as an attempt on her part to give such properties as devises to the designated beneficiaries. rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative. No. It is disturbing that in this decision. 5281.R. The decision specifically refers to a parcel of land which. L-14070. Rita would not have been able to sell a portion of her undivided share to the Spouses Lumbao. appear to be debatable. However. the dictum of the court in relation to the opening of succession under Article 777 of the Civil Code." Article 886 is couched upon a negative prohibition "cannot dispose of". 30 June 1970 33 SCRA 554 The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect. therefore. The tenor of the decision notwithstanding. Blas interprets the meaning of Article 1347 in connection with Article 776. 29 March 1961 1 SCRA 899 Article 776 of the Civil Code defines the inheritance of a person. passed in co-ownership to her children. as co-owners of the estate of a deceased person. the ruling of the Supreme Court in relation to the acquisition or vesting of title to the estate of the deceased person in favor of the latter’s heirs is clearly in conflict with the statutory definition of the term “inheritance” in Article 776 of the Civil Code. at this point. Of the two projects of partition submitted by the contending parties. Matter No. rather than a distribution in the nature of devises. 6 June 1967 20 SCRA 358 The formal validity of a will depends upon the observance of the law in force at the time of execution. 12 February 2008 544 SCRA 393 Lee explains the reason for the stringent formalities prescribed by law in the making of a notarial will. BELLIS v BELLIS No. Finally. the specific properties assigned to each compulsory heir were deemed to be in full or partial payment of legitime. Accordingly. On the other hand. 169129. each of Anastacia’s heirs holds only an undivided interest in the shares. 20 January 1989 169 SCRA 284 De Guzman does not definitively settle the issue of testamentary capacity insofar as it involves soundness of mind. it is important to note the provision of Article 886 which reads: "Legitime is that part of the testator's property which he cannot dispose of because the law has reserved it for certain heirs who are. is “still inchoate and subject to the outcome of a settlement proceedings” is rather disturbing as it clearly runs against the explicit dictum of Article 777. The dictum in this case should be compared to the ponencia of Justice Brion in Reyes v Regional Trial Court of Makati. the medical record of the testator should be noted as it influenced to a great extent the factual findings of the probate court and the affirmance of such findings by the Court of Appeals. 2026-CFI. DE GUZMAN v INTESTATE ESTATE OF FRANCISCO BENITEZ G.C. infra. 61167-68. for if such rights were inchoate. and the heirs of a deceased stockholder. Thus.hand. upon the death of the decedent. supra. that project which will give the greatest effect to the testamentary disposition should be adopted. validly sold to the Spouses Lumbao a portion (107 square meters) of her undivided share in the property (467 square meters in the aggregate) even while the property still stood in the name of her mother Maria from whom She (Rita) inherited the same." It is thus imperative to reconcile the tenor of Article 1080 (which is the basis of the following decision) with Article 886. Necessarily. 19 December 1981 110 SCRA 388 Every will must be in writing and executed in a language or 4 . LEE v TAMBAGO A. in this case. L-23678. Rita would have been able to sell a mere expectancy. No. In the will under consideration. VDA.R. the statement of the Court to the effect that the undivided interest of the co-heirs. L-15737. DE VILLAFLOR v JUICO No. the undivided rights of co-heirs to the inheritance is at best inchoate. This interest. distributive shares of inheritance will not be determined until all the debts of the estate of the decedent are paid. the right of the heirs to specific. called compulsory heirs. the testatrix disposed of practically her entire estate by designating a beneficiary for each property. in relation to the shares forming part of the estate of the deceased person. 519 SCRA 408. See the ruling in Santos v Lumbao.

5971. No. However. L-5826. 29 November 1951 90 Phil 489 Where it appears that the testator caused another person to write his name in the will. It is important. a fatal defect. L-2867. which in the opening paragraph of the will. 27 August 1948 81 Phil 429 5 . Is it enough. Cagro is not a unanimous decision. It is not essential that the testator and the witnesses should look at the paper purporting to be the will of the testator at the time each of them affix their signatures. In this case. This requirement does not apply to the subscribing witnesses. 30 June 1964 11 SCRA 422 Article 805 requires that each of the subscribing witnesses should sign each and every page of the will on the left margin. such fact must be stated in the attestation clause. NERA v RIMANDO No. or in any other place. particularly when such testimony is sought to be controverted by the testimony of an expert witness. knowledge of the language in which the will was written may be presumed. The contradiction in the concluding paragraph of the will clearly indicated the nullity of the purported will. a failure to introduce evidence in this respect does not necessarily justify the denial of probate. 27 February 1911 18 Phil 450 Article 805 requires that the will must be signed by the testator and the witnesses in the presence of one another. and the same conforms to an actual count of the pages. The technical difference between the factual bases of the two cases should be examined. But it is imperative that this individual should write the name of the testator. Under certain conditions. GARCIA v LACUESTA No. where the notarial acknowledgement does indicate the number of pages of the will. Considering that the Supreme Court confirmed the nullity of the will. A reference to Article 809. In this case.even if there is lack of understanding as to the nature of the document being executed? TABOADA v ROSAL No. the attestation clause would be fatally defective. as a rule. ET AL. was supposedly a language known to her. While this requirement is mandatory and. The procedural lapses of the counsel for oppositor must likewise be noted. The failure of the attestation clause to indicate the number of pages upon which the will is written is. BALONAN v ABELLANA. L-15153. i.e. The duty of the witnesses to subscribe is substantially complied with by any such signature. If the signatures of the attesting witnesses are affixed on the left margin. L-35033. the deficiency is cured. That the testator affixed the sign of the cross after his name written by another person is not sufficient indication that the testator in fact signed the will. absent a clear showing that the sign of the cross is the customary signature of the testator. Nera provides the test of presence. mandatory and a failure to comply therewith is a fatal defect. L-1787. her alleged notarial will was written in English. However. the testatrix was proved to be illiterate. for the proper understanding of this case. to differentiate a duplicate copy of a document from a duplicate-original thereof. 31 August 1960 109 Phil 359 Article 805 of the Civil Code prescribes the manner in which the will must be signed by the testator.. It is not important that the person to whom the function of writing the testator's name indicates or writes his own name. resulting in the nullity of the will. This requirement is. that the testator and each of the witnesses be able to see each of them sign the will without physical obstruction . It is sufficient that each of them be physically present at the place where execution will take place and that they be in such position with respect to each one. ICASIANO v ICASIANO No. 5 November 1982 118 SCRA 195 Article 805 requires that the testator should sign at the end of the will.dialect known to the testator. "subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself. who may sign in any other part of each page of the will. provided that the need to safeguard the genuineness and authenticity of the will is not compromised. L-18979. A failure to make such a recital is a fatal defect. and that a failure to comply therewith is a fatal defect. must be proved during probate proceedings. the probative value of the testimony of the instrumental witnesses must be noted. that by merely casting their eyes in the proper direction. did such fact entitle the intestate heirs of the testatrix to the property devised under the void will? REYES v VDA. one of the ways by which the testator signed his name. 21 April 1952 2 SCUD 53 Every will must be executed in a language known to the testator. This ruling is based on the principle of liberal interpretation of the statutory requirements for the formal validity of the will. In any event. or at the very least. CAGRO v CAGRO No. is appropriate. LOPEZ v LIBORO No. as a rule. Balonan gives two alternate ways of complying with the statutory requirement. as a rule. 29 April 1953 92 Phil 1032 The attestation clause must be signed by the witnesses at the bottom thereof. therefore. Icasiano holds that the failure of a witness to sign one of the pages of the will through inadvertence or oversight (there being no bad faith or fraudulent intent) can be cured by the presentation of a carbon duplicate of the will which contains all the required signatures. The opinion of the majority of the Court in this case is diametrically opposed to its opinion in the case of Abangan v Abangan. or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. in this regard. Balonan confirms that this requirement is mandatory. they would have been able to see each one affix his signature on the will without any physical obstruction. DE VIDAL No. L-4067.

The non-attachment of DST does not invalidate a will. No. 14 September 1993 226 SCRA 347 This is the second instance where the Court had occasion to 6 . L-40804. no signature of the testator on the left margin of the second page of the will. it is obvious that a witness cannot simultaneously be the notary public before whom the will shall be acknowledged. DE RAMOS v COURT OF APPEALS No. By reason thereof. may. The case further explains the reason for the requirement of Art. It would seem that the strongest argument against the proponent is the fact that the witnesses themselves are required by law to acknowledge the document.R.” This case also highlights the fundamental difference between a jurat and an acknowledgment.R. AZUELA v COURT OF APPEALS G. 74695. GARCIA v VASQUEZ No. A different result may be expected if the witnesses were not required by law to acknowledge the document. Cruz involves a situation where one of the three witnesses to the will was the same person who notarized the same. 31 January 1978 81 SCRA 393 The law requires at least three attesting witnesses to a notarial will. The foregoing case is classic in a very special way as it resulted not only in a waste of time but also of taxpayers' money. to recount the incidents which occurred thereat. An illiterate person with good vision was not mentioned in the law. and based on the distinction. No. 17 April 2007 521 SCRA 394 Guerrero defines “acknowledgment” and the competent officer before whom it should be made in the execution of a notarial will. if contrary to expectation. the will need not state that the language used therein is known to the testator. the Supreme Court rejected the application of the foregoing decisions to the case at bar. In addition. 28 January 1980 95 SCRA 752 Incompetence takes various forms. or some of them. if the provision of Article 808 is applicable to an illiterate testator. Guerrero holds that a notarial will acknowledged before a notary public outside of the latter’s territorial jurisdiction is void. even if it was sworn to before a notary public. It can well be said that the decision of the RTC is “one for the books. the Court held that a notarial will that is not acknowledged before a notary public is void. Knowledge by the testator of the language used in the will may be proved by extrinsic evidence. 174144. Article 808 makes specific reference to a blind person. The failure to affix the page number on the first page is not necessarily a fatal defect. A will is not necessarily void because the witnesses declared against its validity. admission to or denial of probate depends on the testimony of these instrumental witnesses. even be inferred by the probate court. 145545. L-51546. the will is not acknowledged as required by Art. Justice Reyes opined that if the testator is blind or incapable of reading the will (as when he is illiterate) the requirement of reading must be complied with in order to enable the testator to object to provisions which are not in accordance with his wishes. therefore. JR. As to the missing signature of the witnesses at the bottom of the attestation clause. While the opinion seems reasonable. 806 and the function of the acknowledgment. Garcia holds that if a testator's vision does not permit him to read the document. There is serious doubt. CRUZ v VILLASOR No. and the lack of acknowledgment). GABUCAN v MANTA No. to establish compliance with the formalities prescribed by law. The witnesses shall be called upon. G. The pagination requirement admits of a liberal interpretation. 30 June 2008 556 SCRA 569 Samaniego holds that an error in the number of pages of the will as stated in the attestation clause is not material to invalidate the will. 806. should testify against the formal validity of the will. the Supreme Court disallowed the will for the reasons stated hereunder. L-32213. the RTC ignored the ruling in Carcia v Gatchalian. For which reason. the testator is deemed blind for the purpose of requiring the observance of the additional formality prescribed in Article 808. ALVARADO v GAVIOLA. To a large extent. It is equally important to note the ethical problem which may arise if the acknowledging witness were the same person who would notarize the document. SAMANIEGO-CELADA v ABENA G.R. 122880. 26 November 1973 54 SCRA 31 Article 806 requires that the testator and the three witnesses must acknowledge the will before a notary public. GUERRERO V BIHIS G. 30 April 1970 32 SCRA 490 Article 808 of the Civil Code prescribes an additional formality in the case of a blind testator. during probate. While the proponent of the will relied on American decisions which permit a notary public to be a witness to an instrument notarized by him. even if he can see distant object. As regards the missing acknowledgement. However. L-26884. No. under certain conditions. VDA. R. particularly if the purpose of the law has been satisfied. No. these witnesses. As regards the missing number of pages in the attestation clause the RTC invoked the doctrine of liberal interpretation but conveniently ignored the conditions laid down in the case of Rodelas. the RTC ignore the ruling in Cagro v Cagro (although arguably the ruling in Cagro has a very strong dissenting opinion).Article 805 requires that every page of the will be numbered correlatively in letters. direct or circumstantial. the failure of the attestation clause to state the number of pages used upon which the will was written. the proponent of the will may use other evidence. and. Effectively. 12 April 2006 487 SCRA 119 Of note is the decision of the RTC which admitted the will to probate notwithstanding the defects thereof (no signature of witnesses at the bottom of the attestation clause.

5 August 1960 109 Phil 102 The case involves an interpretation of the three-witness rule required under the first paragraph of Article 811. Such fact was. defective or blurred eyesight must be considered blind for the purpose of compliance with the additional formalities prescribed in Article 808. however. the handwriting of the testator) is not available for scrutiny. This is so because the only guarantee of authenticity (i. However. among others. L-14003. Gil allowed the probate of the will. if it is proved that the will was in fact executed and attested in substantial compliance with the requisites of law. is not a fatal defect if it can be shown that there was no bad faith. and the only ground for opposing probate is the technicality resulting from an incomplete date. the results of these two cases are divergent. No. the court inferred that the first paragraph of Article 811 is merely directory. 1 March 1951 88 Phil 260 Article 809 enunciates the doctrine of liberal interpretation. five against it. JR. and the execution of a holographic will on the other. particularly in footnote no. Circumstances such as speed of writing and the pressure of the handwriting cannot be tested based on a photocopy of the questioned document. It is equally important to take notice of footnote no. The ruling distinguishes between the execution of a notarial will on the one hand. the issue remained controversial and far from having been resolved. Accordingly. There is no question as to the genuineness of the will.. Based on the difference in the formalities required." Alvarado confirms that a person unable to read the draft of his will. How this decision will affect the courts interpretation of the other formal requirements of the law remains to be seen. Consequently. The factual difference between these two cases should be noted. GIL v MURCIANO No. L-38338. Accordingly. GAN v YAP No. forgery. defects or imperfections in the form of attestation clause or in the language used therein shall not render the will invalid. fraud or undue and improper influence and pressure. LABRADOR V COURT OF APPEALS No. fraud. 8 of the latter decision. L-83843-44. stated by the testator in the body of the will. In addition. the handwriting of the testator can be authenticated. CANEDA v COURT OF APPEALS G. either because of poor. The text of the original decision (which has been reversed) was omitted. It is most unfortunate that there was a sharp division in the court. 30 August 1958 104 Phil 509 Article 811 prescribes the evidence required for the probate of a holographic will. and undue and improper influence and pressure. It must be noted that Rodelas did not categorically rule on the admissibility to probate of a secondary evidence of the missing holographic will. or otherwise admitted by the parties. While a complete date is generally required. whereas Caneda disallowed the will. RODELAS v ARANZA No. In resolving the motion for reconsideration. 28 January 1985 134 SCRA 245 Article 810 of the Civil Code requires. In an obiter incorporated through a footnote.discuss the meaning of the term "blind testator. Alvarado makes a landmark exception to the rule of strict compliance when it affirmed the probate order despite noncompliance with the double reading requirement. the court in Rodelas reversed the order of the lower court dismissing the petition for probate (as well as the motion for reconsideration) by reason of the proponent's inability to produce the original copy of the alleged lost holographic will. six voted for its nullity and five for its validity. in the absence of bad faith. L-3362. or perhaps even through a "mimeographed or carbon copy". for it is sufficiently clear that an analysis of the handwriting of the testator based on a photocopy of the lost or missing holographic will cannot go beyond a comparison of strokes with an accepted standard. the same must be denied probate. Roxas explains the reason for requiring a holographic will to be dated. 103554. It must be noted further that the dispositive portion of the decision ended at the point where the denial of the motion for reconsideration was set aside. Gil involves an attestation clause which omitted to state that the testator signed the will in the presence of the witnesses. In the original decision. the Court confirms that inability to read by reason of illiteracy is included within the broader concept of "blindness" for the purpose of the same article. 8 of the decision. and that to give it a 7 . It would seem that the logical result of such "setting aside" of the order would be the remanding of the case to the court of origin for further proceedings in accordance with the aforesaid decision. One final note: the court observed that with a photocopy of the lost or missing holographic will. 5 April 1990 184 SCRA 170 The required date which must be indicated in a holographic will is substantially complied with if the date were incorporated as part of the body of the will. as even the opponents concede that issue. 28 May 1993 222 SCRA 781 Caneda affirms the ruling in Gil v Murciano. No. However. that a holographic will be dated. or otherwise cannot be presented in court. ROXAS v DE JESUS. 7 December 1982 119 SCRA 16 Rodelas traces its antecedents to Gan v Yap. which is the basis of the ruling in the subsequent case of Rodelas v Aranza.e. What added value did Rodelas give to existing jurisprudence on the matter? AZAOLA v SINGSON No. the court noted in Gan that a lost holographic will might be proved through a "photographic or photostatic copy" thereof. The text below is part of the resolution of the motion for reconsideration. This observation must be tested in the light of established principles governing the authentication of questioned documents. L-12190. six members of the court voted for the validity of the will. Gan stresses that if the holographic will sought to be probated is lost. Probate is further justified if the genuineness of the handwriting of the testator is proved.R. an incomplete date which sets forth only the month and the year of execution. L-58509.

KALAW v RELOVA No. The failure to authenticate such alterations results in the invalidity of the desired change. the decedent's last will and testament. VDA. and considering that the subsequent institution of the second heir is inoperative. However. the court's area of inquiry should. RIVERA v INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT No. there is now a divisional ruling that is diametrically opposed with a prior en banc ruling. 28 September 1984 132 SCRA 237 Article 814 requires the authentication of any alteration in a holographic will. stating among other things. because at this stage. with Codoy reaching a different conclusion. whether they be for the reciprocal benefit of the testators.B. Nevertheless. The foregoing notwithstanding. However. (3) whether the decedent had testamentary capacity at the time the will was executed. 15 September 1994 236 SCRA 488 Ajero upholds the proposition that Articles 813 and 814 do not form part of the requisites for formal or extrinsic validity of a holographic will. in general.mandatory tenor may result in legal absurdities. Consequently. DE PEREZ v TOLETE G. the institution of the new heir is inoperative by reason of a failure to comply with the requirement of Article 814. But was it absolutely necessary for Codoy to disturb Azaola? I do not think so. a failure on the part of the testator to observe the requirements of Articles 813 and 814 does not justify the disallowance of the will. Article 820 prescribes the qualifications of a witness.R. Hence noncompliance therewith would be a fatal error. In short. The court further stresses that proof of compliance with the requirements of Articles 813 and 814 cannot ordinarily be dealt with during probate proper. 15 February 1990 182 SCRA 322 Under Article 811 of the Civil Code. CODOY v CALUGAY G. The bone of contention between the parties was whether or not the oppositors to the probate of a will may yet present evidence against the admission of the will. 123486. be construed as having been expressly revoked by the cancellation of her name by the testatrix? If so. after they have unsuccessfully made a demurrer to evidence. it would have been sufficient to discuss the deficient evidentiary basis for the admission of the holographic will to probate. 2 June 1994 232 SCRA 722 This case outlines the procedure for the reprobate of a will that was executed and probated in accordance with foreign law. held that the requirement in Article 811 is merely directory. Thus. the core issue is whether the oppositors should be allowed to present controverting evidence after the demurrer was denied. Azaola vs. L-20234. Codoy is a controversial decision as it held that the 3-witness rule in Article 811 of the Civil Code is a mandatory requirement in the case of contested holographic wills. be limited to the following issues: (1) whether the instrument submitted is indeed. which is a matter to be determined by the court. while Article 821 enumerates the disqualifications. where it not for the supervening finding of the court that the oppositor is not related to and in fact a stranger with respect to the decedent. L-75005-06. an issue arises as to whether or not a witness competent under Articles 820 and 821 is necessarily credible as required by Article 805. The issue of jurisdiction should be noted in particular. the joint will. L-40207. GONZALES v COURT OF APPEALS No. and substituted in lieu thereof another name. Reyes. Gonzales stresses that competence may be proved or inferred.L. As correctly ruled by the Supreme Court. please note that in the following case. No. 76714. 23 December 1964 12 SCRA 576 Article 818 of the Code prohibits the execution of joint wills. Can the institution of the original heir. However. Should the nullity of the alteration result in the effectivity of the original disposition? The court in Kalaw ruled in the negative. Codoy could have been decided purely on the procedural issue that was raised. where the testator canceled the name of the original heir. it must be noted that if a probate court erroneously admitted a joint will to probate. Furthermore. therefore. whereas. This would have necessitated the application of the threewitness rule. Oppositor challenged the authenticity of the holographic will and claimed that in fact the decedent died intestate. if the authenticity of the holographic will is contested. 106720. and despite his opposition. Gonzales makes a distinction between a competent witness and a credible witness. DE LA CERNA v REBACA-POTOT No. (2) whether the will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. 25 May 1979 90 SCRA 187 Article 805 requires the notarial will to be attested by at least three credible witnesses. Justice Reyes explained in detail the reason for such conclusion. Therefore. and (4) whether the execution of the will and its signing were the voluntary acts of the decedent. an examination of the provision of Article 830 indicates clearly that "cancellation" is a mode of revocation. that the intention of the testatrix has become indeterminable. or if the court is not convinced. is presumed unless evidence to the contrary is presented. Rivera presents a critical twist to the provision of law. without the requisite authentication.R. the error thus committed would be considered an error of law and not of jurisdiction. three witnesses are required to identify the handwriting and signature of the testator. Singson. No. 12 August 1999 312 SCRA 333 Codoy is an unusual case with an unusual decision. was considered void as to the wife. expert testimony may be resorted to. Now. credibility. To support the conclusion reached by the Court. It was totally unnecessary to rule that compliance with the 3-witness requirement in Article 811 is mandatory. such an error must be corrected by appeal. while deemed operative with respect to the husband. who inherits the estate of the deceased? AJERO V COURT OF APPEALS No. Failing which. However. 8 . the three-witness rule is not applicable. or for the benefit of a third person. the relevant provisions may be disallowed. Thus. the oppositors should be permitted to present their evidence. failing which the erroneous decision would become final. L-37453. a decision penned by Justice J.

it being understood that in the latter case the legacy or devise shall be without effect only with respect to the part thus alienated. otherwise evidence intended to establish the due execution and the contents of the destroyed will might be admissible. and if done by a third person. one finer point of law must be considered. Without which. 19 June 1982 114 SCRA 478 While as a rule the area of inquiry of a probate court is restricted to the twin issues of testamentary capacity and due execution. The issue is significant because an adopted child may not have blood ties with the testator. 168156. 21 June 1978 83 SCRA 676 Article 838 of the Code requires probate as a condition precedent for the effectivity of a will. the requisite age. while disputable. the testamentary capacity of the testator and the due execution of the will becomes incontestable. the soundness of mind of the testator. 29 February 1988 158 SCRA 451 The burning of a will is one of the modes of revocation. v COURT OF APPEALS No. Without probate. the provision of Article 957 of the Civil Code is worth considering: “The legacy or devise shall be without effect: x x x (2) If the testator by any title or for any cause alienates the thing bequeathed or any part thereof. Lasam further confirms the ambulatory nature of a will. L-57848. 11 September 2007 642 SCRA 642 Rodriguez emphasizes the need for probate of a will. In this regard. L-76464. It seems that the court sought a determination as to whether or not the oppositor was preterited or disinherited under the terms of the questioned will. And if the presumption of revocation should apply. a duplicate copy of the said will cannot be admitted to probate. the same must be upon the express direction of the testator and in his presence.GAGO v MAMUYAC No. Please note that in Gan v Yap. may be reinforced by testimony regarding the circumstances of the alleged revocation of the will. the will may be admitted to probate as a will which had been invalidly revoked. 24 June 1983 122 SCRA 885 9 . the will is ineffective and does not produce legal effect. such that at any time prior to his death. Due execution refers to compliance with the formal requisites prescribed by law. 26317. MANINANG v COURT OF APPEALS No. an inquiry into extrinsic validity would be a waste of time. to sell the property which he had previously adjudicated to his heirs in his will. the act of destroying the document must be done by the testator himself. Nuguid v Nuguid is squarely in point. the testamentary capacity of the testator. the due execution of the will. it may be revoked at any time by the testator at any time prior to his death. 29 January 1927 49 Phil 902 A will being essentially ambulatory. Gallanosa illustrates the inevitable result of an attempt to reopen probate proceedings long after the probate order has become final. In this case.R. L-29300. It is important to note that the present procedural laws do not permit nor sanction the institution of an action for the "annulment" of a will. photostatic. While preterition involves the omission of a compulsory heir in the direct line. It would therefore seem that the more crucial issue is the determination as to whether or not an adopted child should be considered as a compulsory heir in the direct line of the testator. No. as mandated in Article 838 of the Civil Code. the testator may change or revoke it. While there are various requisites for the validity of a revocation by means of an overt act (which requisites were not discussed in Maloto). Maloto reversed the Court of Appeals which upheld the revocation of the will on the basis of sufficient proof of animus recovandi on the part of the testator. However. the Court had the occasion to opine that a lost holographic will might be proved through a photographic. 6 December 2006 510 SCRA 496 Lasam emphasizes the necessity of probate. No. practical considerations may necessitate an inquiry into substantive validity. and two. x x x. and second. the court reversed an order of the probate court which dismissed the proceeding based solely on the fact that the original copy of the holographic will could not be presented for examination. a purported will cannot be the source of any right and could not be relied upon to establish the right to possession. the probate judge will forthwith issue an order admitting the will to probate. this case holds that if a third person executed the overt act of destroying the will. The presumption. and that after his death the will cannot be found. L-56340. Probate is limited to a determination of two issues: one. Once the probate order becomes final. If the due execution and the contents of the destroyed will is sufficiently established. JR. Article 957 is one of the 7 provisions of the Civil Code and the Family Code which pertains to implied revocation of a testamentary disposition. Testamentary capacity has two components: first. it must be executed pursuant to the testator's express direction and in his presence. while much reliance on Nuguid was made by the oppositor in Maninang. Both requisites must be duly proved. mimeographed or carbon copy thereof. However. And in Rodelas v Aranza. Res judicata will apply to any attempt to reopen and or revisit the issues of testamentary capacity and due execution. Gago holds that a revocation of the will may be implied if the testator in his lifetime had ready access to the same. Under Article 830. TESTATE ESTATE OF ADRIANA MALOTO v COURT OF APPEALS No. If the proponents of the will are able to prove testamentary capacity and due execution. and therefore whether or not such adopted child is a relative in the direct line is disputable. RODRIGUEZ v RODRIGUEZ G. PASTOR. the Supreme Court recognized the testator’s right. This is particularly true if none of the testamentary dispositions could be given effect and therefore. HEIRS OF ROSENDO LASAM v UMENGAN G. during his lifetime. Article 830 enumerates the modes of revocation. the same was not favored by the court since the nullity of the testamentary dispositions in the questioned will did not appear to be indubitable. 175720.R. GALLANOSA v ARCANGEL No. the supposedly preterited heir in the foregoing case is an adopted child.

rather than his own. and summarized the rulings thereon. such vitiation ceases when the undue pressure and influence ceased. In the case of Nepomuceno v Court of Appeals. Influence must overpower and subjugate the mind of the testator so as to destroy his free agency and make him express the will of another. L-5597.R. under specific conditions.Pastor is a detailed account of the jurisdiction of a probate court. particularly in the matter of liquidating the estate of a deceased person. the interesting twist of this old case is the fact that the beneficiary accused of exercising undue influence on the testator is a mistress of the testator. 30 May 1969 28 SCRA 421 Undue and improper pressure and influence as well as fraud are grounds to disallow a will. having been given ample opportunity to revoke the same. And despite a ruling of the intestate court on the matter. While the Court considered only the issue of improper influence and pressure. 16763. 26 August 2008 563 SCRA 426 Further to the ruling of the Supreme Court in Pastor. It is important to distinguish the variance between the ruling in de Borja and the ruling in Roberts. the jurisdiction of a probate court to determine the issue of ownership must be noted. More importantly. In this case. supra. L-75773. COSO v FERNANDEZ DEZA No. 17 April 1990 184 SCRA 367 The probate court. a probate court. It holds that the admission of a will to probate does not 10 . No. No. 108581. as a rule. The appropriate procedure must be noted in the light of the unusual haste in which the probate judge sought to deliver a legacy to the designated legatee. this case explicitly permits the partial distribution of the estate of a deceased person prior to the payment of the debts. including the disposition in favor of the mistress." Accordingly. This is because while undue pressure and influence vitiates consent. J. NEPOMUCENO v COURT OF APPEALS No. OZAETA v CUARTERO No.R. the parties are not barred by res judicata from instituting a separate and subsequent independent action to thresh out the matter. JIMENEZ v INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT G. In addition. infra. 9 October 1985 139 SCRA 206 While the general rule is that the probate court's area of inquiry is limited to the extrinsic validity of the will. v Court of Appeals. QUASHA ANCHETA PENA AND NOLASCO LAW OFFICE v LCN CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION G. the Court invalidated a testamentary disposition in favor of a mistress. the Supreme Court allowed and in fact enforced the compromise agreement between a stepson and his stepmother. it is equally important to consider the effect of alleging undue influence and pressure simultaneously with fraud. the testator would be deemed to have ratified the contents of the will if. is it lawful for the heirs to divide the estate in accordance with a freely negotiated compromise agreement and in the process disregard the terms of the will? Or will such a compromise agreement result in an "anomalous" situation deplored by the Supreme Court in Roberts? DOROTHEO v COURT OF APPEALS G. L-62952. Mere inferences resulting from circumstances surrounding the execution of the will do not suffice to justify the denial of probate. However. No. ROBERTS v LEONIDAS No. the Court ordered the consolidation of the testate and intestate proceedings. However. the Court allowed the will. even if such undue pressure and influence were to be proved. L-55509. 174873. These twin grounds were invoked in this case. particularly where the execution of the will was attended by respectable members of the bar. PASCUAL v DE LA CRUZ No. In particular. 27 April 1984 129 SCRA 33 Probate of a will is mandatory in order that the said will may pass property. Coso holds that mere influence is not sufficient to invalidate a will. Based on the dictum of the Supreme Court in these two cases. In de Borja v vda de Borja. Further to Ozaeta. 22 December 1921 42 Phil 596 Coso discusses the nature of "undue influence" which vitiates the will of the testator. an allegation of undue and improper pressure and influence must be substantiated by competent evidence to prove that it was indeed exerted. pass upon such provision for the purpose of declaring its nullity. despite the fact that the tenor of the compromise agreement is not consistent with the tenor of the will of the testator. ORTEGA v VALMONTE G. he did nothing until the time of this death. 8 December 1999 320 SCRA 12 Dorotheo distinguishes between the extrinsic and intrinsic validity of a will. Nevertheless. and for the judge hearing the testate case to continue hearing the consolidated cases. cannot pass with finality on issues affecting ownership of property. the Supreme Court ruled that "it is anomalous that the estate of a person who died testate should be settled in an intestate proceeding.R. L-24819. 157451. Jimenez holds that this limitation applies also to proceedings in intestacy where an intestate court can only pass upon on issues of title on a provisional basis only. a presumption arises that he has silently ratified the same. A distinction between these two cases is therefore necessary. in accordance with the ruling in Nuguid v Nuguid.R. No. practical considerations may compel the probate court to pass upon matters of intrinsic validity. if the testator did not exercise his option to revoke or alter the provisions of the will which are not consistent with his wishes. where a testamentary provision is void on its face. and (ii) what constitutes a sound and disposing mind. Thus. 16 December 2005 478 SCRA 247 Ortega discusses two issues: (i) how to prove the fact of fraud in the making of the will. 31 May 1956 99 Phil 1041 A will executed through undue and improper pressure of influence may be denied probate by reason of the involuntariness of its execution by the testator.

30 May 1984 11 . Reyes holds that omission from the inheritance. While the traditional concept of omission. Admittedly. Hence. That would have been illegal under existing laws. then the formalities of a will should have been observed. the effect of the nullification of the testamentary disposition would be the same as the nullification of the will itself. Even as a probate order is issued. if it should appear on the face of the will that the sole disposition is intrinsically invalidity. extrinsic validity is one thing. and his right to waive his half share in the conjugal estate. Unless the nullity of the will is patent on its face. 25 January 1967 19 SCRA 85 Preterition is the omission of one. AUSTRIA v REYES No. the same was abandoned so that if a compulsory heir were given a legacy by the testator in the will (without instituting him or her as an heir). BALANAY. L-39247. If it was a waiver effective inter vivos. Let alone the fact that the decision did not discuss why the husband was not preterited within the meaning of Article 854. however. CAYETANO v LEONIDAS No. This point needs clarification. In such a case. Therefore. L-24365. the alleged waiver by the husband of his half share in the conjugal estate resulted in a transmission of property to the wife. Obviously. that demands an answer is whether or not a husband or wife could waive his or her share in the conjugal estate in favor of the other by an act inter vivos. and the consequential invalidation thereof is justified for practical considerations. L-17818. the waiver would be void. the opponents of the will are likewise mandated to prove by substantial evidence that the testator would not have made such a disposition had he known the true state of affairs. and that nothing is gained from an inquiry into extrinsic validity. In any case. And consequently. must be a total omission. and the liquidation of the conjugal partnership (or for that matter. 27 June 1975 64 SCRA 454 Balanay stresses the jurisdiction of the probate court. the distinction between this case and Nuguid. Such waiver. a characterization of such waiver along the parameters mentioned above is necessary and inescapable. One point deserves some consideration. The inquiry during probate of the will focuses only on formal or extrinsic validity. which in contract law. "testate and intestate succession. some or all compulsory heirs in the direct line. while the court correctly modified the husband's right to waive his hereditary right with respect to the estate of the deceased spouse. L-54919. the absolute community of property) resulting from the issuance of a decree of annulment or a decree of nullity. as an element of preterition. it is not a guaranty that the testamentary dispositions are valid and would thus be given effect. Furthermore. means that the compulsory heir was not instituted as an heir. inferences and conjectures are not sufficient to invalidate a provision which is challenged as one made on the basis of a false cause. L-23079.necessarily mean the provisions of the will can be given effect. failing which. then a probe into the testamentary disposition. In sum. pursuant to the provisions of Articles 750 and 752 of the Civil Code. i. the court assumed the validity of the renunciation of the husband of his share in the conjugal estate. a waiver resulting from a successful petition for separation of property. the testator was a citizen of the State of California. Aside from the fact that the false cause must be stated in the will. Upon the other hand. While Article 854 annuls merely the institution of heir. the court was silent on the validity of the husband's conformity to the distribution of the conjugal estate in accordance with the terms of the will of the wife. such that if a compulsory heir in the direct line received something from the testator under the terms of the will. However. Under the present Civil Code. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. taking into account the fact that Article 854 was made to apply. the court is justified in declaring the entire will void if the only testamentary disposition in the questioned will is the institution of the universal heir. It may be surmised that the validity of the waiver had to be assumed. otherwise the case will fall under the provision of Article 784 which categorically states that the making of a will is strictly a personal act. based on Roman Law. Please note that the false cause which led the testator to make a particular testamentary disposition is treated in the same way as a mistake. however. the said compulsory heir can no longer claim the benefit of Article 854. 30 June 1966 17 SCRA 590 The concept of total omission from the hereditary estate is further explained in this case. vitiates consent. Civil Code) In the foregoing case. the probate court should first pass upon the extrinsic validity of the will before passing upon its substantive validity. On the other hand. L-23445. therefore. JR. In either case. The fundamental question. may fall into one of two possible categories. if it was a waiver mortis causa." (Article 16. inter vivos or mortis causa. Balanay leaves many questions unanswered. NUGUID v NUGUID No. v MARTINEZ No. Among other things. whether living at the time of the death of the testator. the area of inquiry of a probate court is limited to the testamentary capacity of the testator and the due execution of the will. the estate of the testator was distributed in accordance with Philippine law. and that the exercise of testamentary discretion cannot be delegated by a person to another. AZNAR v DUNCAN No. the waiver mortis causa would have required the wife to survive the husband.e. 23 June 1966 17 SCRA 449 As a general rule.. REYES v BARRETTO-DATU No. such heir cannot be considered preterited. properly or improperly. intrinsic validity is another. or born subsequent thereto. then it would have amounted to a donation to inter vivos to the wife. unless it is proved that the testator would not have made such institution had he been properly appraised of the truth. 27 February 1970 31 SCRA 754 The statement of a false cause in the institution of heirs shall be disregarded. We exclude.

CRISOLOGO v SINGSON No. the document is must be considered a will because it conveys property. it inferred that if Consolacion were instituted subject to a fideicommissary substitution. Two points raised in the decision should be noted. This is error. which the same court overturned. In addition. 603) could be preterited. Consequently. because the first heir in a fideicommissary substitution acquires title to the property. subject merely to the resolutory term of the substitution. Ramirez settled the controversy by upholding the more restrictive view. ACAIN v INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT No. the surviving husband would have inherited the residue of the estate free and clear of any condition or encumbrance. This issue was not definitively answered in Balanay. Would such a ruling apply to a case where the foreign beneficiary is both a testamentary and a compulsory heir? VDA. First. the nephews and nieces coming from the side of the deceased wife would be excluded from participating in the distribution of the properties. No. 27 November 2006 508 SCRA 177 Seangio resolves a number of legal questions. upon his demise. The resulting conclusion would be in contradiction with the finding that no fideicommissary substitution was intended by the testatrix. 28 February 1962 4 SCRA 491 Crisologo stresses that the essence of a fideicommissary substitution is the imposition of an obligation on the part of the first heir to preserve and to transmit the property to the second heir upon the former's death or upon the happening of a particular event. Therefore. L-27952. the conflict rule enunciated in Article 16 of the Civil Code applies. it stated in the penultimate paragraph that the substitution shall take place whether the death of Consolacion takes place before or after the death of the testatrix. Claimants advance the theory that the obligation of the surviving husband constituted either (a) an express trust. the substitution would have been void since the second heirs are not related to the first heir within the first degree by consanguinity. The beneficial use and possession of the inheritance are first given to the first heir for a lifetime at most. RAMIREZ v RAMIREZ No. Third. as required in Ramirez v Ramirez. or by imposing upon the first heir the absolute obligation to preserve and deliver the inheritance to the second heir. 15 February 1982 111 SCRA 704 Some commentators of the Civil Code have expressed the opinion that a fideicommissary substitution is in fact a disguised case of successive institutions. L-38972. First. Therefore. the decision of the Supreme Court would seem to be correct. To allow the substitution even if Consolacion were to survive the testatrix would be to give effect to a fideicommissary substitution. Second. 28 September 1987 154 SCRA 294 Mapa resolved a dispute between two sides of a family with respect to the interpretation of a testamentary disposition obligating the surviving husband to deliver to the nephews and nieces (both on the side of the deceased and on his side) the residue of the entire estate. In the case of a foreign testator. L-72706. There seems to be something wrong with the statement. the adopted child is not entitled to the right of representation. that with the provisions of the Family Code. while the court ruled that the substitution is simple.R. the preterition of an adopted child finds greater support. The foregoing notwithstanding. the provision of Article 854 of the Civil Code cannot is never meant to apply to a foreign testator. infra. the Court opined that the constitutional prohibition against alien ownership of land does not permit an alien to acquire the same by testamentary succession. L-287334. specifically on the status of an adopted child. However. or (b) an institution subject to a fideicommissary substitution. It will be noted that if the testamentary disposition were to be treated as a fideicommissary substitution. In an obiter. Second. This limitation became the object of two divergent views. It is worthwhile noting that the properties in question were largely from the estate of the deceased wife. One view holds that the "one degree" apart rule refers to one transfer. if Consolacion survives the testatrix. Therefore. as in fact she did survive. it confirms that where the sole disposition of a purported will is the disinheritance of a compulsory heir. the failure of the testator to institute an heir or to even mention by name any of the compulsory heir. regardless of whatever public policy or good customs may be involved. The obligation to preserve and transmit must be done in an expressed manner either by calling the substitution fideicommissary. This is because both the first and the second heirs inherit from the testator and not from one another. Acain resolved that an adopted child may be preterited. In the absence of either. If the substitution were to be declared void. L-13876. and for no other cause. If equity were to be taken into account. and thereafter transferred to the second heir. the decision fail to argue convincingly that the testatrix indeed intended to constitute a trust. It must be noted that given the said provisions. then the substitution becomes academic. RODRIGUEZ v COURT OF APPEALS No. 27 October 1987 155 SCRA 100 Acain resolved once and for all the issue as to whether or not a surviving spouse could be preterited. It would seem. per se.D. however. The law requires that the first and second heirs must be "one degree apart" from each other. the Court did not explain the reason why an adopted child (while given the same rights and obligations as a legitimate child under the provisions of P. This issue was not resolved in Maninang. her rights would be limited to that of a usufructuary. the substitution would at best be considered simple or vulgar.129 SCRA 522 Article 854 does not apply in the case of a foreign testator who omits in his or her will the compulsory heirs in the direct line. the Court gave an indication of what could constitute maltreatment which would give an ascendant a ground to disinherit a descendant under Article 919. 140372-72. which is available to a legitimate child. Substitution was premised precisely upon the death of Consolacion. the disinheritance is considered a property disposition. does not constitute preterition. SEANGIO v REYES G. DE MAPA v COURT OF APPEALS No. 28 March 1969 27 SCRA 546 12 .

The second reason proffered by the Supreme Court in sustaining the Court of Appeals is erroneous. in his lifetime had every right to dispose the land for valuable consideration. No. cannot. An attempt to deprive a compulsory heir of the legitime by way of a simulated sale will not be tolerated.R. However. Justice Purisima concluded that in case of doubt. the Supreme Court arrived at a diametrically opposed conclusion. to challenge the trust? If so. Accordingly. although it does not impose any obligation on the instituted heir. However. Therefore. the legal issues raised in the case should be governed by the provision of the said Code. CASTRO v COURT OF APPEALS G. It also discussed the various forms of substitution of heirs. 82233. Under the Civil Code. The inference is that the titles were merely entrusted to Regina and Zenaida. And because the decedent had no property other than those parcels of land which he allegedly sold to his illegitimate daughters. I do not believe that the second reason preferred by the Court is correct. under the present law.R. nor did it support the conclusion. the institution must be deemed modal and not conditional. Is he suggesting that the said intestate heirs (first cousin of the testatrix) must survive the twenty year period in order to have the personality. the simulation of said sale resulted in the dissipation of his assets and the deprivation of the legitimate daughter of her legitime. (b) the said first cousins. the land had already been validly sold. it does not suspend the effectivity of the institution. he noted that while a modal institution obliges. if the mortgage is to be cancelled. No. under the present law. the legitimate parents have no right to demand indemnification for the death of their deceased child.R. 29 June 2000 334 SCRA 522 Rabadilla distinguished between a conditional institution and a modal institution. 9 June 1992 209 SCRA 665 On facts nearly identical with those of Castro v Court of Appeals. On the other hand. 31 May 1989 173 SCRA 656 An illegitimate child is a compulsory heir of his or her parent. No. at that time. 113725. 13 . a conditional institution suspends the efficacy of the institution. PNB and RBP will be prejudiced.” There is no indication that he admitted to having fraudulently sold the property to the latter. Thus. Rabadilla? If the mortgage is to be honored. the successional right of an illegitimate child is conditioned upon the fact of recognition. I fail to appreciate the Court’s suggestion that the transfer of the property to Regina and Zenaida was Gregorio’s “way to transfer the property to his illegitimate daughters at the expense of his legitimate daughter. 138774. be represented by their own respective descendants. He opined that the intestate heirs may never even have the right to challenge the question provision of the will which created the trust. the decision states that Gregorio confided to Aida that the titles to the property were “in the possession of Regina Francisco and Zenaida Pascual. whether voluntary or involuntary. The simulated sale will be set aside. No. Aida’s legitime will have to be determined at the time of death of Gregorio. assuming they do not survive the twenty-year period. Indeed. because her father Gregorio. 95229. However. Following his discussion. 22 March 1990 183 SCRA 565 While legitimate parents are considered as compulsory heirs of their legitimate child. Consequently. Thus. there is merit to the nullification of the sale based on the first theory that the sale was simulated. On the other hand. and beyond which relationship with the testatrix is no longer recognized by law. provided no vested or acquired rights are impaired. BARITUA v COURT OF APPEALS G. The requirement of recognition has been abolished under the Family Code.A testamentary disposition prohibiting the alienation of the hereditary estate for a period exceeding twenty years is void. The Court’s argument seems to suggest that the simulated sale was Gregorio’s way of depriving Aida of her rightful participation in the distribution of his estate. the heirs of Aleja Belleza will receive the property subject to the encumbrance. TAYAG v COURT OF APPEALS G.R. an illegitimate child inherits regardless of whether or not his or her parent recognized him or her as a child. RABADILLA v COURT OF APPEALS G. the same violated Aida’s legitime. the parents are secondary compulsory heirs and inherit only in default of legitimate children and decendants of the deceased. but to the prohibition in excess of the first twenty years. there is nothing in the decision that would seem to prove that intent. at which time. the simulation of sale was proved by the fact that neither of the two buyers of the property had sufficient financial resources to justify their acquisition of the property by way of a cash purchase. In this case. 50974-75. FRANCISCO v FRANCISCO-ALFONSO G.” In any event. the Supreme Court applied the more liberal provisions of the Family Code on the basis of the provision of Article 256 of the Family Code which allowed a retroactive application. The reasoning is flawed. and such right to indemnification properly belongs to the latter's descendants and/or spouse. One question that should probably be asked is: what happens to the mortgage in favor of PNB and RPB upon the cancellation of the title of the property in the names of the heirs of Dr. the Court has ruled that the nullity refers not to the prohibition to alienate. the sale is void. The Court’s reasoning was: even if the sale was not simulated. Nos. Justice Fernando made a cryptic statement in the penultimate paragraph of the decision. It is therefore important to distinguish between these two cases. is there a suggestion that the successional right of the intestate heirs would ripen only if they survive the period? This point is important for two reasons: (a) the first cousins are relatives of the testatrix within the fifth degree. supra. If the sale was bona fide in that consideration was indeed paid. 8 March 2001 354 SCRA 112 The legitime is a portion of the estate of the deceased person which is reserved by law for the compulsory heirs.R. The antecedent facts of the present case occurred while the Civil Code was still in force. then Aida would have no cause to complain.

6878. where properties were inherited from a mother (origin) by a daughter (as prepositus). which properties were later inherited by her son. and categorically adopted the theory of delayed intestacy. It would seem fairly clear that the reservor sold the reservable land in question. it is also possible to construed this sale of the reservees as a sale of their inchoate right to acquire the property. EDROSO v SABLAN No. 14856. 29 April 1961 1 SCRA 1227 The reserva applies only where the property sought to be reserved was acquired by operation of law by an ascendant from a descendant who in turn. ROSALES v ROSALES No. In addition. FLORENTINO v FLORENTINO No. The sale executed by the reservees may be viewed from a different perspective. whether or not the reservable property was devised or willed by the reservor to a relative of the prepositus coming from the same line as the origin. subject to a resolutory condition. if such payment obligation was not imposed by the origin. Even if the prepositus had to pay a certain amount to a third party for the purpose of acquiring the reservable property. then the reserva is not applicable. 13 September 1913 25 Phil 295 A reservor's right to the reservable property is not just usufructuary in nature. acquires ownership thereof. she was the registered owner of the property and in fact in possession thereof. PADURA v BALDOVINO No. the same may be exercised only by such person seeking to represent if he himself is a relative within the third degree of the prepositus. LACERNA v VDA. however. Thus. CHUA v CFI OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL. It must be noted. it would seem more likely that the same is a term. No. Thus. the acquisition by the latter is still gratuitous in nature.VAN DORN v ROMILLO. 27 December 1958 104 Phil 1065 The division of the reservable property among the reservees is the subject matter of the following decision. Thus. the son holds the properties subject to no reservation in favor of any relative. Florentino rejected the theory that if the reservable property does not fall into the hands of strangers. This is because of the absence of blood relationship between the two. From this principle arises an inference that 14 . JR. which obviously was not theirs. but the rights of the reservees thereto. and (2) the survival of the reservee at the time of the death of the reservor. 12 February 1990 182 SCRA 119 The reservor can never be a descendant of the supposed prepositus. If the said sale were to refer to the parcel of land. acquired it by gratuitous title from another ascendant. 8 October 1985 139 SCRA 139 A foreign divorce validly obtained by a foreign national in a foreign court against his Filipino spouse produces effects in the Philippines. DE CORCINO L-14603. L-11960. It must be noted. Otherwise. which is conditional. SIENES v ESPARCIA L-12957. The subject matter of the two sales referred to herein must be clarified. the case confirms that either the reservor or any of the reservees may alienate the reservable property. Thus. 27 February 1987 148 SCRA 69 A daughter-in-law is not a compulsory heir of her mother-inlaw. brother or sister. It is important to distinguish the sales referred to herein from the concept of a double sale which is regulated in Article 1544 of the Civil Code. where the disputed property was acquired by a descendant from an ascendant. The court rejected the theory of reserva integral espoused by Spanish commentators such as Scaevola. since this case is not contemplated by Article 891 which establishes the reserva troncal. 15 November 1919 40 Phil 480 Florentino settles a number of issues. having inherited the reservable property from the prepositus.R. The reservor. Since the reservor was still alive at the time of the said sale. that during the registration proceedings. 83484. While the decision refers to the first as a resolutory condition. In any event. it would seem that the reservees could not have validly sold the same parcel of land. may in the proper case extinguish the reserva. and may institute land registration proceedings in the appropriate case. however. a clean title issued pursuant to a decree of registration. BRANCH V L-29901. L-40789.the condition being the survival of the seller-reservees upon the death of the reservor. 24 March 1961 1 SCRA 750 The reserva creates a double resolutory condition: (1) the death of the reservor. 31 August 1977 78 SCRA 414 The gratuitous acquisition of the reservable property by the prepositus from the origin of the reservable property was interpreted in this case. there is yet no reserva because there has yet to be a second transmission of the property to another line by operation of law. Van Dorn suggests that the divorce decree should likewise terminate the status of the foreign party as a "compulsory heir" of the former Filipino spouse. that the dictum of the court in this respect is merely an obiter inasmuch as heirship was not an issue in this case. a reservor has a registrable title to the property. First. L-68470. since at the time of the said sale. Second. Upon the other hand. SOLIVIO v COURT OF APPEALS G. Hence the subject matter of the sale would not be the reservable land. and the final outcome of the sales will be determined by the timeliness or untimeliness of the death of the seller. No. with respect to the right of representation accorded the reservee. the reservable nature of the property is not lost. the reserva applies only if the prepositus dies without issue. then the sale should properly be construed as a conditional sale . the reservees should intervene solely for the purpose of ensuring that the reservable nature of the property is properly inscribed in the title.

This therefore raises the question as to whether or not the children were properly advised to seek the annulment of Patricia’s title to 447 sq. it is important that the reservable character of the property must be properly annotated at the back of the title thereto. however. Otherwise. Thus.the reservable property is not part of the estate of the reservor upon his demise. an allegation is made that certain dispositions inter vivos impaired the legitime of a compulsory heir. and (b) a niece of the prepositus. L-26270. Of Graciano’s share in the subject property (5. Third. that the deed of sale cannot gain validity by treating it as a donation to Patricia. or (1. However. CARILLO v DE PAZ No. L-22601. 2 September 1991 201 SCRA 178 The reversionary rights of the reservees may be lost to an innocent purchaser of the reservable property. following the order of preference.5% thereof) to a third party. there is an affirmation that the title of the reservor to the reservable property is not in the nature of full dominion. it stresses that the reservable property does not form part of the estate of the reservor. Thus a reservatario must institute action to recover the reservable property either within ten or thirty years from the time the right to recover the same accrued. but from the prepositus. after ruling that the deed of sale executed by Graciano in favor of Patricia (his wife) is void. However. committed an error in the distribution of the reservable property. It should be noted that the Court relied heavily on the ruling in Florentino and quotes substantially from the text of the said decision. L-28032. That the reservor is a mere usufructuary (as intimated in Florentino). Upon the other hand. Each child received by way of a donation from Graciano some 808 sq. this is a reaffirmation of the theory of delayed intestacy first initiated in Padura. The reservees inherit the reservable property not from the reservor. 68843-44. it would be Patricia. the latter is preferred to the exclusion of the former in the distribution of the reversionary estate. that the court. Please note that brothers. Among other things. 2 October 2001 366 SCRA 385 Natcher succinctly outlines the procedure for the calculation of the legitime of compulsory heirs. m. He sold 80.326. Gonzales affirms the ruling in Padura v Baldovino and follows the theory of delayed intestacy in the matter of distributing the reservable property among the reservees. the surviving spouse. further. Nos. it must be noted that the ten-year prescriptive period applied on the premise that the possessor of the reservable property was a possessor in good faith and with a colorable title to the same.38 sq. As such. 28 October 1966 18 SCRA 467 Carillo establishes that the rights of a reservatario to the reservable property may be lost by extinctive prescription. m. if it can be shown that the third party purchaser had actual or constructive notice of the reservable character of the property. he donated 4. Thus. however. Note that the trial court.). 24 September 1986 144 SCRA 281 Between two groups of reservatarios: (a) uncles and aunts of the prepositus. On the issue of impairment of legitime. GONZALES v COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA L-34395. the uncles and aunts (collectively referred to as collateral relatives within the fifth civil degree) rank fifth in the order of intestate succession to a legitimate person. Notice. 30 October 1969 29 SCRA 864 Mateo outlines the procedure for the liquidation of the estate of a deceased person. m. DE PAPA v CAMACHO No. it is clear that if anyone suffered an impairment of the legitme. parcel of land. in the dispositive portion of this decision. NIEVA AND ALCALA v ALCALA AND DEOCAMPO No. the outcome could be predictable if Graciano left no other asset. Based on the numbers. No. by reason of the reservation provided by law. there is a failure to note the oversight committed by the Court when it failed to distinguish between full-blood brothers from half-blood brothers. Note. MATEO v LAGUA No. the reservor cannot will or bequeath the reservable property in his or her will.85 sq. SUMAYA v INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT G. m. those who rank fourth will exclude all those relatives who rank fifth.60 sq.849. there is serious doubt as to the validity of this proposition in the light of the more recent pronouncements of the Court. The opportunity to rectify an error was lost. (or more than 90% thereof) to his children. is contradicted by later decisions characterizing the title of the reservor to the reservable property as absolute but possessed with a resolutory condition. then the reversionary rights of the reservees shall be upheld. The procedure for liquidating the same are found in Articles 102 and 103 of the Family Code for the absolute community of property. went further to state that the instrument may. and purportedly sold to Patricia 447. (or 8. Of equal interest is the assumption of jurisdiction by a court of general jurisdiction over an issue which relates to the settlement of the estate of a deceased person. 19 May 1981 104 SCRA 481 Gonzales gives an extended discussion on the nature and effects of reserva troncal. and Articles 129 and 130 of the same Code for the conjugal partnership of gains. nor can the reservor choose who or discriminate among the reservees should get the property. NATCHER v COURT OF APPEALS G. 15 . In this case. For the protection of the said reservees. It must be noted that collation is important only if the decedent left compulsory heirs. m. However.4%). It is ironic that a document that is void (either as a sale or as a donation) could be the source of a right. sisters. Again. collation would be irrelevant. be construed as a document pertaining to the grant of advance legitime to Patricia. if upon his or her death he or she is survived by qualified reservees. where in particular. 133000. that the procedure outlined in Mateo does not take into account the prior liquidation of the conjugal partnership or absolute community.90 sq. nephews and nieces rank fourth in the order of intestate succession to a legitimate person. 27 October 1920 41 Phil 915 Nieva ruled that reserva runs only in the legitimate family. This is pursuant to the application of the ordinary rules of intestate succession which govern the distribution of the reversionary estate. m. in case the deceased is survived by a spouse. even absent such annotation.R. 13386. while the Graciano attempted to give Patricia 447 square meters.R.

it is inappropriate for an heir to institute proceedings in intestacy if he knows the existence of a will. nephews and nieces are preferred over the uncles and aunts of the decedent (who are likewise relatives within the third degree of the decedent). is barred from exercising the right of representation. ET AL. Consequently. L-65800. Thus. which in turn will determine the validity of donations inter vivos made by the deceased. or by intestacy. When such nephews and nieces inherit by representation. nephews and nieces fourth in the order of succession. 22 February 1971 37 SCRA 555 De los Santos illustrates the rule of proximity.e. nephews and nieces will inherit in their own right as third degree relatives of the decedent. In the more recent case of Delgado vda. but at the same time affirmed the dismissal of the complaint as regards the other petitioner. sisters. the nephews and nieces shall exclude the grandniece. de la Rosa v Heirs of Marciana Rustia vda. therefore. L-19382. the Supreme Court through Justice Corona ruled that “(u)nder Article 972 of the New Civil Code. HEIRS OF PASCASIO URIARTE v COURT OF APPEALS G. A contrary rule may result in an anomalous situation where a determination of the intestate court would have to be set aside by reason of the admission of a will to probate. No. Telesforo Catain? DE LOS SANTOS v DE LA CRUZ No. ABELLANA-BACAYO v FERRARIS-BORROMEO No. Finally. Thus. 21 June 1966 17 SCRA 418 Intestate succession is subsidiary or subordinate to testamentary succession.R. No. even if the relationship of the decedent with the former is of the full blood.VDA. No. 22 January 1998 284 SCRA 511 A half-blood nephew is a collateral relative within the third degree. except if the right of representation is applicable. 39975. both of them fall within sixth level of preference. are ranked fifth.” 16 . L-29192. however. Otherwise.R. Rodriguez. in intestate succession. 975 of the Civil Code permits representation in the collateral line (but only in intestate succession) insofar as nephews and nieces of the decedent are concerned. This is because of the order of intestate succession which ranks brothers. This is because the fictional tie that binds the adopter and the adopted does not extend to the relatives of the adopter.R. regardless of the full or half blood relationship. it cannot be exercised by grandnephews and grandnieces. 6 February 1990 181 SCRA 861 The right of representation does not extend to the adopted children of the person to be represented. 3 October 1986 144 SCRA 622 Vda. By right of representation. No 116775. DE LA PUERTA v COURT OF APPEALS G. He excludes the children of first cousins. v BORJA. i. DE TUPAS v BR XLIII RTC OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL No. However. RODRIGUEZ ET AL. the right of representation in the collateral line takes place only in favor of children of brothers and sisters (nephews and nieces). No. the nearer relatives exclude the more remote ones. 8 December 2000 347 SCRA 571 Under the rule of proximity. The dispositive portion of this case must be carefully understood. is authority to the proposition that proceeding in testacy is preferred over proceedings in intestacy. 27 January 2006 (480 SCRA 334)]. Moreover. This is because intestacy arises only in the absence of a valid and operative will. Art. as well as the determination of the freely disposable portion. The case outlines the step-bystep procedure for the determination of the legitime of the compulsory heirs. Thus. these nephews and nieces shall be deemed to be two degrees remote from the decedent. whereas other collateral relatives. include any person called to succeed. a maternal aunt (a relative within the 3rd degree) excludes the daughter of the first cousin of the decedent (a relative within the 5th degree). 140975. No. and neither will an intestate court acquire jurisdiction over the estate of a deceased person. MADARCOS V DE LA MERCED G. Why then did the Court allow Francisca Madarcos to redeem the property. the prerequisite for the exercise of the right of representation is that the nephews and nieces must concur with at least one uncle or aunt. L-21993. but he cannot adopt one for his relatives. The more liberal interpretation would. who in the specific instance. either by virtue of a will.R. the daughter of the first cousin is not entitled to the right of representation in order to elevate her status to a relative of a nearer degree because representation in the collateral line is limited to children of brothers and sisters of the decedent. Both Francisca Madarcos and Telesforo Catain were intestate heirs or legal heirs of the original homesteaders. It must also be noted that even when they inherit in their own right as third degree relatives. particularly where impairment of the legitime is an issue. BAGUNU v PIEDAD G. 30 June 1989 174 SCRA 599 The Court had an opportunity to construe the meaning of the words "legal heirs. The relative nearer in degree excludes those who are more remote. 31 August 1965 14 SCRA 986 As an exception to the general rule that the right of representation is available only in the descending line. they succeed to that portion which their predeceased or incapacitated father or mother would have otherwise been entitled to inherit.. 77867. The Court ruled that they were qualified redemptioners of the property sold. even if under the order of intestate succession. including uncles and aunts of the deceased.R. de Damian [G." The restrictive meaning thereof would refer to heirs called upon to inherit by intestacy. the adopter may adopt an heir for himself. the exercise of the right of representation is subject to the barrier between the legitimate and illegitimate families under Article 992. 155733. while proceedings in testacy is on-going in another court. de Tupas outlines the procedure for the determination of the hereditary estate of a deceased person.

DEL PRADO v SANTOS No. 22 August 2000 338 SCRA 393 The rights to the succession of a Muslim who died during the effectivity of the Muslim Code shall be governed by the said law. MALANG v MOSON G. 66574. CUARTICO v CUARTICO No. The capacity of an heir to succeed is determined by the law in force at the time of the conception or birth of the heir.Likewise. she was not formally adopted. There was no showing that between the grandmother and her illegitimate grandchildren. DIAZ v INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT No. Justice Vitug clarified that the right of representation is generally available only in the descending line. 23 January 1992 205 SCRA 321 The right of representation accorded to legitimate grandchildren is reiterated in this case. the Court found after looking into the birth certificate of the petitioner.R. DIAZ V INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT G. No. 30 April 1965 13 SCRA 693 The Court reaffirms the exclusion of legitimate brothers and sisters of the decedent by the latter's illegitimate child. The argument stresses the injustice resulting from the fact that while the illegitimate children of an illegitimate child can exercise the right of representation. that the Court disallowed the intervention of the brothers in the probate proceedings. It would therefore seem that the State was short-changed because in the absence of any qualified intestate heir. L-51263. 23 September 1966 18 SCRA 68 An illegitimate child succeeds his or her illegitimate father to the exclusion of the legitimate brothers and sisters of the latter. In the collateral line. the latter are barred in the same manner from inheriting from the illegitimate child. however. Note that under the Family Code. Note. although there were legal issues raised with respect to such legitimacy. No other collateral relative can benefit from the right of representation. CORPUS v CORPUS No.R. LEONARDO v COURT OF APPEALS No. 21 August 1995 247 SCRA 476 If an illegitimate child is barred from inheriting ab intestato from the legitimate relatives of his father or mother. SUNTAY III v COJUANGCO-SUNTAY G. never in the ascending. the succession to the estate of a Muslim is governed by the Civil Code. that he is an illegitimate child and hence barred by Article 992 to claim a share in the inheritance of his great grandmother. An argument is raised that the word "relatives" used in Article 992 cannot possibly refer to the grandmother of the illegitimate children. recognition of the filiation of the illegitimate child has been abolished. L-19996. the lower court also disqualified the said brothers from claiming any right against the illegitimate son of the deceased by reason of Article 992. 23 October 1978 85 SCRA 567 Corpus illustrates an instance where a legitimate child is excluded from the inheritance of an illegitimate relative. that in this case Court took special note that the beneficiary of the estate of the illegitimate child (who executed a affidavit of self-adjudication as sole heir) is not even an heir of the deceased illegitimate child. The legitimacy of the collateral relatives within the second degree does not create a preference over the illegitimate status of the descendant. L-66574. 28 February 1983 120 SCRA 890 The filiation of a person may be looked into for the purpose of determining his qualification to inherit from a deceased person. MANUEL v FERRER G. the brothers cannot inherit from the deceased. The conflicting theory of the petitioners in this case should be noted. 119064. Prior to the effectivity of the Muslim Code. L-22469. there was animosity. No. the legitimate collateral relative of the intestate was preferred over the illegitimate descendants. 11190-R. in the case of Bagugu v Piedad. 1489 Cuartico explains the reason for the barrier in Article 992. 183953. 16 November 1955 52 O. In Leonardo. 17 June 1987 150 SCRA 645 This case illustrates the harsh effects of Article 992.G. No.R. Implicitly. 992 remains in force. L-20946. but only to the other collateral relatives. 21 February 1990 182 SCRA 427 This resolution settled the motion for reconsideration filed by the illegitimate children on the decision immediately preceding. 16 June 2010 621 SCRA 142 While the barrier in Art. SAYSON v COURT OF APPEALS G. The unavailability of the right of representation to the adopted children was likewise confirmed. It must likewise be noted that the deceased grandmother did not have any other descendants other than the illegitimate children who were excluded from her inheritance. As will be noted.R. CACHO v UDAN No. Notice. While the beneficiary was raised by the deceased as his own daughter. since regardless of the outcome of the probate. Nos. No. Justice Nachura sets the 17 . when the said court instructed the fiscal to study the propriety of instituting escheat proceedings. 117246. The reason behind the absolute prohibition on intestate succession is obviously the intervening antagonism and incompatibility between members of the natural family and those of the legitimate family. however.R. the same right is denied the illegitimate children of a legitimate child. the right is limited to children of brothers and sisters who concur with uncles and/or aunts. the State succeeds the decedent pursuant to Article 1011. 89224-25.

DIMAYUGA v COURT OF APPEALS L-48433. where a surviving spouse becomes a co-owner of property through succession to her deceased spouse. In addition to the arguments clearly stated in the text of the decision. Cid refers to the provision of the Civil Code of 1889 which disqualifies an illegitimate child who has not been acknowledged by his or her putative parents from inheriting. that her brothers and sisters-in-law sold to a third party without giving her prior written notice. SANTILLON v MIRANDA No. 31 July 1968 24 SCRA 435 The capacity of an heir to inherit is to be determined at the time succession opens. Please note. R. shall not longer apply to deaths occurring after the effectivity of the Family Code. This case.R. No. CID v BURNAMAN No. It would seem that Justice Santiago viewed the payment made to the mother. l-22036. A testamentary disposition giving a devise to the nearest male relative who would pursue an ecclesiastical career is meant to refer to such relatives living (or at least conceived) at the time of the testator's death. however.000. is not deemed to have repudiated the inheritance to the extent of the shortfall of his legitime. Accordingly. she acquires all the rights and privileges of ownership pertaining to the property thus acquired. L-24424. 30 April 1984 129 SCRA 111 Article 1043 provides that no person may accept or repudiate an inheritance unless his is certain of the death of the person from whom he is to inherit.” LEVISTE V COURT OF APPEALS G. legatee or devisee must be living at the time succession opens. the free disposal is divided equally among the concurring intestate heirs. Obviously. No. R. TARLAC v RIGOR No. 30 April 1979 89 SCRA 496 Capacity to succeed is determined from the moment of the death of the testator or the decedent. must make an explicit reference to the hereditary rights that are being waived. The Court made reference to the rule on repudiation of an inheritance. Without such acknowledgement as of such time. on behalf of the minor children. No. that the excerpt cited above is at best an obiter since the principal issue raised in this case relates to the preference in the appointment of an administrator. The question. however.00 on behalf of her minor children and an educational plan for their education (which is the basis of the waiver of claim) is indicative that there was indeed an acceptance of the inheritance. 163707. In short. 15 September 2006 502 SCRA 151 Guy holds that a waiver of hereditary share. Specifically the Court cited Article 1044 which requires the judicial approval of a repudiation of hereditary rights of a minor or an incapacitated person. and the spouse as fourth. except in case of representation whenever appropriate. the former is entitled to the right of redemption in the circumstances described in Article 1620 of the Civil Code. then the free disposal (after payment of legitime to the compulsory heirs) must be distributed in a manner that would result in the least disproportion between or among the respective shares of the concurring intestate heirs. To be capacitated. A waiver must pertain to a known or established right. Where there is a waiver of the hereditary rights of illegitimate children.tone in what could lead to a reconsideration of the ruling in Diaz v Intermediate Appellete Court. there the order of intestate succession listed the legitimate children as having first priority in the intestate estate of the deceased parent. an heir. if proof of illegitimate filiation has not been commenced.1/4 sharing in favor of the legitimate child adhere to the theory of preference. Santillon rejected the theory of preference and adopted the theory of concurrence. Two other theories in relation to the disposition of the free disposal might be mentioned. no successional rights shall accrue to said child. a waiver of hereditary rights would be premature. is whether a “waiver” of hereditary rights is functionally equivalent to “repudiation. Another theory advanced by other commentators is that the free disposal must be proportionately distributed among the concurring intestate heirs based on their respective legitime. Nevertheless. therefore. the enforceability of such a testamentary disposition is necessarily limited to twenty years from the time succession opens. 109972. that the requisite acknowledgment has been repealed by the Family Code. in order that the disposition be consistent with the rule prohibiting perpetuities. and of his right to the inheritance. and the pertinent provisions of law referred to herein. GUY v COURT OF APPEALS G. It is not altogether clear what Justice Santiago referred to Article 1044. even if in the meantime he had executed an affidavit confirming and accepting his share of the distributed property. Since preference is not inferred from the order of intestate succession. The status of an acknowledged natural child must be established as of the death of the deceased parent in order to entitled such illegitimate child to certain successional rights. it is essential that their hereditary rights must be established prior to the waiver. after the legitime of all other compulsory heirs shall have been paid. then the law must be interpreted as having given a preference to the legitimate child or children with respect to the hereditary estate. L-19281. PARISH PRIEST OF ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF VICTORIA. it may be stressed at this point that commentators who insist on a 3/4 . Verdad confirms this fact when a widow was granted the right to redeem a property in which she was a co-owner. L-29184. 29 April 1996 256 SCRA 593 When a surviving spouse inherits. A compulsory heir who is deprived of a portion of his legitime through a donation inter vivos executed by his father. The fact that the mother acknowledged receipt of P300. heirs who do not mutually exclude each other shall ratably share the inheritance. Hence. supra. in order to be effective. regardless of the order of intestate succession. was the monetary consideration for the waiver of hereditary rights. A contrary interpretation may be upheld only if there is a clear intention to the contrary. Hence. VERDAD v COURT OF APPEALS G. or through a partition inter vivos made by his father. Under the theory of equality. Be mindful. 30 January 1989 160 SCRA 581 18 . however. 30 June 1965 14 SCRA 563 Santillon resolved the dispute regarding the intestate shares of a surviving spouse concurring with one legitimate child.

L-46903. 3 August 2007 529 SCRA 187 Bautista holds that an action to set aside a void extra judicial partition is imprescriptible. L-27422. the law does not specify a particular form. and that such partition will not result in a transfer of ownership to his heirs during his lifetime. In the instant case. In Article 1104. the Court upheld the sale of ½ of the property which pertains to the conjugal share of the wife. the Court’s statement that an invalid partition transmits no right is rather disturbing. 118449. ALONZO V INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT No. The Court has interpreted this provision (as well as the counterpart provision in Article 1623) that the notice must be in writing and sent by the seller to all prospective redemptioners. I reserved my observations by including footnotes to the more significant statements in the body of the decision. Estoppel bars a selling heir from disavowing the sale and from proceeding contrary thereto. 15 February 2000 325 SCRA 652 The omission of a compulsory heir in the distribution of the partible estate. MANG-OY V COURT OF APPEALS No. Based on my personal observations regarding this decision. in the absence of fraud or bad faith. No. and excludes an attorney who may have a claim against his client-heir based on a contingent fee arrangement.R. Otherwise.R. However. 137287. . with the consent of the person making it. By way of an exception. This is because each of the sales among the co-heirs was with the expressed consent and authorization fro the parent who executed the 19 Finally. I would say that I can only agree with it to the extent that the Court ruled that the Parañaque property is not collationable. the hereditary property sold by a co-heir to a stranger. and Pacita’s sale to Pedro. In Go Ong v Court of Appeals. The Court took exception in this case in view of the peculiar circumstances and waived the written notice requirement. 8 November 1990 191 SCRA 211 While Mang-oy holds that a partition inter vivos executed in accordance with Article 1080 is revocable by a person at any time during his or her lifetime. 1 February 1998 286 SCRA 217 This is a very important case as it discussed at length the concept of collation. Article 1052 in part provides that if an heir repudiates the inheritance to the prejudice of his creditors. no inference can be deduced that the intention of the donor was to excuse collation. Shouldn’t the Court uphold the sale to Pacita. BAUTISTA v BAUTISTA G. It is of a special character which does not even require the execution of a prior will. This was construed as a sale of the parent herself. 160556. the latter may petition the court to authorize them to accept it in the name of the heir. Because of the complicity of the matter. the law uses the phrase “preterition of any of the compulsory heirs”. in passing. The Court. No. it must be noted that in the case of a partition inter vivos under Article 1080. Angelica and Alegria already acquired ownership of their respective shares of the property upon the demise of Teodora. No. L-68282. Such partition shall be respected provided the legitime of the compulsory heirs is not prejudiced. and at the same time. and does not operate to convey ownership of the properties involved until the death of the latter. DE ROMA V COURT OF APPEALS No. CHAVEZ V INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT G.partition. the donor may provide that a particular donation shall not be collationable. The Court held that this partition is not in the nature of a donation nor of a will. within 30 days from written notice of the sale. to equalize the shares of the heirs in the hereditary estate. R. mentioned that the several sales among the co-heirs did not constitute contracts involving future inheritance. at least insofar as the shares of Angelica and Alegria are concerned? NON v COURT OF APPEALS G. No. 23 July 1987 152 SCRA 205 Collation seeks to preserve the legitime of the compulsory heirs. The court opined that such a partition may be made orally or in writing. As a general rule. Chavez holds that an exception may be taken if the partition has in fact been implemented and that one (or some) of the heirs. 28 May 1987 150 SCRA 261 Article 1088 of the Code gives to co-heirs the right to redeem. Notice that it is the death of the decedent that transmits ownership of the hereditary estate to the heirs – not the partition that is executed between or among them. Preterition as used in this article should be distinguished from preterition under Article 854.R. VIZCONDE v COURT OF APPEALS G. The partition is revocable at any time during the lifetime of the causante. This right pertains to creditors. or by will. conveys or sells his or her pro-indiviso share to another coheir. setting aside only the sale insofar as the ½ portion of the property that is subject of settlement proceedings. all gratuitous conveyances made by the decedent during his lifetime are collationable. it is necessary that the prohibition to collate is expressed. will not result in the rescission of the partition. 12 September 1986 144 SCRA 33 Article 1080 permits a person to make a partition of his estate by an act inter vivos. In the exceptional case. L-72873.

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