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Wilson v. Rear G.R. No. 31860.

October 16, 1930;

In the matter of the state of !harles !. Rear, "ecease". #.#. Wilson v. $.%. Rear et al.
&'!%() #*l+ 1,, 19-., Charles C. Rear was murdered by some Moros on his plantation situated in the
interior of the Province of Cotabato at an isolated place, without communication. The whole plantation
consisted of public lands. On November 1/, 19-., #.#. Wilson qualified as special administrator of the
estate. It is to be noted that, ilson!s place of business, which was in "amboan#a, is at least $%%
&ilometers from the plantation, and that he declined to serve as administrator and only accepted it under
pressure. 'ater, the property of the estate was a00raise" at 1-0,800 by the commissioners, an inventory
and report of which was si#ned by ilson. On #an*ar+ ,, 19-/, the commissioners made and filed a
report of claims a#ainst the estate, but by reason of the fact that it was claimed and alle#ed that the
administrator did not have any funds to pay. On $arch 30, 19-/, the court ordered the administrator to
sell a 0ortion of the 0ro0ert+.
On '0ril -6, 19-/, and with the consent of the heirs, a petition was made for authority to sell,
under sealed proposal, all the 0ro0ert+ of the estate, 2ith a vie2 of closin3 the a"ministration. On
October 10, 19-/, the court #ranted this petition, and after due notice, the public sale too& place, and the
property was sold to m. Mannion for P(,)%%. On '0ril -6, 19-/, ilson submitted a report coverin# his
administration to that date, which was approved and later set asi"e on motion of the heirs of the
"ecease". On $arch -3, 19-8, ilson filed his final account which later was amen"e" on #*ne 10,
19-8, to which the heirs made numerous and specific ob*ections, and after a hearin#, the court approved
the account as filed. +rom which the heirs of the deceased appealed.
I((4) hether ilson, as special administrator and as administrator, was ne#lectful and imprudent and
he committed waste, as the alle#ed disbursements made by him were far in e,cess of the amount
required to preserve the estate.
567) 8(. When a00ointe", it is the le3al "*t+ of the a"ministrator to a"minister, settle, an"
close the a"ministration in the or"inar+ co*rse of b*siness, 2itho*t an+ *nnecessar+ "ela+ in
settlin3 an" closin3 the estate.
'n a"ministrator, 2itho*t an or"er of co*rt, even tho*3ht actin3 in 3oo" faith, has no
a*thorit+ to contin*e the b*siness in 2hich the "ecease" 2as en3a3e" or to eat *0 an" absorb
the assets of the estate in the 0a+ment of o0eratin3 e90enses at the time of his "eath. -et, in the
instant case, the administrator on his own volition and without any authority or process of court continued
the operation of the plantation, and in the end, as shown by his own report, the estate, which was
appraised at P.%,/%%, with actual debts of the deceased of only P0,)11.12, was all wiped out and lost,
and left with a deficit of P0,/%3.)3.
In this situation, it was the le#al duty of the administrator to at once apply to the court for an order
to sell the personal property to pay the debts of the deceased and the e,penses of administration. %he
la2 "oes not im0ose *0on an a"ministrator a hi3h "e3ree of care in the a"ministration of the
estate, b*t it "oes im0ose *0on him or"inar+ an" *s*al care, for the 2ant of 2hich he is
0ersonall+ liable. In the instant case there were no complications of any &ind and in the usual and
ordinary course of business, the administrator should have wound up and settled the estate within ei#ht
months from the date of his appointment.
's to the liabilit+ of the an a"ministrator for the contin*ation of the "ecease":s b*siness,
the #eneral rule is that neither an e,ecutor nor an administrator is *ustified in placin# or leavin# assets in
trade, for this is a ha4ardous use to permit of trust moneys5 and tradin# lies outside the scope of
administrative functions. (o 3reat is it a breach of tr*st for the re0resentative to en3a3e in b*siness
2ith the f*n"s of the estate that the la2 char3es him 2ith all the losses inc*rre" thereb+ 2itho*t
allo2in3 him to receive the benefit of an+ 0rofit that he ma+ ma;e. The rule bein# that the persons
beneficially interested in the estate may either hold the representative liable for the amount so used with
interest, or at their election ta&e all the profits which the representative has made by such unauthori4ed
use of the funds of the estate.