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Molo v.

Molo Digest
Molo vs. Molo
G.R. No. L-2538 September 21, 1951
Bautista Angelo, J. (Ponente)
Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation
1. Marcos Molo executed 2 wills, one in August 1918 and another in June 1939. The latter will
contained a revocation clause which expressly revoked the will in 1918. He died without any
forced heirs but he was survived by his wife, herein petitioner Juana. The oppositors to the
probate were his nephews and nieces.
2. Only a carbon copy of the second will was found. The widow filed a petition for the probate of
the 1939 will. It was admitted to probate but subsequently set aside on ground that the petitioner
failed to prove its due execution.
3. As a result, the petitioner filed another petition for the probate of the 1918 will this time.
Again the oppositors alleged that said will had already been revoked under the 1939 will. They
contended that despite the disallowance of the 1939 will, the revocation clause is valid and thus
effectively nullified the 1918 will.
Issue: Whether or not the 1918 will can still be valid despite the revocation in the
subsequent disallowed 1939 will
RULING: Yes.The court applied the doctrine laid down in Samson v. Naval that a subsequent
will,containing a clause revoking a previous will, having been disallowed for the reason that it
was not executed in accordance with law cannot produce the effect of annulling the previous
will, inasmuch as the said revocatory clause is void.
There was no valid revocation in this case. No evidence was shown that the testator deliberately
destroyed the original 1918 will because of his knowledge of the revocatory clause contained in
the will executed in 1939.The earlier will can still be probated under the principle of
dependent relative revocation.The doctrine applies when a testator cancels or destroys a
will or executes an instrument intended to revoke a will with the intention to make a new
testamentary disposition as substitute for the old, and the new disposition fails of effect for
some reason.
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Rodelas v. Aranza Digest

Rodelas v. Aranza
G.R. No. L-58509 December 7, 1982
Relova, J. (Ponente)
1. The appellant filed a petition for the probate of the holographic will of Ricardo Bonilla in
1977. The petition was opposed by the appellees on the ground that the deceased did not leave
any will, holographic or otherwise.
2. The lower court dismissed the petition for probate and held that since the original will was
lost, a photostatic copy cannot stand in the place of the original.
Issue: Whether or not a holographic will can be proved by means of a photocopy
RULING: Yes. A photocopy of the lost or destroyed holographic will may be admitted because
the authenticity of the handwriting of the deceased can be determined by the probate court with
the standard writings of the testator.
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312 SCRA 333



On 6 April 1990, Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and Eufemia Patigas, devisees and
legatees of the holographic will of the deceased Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal, filed a petition
for probate of the said will. They attested to the genuineness and due execution of the will on 30
August 1978.
Eugenio Ramonal Codoy and Manuel Ramonal filed their opposition claiming that the will was a
forgery and that the same is even illegible. They raised doubts as regards the repeated appearing
on the will after every disposition, calling the same out of the ordinary. If the will was in the
handwriting of the deceased, it was improperly procured.
Evangeline Calugay, etc. presented 6 witnesses and various documentary evidence.
The first witness was the clerk of court of the probate court who produced and identified the
The second witness was election registrar who was made to produce and identify the voters
affidavit, but failed to as the same was already destroyed and no longer available.
The third, the deceaseds niece, claimed that she had acquired familiarity with the deceaseds
signature and handwriting as she used to accompany her in collecting rentals from her various
tenants of commercial buildings and the deceased always issued receipts. The niece also testified
that the deceased left a holographic will entirely written, dated and signed by said deceased.
The fourth witness was a former lawyer for the deceased in the intestate proceedings of her late
husband, who said that the signature on the will was similar to that of the deceased but that he
can not be sure.
The fifth was an employee of the DENR who testified that she was familiar with the signature of
the deceased which appeared in the latters application for pasture permit. The fifth, respondent
Evangeline Calugay, claimed that she had lived with the deceased since birth where she had
become familiar with her signature and that the one appearing on the will was genuine.
Codoy and Ramonals demurrer to evidence was granted by the lower court. It was reversed on
appeal with the Court of Appeals which granted the probate.
1. W/N Article 811 of the Civil Code, providing that at least three witnesses explicitly declare the
signature in a contested will as the genuine signature of the testator, is mandatory or directory.

2. Whether or not the witnesses sufficiently establish the authenticity and due execution of the
deceaseds holographic will.
1. YES. The word shall connotes a mandatory order, an imperative obligation and is
inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that the word shall, when
used in a statute, is mandatory.
In the case at bar, the goal to be achieved by the law, is to give effect to the wishes of the
deceased and the evil to be prevented is the possibility that unscrupulous individuals who for
their benefit will employ means to defeat the wishes of the testator.
The paramount consideration in the present petition is to determine the true intent of the
2. NO. We cannot be certain that the holographic will was in the handwriting of the deceased.
The clerk of court was not presented to declare explicitly that the signature appearing in the
holographic will was that of the deceased.
The election registrar was not able to produce the voters affidavit for verification as it was no
longer available.
The deceaseds niece saw pre-prepared receipts and letters of the deceased and did not declare
that she saw the deceased sign a document or write a note.
The will was not found in the personal belongings of the deceased but was in the possession of
the said niece, who kept the fact about the will from the children of the deceased, putting in issue
her motive.
Evangeline Calugay never declared that she saw the decreased write a note or sign a document.
The former lawyer of the deceased expressed doubts as to the authenticity of the signature in the
holographic will.
(As it appears in the foregoing, the three-witness requirement was not complied with.)
A visual examination of the holographic will convinces that the strokes are different when
compared with other documents written by the testator.
The records are remanded to allow the oppositors to adduce evidence in support of their
The object of solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith
and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and

authenticity. Therefore, the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain
these primordial ends. But, on the other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not
the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise the right to make a will.
However, we cannot eliminate the possibility of a false document being adjudged as the will of
the testator, which is why if the holographic will is contested, the law requires three witnesses to
declare that the will was in the handwriting of the deceased.
Article 811, paragraph 1. provides: In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessary
that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly
declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will is
contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be required.
The word shall connotes a mandatory order, an imperative obligation and is inconsistent with
the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that the word shall, when used in a statute, is

129 SCRA 754



Grimm, an American resident of Manila, died in 1977. He was survived by his second wife
(Maxine), their two children (Pete and Linda), and by his two children by a first marriage
(Juanita and Ethel) which ended by divorce.
Grimm executed two wills in San Francisco, California on January 23, 1959. One will disposed
of his Philippine estate described as conjugal property of himself and his second wife. The
second will disposed of his estate outside the Philippines. The two wills and a codicil were
presented for probate in Utah by Maxine on March 1978. Maxine admitted that she received
notice of the intestate petition filed in Manila by Ethel in January 1978. The Utah Court admitted
the two wills and codicil to probate on April 1978 and was issued upon consideration of the
stipulation between the attorneys for Maxine and Ethel.
Also in April 1978, Maxine and Ethel, with knowledge of the intestate proceeding in Manila,
entered into a compromise agreement in Utah regarding the estate.
As mentioned, in January 1978, an intestate proceeding was instituted by Ethel. On March 1978,
Maxine filed an opposition and motion to dismiss the intestate proceeding on the ground of
pendency of the Utah probate proceedings. She submitted to the court a copy of Grimms will.
However, pursuant to the compromise agreement, Maxine withdrew the opposition and the
motion to dismiss. The court ignored the will found in the record.The estate was partitioned.
In 1980, Maxine filed a petition praying for the probate of the two wills (already probated in
Utah), that the partition approved by the intestate court be set aside and the letters of
administration revoked, that Maxine be appointed executrix and Ethel be ordered to account for
the properties received by them and return the same to Maxine. Maxine alleged that they were
defrauded due to the machinations of Ethel, that the compromise agreement was illegal and the
intestate proceeding was void because Grimm died testate so partition was contrary to the
decedents wills.
Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition which was denied by Judge Leonidas for lack of
Whether the judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in
denying Ethels motion to dismiss.

We hold that respondent judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack
A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm died with two wills and no will shall
pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed (Art. 838, Civil Code; sec.
1, Rule 75, Rules of Court).
The probate of the will is mandatory. It is anomalous that the estate of a person who died testate
should be settled in an intestate proceeding. Therefore, the intestate case should be consolidated
with the testate proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should continue
hearing the two cases.

Nepomuceno v. CA Digests
Nepomuceno v. Court of Appeals
1. Martin Hugo died on 1974 and he left a will wherein he instituted Sofia Nepomuceno as the
sole and only executor. It was also provided therein that he was married to Rufina Gomez with
whom he had 3 children.
2. Petitioner (Sofia) filed for the probate of the will but the legal wife and her children opposed
alleging that the will was procured through improper and undue influence and that there was an
admission of concubinage with the petitioner.
3. The lower court denied the probate on the ground of the testator's admission of cohabitation,
hence making the will invalid on its face. The Court of Appeals reversed and held that the will is
valid except the devise in favor of the petitioner which is null and void in violation of Art. 739
and 1028.
Issue: Whether or not the court can pass on the intrinsic validity of a will
RULING: Yes, as an exception. But the general rule is that the court's area of inquiry is limited to
the an examination and resolution of the extrinsic validity of the will. This general rule is
however not inflexible and absolute. Given exceptional circumstances, the probate court is not
powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and may pass upon certain provisions of the
will. The will itself admitted on its face the relationship between the testator and the petitioner.
The will was validly executed in accordance with law but the court didn't find it to serve a
practical purpose to remand the nullified provision in a separate action for that purpose only
since in the probate of a will, the court does not ordinarily look into the intrinsic validity of its
The devisee is invalid by virtue of Art. 739 which voids a donation made between persons guilty
of adultery/concubinage at the time of the donations. Under Art, 1028 it is also prohibited.
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GRN L-2344

17 SCRA 449

JUNE 23, 1966

Rosario Nuguid , single, died in December 30, 1962.She was without descendants but
was survived by her parents and siblings. On May 18, 1963, Remedios Nuguid, her sister filed in
CFI a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario on November 17, 1951 or 11 years ago,
said will instituted Remedios as the universal heir thereby, compulsory heirs, the ascendants of
the decedent, filed their opposition to the probate proceeding. They contend that they were
illegally preterited and as a consequence, the institution is void. The courts order held that the
will in question is a complete nullity.
Whether or not the compulsory heirs were preterited , thereby rendering the holographic
will void.
Whether the court may rule on the intrinsic validity of the will.
The statute we are called upon to apply in article 854 of the civil code which states:
The preterition or omission of one, some or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct
time, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator,
shall annul the institution of heir; but the d and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not
The forced heirs, parents of the deceased, were received nothing by the testament. The
one-sentence will institutes petitioner as the universal heir. No specific legacies or bequest are
therein provided for. It is in this posture that we say that the nullity is complete.
Preterition consists in the omission in the testators will of the forced heirs or anyone of
them, either because they are not mentioned therein or, though mentioned, they are neither
instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited as heirs nor are expressly disinherited.
Disinheritance is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heir his/her share in the
legitime for a cause authorized by law.

On the second issue, the case is for the probate of the will and the courts area of inquiry
is limited to the extrinsic validity of the will comes after the will has been duly authenticated.
However if the case is to be remanded for probate of the will, nothing will be gained. The
practical conditions: time, effort, expenses and added anxiety, induced us to a belief that we
might as well meat head-on the issue of the validity of the provisions of the will in question.