This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
ANA DE LEON SYLLABUS WILLS; REVOCATION; "ANIMO REVOCANDI." — According to the statute governing the subject in this jurisdiction the destruction animo revocandi of a will constitutes, in itself, a sufficient revocation. (Sec. 623, Code of Civil Procedure.) The original will herein presented for probate having destroyed animo revocandi, cannot be declared the will and last testament of the testator. The only question raised in this case is whether or not the will executed by Jesus de Leon, now deceased, was revoked by him. The petitioner denies such revocation, while the contestant affirms the same by alleging that the testator revoked his will by destroying it, and by executing another will expressly revoking the former. We find that the second will Exhibit 1 executed by the deceased is not clothed with all the necessary requisites to constitute a sufficient revocation. But according to the statute governing the subject in this jurisdiction, the destruction of a will with animo revocandi constitutes, in itself, a sufficient revocation. (Sec 623, Code of Civil Procedure.) From the evidence submitted in this case, it appears that the testator, shortly after the execution of the first will in question, asked that the same be returned to him. The instrument was returned to the testator who ordered his servant to tear the document. This was done in his presence and before a nurse who testified to this effect. After some time, the testator, being asked by Dr. Cornelio Mapa about the will, said that it had been destroyed. The intention of revoking the will is manifest from the established fact that the testator was anxious to withdraw or change the provisions he had made in his first will. This fact is disclosed by the testator’s own statement to the witnesses Canto and the Mother Superior of the Hospital where he was confined. The Original will herein presented for probate having been destroyed with animo revocandi, cannot now be probated as the will and last testament of Jesus de Leon. Judgment is affirmed with costs against the petitioner. So ordered.
INTERPRETATION BY COURTS. It consists of two pages and is dated October 2. raised by the testatrix. Oppositors-Appellees. Manuel M. the evidence should be forcefully persuasive. The questioned document was prepared and signed in duplicate. and provided the law on legitimes has not been violated. Moreover. nevertheless it would be venturesome for the court to advance its own idea of a just distribution of the property in the face of a different mode of disposition so clearly expressed by the testatrix in the later will. Messrs. 1937. but in others. Jose Belmonte and Vicente Delgado. the attorney who supervised the execution of the will must have known that it was not necessary to make a signed duplicate thereof. ID. was subscribed and sworn to by Amando Clemente on April 22. ALLEGED FORGERY OF SIGNATURE OF TESTATRIX. It is reasonable to believe that a forger would reduce the number of signatures to be forged so as to lessen the danger of detection. was not opened by order of the court till the next day.000. and allowed an earlier will. secondly. Bustos. It appears to be signed by Rufina Arevalo and by three witnesses. in some questioned signatures the letters "R" and "u" are separated. but it was signed by appellees’ attorneys on April 22. Moreover. — In passing upon questioned documents. a forger who has to make two or more signatures usually sees to it that all the signatures are uniform for fear that any difference might arouse suspicion. ET AL. PETRONA AREVALO. and. should receive something from the estate. with natural variations. The main issue in this case is whether or not Exhibit C.[G. as already stated. REVOCATION. Remigio Colina and Angel Sanchez. subject of course to the payment of her debts. Once that intention has been determined through a careful reading of the will or wills. July 31.. although Exhibit C. she was absolutely free to give her estate to whomsoever she chose. — Provisions of the second will are quoted in the decision to show that the latter will entirely revoke the earlier one. 1938.R. quality and characteristics. Though it might appear right that a relative. 2. SYLLABUS 1. 47305. It is true that the opposition by the appellees was not actually filed in court till April 23. An initial fact that arrests the attention is the formulation by the appellees of the allegation of forgery even before seeing the questioned document. and a copy thereof was sent by registered mail to Attorney Nicasio Yatco on April 22. The value of the estate is over P50. Other reasons are set out in the decision in support of the holding that the will in question is genuine and should be allowed. announced their opposition to the will Exhibit C in open court. 1938. administrator-appellant. The Court of First Instance of Manila held that it was a forged document. She was the sole judge of her own attitude toward those who expected her bounty. in the morning of April 23. In the present case. It would be a dangerous precedent to strain the interpretation of a will in order to effect what the court believes to be an equitable division of the estate of a deceased person. Furthermore. first. a careful scrutiny of all the questioned and the standard signatures leaves the conviction that they have been written by the same person because they show the same general type. they are united. the document in question was prepared and signed in duplicate. In this case. In this case. The only function of the courts in these cases is to carry out the intention of the deceased as manifested in the will. presented by appellant for allowance as the last will and testament of the deceased Rufina Arevalo. because there are no adequate means of ascertaining the inward processes of her conscience. WILLS. To conclude that a forgery has been committed. 30). 1942. is a forgery. The formal requisites of a will have been complied with. appellees’ attorneys. so that there are six signatures of the testatrix. 45 Phil. nothing in the law restrained her from disposing of her property in any manner she desired. Cruz. CASE AT BAR. The court should not sit in judgment upon the motives and sentiments of the testatrix. As she had no forcible heirs. because. Said charge of forgery was signed on April 22. ARISTON BUSTAMANTE. v. it is beyond the pale of judicial cognizance to inquire into the fairness or unfairness of any devise or bequest. instead of only three. April 23. Exhibit 6. whose authenticity was unquestioned. the test is the general character of the writing rather than any minute and precise comparison of individual letters or lines (People v. before said document . ] In the matter of the estate of Rufina Arevalo. however... No. which had been in a sealed envelop.
must have known that it was not necessary to make a signed duplicate of the will. instead of only three. The check had been issued on June 30. are certain natural variations in the details of the writing. quality and characteristics. because it was produced by the Manager of "La Previsora. We are. but having been shown another signature with the characteristic already mentioned — separation of the two letters — he tried to imitate said peculiarity in making the central signature. It is difficult for the inexperienced or unthinking examiner to understand that a certain extent of variation in a group of several signatures and variation in repeated words and letters in a continuous holographic document can be evidence of genuineness." (Emphasis supplied. And the instrumental witnesses have testified that Rufina Arevalo signed the will in their presence. the separation between "R" and "u." while in Exhibit C such ending is united with the letter "u" in the two marginal signatures. this Court held: jgc:chan robles. 1936. it is highly improbable that said check was in the hands of Rufina Arevalo or of her attorney. inclined to give credence to the expert testimony to that effect presented by the Appellant. The forger does not understand this necessity for natural variation and. the evidence should be forcefully persuasive. show these natural variations of writing of the same word or letter. It is reasonable to believe that a forger would reduce the number of signatures to be forged so as to lessen the danger of detection. We believe the probate court has overlooked the well-established principle that in passing upon questioned documents." (Emphasis supplied. One of the principal reasons of the court a quo for believing Exhibit C to be a forgery is that in the genuine signatures the terminal stroke of the capital "R" in "Rufina" is not joined with the letter "u. therefore. or several signatures under investigation. Bustos (45 Phil. that if the several lines of a disputed document. or in two or more disputed signatures. they are united. the forger upon being shown a model other than Exhibit I. com. 369) says: jgc:cha nro bles. coupled with specific differences. who supervised the execution of Exhibit C. makes words and letters just alike. Finally. as nearly as he can. Moreover.ph "It is a first principle in writing that exact coincidence between two signatures is absolute proof that one or the other is a forgery. and the general rule is that authenticity reposes upon a general characteristic resemblance. when the document in question was signed. Before we are disposed to find that an attorney-at-law has so debased himself as to aid and abet the forgery of a will. or over a year before. com. repeat the mistake he had made on the marginal signatures on the original will. as the lower court states. . As for the probate court’s opinion that the forger must have used Exhibit I (a check issued by "La Previsora" to Rufina Arevalo) as a model in falsifying the marginal signatures. however. 30). which would not only send him to jail for many years but would ruin his future. 1937. on or about October 2. the test is the general character of the writing rather than any minute and precise comparison of individual letters or lines.) Furthermore. with natural variations.. There must be some difference before authenticity can be admitted. that is. so that there are six signatures of Rufina Arevalo. in some questioned signatures the letters "R" and "u" are separated. Attorney Nicasio Yatco. 368. The probate court believes that this difference between the marginal and the central signatures is due to the fact that the forger first used the check of "La Previsora" (Exhibit I) as the model in falsifying the marginal signatures. all of course within the scope of variation of the genuine writing. In this case.) In the present case. although in the central signature appearing on page 2. instead. is as strong evidence of genuineness as the opposite condition is evidence of forgery. and it must have been returned by the bank concerned to "La Previsora" in the ordinary course of business." It should likewise be observed that the signature on the first page of the duplicate will (Exhibit C-3) does not have the supposed peculiarity of the standard signatures. the two letters are separated. to conclude that a forgery has been committed. surprising and paradoxical as it may appear. it is to be noted that the document in question was prepared and signed in duplicate. it is indeed strange that he should not do the same immediately thereafter on the first page of the duplicate will but that he should. such as naturally result from the infinite variety of conditions controlling the muscles of the writer at each separate effort in forming his signature. Nicasio Yatco. Osborne in "Questioned Documents" (pp. this variation itself. a forger who has to make two or more signatures usually sees to it that all the signatures are uniform for fear that any difference might arouse suspicion.ph "Another indication of genuineness in a holographic document or a considerable amount of writing.was opened by order of the court on that day. therefore. but in others. we must require proof sufficiently strong to prevail against every fair and thoughtful hesitancy and doubt. "It necessarily follows. a careful scrutiny of all the questioned and the standard signatures has convinced us that they have been written by the same person because they show the same general type. It is hard to believe they would commit perjury as it has not been shown they had any interest in this case. In this case." If. In People v. imitated said characteristic separation in making the central or body signature on the original will Exhibit C.
. therefore. dated October 2." (Emphasis supplied. 1937. de todas mis propiedades dejadas ya mueble o inmueble. the testatrix must have thought that her comprehensive words "mi unico heredero de todas mis propiedades dejadas ya mueble o inmueble" would be sufficient to cover all her property. whether specially listed or not. In fact. 4682. Though both parties admit that the first will has been revoked by the second. yet we deem it necessary to discuss the question because a member of this Court thinks the earlier will can stand in part. which belonged to the conjugal partnership. devised to Amando Clemente in the earlier will. is not specifically mentioned in the later will. In the first will. her words in Spanish being: "Nombro como mi unico heredero. has entirely revoked the earlier will. 1936. who had died before the making of the two wills. was expressly devised to Amando Clemente in the earlier will but was not specifically mentioned in the later will. when she said she wanted to dispose of her property by means of the second will ("queriendo disponer de mis bienes por virtud de este mi testamento"). who had no forcible heirs. and Rufina Arevalo. whether Rufina Arevalo could go alone to the law office of Attorney Yatco on October 2. Ariston Bustamante. Carmen Papa de Delgado. another cousin. de todas mis propiedades dejadas ya mueble o inmueble que se describen ms abajo: chanrob1es vi rt ual 1aw li bra ry (a) Original Certificate of Title of Manila No. and similar questions are not of sufficient significance to alter the conclusion herein arrived at. The relative position of the contending devisees in the affection of the deceased. and finally disposed. dated January 9. it would appear to be her intention that no property of hers should be left undisposed of in the second will.) It is true that in enumerating her parcels of land. Moreover. her nephew. in favor of Amando Clemente. But a closer examination of the later will counteracts such initial reaction. and both are her relatives. the second will has no revocation clause. Ariston Bustamante. is genuine and should be allowed. three lots and the buildings thereon. together with Ariston Bustamante. in the opening paragraph of the second will. the alleged resentment of the testatrix toward Amando Clemente when she signed the second will. she nevertheless said that the second will was her last one.) Though she knew that she had made a first will. the testatrix in the second will names Ariston Bustamante her only heir to all her property. Though it might appear right that Amando Clemente should receive something from the estate because he. 15628. and to her niece. cancelling her previously expressed wish. 1937 to sign the will Exhibit C. We believe. It appears that the undivided interest of Rufina Arevalo in two parcels of land and the improvements thereon which belonged to the conjugal partnership between Bernabe Bustamante. she did not specify her interest in the two lots of the conjugal partnership. But this omission must have been due either to an oversight or to the belief that it was premature to name said two parcels as the conjugal partnership was still being liquidated. devised a parcel of land and the houses standing thereon to her cousin. It is unnecessary to discuss the incidental issues of fact so ably presented by counsel and examined in detail by the probate court. At first sight. This fact is corroborated in the second clause wherein she names Ariston Bustamante as her only heir to all her property whether personal or real. 5066 (e) Original Certificate of Title of Manila No." cralaw vi rtua 1aw lib rary Her undivided interest in the two pieces of land of the conjugal partnership. nevertheless it would be venturesome for us to advance our own idea of a just distribution of the property in the face of a different mode of disposition so clearly expressed by the testatrix in the later will. it would seem that the earlier will can stand with respect to Rufina Arevalo’s share in said two parcels of land belonging to the conjugal partnership. with Torrens titles No. 19961 (d) Original Certificate of Title of Manila No. As she had no forcible heirs. In either case. she was absolutely free to give her estate to whomsoever she chose. inasmuch as the foregoing disposes of the basic question raised. and of her undivided interest in the two parcels of land and the improvements thereon.com. we find that the will of Rufina Arevalo. gave to Ariston Bustamante. both personal and real. Furthermore. whose probate is herein approved. Secondly. But in the second will." (Emphasis supplied.p h "Segundo — Nombro como mi unico heredero.Therefore. y queriendo disponer de mis bienes por virtud de este mi testamento. In the first place. Exhibit C. The next question to be inquired into is whether or not the later will (Exhibit C) dated October 2. Rufina Arevalo. 5059 (b) Original Certificate of Title of Manila No. This would seem to signify that her last will. Petrona Arevalo Viuda de Zacarias. also making said Amando Clemente the residuary legatee. Exhibit 6. of a piece of land and the houses thereon. 1937 and marked Exhibit C. they merely tend to becloud the main issue. that the first will has been entirely revoked. she designates Ariston Bustamante her only heir in these terms: jgc:cha nroble s. was to make Ariston Bustamante her only heir. 4681 (c) Transfer Certificate of Title of Manila No. 4887 and No. the following words appear: "hago constar a todos este mi ultimo testamento y voluntad expresado en Castellano lenguaje que conozco y poseo. has been raised by the testatrix. Exhibit 6. Exhibit C.
and secondly. nothing in the law restrained her from disposing of her property in any manner she desired. which has entirely revoked the earlier will Exhibit 6. In view of the foregoing. . declaring the second will Exhibit C a forgery and allowing the first will Exhibit 6. We should not. She was the sole judge of her own attitude toward those who expected her bounty. It might be said that it is hard to understand how. It would be a dangerous precedent to strain the interpretation of a will in order to effect what the court believes to be an equitable division of the estate of a deceased person. and another judgment shall be entered allowing the later will Exhibit C. as already stated. first because. No special pronouncement on costs is made. the decision appealed from. So ordered. sit in judgment upon her motives and sentiments. it is beyond the pale of judicial cognizance to inquire into the fairness or unfairness of any devise or bequest. because there are no adequate means of ascertaining the inward processes of her conscience.subject of course to the payment of her debts. Let the record of this case be returned to the court of origin for further proceedings. Once that intention has been determined through a careful reading of the will or wills. should be and is hereby reversed. however. the testatrix would entirely cut him off from the inheritance. The only function of the courts in these cases is to carry out the intention of the deceased as manifested in the will. in a temporary anger at Amando Clemente. and provided the law on legitimes has not been violated.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.