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G.R. No.

L-12105 January 30, 1960


TESTATE ESTATE OF C. O. BOHANAN, deceased.
PHILIPPINE TRUST CO., executor-appellee,
vs.
MAGDALENA C. BOHANAN, EDWARD C. BOHANAN, and MARY LYDIA BOHANAN,
oppositors-appellants.

Issues:
The oppositors, Magadalena C. Bohanan and her two children, question the validity of
the executor/testator C.O. Bohanan’s last will and testament, claiming that they have
been deprived of the legitimate that the laws of the form concede to them.

Another, is the claim of the testator's children, Edward and Mary Lydia Bohanan, who
had received legacies in the amount of PHP 6, 000 each only, and, therefore, have not
been given their shares in the estate which, in accordance with the laws, should be two-
thirds of the estate left by the testator.

Facts:
C.O. Bohanan was born in Nebraska and therefore a citizen of that state.
Notwithstanding his long residence in the Philippines, he continued and remained to be
a citizen of the United States and of the state of his pertinent residence to spend the
rest of his days in that state. His permanent residence or domicile in the United States
depended upon his personal intent or desire, and he selected Nevada as his homicide
and therefore at the time of his death, he was a citizen of that state.

Held:
The first issue refers to the share that the wife of the testator, Magdalena C. Bohanan,
should be entitled to receive. The will has not given her any share in the estate left by
the testator. It is argued that it was error for the trial court to have recognized the Reno
divorce secured by the testator from his Filipino wife Magdalena C. Bohanan, and that
said divorce should be declared a nullity in this jurisdiction. The court refused to
recognize the claim of the widow on the ground that the laws of Nevada, of which the
deceased was a citizen, allow him to dispose of all of his properties without requiring
him to leave any portion of his estate to his former (or divorced) wife. No right to share
in the inheritance in favor of a divorced wife exists in the State of Nevada, thus the
oppositor can no longer claim portion of the estate left by the testator.

With regards the second issue, the old Civil Code, which is applicable to this case
because the testator died in 1944, expressly provides that successional rights to
personal property are to be earned by the national law of the person whose succession
is in question, thus the two-third rule is not enforceable.

Wherefore, the court finds that the testator C. O. Bohanan was at the time of his death
a citizen of the United States and of the State of Nevada and declares that his will and
testament is fully in accordance with the laws of the state of Nevada and admits the
same to probate.

As in accordance with Article 10 of the old Civil Code, the validity of testamentary
dispositions are to be governed by the national law of the testator, and as it has been
decided and it is not disputed that the national law of the testator is that of the State of
Nevada which allows a testator to dispose of all his property according to his will, as in
the case at bar, the order of the court approving the project of partition made in
accordance with the testamentary provisions, must be, as it is hereby affirmed, with
costs against appellants.