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At the hearing, several witnesses were
Garcia v. La Cuesta, et al., presented to identify the handwritimg of the testator.
GR No. L-4067, November 29, 1961 However, the respondents, Yap Ca Kuan and
Yap Ca Llu opposed the petition. They asserted that
Facts: the will is null and void because the will had not been
Antero Mercado executed a will dated authorized nor signed by the witnesses as the law
January 3, 1943. The will including the attestation prescribes. Furthermore, they alleged that Tomasa
clause was written in Ilocano dialect. The will was Elizaga Yap Caong, at the time of the execution of the
signed by Atty. Florentino Javier who wrote the name will was not mentally capacitated to execute the will
of Antero Mercado, followed below by “A reugo del due to her sickness. The testator also did not intent
testator” and the name of Florentino Javier. the will as her last will and testament.
The Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte
admitted the said will for probate. However, the Court Issue:
of Appeals reversed the decision. According to the Whether or not the will is valid.
appellate court, the attestation clause failed 1) to
certify that the will was signed on all the left margins Held:
of the three pages and at the end of the will by Atty. Yes, the will is valid. It has been held and
Florentino Javier at the express request of the testator time and again that one who makes a will may sign the
in the presence of the testator and each and every one same by the use of a mark, the name having been
of the witnesses; (2) to certify that after the signing of written by others. If the writing of a mark simply upon
the name of the testator by Atty. Javier at the former's a will is sufficient indication of the intention of the
request said testator has written a cross at the end of person to make and execute it, then certainly the
his name and on the left margin of the three pages of writing of a portion or all of the name ought to be
which the will consists and at the end thereof; (3) to accepted as a clear indication of an intention to
certify that the three witnesses signed the will in all execute the will.
the pages thereon in the presence of the testator and While the rule is absolute that one who
of each other. makes a will must sign the same in the presence of
each other, nevertheless the actual seeing of the
Issue: signature is not necessary. It is sufficient that when
Whether the will is extrinsically valid. the signatures were made it is possible for each of the
necessary parties, if they so desire, to see the
Held: signatures placed upon the will.
No, the will is not extrinsically valid.
The attestation clause does not conform with
the formalities required by law. The attestation clause Abangan v. Abangan
is fatally defective for failing to state that Antero GR No. L-1343 November 12, 1919
Mercado caused Atty. Florentino Javier to write the
testator's name under his express direction, as Facts:
required by section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The Court of First Instance of Cebu admitted
Herein petitioner argues, however, that there is no to probate the will of the late Ana Abangan. The said
need for such recital because the cross written by the will consists of two sheets of paper, the first of which
testator after his name is a sufficient signature and contains all of the dispositions of the testatrix, duly
the signature of Atty. Florentino Javier is a signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the
surplusage. Petitioner's theory is that the cross is as name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by
much a signature as a thumbmark, the latter having three witnesses. The following sheet contains only the
been held sufficient by this Court in several cases. attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the
It is not here pretended that the cross three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets
appearing on the will is the usual signature of Antero is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the
Mercado or even one of the ways by which he signed three witnesses, nor numbered by letters; and these
his name. After mature reflection, we are not prepared omissions, according to appellants’ contention, are
to liken the mere sign of the cross to a thumbmark, defects whereby the probate of the will should have
and the reason is obvious. The cross cannot and does been denied.
not have the trustworthiness of a thumbmark.
What has been said makes it unnecessary for Issue:
us to determine there is a sufficient recital in the Whether the will is extrinsically valid.
attestation clause as to the signing of the will by the
testator in the presence of the witnesses, and by the Held:
latter in the presence of the testator and of each other. The will is extrinsically valid and there is
substantial compliance with the formalities required
by law.
Yap Tua v. Yap Ka Kuan, A will consisting of two sheets the first of
G.R. No. 6845, September 1, 1914 which contains all the testamentary dispositions and
is signed at the bottom by the testator and three
Facts: witnesses and the second contains only the attestation
Perfecto Gabriel, representing the petitioner clause and is signed also at the bottom by the three
Yap Tua, presented a petition in the CFI of Manila witnesses, it is not necessary that both sheets be
asking the will of Tomasa Elizaga Caong be admitted further signed on their margins by the testator and the
to probate as the last will and testament of the witnesses, or be paged.
deceased Tomasa.

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The object of the solemnities surrounding the The Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte
execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith admitted the said will for probate. However, the Court
and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and of Appeals reversed the decision. According to the
testaments and to guaranty their truth and appellate court, the attestation clause failed 1) to
authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject should certify that the will was signed on all the left margins
be interpreted in such a way as to attain these of the three pages and at the end of the will by Atty.
primordial ends. But, on the other hand, also one Florentino Javier at the express request of the testator
must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object in the presence of the testator and each and every one
of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the of the witnesses; (2) to certify that after the signing of
right to make a will. So when an interpretation already the name of the testator by Atty. Javier at the former's
given assures such ends, any other interpretation request said testator has written a cross at the end of
whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more his name and on the left margin of the three pages of
requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustative which the will consists and at the end thereof; (3) to
of the testator’s last will, must be disregarded. certify that the three witnesses signed the will in all
the pages thereon in the presence of the testator and
of each other.
Lopez v. Liboro
G.R. No. L-1787 August 27, 1948 Issue:
[signing with a thumbmark; substantial Whether signing the will with a cross can be
compliance] considered as a valid signature.

Facts: Held:
Don Sixto Lopez died at the age of 83. He No, signing with a cross is not a valid
executed a last will and testament which was then signature.
presented for probate. In the said will, Jose Lopez was The attestation clause does not conform with
named as the sole heir. The will in question is the formalities required by law. The attestation clause
comprised of two pages, each of which is written on is fatally defective for failing to state that Antero
one side of a separate sheet. Agustin Liboro questioned Mercado caused Atty. Florentino Javier to write the
the validity of the will based on several grounds. First, testator's name under his express direction, as
the first sheet is not paged either in letters or in Arabic required by section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
numerals. Second, the witnesses to the will provided Herein petitioner argues, however, that there is no
contradictory statements. Third, Don Sixto used his need for such recital because the cross written by the
thumb mark to sign the will which makes it invalid. testator after his name is a sufficient signature and
And lastly, there was no indication in the will that the the signature of Atty. Florentino Javier is a
language used therein is known by Don Sixto Lopez. surplusage. Petitioner's theory is that the cross is as
much a signature as a thumbmark, the latter having
Issue: been held sufficient by this Court in several cases.
Whether a thumb mark can be considered as It is not here pretended that the cross
a valid signature in signing of a will. appearing on the will is the usual signature of Antero
Mercado or even one of the ways by which he signed
Held: his name. After mature reflection, we are not prepared
Yes, a thumb mark can be considered as a to liken the mere sign of the cross to a thumbmark,
valid signature in signing a will. and the reason is obvious. The cross cannot and does
The testator affixed his thumbmark to the not have the trustworthiness of a thumbmark.
instrument instead of signing his name. The reason for What has been said makes it unnecessary for
this was that the testator was suffering from "partial us to determine if there is a sufficient recital in the
paralysis." While another in testator's place might have attestation clause as to the signing of the will by the
directed someone else to sign for him, as appellant testator in the presence of the witnesses, and by the
contends should have been done, there is nothing latter in the presence of the testator and of each other.
curious or suspicious in the fact that the testator
chose the use of thumb mark as the means of
authenticating his will. It was a matter of taste or
preference. Both ways are good. A statute requiring a Taboada v. Rosal,
will to be "signed" is satisfied if the signature is made G.R. No. L-36033 November 5, 1982
by the testator's thumb mark. [attestation clause]


Facts:
Garcia v. La Cuesta, et al.,
Dorotea Perez died leaving a last will and
GR No. L-4067, November 29, 1961
testament. The said will was written in Cebuano-
[signing with a cross]
 Visayan dialect and consists of two pages. The first
page contains the entire testamentary dispositions and
Facts: is signed at the end or bottom of the page by the
Antero Mercado executed a will dated testratix alone and at the left hand margin by the three
January 3, 1943. The will including the attestation instrumental witnesses. The second page, which
clause was written in Ilocano dialect. The will was contains the attestation clause was signed by the three
signed by Atty. Florentino Javier who wrote the name attesting witnesses and at the left hand margin by the
of Antero Mercado, followed below by “A reugo del testratix.
testator” and the name of Florentino Javier.

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The will was admitted for probate. No Nera v. Rimando
opposition was filed after Apolonio Taboada’s G.R. No. L-5971 February 27, 1911
compliance with the requirement of publication. [“in the presence”]
Petitioner submitted evidence and presented Vicente
Timkang, one of the subscribing witnesses to the will, Facts:
who testified on the genuineness and due execution of The only question raised by the evidence in
the will. this case as to the due execution of the instrument
The trial court denied the probate of the will propounded as a will in the court below, is whether
for want of a formality in its execution. Petitioner filed one of the subscribing witnesses was present in the
a motion for reconsideration of the order denying the small room where it was executed at the time when the
probate of the will. He also filed a motion for the testator and the other subscribing witnesses attached
appointment of special administrator. Both motions their signatures; or whether at that time he was
were denied. outside, some eight or ten feet away, in a large room
connecting with the smaller room by a doorway, across
Issue: which was hung a curtain which made it impossible
Whether the will is extrinsically valid. for one in the outside room to see the testator and the
other subscribing witnesses in the act of attaching
Held: their signatures to the instrument.
Yes, the will is valid.
Under Article 805 of the Civil Code, the will Issue:
must be subscribed or signed at its end by the testator Whether or not a subscribing witness at the
himself or by the testator's name written by another time the instrument was signed was in the presence of
person in his presence, and by his express direction, the testator and of each other.
and attested and subscribed by three or more credible
witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one Held:
another. At the time when the testator was signing the
Insofar as the requirement of subscription is will, the witness was outside, the will is invalid. This
concerned, it is our considered view that the will in is because, the line of vision from this witness to the
this case was subscribed in a manner which fully testator and the other subscribing witness would
satisfies the purpose of identification. necessarily have been impeded by the curtain
The signatures of the instrumental witnesses separating the inner from the outer one at the moment
on the left margin of the first page of the will attested of inscription of each signature.
not only to the genuineness of the signature of the
testatrix but also the due execution of the will as
embodied in the attestation clause.
While perfection in the drafting of a will may SUBSTANTIVE OR INTRINSIC VALIDITY
be desirable, unsubstantial departure from the usual
forms should be ignored, especially where the Llorente v. CA
authenticity of the will is not assailed. G.R. No. 124371, November 23, 2000
The objects of attestation and of subscription
were fully met and satisfied in the present case when Facts:
the instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin of Lorenzo N. Llorente was an enlisted
the sole page which contains all the testamentary serviceman of the United States Navy. Lorenzo married
dispositions, especially so when the will was properly Paula Llorente in Camarines Sur. Before the war
Identified by subscribing witness Vicente Timkang to started, Lorenzo went back to the United States and
be the same will executed by the testatrix. There was Paula stayed in Camarines Sur. Later on, Lorenzo was
no question of fraud or substitution behind the granted a US citizenship and Certificate of
questioned order. Naturalization. After the war, Lorenzo went back t the
We have examined the will in question and Philippines and found that his wife was pregnant and
noticed that the attestation clause failed to state the was living with Lorenzo’s brother, Ceferino Llorente.
number of pages used in writing the will. This would When Paula gave birth, she named her son
have been a fatal defect were it not for the fact that, in Crisologo Llorente and left the father’s name blank.
this case, it is discernible from the entire wig that it is Lorenzo and Paula then executed an agreement saying
really and actually composed of only two pages duly that he would no longer giver her financial support,
signed by the testatrix and her instrumental that they would dissolve their marital union, that they
witnesses. As earlier stated, the first page which made a separate agreement regarding their conjugal
contains the entirety of the testamentary dispositions property acquired during their marital life and that
is signed by the testatrix at the end or at the bottom Lorenzo will not prosecute Paula for adultery if she
while the instrumental witnesses signed at the left would admit her fault and agreed to separate with
margin. The other page which is marked as "Pagina Lorenzo.
dos" comprises the attestation clause and the Lorenzo returned to the United States and
acknowledgment. The acknowledgment itself states filed a divorce before the Superior Court of the State of
that "This Last Will and Testament consists of two California and for the County of San Diego. On
pages including this page". December 1952, the divorce became final. Lorenzo
then returned to the Philippines.
Thereafter, Lorenzo married Alicia Llorente,
who had no knowledge about the first marriage.
Lorenzo and Alicia had three children namely Raul,
Luz and Beverly.

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In Lorenzo’s last will and testament he project of partition, the executor of the will –pursuant
bequeathed all his properties to Alicia and their three to the “Twelfth” clause of the testator’s Last Will and
children. The will was notarized by Notary Public Testament- divided the residuary estate into 7 equal
Salvador M. Occiano and was duly signed by Lorenzo portions for the benefit of the testator’s seven
with attesting witnesses Francis Hugo, Francisco legitimate children. Maria Christina Bellis and Miriam
Neibres and Tito Trajano. Palma Bellis filed their respective oppositions on the
Lorenzo filed a petition for probate and ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as
allowance of his last will and testament. Alicia was illegitimate children, and, therefore, compulsory heirs
appointed as Special Administratix of his estate. of the deceased.
Initially, the trial court denied the motion saying that
the will cannot be admitted because Lorenzo was still Issue:
alive but later on admitted the will to prbate. Before Whether or not the Texas law or the
the proceedings could be terminated, Lorenzo died. Philippine Law should be applied in the case at bar.
Paula filed a petition for letters of
administration over Lorenzo’s estate in her favor. Alicia Held:
on the other hand filed in the testate proceeding a The Court held that since decedent is a
petition for the issuance of letters testamentary. citizen of the State of Texas and is domiciled therein at
The RTC declared the divorce decree void and the time of his death, Texas law should apply. Article
therefore the subsequent marriage of Lorenzo and 16 (2) and Art 1039 render applicable the national law
Alicia is likewise void. Alicia’s petition for the issuance of the decedent, in intestate or testamentary
of the letters testamentary is denied. She was also not successions, with regard to 4 items: (a) the order of
allowed to receive any share from the estate of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights ;
Lorenzo. (c)intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d)
the capacity to succeed. Under the laws of Texas, there
Issue: are no forced heirs or legitimes. Hence, Maria
Whether the will is intrinsically valid. Christina and Miriam Palma would not inherit.

Held:
The Civil Code provides: Cayetano v. Leonidas
“Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of G.R. No. L-54919, May 30, 198
contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be
governed by the laws of the country in which they are Facts:
executed. Adoracion C. Campos died, leaving
“When the acts referred to are executed Hermogenes Campos (father) and her sisters, Nenita
before the diplomatic or consular officials of the Paguia, Remedios Lopez, and Marieta Medina as the
Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the surviving heirs. As the only compulsory heir is
solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be Hermogenes, he executed an Affidavit of Adjudication,
observed in their execution.” adjudicating unto himself the entire estate of
The clear intent of Lorenzo to bequeath his Adoracion.
property to his second wife and children by her is Later that same year, Nenita filed a petition
glaringly shown in the will he executed. We do not for reprobate of a will, alleging among others that
wish to frustrate his wishes, since he was a foreigner, Adoracion was an American citizen and that the will
not covered by our laws on “family rights and duties, was executed in teh US. Adoracion died in Manila
status, condition and legal capacity.” while temporarily residing in Malate.
Whether the will is intrinsically valid and who While this case was still pending,
shall inherit from Lorenzo are issues best proved by Hermogenes died and left a will, appointing Polly
foreign law which must be pleaded and proved. Cayetano as the executrix. Hence, this case.
Whether the will was executed in accordance with the
formalities required is answered by referring to Issue:
Philippine law. In fact, the will was duly probated. Whether the will is valid
As a guide however, the trial court should
note that whatever public policy or good customs may Held:
be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress did As a general rule, the probate court's
not intend to extend the same to the succession of authority is limited only to the extrinsic validity of the
foreign nationals. Congress specifically left the will, the due execution thereof, the testatrix's
amount of successional rights to the decedent's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the
national law. requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The
Having thus ruled, we find it unnecessary to intrinsic validity normally comes only after the court
pass upon the other issues raised. has declared that the will has been duly authenticated.
However, where practical considerations demand that
the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even
Bellis v. Bellis before it is probated, the court should meet the issues.
G.R. No. L-23678 June 6, 1967 In this case, it was sufficiently established
that Adoracion was an American citizen and the law
Facts: which governs her will is the law of Pennsylvania, USA,
Amos G. Bellis, a citizen of the State of Texas, which is the national law of the decedent.
died a resident of Texas. The will he had executed in It is a settled rule that as regards the
the Philippines directed that his distributable intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will, the
Philippine estate should be divided in trusts. In the national law of the decedent must apply.

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JOINT WILLS inheritance; it may only be given effect as a donation
inter vivos of specific properties to the heirs made by
Alsua-Betts v. CA the parents.
G.R. No.L-4643031, July 30,1979 Upon careful examination of the provisions of
the holographic will and codicil of Doña Tinay, there
Facts: was no indication whatsoever that Doña Tinay
On November 25, 1949, Don Jesus Alsua and expressly or impliedly instituted both the husband and
his wife, Doña Florentina Rella, both of Ligao, Albay, her children as heirs to her free portion of her share in
together with all their living children, Francisca Alsua- the conjugal assets.
Betts, Pablo Alsua, Fernando Alsua thru this judicial Respondents insist that Don Jesus was
guardian Clotilde Samson, and Amparo Alsua de bound by the extrajudicial partition of November 25,
Buenviaje, entered into a duly notarized agreement, 1949 and had in fact conformed to said Partition by
Escritura de Particion Extrajudicial , over the then making a holographic will and codicil with exactly the
present and existing properties of the spouses Don same provisions as those of Doña Tinay, which CA
Jesus and Doña Florentina. sustained. However SC ruled that Don Jesus was not
On Jan. 5, 1955, Don Jesus and Doa forever bound thereby for his previous holographic will
Florentina, also known as Doña Tinay separately and codicil as such, would remain revokable at his
executed their respective holographic wills, the discretion. Art. 828 of the new Civil Code is clear: "A
provisions of which were in conformity and in will may be revoked by the testator at any time before
implementation of the extrajudicial partition of Nov. his death. Any waiver or restriction of this right is
25, 1949. void." There can be no restriction that may be made on
On Aug.14, 1956, the spouses Don Jesus and his absolute freedom to revoke his holographic will and
Doña Tinay executed their mutual and reciprocal codicil previously made. This would still hold true even
codicils amending and supplementing their respective if such previous will had as in the case at bar already
holographic wills. On Feb. 19, 1957, their respective been probated
holographic wins and the codicils thereto were duly The legitimes of the forced heirs were left
admitted to probate. unimpaired, as in fact, not one of said forced heirs
Doña Tinay died in October 1959. In early claimed or intimated otherwise. The properties that
Nov. 1959, Don Jesus cancelled his holographic and were disposed of in the contested will belonged wholly
instructed his attorney to draft a new will. This to Don Jesus Alsua's free portion and may be diamond
subsequent last Will and Testament of Don Jesus of by him to whomsoever he may choose.
executed on Nov. 14, 1959 contained an express If he now favored Francesca more, as claimed
revocation of his holographic wig of Jan. 5, 1955 and by private respondents, or Pablo as in fact he was, We
the codicil of Aug.14, 1956; a statement requiring that cannot and may not sit in judgment upon the motives
all of his properties donated to his children in the and sentiments of Don Jesus in doing so.
Deed of 1949 be collated and taken into account in the
partition of his estate; the institution of all his children
as devisees and legatees to certain specific properties; WITNESSES TO WILLS

a statement bequeathing the rest of his properties and
all that may be acquired in the future, before his
Gonzales v. CA
death, to Pablo and Francesca; and a statement
GR No. L-37453, May 25, 1979
naming Francesca as executrix without bond.
Don Jesus Alsua died in 1964. Petitioner
Facts:
Francisca Alsua Betts, as the executrix named in the
Respondent Lutgarda Santiago filed a petition
will of Nov. 14, 1959, filed a petition for the probate of
with the Court of First Instance of Rizal for the probate
said new will of Don Jesus Alsua before the CFI Albay
of a will alleged to have been executed by the deceased
and was docketed as. Oppositions thereto were filed by
Isabel Gabriel and designating therein petitioner as the
respondents Pablo, Amparo and Fernando. CFI allowed
principal beneficiary and executrix.
the the probate of the will of Don Jesus Alsua. CA
Lutgarda Santiago and Rizalina Gonzales are
reversed: denied the probate of the will, declared null
nieces of the late Isabel Andres Gabriel. There was no
and void the two sales subject of the complaint and
dispute that Isabel died widow and without issue. The
ordered the defendants-petitioners, to pay damages to
will submitted consists of 5 pages and includes the
the plaintiffs-private respondents. Hence, this
pages whereon the attestation clause and the
petition.F
acknowledgment of the notary public were written. The
signatures of the deceased Isabel Gabriel appeared at
Issue:
the end of the will on page four and at the left margin
Whether the will should be probated.
of all pages. The petition was opposed by Rizalina
assailing that the will was not genuine and was not
Held:
executed and attested as required by law.
The will should be probated. The Court of
The lower court disallowed the probate of said will and
Appeals erred in holding that Don Jesus being a party
as consequence, Lutgarda appealed to Court of
to the extrajudicial partition of 1949 was contractually
Appeals reversed the lower court’s decision and
bound by the provisions thereof and hence could not
allowed the probate of the will. Rizalina filed a motion
revoke his participation therein by the simple
for reconsideration but the same was denied.
expedience of making a new will with contrary
provisions or dispositions. It is an error because the
so-called extrajudicial partition of 1949 is void and
inoperative as a partition; neither is it a valid or
enforceable contract because it involved future

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Issue: petitioners Asilo de Molo, the Roman Catholic Church
Whether or not the will was executed and of Molo, and Purificacion Miraflor. Aldina and
attested as required by law. Constancio, joined by the other devisees and legatees
named in the will, filed in the same court which
Held: approved the EJ settelement a motion for
Article 820 of the Civil Code provides for the reconsideration and annulment of the proceedings
qualification of a witness to the execution of wills while therein and for the allowance of the will which was
Article 821 sets forth the disqualification from being a denied by the CFI.
witness to a will. In probate proceedings, the Upon petition to the SC for certiorari and
instrumental witnesses are not character witnesses for mandamus, the SC dismissed that petition and
they merely attest the execution of a will or testament advised that a separate proceeding for the probate of
and affirm the formalities attendant to said execution. the alleged will would be the appropriate vehicle to
An we agree with respondent that the rulings laid thresh out the matters raised by the petitioners. The
down in the cases cited by petitioner concerning CFI and CA found that the will to be probated had
character witnesses in naturalization proceedings are been revoked by the burning thereof by the housemaid
not applicable to instrumental witnesses to wills upon instruction of the testatrix.
executed under the Civil Code of the Philippines.
In the case at bar, the finding that each and Issue:
everyone of the three instrumental witnesses are Whether the will was revoked by Adriana
competent and credible is satisfactorily supported by
the evidence as found by the respondent Court of
Appeals, which findings of fact this Tribunal is bound
to accept and rely upon. Moreover, petitioner has not Held:
pointed to any disqualification of any of the said No. The provisions of the new Civil Code
witnesses. pertinent to the issue can be found in Article 830. The
physical act of destruction of a will, like burning in
this case, does not per se constitute an effective
REVOCATION OF WILLS AND TESTAMENTARY revocation, unless the destruction is coupled with
DISPOSITIONS animus revocandi on the part of the testator. It is not
imperative that the physical destruction be done by
Testate Estate of Adriana Maloto v. CA, the testator himself. It may be performed byanother
G.R. No. 76464, February 29,1988
 person but under the express direction and in the
presence of the testator. Of course, it goes without
[on the Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation]
saying that the document destroyed must be the will
itself. "Animus revocandi” is only one of the necessary
Facts:
elements for the effective revocation of a last will and
On October 20, 1963, Adriana Maloto died
testament. The intention to revoke must be
leaving as heirs her niece and nephews, the petitioners
accompanied by the overt physical act of burning,
Aldina Maloto-Casiano and Constancio, Maloto, and
tearing, obliterating, or cancelling the will carried out
the private respondents Panfilo Maloto and Felino
by the testator or by another person in his presence
Maloto. Believing that the deceased did not leave
and under his express direction. There is paucity of
behind a last will and testament, these four heirs
evidence to show compliance with these requirements.
commenced on November 4, 1963 an intestate
For one, the document or papers burned by Adriana's
proceeding for the settlement of their aunt's estate in
maid, Guadalupe, was not satisfactorily established to
the CFI of Iloilo. While the case was still pending the
be a will at all, much less the will of Adriana Maloto.
parties — Aldina, Constancio, Panfilo, and Felino —
For another, the burning was not proven to have been
executed an agreement of extrajudicial settlement of
done under the express direction of Adriana. And then,
Adriana's estate. The agreement provided for the
the burning was not in her presence. Both witnesses,
division of the estate into four equal parts among the
Guadalupe and Eladio, were one in stating that they
parties. The Malotos then presented the extrajudicial
were the only ones present at the place where the
settlement agreement to the trial court for approval
stove (presumably in the kitchen) was located in which
which the court did on March 21, 1964. 3 years later,
the papers proffered as a will were burned. The two
Atty. Sulpicio Palma, a former associate of Adriana's
witnesses were illiterate and does not appear to be
counsel, the late Atty. Eliseo Hervas, discovered a
unequivocably positive that the document burned was
document entitled "KATAPUSAN NGA PAGBUBULAT-
indeed Adriana's will. Guadalupe believed that the
AN (Testamento)," dated January 3,1940, and
papers she destroyed was the will only because,
purporting to be the last will and testament of
according to her, Adriana told her so. Eladio, on the
Adriana. Atty. Palma claimed to have found the
other hand, obtained his information that the burned
testament, the original copy, while he was going
document was the will because Guadalupe told him
through some materials inside the cabinet drawer
so, thus, his testimony on this point is double hearsay.
formerly used by Atty. Hervas. The document was
It is an important matter of public interest that a
submitted to the clerk of court of the Iloilo CFI.
purported win is not denied legalization on dubious
Incidentally, while Panfilo and Felino are still named
grounds. Otherwise, the very institution of
as heirs in the said will, Aldina and Constancio are
testamentary succession will be shaken to its very
bequeathed much bigger and more valuable in the
foundations.
estate of Adriana than what they received by virtue of
the agreement of extrajudicial settlement they had
earlier signed. The will likewise gives devises and
legacies to other parties, among them being the

7

 Gan v. Yap and Ephraim Bonilla. Herein respondents claim that
Marcela failed to produce the will of Ricardo within 20
G.R. L-12190 August 30, 1958
days from the death of the testator hence estopped
from claiming that the decedent left a will.
Facts:
Respondents also claim that the alleged holographic
Felicidad Yap died of a heart failure, leaving
was not a last will but merely an instruction as to the
properties in Pulilan, Bulacan, and in Manila. Fausto
management and improvement of the schools and
E. Gan, her nephew, initiated the proceedings in the
colleges founded by decedent Ricardo B. Bonilla; and
Manila CFI with a petition for the probate of a
that Lost or destroyed holographic wills cannot be
holographic will allegedly executed by the deceased.
proved by secondary evidence unlike ordinary wills.
The will was not presented because Felicidad’s
The probate court ruled in favor of Amparo
husband, Ildefonso Yap, supposedly took it. What was
Aranza Bonilla et al. It explained that once the original
presented were witness accounts of relatives who knew
copy of the holographic will is lost, a copy thereof
of her intention to make a will and allegedly saw it as
cannot stand in lieu of the original . The court also
well.
opined that the lapse of more than 14 years from the
Opposing the petition, her surviving husband
time of the execution of the will to the death of the
Ildefonso Yap asserted that the deceased had not left
decedent, the fact that the original of the will could not
any will, nor executed any testament during her
be located shows that the decedent had discarded
lifetime. The Judge refused to probate the alleged will
before his death his allegedly missing Holographic Will.
on account of the discrepancies arising from the facts.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower
court. Hence this petition.
Issue:
W/N a holographic will be probated upon the
Issue:
testimony of witnesses who have allegedly seen it and
Whether a holographic will which was lost or
who declare that it was in the handwriting of the
cannot be found can be proved by means of a
testator
photostatic copy.
Held:
Held:
NO. The will must be presented. Spanish
Yes, a lost or destroyed holographic will can
commentators agree that one of the greatest objections
be proved by means of a photostatic copy.
to the holographic will is that it may be lost or stolen
Pursuant to Article 811 of the Civil Code,
— an implied admission that such loss or theft renders
probate of holographic wills is the allowance of the will
it useless.
by the court after its due execution has been proved.
The Civil Code requires the will to be
The probate may be uncontested or not. If
probated by presenting it to the judge, who shall
uncontested, at least one Identifying witness is
subscribe it and require its identity to be established
required and, if no witness is available, experts may be
by the three witnesses who depose that they have no
resorted to. If contested, at least three Identifying
reasonable doubt that the will was written by the
witnesses are required. However, if the holographic will
testator. Such purpose is frustrated when the
has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is
document is not presented for their examination.
available, the will can not be probated because the
The exhibition of the document itself - in the
best and only evidence is the handwriting of the
decision of the Supreme Court of Spain of June 5,
testator in said will. It is necessary that there be a
1925, which denied probate to a document containing
comparison between sample handwritten statements
testamentary dispositions in the handwriting of the
of the testator and the handwritten will. But, a
deceased, but apparently mutilated, the signature and
photostatic copy or xerox copy of the holographic will
some words having been torn from it. Even in the face
may be allowed because comparison can be made with
of allegations and testimonial evidence (which was
the standard writings of the testator. The photostatic
controverted), ascribing the mutilation to the
or xerox copy of the lost or destroyed holographic will
opponents of the will. The aforesaid tribunal declared
may be admitted because then the authenticity of the
that, in accordance with the provision of the Civil Code
handwriting of the deceased can be determined by the
(Spanish) the will itself, whole and unmutilated, must
probate court.
be presented; otherwise, it shall produce no effect.
Taking all the above circumstances together,
we reach the conclusion that the execution and the
Gago v, Mamuyac
contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may
G.R. No. L-26317 January 29, 1927
not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who
Facts:
have seen and/or read such will.
On July 27, 1918, Miguel Mamuyac executed
a last will and testament. The testator who on January
2, 1922. Francisco Gago petitioned for the probate of
Rodelas v. Aranza,
Mamuyac’s last will and opposed. However, this was
G.R. No. L-58509, December 7, 1982
 opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa,
Feliciana Bauzon and Catalina Mamuyac.
Facts: The CFI denied the petition for probate on the
Marcela Rodelas filed a petition before the ground that the deceased executed a new will on April
Court of First Instance of Rizal for the probate of the 1919. On February 21, 1925, an action was filed to
holographic will of Ricardo B. Bonilla. She also prayed secure the probation of the Aril 1919 will. This was
for the issuance of letters testamentary in her favor. again opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac and the others.
The said petition was opposed by Amparo Aranza They alleged that the 1919 will is a a) copy of the
Bonilla, Wilferine Bonilla Treyes Expedita Bonilla Frias second will and testament executed by the said Miguel

8
Mamuyac; (b) that the same had been cancelled and ALLOWANCE AND DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS

revoked during the lifetime of Miguel Mamuyac and (c)
that the said will was not the last will and testament of
Lopez v. Gonzaga, et al.,
the deceased Miguel Mamuyac. CFI explained that
GR No. L-18788, January 31, 1964
Exhibit A is a mere carbon of its original which
remained in the possession of the deceased testator [need for a probate]

Miguel Mamuyac, who revoked it before his death as
per testimony of witness Jose Fenoy, who typed the Facts:
will of the testator on April 16, 1919, and Carlos Bejar, Soledad Gonzaga died intestate on April 11,
who saw on December 30, 1920, the original Exhibit A 1935 without any issue and leaving real and personal
(will of 1919) actually cancelled by the testator Miguel properties. She was survived by Romulo Lopez, et al.
Mamuyac, who assured Carlos Bejar that inasmuch as They were Soledad’s brother, sisters, nephews and
he had sold him a house and the land where the house nieces. While Soledad was still alive she said that her
was built, he had to cancel it (the will of 1919), nephew, Luis Gonzaga, may use products and rent her
executing thereby a new testament. properties in furtherance of his coconut oil
experiments. However, Gonzaga’s stopped his
Issue: experiments when he became totally blind in October
WON the will in question had been cancelled 195. Romulo Lopez et al now seek for the partition of
in 1920? Soledad’s estate and the cancellation of titles of lands
allegedly fraudulently transferred in the name of Luis
Held: Gonzaga.
Yes, the will in question has been cancelled Luis Gonzaga filed his answer pleading the
in 1920. denial of the intestate proceeding of Soledad’s estate.
Lower court accepted positive proof of the Luis said that Soledad left a will and instituted him as
cancellation that was not denied. The law does not the sole heir and that the will was duly allowed and
require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation probated. As a witness, Luis’s counsel, Atty. Amelia del
of a will to be preserved. It therefore becomes difficult Rosario, testified that the she discovered the records of
to prove the revocation. Cancellation or revocation the probate court of Iloilo among the records of the
must either remain unproved or be inferred from cadastral court in Negros Occidental. The property
evidence showing that after due search, the original record of Iloilo was destroyed because of the last war
will cannot be found. Where a will, which cannot be hence no will or probate order was produced and
found, is shown to have been in the possession of the neither were attested copies registered with the Office
testator, when last seen, the presumption is, in the of the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental.
absence of other competent evidence, that the same The probate court ruled in favor of Gonzaga.
was cancelled or destroyed. Same presumption where The decision was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
it is shown that the testator had ready access to the
will and it cannot be found after his death. It will not Issues:
be presumed that such will has been destroyed by any 1) Whether Luis Gonzaga is duty-bound to produce a
other person without the knowledge or authority of the copy of the will of Soledad Gonzaga.
testator. The presumption of cancellation is never 2) Whether Luis Gonzaga’s failure to file with the
conclusive but may be overcome by proof that the will Register of Deeds a copy of his letters of
was not destroyed by the testator with intent to revoke administration and the will negate the validity of the
it. Since the original will of 1919 could not be found judgment.
after the death of the testator and in view of the
positive proof that it had been cancelled, the
conclusion is that it had been cancelled and revoked. Held:
In a proceeding to probate a will, the burden of proof is 1) No, Luis Gonzaga is not duty-bound to produce a
upon the proponent to establish its execution and copy of the will of Soledad Gonzaga.
existence. In a great majority of instances in which There is no proof that copies of the will ever
wills are destroyed for the purpose of revoking them existed other than the one burned while in appellee's
there is no witness to the act of cancellation or possession. The appellee was not bound to call, or,
destruction and all evidence of its cancellation account, for the witnesses to the testament. He was
perishes with the testator. Copies of wills should be not trying to show that the will complied with the
admitted by the courts with great caution. When it is statutory requirements, but that the will had been
proven, however, by proper testimony that a will was admitted to probate and of course, the probate decree
executed in duplicate with all the formalities and conclusively established the due execution.
requirements of the law, then the duplicate may be
admitted in evidence when it is made to appear that 2) The failure of the defendant, Luis Gonzaga, to file
the original has been lost and was not cancelled or with the Register of Deeds a certified copy of his letters
destroyed by the testator. of administration and the will, and to record the
attested copies of the will and of the allowance thereof
by the court does not negate the validity of the
judgment or decree of probate nor the rights of the
devisee under the will. Section 90 of Act 496 refers to
the dealings with registered lands by an executor or
administrator; and while Luis Gonzaga was an
administrator, this is beside the point, because his
dealings with the lands, if any, during his tenure as an
administrator are not here in question. That the

9
defendant sought judicial orders to effect the transfers Sps. Pascual vs. Court of Appeals
to his name of the certificates of title after the will was G.R. No. 115925, August 15, 2003
probated, and succeeded in having them so
transferred, are not "dealings" with the property as Facts:
administrator under section 90 of the Registration Act. Canuto Sioson and 11 other individuals,
The defendant sought and obtained the change in title including his sister Catalina Sioson and his brother
in his own behalf and capacity. Although the step Victoriano Sioson were co-owners of a parcel of land in
taken is not exactly what Section 624 of Act 190 Tanza, Navotas, Metro Manila. This property was
directs, the same purpose was achieved — that of known as Lot 2 of Psu 13245. Canuto, Catalina and
notice to all strangers of the cause and nature of the Victoriano each owned an aliquot 10/70 share or
transfers; and it does not appear that anyone was 1,335 square meters of Lot 2.
prejudiced by the defect in registration complained of. Canuto and his niece Consolacion Sioson
At any rate, the recording of the judicial orders executed a Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan wherein
sufficed as notice to interested parties, and was Canuto sold his 10/70 share in Lot 2 in favor of
substantial compliance with the required recording of Consolacion for P2,250. Consolacion immediately took
the will itself. No one faced by the recorded documents possession of Lots 2-A and 2-E. She later declared the
could ignore the reference therein to the probated land for taxation purposes and paid the corresponding
testament; and the rule is that knowledge of what real estate taxes.
might have been revealed by proper inquiry is Later on February 4, 1988, Remedios S.
imputable to the inquirer. Eugenio-Gino, the granddaughter of Canuto, filed a
complaint against Consolacion and her spouse Ricardo
Pascual for “Annulment or Cancellation of Transfer
Caniza v. Court of Appeals Certificate of Title and Damages”. Remedios claimed
G.R. No. 110427, February 24, 1997 that she is the owner of Lots 2-A and 2-E because
[effect of no probate]
 Catalina devised these lots to her in Catalina’s last will
and testament.
Petitioners sought to dismiss the complaint
Facts:
on the ground of prescription. They claimed that the
On November 20, 1989 Carmen Cañiza was
basis of the action was fraud and Remedios should
declared incompetent in a guardianship proceeding
have filed the action within four years from the
instituted by her niece, Amparo Evangelista. Amparo
registration of Consolacion’s title on October 28, 1968.
was appointed legal guardian of her person and estate.
The trial court denied such motion to dismiss.
Cañiza was the owner of a house and lot at Quezon
Eventually, the trial court dismissed the case
City. On September 17, 1990, her guardian Amparo
because the action was based on fraud and hence,
commenced a suit in the MTC to eject the spouses
covered by the four-year prescriptive period. It ruled
Estrada from said premises. In their Answer, the
further that Remedios had no right of action because
defendants declared that they had been living in
Catalina’s last will from which Remedios claimed to
Cañiza's house since the 1960's; that in consideration
derive his title had not yet been admitted to probate.
of their faithful service they had been considered by
However, the Court of Appeals reversed the decision of
Cañiza as her own family, and the latter had in fact
the trial court. The appellate court held that what
executed a holographic will on September 4, 1988 by
Remedios filed was a suit to enforce an implied trust
which she "bequeathed" to the Estradas the house and
created in her favor when Consolacion registered her
lot in question. However, this will has not yet been
title over the subject lots. Consequently, the
probated. MTC decided in favor of Caniza. On appeal,
prescriptive period for filing the complaint was ten
the decision was reversed. The CA affirmed the RTC’s
years. Hence, reckoned from November 19, 1982 when
decision. Hence, this petition.
Remedios knew of petitioner’s adverse title, the
complaint was seasonably filed. Petitioners filed a
Issue:
petition questioning the ruling of the Court of Appeals.
Is there a need to probate the will in order to
transfer ownership and rights over the property.
Issues:
Held:
(1) Whether or not the action was barred by
Yes. An unprobated will does not pass any
prescription
right. A will is essentially ambulatory; at any time
(2) Whether or not Remedios was a real party-in-
prior to the testator’s death, it may be changed or
interest
revoked; and until admitted to probate, it has no effect
whatever and no right can be claimed thereunder, the
Held:
law being quite explicit: ‘No will shall pass either real
(1) YES. The action filed by Remedios was based on an
or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in
implied trust. However, the ten year prescriptive period
accordance with the Rules of Court (Art. 838)”. An
should be counted from the registration of the adverse
owner's intention to confer title on the future to
title and not from actual notice of the adverse title.
persons possessing property by his tolerance, is not
When Remedios filed her complaint on February 4,
inconsistent with the former's taking back possession
1988, the prescriptive period had already lapsed.
in the meantime for any reason deemed sufficient. And
that in this case there was sufficient cause for the
(2) NO. Remedios was not a real party-in-interest who
owner's resumption of possession is apparent: she
can file the complaint. Remedios anchored her claim
needed to generate income from the house on account
over Lot Nos. 2-A and 2 E on the devise of these lots to
of the physical infirmities afflicting her, arising from
her under Catalina’s last will. However, the trial court
her extreme age.
found that the probate court did not issue any order
admitting the LAST WILL to probate. Article 838 of the

10
Civil Code states that "No will shall pass either real or Pastor Jr. and Sofia filed a motion for
personal property unless it is proved and allowed in reconsideration on the ground that the PROBATE
accordance with the Rules of Court." This Court has COURT gravely abused its discretion when it resolved
interpreted this provision to mean, "until admitted to the question of ownership of the royalties and ordered
probate, a will has no effect whatever and no right can the payment of QUEMADA's legacy after prematurely
be claimed thereunder." Since the probate court has passing upon the intrinsic validity of the will.
not admitted Catalina’s last will, Remedios had not Even before the MFR could be resolved,
acquired any right under the Catalina’s last will. PASTOR, JR. and his wife filed with the CA a Petition
Remedios was thus without any cause of action either for certiorari. The petition was denied on the ground
to seek reconveyance of Lot Nos. 2-A and 2-E or to that its filing was premature because there was still an
enforce an implied trust over these lots. MFR pending before the PROBATE COURT. The
spouses moved for reconsideration.
While this petition was pending, the probate
Pastor v. Court of Appeals court issued an order which the court claims to have
G.R. No. 56340, June 24, 1983 resolved the question of the instrinsic validity of the
[validity of a will]
 will and of the ownership of the mining claims,
rendering moot and academic the suit for
reconveyance.
Facts:
Hence this petition assailing the orders
Alvaro Pastor, Sr. died in Cebu City on June
issued by the probate court. The petitioners are
5, 1966. He was survived by his wife Sofia Bossio,
arguing that before the provisions of the holographic
their two legitimate children Alvaro Pastor, Jr. and
will can be implemented, the questions of ownership of
Sofia Pastor de Midgely, and an illegitimate child
the mining properties and the intrinsic validity of the
Lewellyn Barlito QUEMADA.
holographic will must first be resolved with finality.
QUEMADA filed with the CFI a petition for
the probate and allowance of an alleged holographic
will left by PASTOR, SR. The will contained only one
Issue:
testamentary disposition: a legacy in favor of
WON the Probate Order resolved with finality
QUEMADA consisting of 30% of PASTOR, SR.'s 42%
the questions of ownership and intrinsic validity of the
share in the operation by ATLAS of some mining
will.
claims in Pina-Barot, Cebu.
The probate court appointed him special
Held:
administrator of the entire estate of PASTOR, SR. to
No.
which Pastor Jr. And his sister Sofia opposed.
Contrary to the position taken by the probate
QUEMADA as special administrator, instituted against
court, these two issued have not yet been resolved.
PASTOR, JR. and his wife an action for reconveyance
Therefore, the Probate Order could not have resolved
of alleged properties of the estate subject of the legacy
and actually did not decide QUEMADA's entitlement to
which were in the names of PASTOR, JR. and his wife,
the legacy. This being so, the Orders for the payment
who claimed to be the owners thereof in their own
of the legacy in alleged implementation of the Probate
rights, and not by inheritance.
Order of 1972 are unwarranted for lack of basis.
The probate court then issued an order
In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the
allowing the holographic will to probate.
issue by and large is restricted to the extrinsic validity
For two years after remand of the case to the
of the will, i.e., whether the testator, being of sound
PROBATE COURT, QUEMADA filed pleading after
mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the
pleading asking for payment of his legacy and seizure
formalities prescribed by law. As a rule, the question
of the properties subject of said legacy.
of ownership is an extraneous matter which the
PASTOR, JR. and SOFIA opposed these
Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for
pleadings on the ground that there is still a
the purpose of determining whether a certain property
reconveyance suit pending with another branch of CFI.
should or should not be included in the inventory of
The PROBATE COURT then set a hearing on
estate properties, the Probate Court may pass upon
the intrinsic validity of the will but no hearing was
the title thereto, but such determination is provisional,
held because of the opposition of Pastor Jr. and Sofia
not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a
again on the same ground of pendency of the
separate action to resolve title.
reconveyance suit. Instead, the probate court required
When PASTOR, SR. died in 1966, he was
the parties to submit their respective position papers.
survived by his wife. There is therefore a need to
PASTOR. JR. and SOFIA submitted their
liquidate the conjugal partnership and set apart the
Memorandum which in effect showed that
share of PASTOR, SR.'s wife in the conjugal
determination of how much QUEMADA should receive
partnership. When the disputed order was issued, no
was still premature. QUEMADA also submitted his
liquidation of the community propertied transpired yet.
Position paper.
Thus, there had been no prior definitive determination
So while the reconveyance suit was still being
of the assets of the estate of PASTOR, SR. There was
litigated, the PROBATE COURT issued an Order of
an inventory of his properties presumably prepared by
Execution and Garnishment resolving the question of
the special administrator, but it does not appear that
ownership of the royalties from ATLAS and ruling that
it was ever the subject of a hearing or that it was
the legacy to Quemada was not inofficious. The order
judicially approved. The reconveyance or recovery of
being "immediately executory", QUEMADA succeeded
properties allegedly owned but not in the name of
in obtaining a Writ of Execution and Garnishment and
PASTOR, SR. was still being litigated in another court.
in serving the same on ATLAS on the same day.
There was no appropriate determination, much less
payment, of the debts of the decedent and his estate.

11
Nor had the estate tax been determined and paid. The two credible witnesses, the drafted will of the lost will
net assets of the estate not having been determined, was not allowed to be probated. Despite the fact that
the legitime of the forced heirs in concrete figures there were no opposition to the drafted will of the lost
could not be ascertained. will itself, thus even the secondary will or the drafted
All the foregoing deficiencies considered, it will cannot be probated for the reason that they failed
was not possible to determine whether the legacy of to present two credible witnesses.
QUEMADA - a fixed share in a specific property rather
than an aliquot part of the entire net estate of the
deceased would produce an impairment of the legitime Ngo The Hua v. Chung Kiat Kung
of the compulsory heirs. GR No. L-17091, Sept. 30, 1963
There actually was no determination of the [intervention]

intrinsic validity of the will in other respects. It was
obviously for this reason that as late as March 5, 1980
Facts:
- more than 7 years after the order was issued the
Ngo The Hua, claiming to be the surviving
Probate Court
spouse of Chung Liu, filed a petition to be appointed
administratix of the estate of Chung Liu. The petition
was opposed by Chung Kiat Hua, and Chung Liu’s
Re- Testate of Suntay
children by his first wife, Tan Hua. They claim that
GR No. L-3080 November 5, 1964
Ngo The Hua is unfit to be the administratix and that
[no opposition to probate of the lost or destroyed
Ngo The Hua and Chung Liu have secured an absolute
will]
 divorce in Taiwan. Chung Kiat Hua also prayed to be
appointed as administrator of the estate of her father.
Facts: Ngo The Hua then claimed that the oppositors are not
Jose Suntay, a Filipino citizen and resident of the children of Chung Liu.
the Philippines, died in the city of Amoy,Fookien Chung Kiat Kang, claiming to be the nephew
province, China, leaving real and personal properties of Chung Lui, filed his opposition to the appointment
in the Philippines and a house in Amoy, Fookien of either Ngo The Hua or Chung Kiat Hu on the ground
province, China. He had 9 children in his first that to be appointed they must first prove their
marriage to late Manuela Cruz, and only 1 child to her respective relationship to the deceased Chung Lui and
second marriage Maria Natividad Lim Billian who prayed that he be appointed as administrator instead.
survived him. However, when it was Chung Kiat Kang’s turn to
There was an Intestate Proceeding instituted present his evidence during the hearing, he waived his
in the Court of First Instance of Bulacan and after right to present evidence in so far as the appointment
hearing letters of administration was issued to of administrator of the estate is concerned.
Apolonio Suntay, one of the children of Jose Suntay to The lower court found that Ngo The Hua and
Manuela Cruz. Chung Lui were validly divorced in Taiwan and Chung
While the surviving widow filed a petition in Kiat Hua and the other oppositors were the children of
the Court of First Instance Of Bulacan for the probate Chung Lui. Chung Kiat Hua was appointed as the
of a last will and testament claimed to have been administrator of the estate of Chung Lui. Hence this
executed and signed in the Philippines on November petition.
1929 by the late Jose Suntay. However, the petition
was denied because of the loss of said will after filling Issue:
of the petition and before hearing thereof and of the Whether Chung Kiat Kang can be appointed
insufficiency of the evidence establish the loss of the as a co-administrator of the estate.
said will.
An appeal was taken from said order denying the Held:
probate of the will and this Court held the evidence No, Chung Kiat Kang cannot be appointed as
before the probate court sufficient to prove the loss of co-administrator of the estate.
the will and remanded the case to the Court of First It is well-settled that for a person to be able
Instance of Bulacan for further proceedings. to intervene in an administration proceeding
concerning the estate of a deceased, it is necessary for
Issue: him to have interest in such estate. An interested
Whether the lost will may be allowed to party has been defined in this connection as one who
probate. would be benefited by the estate such as an heir, or
one who has a certain claim against the estate, such
Held: as a creditor. Appellant Chung Kiat Kang does not
NO, the lost will cannot be allowed to claim of to be a creditor of Chung Liu's estate. Neither
probate, despite the fact that there is no opposition to is he an heir in accordance with the Civil Code of the
the lost of the will, because according to the law, there Republic of China the law that applies in this case,
is a requirement needed to allow the lost will to be Chung Liu being a Chinese citizen (Art. 16, New Civil
probated that is the 2 credible witnesses to testify that Code). The appellant not having any interest in Chung
the lost will is in existence before the death of the Liu's estate, either as heir or creditor, he cannot be
testator. However since only Judge Teodoro was the appointed as co-administrator of the estate, as he now
one granted by the court to be a credible witness on prays.
the alleged lost will, and the rest of the witnesses,
including Go Teh, were not considered as credible
witness. So in this case, only 1 credible witness was
allowed by the court and since the law required atleast

12
Heirs of Lasam v. Umengan¸ Seangio-Santos as special administrator and guardian
G.R. No. 168156, December 6, 2006 ad litem of Dy Yieng Seangio, wife of the decedent.
[testator’s capacity]
 Meanwhile, Dy Yieng Seangio, Barbara
Seangio and Virginia Seangio opposed the said
petition. They contended that Dy Yieng is still very
Facts:
healthy, that the deceased Segundo executed a general
A complaint for unlawful detainer was filed
power of attorney in favor of Virginia, that Virginia is
against Vicenta Umengan by herein petitioners, as
the most qualified to serve as administrator, and that
heirs of Rosendo Lasam. It was alleged that during the
Segundo left a holographic will.
lifetime of deceased Lasam, Vicenta Umengan was just
Dy Yieng Seangio presented a document
temporarily allowed to occupy the subject lot sometime
entitled “Kasulatan ng Pag-aalis ng Mana” and filed a
in 1955. The latter and her husband allegedly
petition for the probate of this document as Segundo’s
promised that they would vacate the subject lot upon
holographic will. In the said document, Segundo
demand but never did.
disinherited his first son, Alfredo Seangio. According to
Accordingly, the heirs of Rosendo Lasam were
the document, Alfredo abused Segundo mentally and
constrained to institute the action for ejectment. They
physically. Abuse in such manner is one of the
alleged that they have a better right because they
grounds for a valid disinheritance. The two special
inherited it from their father, showing a Last Will and
proceedings were consolidated.
Testament which has not yet been probated.
Alfredo moved for the dismissal of the probate
In her defense, Vicenta Umengan alleged that
of the document saying that the document purporting
her father, Abdon Turingan, purchased the subject lot
to be the holographic will of Segundo does not contain
as evidenced by the Deed of Sale.
any disposition of the estate of the deceased and thus
The lower courts (MTC and RTC) ruled in
does not meet the definition of a will under Article 783
favor of the petitioners while the CA reversed the lower
of the Civil Code.
courts, on the ground that the will has not yet been
RTC dismissed the petition for probate.
probated, hence, it has not passed any right yet.
According to the lower court, there is preterition, as
the only heirs mentioned thereat are Alfredo and
Issue:
Virginia. The other heirs being omitted, Article 854 of
W/N the last will & testament which has not
the New Civil Code thus applies.
yet probated could be a source of right
Dy Yieng then filed a petition for certiorari
with preliminary injuction before the Supreme Court.
Held:
NO. The Last Will and Testament cannot be
Issue:
relied upon to establish the right of possession without
Whether the document is Segundo’s a
having been probated, the said last will and testament
holographic will, if so, is there preterition.
could not be the source of any right.
Article 838 of the Civil Code is instructive on
Held:
this: “No will shall pass either real or personal
Yes, the “Kasulatan ng Pag-aalis ng Mana” is
property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance
Segundo’s holographic will.
with the Rules of Court.”
Segundo’s document, although it may
Before any will can have force or validity it
initially come across as a mere disinheritance
must be probated. To probate a will means to prove
instrument, conforms to the formalities of a
before some officer or tribunal, vested by law with
holographic will prescribed by law. It is written, dated
authority for that purpose, that the instrument offered
and signed by the hand of Segundo himself. An intent
to be proved is the last will and testament of the
to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deduced from
deceased person whose testamentary act it is alleged
the terms of the instrument, and while it does not
to be, and that it has been executed, attested and
make an affirmative disposition of the latter’s property,
published as required by law, and that the testator
the disinheritance of Alfredo, nonetheless, is an act of
was of sound and disposing mind. It is a proceedings
disposition in itself. In other words, the disinheritance
to establish the validity of the will. Moreover, the
results in the disposition of the property of the testator
presentation of the will for probate is mandatory and is
Segundo in favor of those who would succeed in the
a matter of public policy.
absence of Alfredo.
Since the will has not yet been probated, it
With regard to the issue of preterition, the
has no effect whatsoever and it cannot be the basis of
Court believes that the compulsory heirs in the direct
any claim of any right of possession. The defendants
line were not preterited in the will. It was, in the
have a better right of possession based on the deed of
Court’s opinion, Segundo’s last expression to bequeath
conveyances executed by the owner in favor of the
his estate to all his compulsory heirs, with the sole
children, the defendants herein.
exception of Alfredo. Also, Segundo did not institute an
heir16 to the exclusion of his other compulsory heirs.
The mere mention of the name of one of the
Seangio v. Reyes,
petitioners, Virginia, in the document did not operate
G.R. Nos. 1403371-72, November 27, 2006
to institute her as the universal heir. Her name was
[probate and right of disposition]
included plainly as a witness to the altercation
between Segundo and his son, Alfredo.
Facts:
Alfredo Seangio together with the other
private respondents, filed a petition for the settlement
of the intestate estate of the late Segundo Seangio.
They also prayed for the apoointment of Elisa D.

13
Guevara v. Guevara, Held:
G.R. No. L-48840 December 29, 1943 No, it was not.
[no prescription]
 The Court holds that under section 1 of Rule
74, in relation to Rule 76, if the decedent left a will and
no debts and the heirs and legatees desire to make an
Facts:
extrajudicial partition of the estate, they must first
On August 26, 1931, Victorino Guevara
present that will to the court for probate and divide the
executed a will in accordance with all the formalities
estate in accordance with the will. They may not
required by law. According to the said will, he gave
disregard the provisions of the will unless those
several personal properties to his son Ernesto,
provisions are contrary to law. Neither may they so
daughter Rosario, stepson Piou, and stepdaughter
away with the presentation of the will to the court for
Candida. He gave to his wife, Angustia Posadas, a
probate, because such suppression of the will is
portion of parcel of land in Pangasinan. He set aside
contrary to law and public policy. The law enjoins the
100 hectares of the same parcel of land to be disposed
probate of the will and public policy requires it,
of either by him during his lifetime or by his attorney-
because unless the will is probated and notice thereof
in-fact Ernesto M. Guevara in order to pay all his
given to the whole world, the right of a person to
pending debts and to degray his expenses and those of
dispose of his property by will may be rendered
his family us to the time of his death. Some of portion
nugatory, as is attempted to be done in the instant
of the same parcel of land were given to Ernesto and
case. Absent legatees and devisees, or such of them as
Rosario.
may have no knowledge of the will, could be cheated of
On July 12, 1933, Victorino executed
their inheritance thru the collusion of some of the
whereby he conveyed the southern half of the large
heirs who might agree to the partition of the estate
parcel of land which he had previously disposed in his
among themselves to the exclusion of others.
will, for the to payment all his debts, expenses of his
In the instant case there is no showing that
last illness and his own funeral expenses. As for the
the various legatees other than the present litigants
northern half of the same parcel of land, he recognized
had received their respective legacies or that they had
that it is solely owned by his son Ernesto, having
knowledge of the existence and of the provisions of the
bought it from Rafael T. Puzon. Later on, the entire
will. Their right under the will cannot be disregarded,
parcel of land was registered in the name of Ernesto
nor may those rights be obliterated on account of the
Guevara.
failure or refusal of the custodian of the will to present
When Victorino Guevara died, his last will
it to the court for probate.
and testament was not presented to the court for
Even if the decedent left no debts and nobody
probate nor has any administration proceeding ever
raises any question as to the authenticity and due
been instituted for the settlement of his estate. Ever
execution of the will, none of the heirs may sue for the
since the death of Victorino L. Guevara, his only
partition of the estate in accordance with that will
legitimate son Ernesto M. Guevara appears to have
without first securing its allowance or probate by the
possessed the land adjudicated to him in the
court, first, because the law expressly provides that
registration proceeding and to have disposed of various
"no will shall pass either real or personal estate unless
portions thereof for the purpose of paying the debts
it is proved and allowed in the proper court"; and,
left by his father.
second, because the probate of a will, which is a
Rosario Guevara, who appears to have had
proceeding in rem, cannot be dispensed with the
her father's last will and testament in her custody, did
substituted by any other proceeding, judicial or
nothing judicially to invoke the testamentary
extrajudicial, without offending against public policy
dispositions made therein in her favor, whereby the
designed to effectuate the testator's right to dispose of
testator acknowledged her as his natural daughter
his property by will in accordance with law and to
and, aside from certain legacies and bequests, devised
protect the rights of the heirs and legatees under the
to her a portion of 21.6171 hectares of the large parcel
will thru the means provided by law, among which are
of land described in the will. But a little over four years
the publication and the personal notices to each and
after the testor's demise, she commenced the present
all of said heirs and legatees. Nor may the court
action against Ernesto M. Guevara alone for the
approve and allow the will presented in evidence in
purpose getting her legitime. It was only during the
such an action for partition, which is one in personam,
trial of this case that she presented the will to the
any more than it could decree the registration under
court, not for the purpose of having it probated but
the Torrens system of the land involved in an ordinary
only to prove that the deceased Victirino L. Guevara
action for reinvindicacion or partition.
had acknowledged her as his natural daughter. Upon
that proof of acknowledgment she claimed her share of
the inheritance from him, but on the theory or
Octavio Maloles II v. Pacita De Los Reyes Phillips
assumption that he died intestate, because the will
G.R. no. 133359; January 31, 2000
had not been probated, for which reason, she asserted,
the betterment therein made by the testator in favor of
Facts:
his legitimate son Ernesto M. Guevara should be
On July 20, 1995, Dr. Arturo de Santos,
disregarded. Both the trial court and the Court of
Filipino and a resident of Makati City, filed a petition
appeals sustained that theory.
for probate of his will in the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 61, Makati, docketed as Sp. Proc. No. M-4223.
Issue:
In his petition, Dr. De Santos alleged that he had no
Whether the action made by Rosario was
compulsory heirs; that he had named in his will as
proper.
sole legatee and devisee the Arturo de Santos
Foundation, Inc.; that he disposed by his will his
properties with an approximate value of not less than

14
P2,000,000.00; and that copies of said will were in the Ordinarily, probate proceedings are instituted
custody of the named executrix, private respondent only after the death of the testator, so much so that,
Pacita de los Reyes Phillips. On February 16, 1996, after approving and allowing the will, the court
Judge Fernando V. Gorospe, Jr. issued an order proceeds to issue letters testamentary and settle the
granting the petition and allowing the will. estate of the testator. The cases cited by petitioner are
Petitioner personally appeared before this of such nature. In fact, in most jurisdictions, courts
Court and was placed on the witness stand and was cannot entertain a petition for probate of the will of a
directly examined by the Court through "free wheeling" living testator under the principle of ambulatory
questions and answers to give this Court a basis to nature of wills.
determine the state of mind of the petitioner when he However, Art. 838 of the Civil Code
executed the subject will. After the examination, the authorizes the filing of a petition for probate of the will
Court is convinced that petitioner is of sound and filed by the testator himself. It provides:
disposing mind and not acting on duress, menace and No will shall pass either real or personal
undue influence or fraud, and that petitioner signed property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance
his Last Will and Testament on his own free and with the Rules of Court.
voluntary will and that he was neither forced nor The testator himself may, during his lifetime,
influenced by any other person in signing it. petition the court having jurisdiction for the allowance
From the foregoing facts, the Court finds that of his will. In such case, the pertinent provisions of the
the petitioner has substantially established the Rules of Court for the allowance of wills after the
material allegations contained in his petition. The Last testator’s death shall govern.
Will and Testament having been executed and attested Most of the cases that reach the courts
as required by law; that testator at the time of the involve either the testamentary capacity of the testator
execution of the will was of sane mind and/or not or the formalities adopted in the execution of wills.
mentally incapable to make a Will; nor was it executed There are relatively few cases concerning the intrinsic
under duress or under the influence of fear or threats; validity of testamentary dispositions. It is far easier for
that it was in writing and executed in the language the courts to determine the mental condition of a
known and understood by the testator duly subscribed testator during his lifetime than after his death. Fraud,
thereof and attested and subscribed by three (3) intimidation and undue influence are minimized.
credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and Furthermore, if a will does not comply with the
of another; that the testator and all the attesting requirements prescribed by law, the same may be
witnesses signed the Last Will and Testament freely corrected at once. The probate during the testator’s
and voluntarily and that the testator has intended that life, therefore, will lessen the number of contest upon
the instrument should be his Will at the time of wills. Once a will is probated during the lifetime of the
affixing his signature thereto. Hence the petition for testator, the only questions that may remain for the
the allowance of the Last Will and Testament of Arturo courts to decide after the testator’s death will refer to
de Santos is hereby APPROVED and ALLOWED. the intrinsic validity of the testamentary dispositions.
Shortly after the probate of his will, Dr. De It is possible, of course, that even when the testator
Santos died on February 26, 1996. On April 3, 1996, himself asks for the allowance of the will, he may be
petitioner Octavio S. Maloles II filed a motion for acting under duress or undue influence, but these are
intervention claiming that, as the only child of Alicia rare cases.
de Santos (testator’s sister) and Octavio L. Maloles, After a will has been probated during the
Sr., he was the sole full-blooded nephew and nearest lifetime of the testator, it does not necessarily mean
of kin of Dr. De Santos. He likewise alleged that he that he cannot alter or revoke the same before his
was a creditor of the testator. Petitioner thus prayed death. Should he make a new will, it would also be
for the reconsideration of the order allowing the will allowable on his petition, and if he should die before
and the issuance of letters of administration in his he has had a chance to present such petition, the
name. ordinary probate proceeding after the testator’s death
On the other hand, private respondent Pacita would be in order.
de los Reyes Phillips, the designated executrix of the Thus, after the allowance of the will of Dr. De
will, filed a motion for the issuance of letters Santos on February 16, 1996, there was nothing else
testamentary with Branch 61. Upon private for Branch 61 to do except to issue a certificate of
respondent’s motion, Judge Salvador Abad Santos of allowance of the will pursuant to Rule 73, §12 of the
Branch 65 issued an order, appointing her as special Rules of Court.
administrator of Dr. De Santos’s estate. Branch 61 of the Regional Trial Court of
Issue: Makati having begun the probate proceedings of the
Whether or not the Honorable Regional Trial estate of the deceased, it continues and shall continue
Court - Makati, Branch 61 has lost jurisdiction to to exercise said jurisdiction to the exclusion of all
proceed with the probate proceedings upon its others. It should be noted that probate proceedings do
issuance of an order allowing the will of Dr. Arturo de not cease upon the allowance or disallowance of a will
Santos but continues up to such time that the entire estate of
the testator had been partitioned and distributed.
Held: The fact that the will was allowed during the
In cases for the probate of wills, it is well- lifetime of the testator meant merely that the partition
settled that the authority of the court is limited to and distribution of the estate was to be suspended
ascertaining the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e., until the latter’s death. In other words, the petitioner,
whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely instead of filing a new petition for the issuance of
executed the will in accordance with the formalities letters testamentary, should have simply filed a
prescribed by law. manifestation for the same purpose in the probate
court.

15
GROUNDS FOR DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS
 cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not
render the whole testament void.
Sps. Ajero v. CA
G.R. No. 106720, September 15, 1994
[grounds exclusive]
 
 INSTITUTION OF HEIR

 Austria v. Reyes
Facts:
G.R. No. L-23079, February 27, 1970
Annie Sand died in 1982. She left a
[invalidation of institution based on false cause;
holographic will wherein Roberto and Thelma Ajero,
Clemente Sand, Meriam Arong, Leah Sand, Lilia Sand, requisites]

Edgar Sand, Fe Sand, Lisa Sand and Dr. Jose Ajero,
Sr. and their children were named as devisees. Facts:
Spouses Roberto and Thelma Ajero instituted a special Basilia Austria vda. De Cruz filed with the
proceeding for the allowance of decedent’s will. They CFI of Rizal a petition for probate, ante mortem, of her
alleged that at the time of its execution, Annie Sand last will and testament. The probate was opposed by
was of sound and disposing mind, not acting under Ruben Austria, Consuelo Austria-Benta and Lauro
duress, fraud or undue influence, and was in every Austria Mozo who are nephews and nieces of Basilia.
respect capacitated to dispose of her estate by will. The opposition was dismissed and the will was allowed
Clemente Sand opposed the petition saying to probate. According to the will, bulk of the estate of
that the body of the will and the signature were not in Basilia shall be given to Perfecto Cruz, Benita Cruz-
decedent’s handwriting; that it contained alterations Menez, Isagani Cruz, Alberto Cruz and Luz Cruz-
and corrections which were not duly signed by the Salonga, the adopted children of Basilia.
decedent; and that the will was procured by Spouses When Basilia died, Perfecto Cruz was
Ajero through improper pressure and undue influence. appointed as executor without bond despite the
Dr. Jose Ajero also opposed the petition saying that blocking attempt pursued by Ruben Austria.
Annie Sand is not the sole owner of a house and lot in Ruben Austria, together with the other
Agusan del Norte, hence she cannot dispose of said petitioners, filed a petition in intervention for partition
property. alleging that they are the nearest of kin of Basilia, and
The trial court admitted the will to probate. It that Perfecto Cruz and the other respondents were not
said that the probate proceedings must decide only the adopted by Basilia in accordance with law, hence they
question of identity of the will, its due execution and should be considered as mere strangers to the
the testamentary capacity of the testatrix and that the decendent with no right to succeed as heirs.
court finds no reason at all for the disallowance f the The genuineness of the adoption of papers of
will for its failure to comply with the formalities Ruben Austria and his adopted siblings were examined
prescribed by law nor for lack of testamentary capacity by the court. While the adoption papers were being
of the testatrix. The Court of Appeals reversed the examined, Benita Cruz-Menez entered an appearance
decision of the lower court. It ruled that the will failed separately from her brother Perfecto and filed a motion
to meet the requirements for its validity." It held that asking the lower court to confine Ruben Autsria’s
the decedent did not comply with Articles 813 and 814 intervention, should it be permitted, to properties not
of the New Civil Code. disposed of in the will of Basilia. The lower court
Spouses Ajero then filed an appeal by approved the motion of Benita. It also ruled that the
certiorari before the Supreme Court. validity or invalidity of the adoption is not material nor
decisive on the efficacy of the institution of heirs.
Issue: Hence, Ruben Austria filed a petition for
Whether the will of Annie Sand should be certiorari, praying to annul the orders of the lower
allowed. court. Petitioners content that Basilia was deceived
into believing that she was legally bound to bequeath
Held: one-hald of her entire estate to Perfecto Cruz et al as
Yes, the holographic will of Annie Sand the latter’s legitime. They also content that had the
should be allowed. deceased known the adoption to be spurious , she
In the case of holographic wills what assures would not have instituted the respondents at all since
authenticity is the requirement that they be totally the sole basis of the institution is her belief that
autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as Perfecto et al were her compulsory heirs.
provided under Article 810 of the New Civil Code,
which reads: “Art. 810. A person may execute a Issue:
holographic will which must be entirely written, dated, Did the lower court act in violation of the
and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is rights of the parties in barring the petitioners nephews
subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of and niece from registering their claim even to
the Philippines, and need not be witnessed.” properties adjudicated by the decedent in her will?
Failure to strictly observe other formalities
will not result in the disallowance of a holographic will Held:
that is unquestionably handwritten by the testator. No, the lower court did not err in its decision.
A reading of Article 813 of the New Civil Code Before the institution of heirs may be
shows that its requirement affects the validity of the annulled under article 850 of the Civil Code, the
dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not following requisites must concur: First, the cause for
its probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some the institution of heirs must be stated in the will;
of the dispositions, the result is that these dispositions second, the cause must be shown to be false; and
third, it must appear from the face of the will that the

16
testator would not have made such institution if he partition and damages docketed as Civil Case No.
had known the falsity of the cause. 3443 entitled " Josefa Teves Escaño v. Julian Teves,
The petitioners would have us imply, from the Emilio B. Teves, et al. Milagros Donio, the second wife
use of the terms, "sapilitang tagapagmana" of Don Julian, participated as an intervenor.
(compulsory heirs) and "sapilitang mana" (legitime), Thereafter, the parties to the case entered into a
that the impelling reason or cause for the institution of Compromise Agreement which embodied the partition
the respondents was the testatrix's belief that under of all the properties of Don Julian.
the law she could not do otherwise. If this were indeed The CFI decision declared a tract of land
what prompted the testatrix in instituting the known as Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa as property
respondents, she did not make it known in her will. owned in common by Don Julian and his two (2)
Surely if she was aware that succession to the legitime children of the first marriage. The property was to
takes place by operation of law, independent of her remain undivided during the lifetime of Don Julian.
own wishes, she would not have found it convenient to Josefa and Emilio likewise were given other properties
name her supposed compulsory heirs to their at Bais, including the electric plant, the "movie
legitimes. Her express adoption of the rules on property," the commercial areas, and the house where
legitimes should very well indicate her complete Don Julian was living. The remainder of the properties
agreement with that statutory scheme. One fact was retained by Don Julian, including Lot No. 63.
prevails, however, and it is that the decedent's will On 16 November 1972, Don Julian, Emilio
does not state in a specific or unequivocal manner the and Josefa executed a Deed of Assignment of Assets
cause for such institution of heirs. with Assumption of Liabilities in favor of J.L.T. Agro,
Even if we should accept the petitioners' Inc. (petitioner). This instrument which constitutes a
theory that the decedent instituted the respondents supplement to the earlier deed of assignment
Perfecto Cruz, et al. solely because she believed that transferred ownership over Lot No. 63, among other
the law commanded her to do so, on the false properties, in favor of petitioner. On 14 April 1974,
assumption that her adoption of these respondents Don Julian died intestate.
was valid, still such institution must stand. On the strength of the Supplemental Deed in
Article 850 of the Civil Code is a positive its favor, petitioner sought the registration of the
injunction to ignore whatever false cause the testator subject lot in its name. A court, so it appeared, issued
may have written in his will for the institution of heirs. an order cancelling OCT No. 5203 in the name of
Such institution may be annulled only when one is spouses Don Julian and Antonia on 12 November
satisfied, after an examination of the will, that the 1979, and on the same date a new TCT was issued.
testator clearly would not have made the institution if Since then, petitioner has been paying taxes assessed
he had known the cause for it to be false. on the subject lot.
The decedent's will, which alone should Meanwhile, Milagros Donio and her children
provide the answer, is mute on this point or at best is had immediately taken possession over the subject lot
vague and uncertain. The phrases, "mga sapilitang after the execution of the Compromise Agreement.
tagapagmana" and "sapilitang mana," were borrowed Subsequently, Milagros Donio and her children
from the language of the law on succession and were executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition of Real Estate
used, respectively, to describe the class of heirs dated 18 March 1980. In the deed of partition, Lot No.
instituted and the abstract object of the inheritance. 63 was allotted to Milagros Donio and her two (2)
They offer no absolute indication that the decedent children, Maria Evelyn and Jose Catalino. Unaware
would have willed her estate other than the way she that the subject lot was already registered in the name
did if she had known that she was not bound by law to of petitioner in 1979, respondents bought Lot No. 63
make allowance for legitimes. Her disposition of the from Milagros Donio as evidenced by the Deed of
free portion of her estate which largely favored the Absolute Sale of Real Estate dated 9 November 1983.
respondent Perfecto Cruz, the latter's children, and the At the Register of Deeds while trying to
children of the respondent Benita Cruz, shows a register the deed of absolute sale, respondents
perceptible inclination on her part to give to the discovered that the lot was already titled in the name
respondents more than what she thought the law of petitioner. After hearing, the trial court dismissed
enjoined her to give to them. the complaint filed by respondents. The trial court,
among others, ordered respondents to vacate the
subject land, particularly identified as Lot No. 63
JLT Agro, Inc. v. Balansang registered under Transfer Certificate of Title No. It
G.R. No. 141882, March 11, 2005 added that the direct adjudication of the properties
[preterition]
 listed in the Compromise Agreement was only in favor
of Don Julian and his two children by the first
marriage, Josefa and Emilio. According to the trial
Facts:
court, the properties adjudicated in favor of Josefa and
Don Julian L. Teves (Don Julian) contracted
Emilio comprised their shares in the estate of their
two marriages, first with Antonia Baena (Antonia), and
deceased mother Antonia, as well as their potential
after her death, with Milagros Donio Teves (Milagros
share in
Donio). Don Julian had two children with Antonia,
the estate of Don Julian upon the latter‘s death. Thus,
namely: Josefa Teves Escaño (Josefa) and Emilio Teves
upon Don Julian’s death, Josefa and Emilio could not
(Emilio). He had also four (4) children with Milagros
claim any share in his estate, except their proper
Donio, namely: Maria Evelyn Donio Teves (Maria
share in the Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa which was
Evelyn), Jose Catalino Donio Teves (Jose Catalino),
adjudicated in favor of Don Julian in the Compromise
Milagros Reyes Teves (Milagros Reyes) and Pedro Reyes
Agreement. As such, the properties adjudicated in
Teves (Pedro). W hen Antonia died, the land was
favor of Don Julian, except Hacienda Medalla
among the properties involved in an action for
Milagrosa, were free from the forced legitimary rights

17
of Josefa and Emilio, and Don Julian was under no The first paragraph of Article 1080, which
impediment to allocate the subject lot, among his provides the exception to the exception and therefore
other properties, to Milagros Donio and her four (4) aligns with the general rule on future things, reads:
children. ART. 1080. Should a person make a partition
With Lot No. 63 being the conjugal property of his estate by an act inter vivos, or by will, such
of Don Julian and Antonia, the trial court also partition shall be respected, insofar as it does not
declared that Milagros Donio and her children had no prejudice the legitime of the compulsory heirs.
hereditary rights thereto except as to the conjugal In interpreting this provision, Justice
share of Don Julian, which they could claim only upon Edgardo Paras advanced the opinion that if the
the death of the latter. partition is made by an act inter vivos, no formalities
On appeal, the Court of Appeals, however, are prescribed by the Article.The partition will of course
reversed the trial court’s decision. Per the appellate be effective only after death.
court, the Compromise Agreement incorporated in CFI It does not necessarily require the formalities
decision dated 31 January 1964, particularly of a will for after all it is not the partition that is the
paragraph 13 thereof, determined, adjudicated and mode of acquiring ownership. Neither will the
reserved to Don Julian’s two sets of heirs their future formalities of a donation be required since donation
legitimes in his estate except as regards his (Don will not be the mode of acquiring the ownership here
Julian’s) share in Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa. The after death; since no will has been made it follows that
disposition in the CFI decision constitutes res judicata. the mode will be succession (intestate succession).
Don Julian could have disposed of only his conjugal Besides, the partition here is merely the physical
share in the Hacienda Medalla Milagrosa. determination of the part to be given to each heir.
The appellate court likewise emphasized that Article 1056 of the old Civil Code (now Article
nobody in his right judgment would preterit his legal 1080) authorizes a testator to partition inter vivos his
heirs by simply executing a document like the property, and distribute them among his heirs, and
Supplemental Deed which practically covers all this partition is neither a donation nor a
properties which Don Julian had reserved in favor of testament, but an instrument of a special character, sui
his heirs from the second marriage. Aggrieved by the generis, which is revocable at any time by the causante
appellate court’ s decision, petitioner elevated it to this during his lifetime, and does not operate as a
Court via a petition for review on certiorari, raising conveyance of title until his death. It derives its binding
pure questions of law. force on the heirs from the respect due to the will of
the owner of the property, limited only by his creditors
Issue: and the intangibility of the legitime of the forced heirs (
Whether future legitime can be determined, The partition inter vivos of the properties of
adjudicated and reserved prior to the death of Don Don Julian is undoubtedly valid pursuant to Article
Julian. 1347. However, considering that it would become
legally operative only upon the death of Don Julian,
Held: the right of his heirs from the second marriage to the
As a general rule, no. [The Court’s] properties adjudicated to him under the compromise
declaration in Blas v. Santos is relevant, where [it] agreement was but a mere expectancy. It was a bare
defined future inheritance as any property or right not hope of succession to the property of their father.
in existence or capable of determination at the time of Being the prospect of a future acquisition, the interest
the contract, that a person may in the future acquire by its nature was inchoate. It had no attribute of
by succession. Article 1347 of the New Civil Code property, and the interest to which it related was at
explicitly provides: the time nonexistent and might never exist.
ART. 1347. All things which are not outside Evidently, at the time of the execution of the
the commerce of men, including future things, may be deed of assignment covering Lot No. 63 in favor
the object of a contract. All rights which are not of petitioner, Don Julian remained the owner of the
intransmissible may also be the object of contracts. property since ownership over the subject lot would
No contract may be entered into upon future only pass to his heirs from the second marriage at the
inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by time of his death. Thus, as the owner of the subject
law. lot, Don Julian retained the absolute right to dispose
Well-entrenched is the rule that all things, of it during his lifetime. His right cannot be challenged
even future ones, which are not outside the commerce by Milagros Donio and her children on the ground that
of man may be the object of a contract. The exception it had already been adjudicated to them by virtue of
is that no contract may be entered into with respect to the compromise agreement.
future inheritance, and the exception to the exception
is the partition inter vivos referred to in Article 1080.
For the inheritance to be considered "future," Nuguid v. Nuguid
the succession must not have been opened at the time G.R. No. L-23445, June 23, 1966
of the contract. A contract may be classified as a [preterition v. disinheritance]
 

contract upon future inheritance, prohibited under
the second paragraph of Article 1347, where the
Facts:
following requisites concur:
On December 30,1962, Rosario Nuguid,
(1) That the succession has not yet been opened;
single without descendants, died. Surviving her were
(2) That the object of the contract forms part of the
her legitimate parents, Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga
inheritance; and
Nuguid, and 6 brothers and sisters namely: Alfredo,
(3) That the promissor has, with respect to the object,
Federico, Remedios, Conrado, Lourdes and Al berto.
an expectancy of a right which is purely hereditary in
nature.

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Petitioner Remedios Nuiguid, surviving sister SUBSTITUTION OF HEIRS

of Rosario, filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal a
Perez v. Garchitorena
Holographic Will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid
G.R. No. L-31703 February 13, 1930
on November 17, 1951, some 11 years before her
demise. Petitioner prayed that said will be admitted to [fiduciary]

probate and that letters of administration with the will
annexed be issued to her. Facts:
Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, A certain amount is deposited in the name of
parents of Rosario, entered their opposition to the Carmen de Perez with La Urbana in Manila, as the
probate of her will. On the gound that by the final payment of the liquidated credit of Ana Maria
institution of Remedios as universal heir of the Alcantara, deceased, whose heiress is Carmen de Perez
deceased, for the reason that oppositors, who are against Andres Garchitorena, also deceased,
compulsory heirs of the deceased in the direct represented by his son, the defendant Mariano
ascending line, were illegally preterited and that in Garchitorena. Mariano Garchitorena held a judgment
consequence the institution is void. for P7,872.23 against Joaquin Perez Alcantara,
Before a hearing was had on the petition for husband of the plaintiff, Carmen G. de Perez, to which
probate and objection thereto, oppositors moved to the sheriff levied an attachment on said amount
dismiss on the ground of absolute preterition. deposited with La Urbana.
The court’s order of November 8, 1963, held Carmen alleged that said deposit belongs to
that the will in question is a complete nullity and will the fideicommissary heirs of the decedent Ana Maria
perforce create intestacy of the estate of the deceased Alcantara. She secured a preliminary injunction
Rosario Nuguid and dismissed the petition without restraining the execution of said judgment on the sum
costs. so attached. Mariano contends that the Carmen is the
A motion to reconsideration having been decedent's universal heiress, and pray for the
thwarted below, petitioner came to this Court on dissolution of the injunction. The lower court held that
appeal. said La Urbana deposit belongs to the plaintiff's
children as fideicommissary heirs of Ana Maria
Issue: Alcantara, and granted a final writ of injunction.
Whether or not there is preterition on Hence this appeal.
instituting Remedios as universal heir in which
making the holographic will void? Issue:
Is there a simple substitution or a
fideicommissary substitution in Ana Maria Alcantara’s
will.
Held:
Yes, there was preterition on omitting the Held:
parents of Rosario in her Holographic will in which There exists a fideicomissary substitution.
making the will void. In this case, intestacy will govern The fideicommissary substitution requires
because there was no other provision in the will before three things: 1) A first heir called primarily to the
us except the institution of petitioner as universal heir, enjoyment of the estate; 2) An obligation clearly
that institution, by itself, was null and void. imposed upon him to preserve and transmit to a third
Petitioner’s mainstay was that the present person the whole or a part of the estate; 3) A second
was “a case of ineffective disinheritance rather than on heir. To these requisites, the court adds another,
of preterition.” However, the argument failed to namely that the fideicommissarius be entitled to the
appreciate the distinction between preterition and estate from the time the testator dies, since he is to
disinheritance. inherit from the latter and not from the fiduciary.
PRETERITION “consists in the omission in The foregoing leads us to the conclusion that
the testator’s will of the forced heirs or any one of all the requisites of a fideicommissary substitution are
them, either they are not mentioned or mentioned, present in the case of substitution now under
they are neither instituted as heirs nor expressly consideration, to wit:
disinherited.” IT IS PRESUMED TO BE INVOLUNTARY 1. At first heir primarily called to the
DISINHERITANCE “is a testamentary enjoyment of the estate. In this case the
disposition depriving any compulsory heir of his share Carmen was instituted an heiress, called to
in the legitime for a case authorized by law.” IT IS the enjoyment of the estate, according to
PRESUMED TO BE VOLUNTARY, and must be clause IX of the will.
supported by a legal cause specified in the will itself. 2. An obligation clearly imposed upon the
In this case, the will here does not explicitly heir to preserve and transmit to a third
disinherit the testatrix’s parents. It simply omits their person the whole or a part of the estate. Such
names altogether. Said will rather than be labelled an obligation is imposed in clause X which
ineffective disinheritance is clearly one in which the provides that the "whole estate shall pass
said forced heirs suffer from preterition. unimpaired to her (heiress's) surviving
children;" thus, instead of leaving the heiress
at liberty to dispose of the estate by will, or of
leaving the law to take its course in case she
dies intestate, said clause not only disposes
of the estate in favor of the heiress instituted,
but also provides for the disposition thereof in
case she should die after the testatrix.
3. A second heir. Such are the children of the

19
heiress instituted, who are referred to as such CONDITIONS, MODES, AND TERMS
second heirs both in clause X and in clause 

XI.
Miciano v. Brimo,
Finally, the requisite added by the decision of
50 Phil. 867 (1924)
November 18, 1918, to wit, that the fideicommissarius
[void condition]
or second heir should be entitled to the estate from the
time of the testator's death, which in the instant case,
Facts:
is, rather than a requisite, a necessary consequence
Juan Miciano, the judicial administrator of
derived from the nature of the fideicommissary
the estate of deceased Joseph Brimo, filed the scheme
substitution, in which the second heir does not inherit
of partition of the said estate. The court approved the
from the heir first instituted, but from the testator.
scheme despite of the opposition of Andre Brimo,
brother of the deceased. Joseph Brimo is a Turkish
citizen.
Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank v.
In the will left by Joseph Brimo, he said that
Escolin
although he is a Turkish citizen, he wished that the
G.R. Nos. L-27860 & L-27896 [
distribution of his property and everything in
[no fideicommissary substitution]
connection with his will be made and disposed in
accordance with the laws in force in the Philippines.
Facts:
He also requested all his relatives to respect said wish,
Linnie Jane Hodges died in Iloilo leaving a
otherwise he annuls and cancels beforehand whatever
will wherein she bequeathed all of her propertied to
disposition found in the will favorable to the person or
her husband, Charles Newton Hodges (C.N. Hodges).
persons who fail to comply with said request.
The will contained a disposition saying “at the death of
Andre Brimo contends that the scheme of
my said husband, I give, devise and bequeath all of the
partition puts into effect the provisions of Joseph
rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real
Brimo’s will which are not in accordance with the laws
and personal, wherever situated, to be equally divided
of his Turkish nationality, for which reason they are
among my brothers and sisters, share and share alike.
void as being in violation of Article 10 of the Civil Code.
C.N. Hodges was appointed executor and
when he died, Joe Hodges and Fernando Mirasol
Issue:
replaced him, which in turn was replaced by PCIB
Whether Andre Brimo’s exclusion as a legatee
pursuant to an agreement of all the heirs of Hodges.
is valid.
On the other hand, the Higdons, composed of
brothers and sisters of Linnie Jane Hodges now claims
Held:
their share to her estate.
No, Andre Brimo’s exclusion as a legatee is
PCIB, however, contends that there was no
not valid.
substitution in this case and that the testamentary
The institution of legatees in this will is
disposition in favor of the brothers and sisters are
conditional, and the condition is that the instituted
inoperative and invalid.
legatees must respect the testator's will to distribute
his property, not in accordance with the laws of his
Issues:
nationality, but in accordance with the laws of the
1. W/N there is a valid simple substitution
Philippines.
2. W/N there is a fideicommissary substitution
If this condition as it is expressed were legal and
valid, any legatee who fails to comply with it, as the
Held:
herein oppositor who, by his attitude in these
1. NONE. There is no vulgar or simple substitution. In
proceedings has not respected the will of the testator,
order that a vulgar or simple substitution can be valid,
as expressed, is prevented from receiving his legacy.
three alternative conditions must be present, namely,
However, said condition is void, being contrary
that the first designated heir (1) should die before the
to law. Article 792 of the Civil Code provides
testator; or (2) should not wish to accept the
“Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or
inheritance; or (3) should be incapacitated to do so.
good morals shall be considered as not imposed and
None of these conditions apply to C. N. Hodges, and,
shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner
therefore, the substitution provided for by the above-
whatsoever, even should the testator otherwise
quoted provision of the Will is not authorized by the
provide.
Code, and, therefore, it is void.
And said condition is contrary to law because it
expressly ignores the testator's national law when,
2. NONE. There is neither a fideicommissary
according to Article 10 of the Civil Code such national
substitution because no obligation is imposed thereby
law of the testator is the one to govern his
upon Charles to preserve the estate or any part thereof
testamentary dispositions.
for anyone else. If no obligation is imposed upon the
Said condition then is considered unwritten,
first heir to preserve the property and to transmit it to
and the institution of legatees in said will is
the second heir, then there is no fideicomisaria.
unconditional and consequently valid and effective
The brothers and sisters of Mrs. Hodges are
even as to the herein oppositor.
not substitutes for Charles because, under her will,
The second clause of the will regarding the
they are not to inherit what Hodges cannot, would no
law which shall govern it, and to the condition
or may not inherit, but would inherit what he would
imposed upon the legatees, is null and void, being
not dispose of from his inheritance.
contrary to law. All of the remaining clauses of said
will with all their dispositions and requests are

20
perfectly valid and effective it not appearing that said
clauses are contrary to the testator's national law.

Rabadilla v. Court of Appeals
GR No. 113725, June 29, 2000
[condition, effect; mode]

Facts:
In a codicil to the last will and testament of
testatrix Aleja Bellesa, Dr. Jorde Rabadilla was
instituted as a devisee of a parcel of land subject to the
obligation of delivering to Maria Martena Coscuella y
Belleza 100 piculs of sugar every year until Maria
Martena dies and should Dr. Rabadilla die, the
obligation shall be passed to his heirs. There was also
an obligation to any transferee to deliver to Maria
Martena to seize the property and turn it over to Aleja
Belleza’s descendants.
Dr. Rabadilla died and was survived by his
wife and four children, one of which was the petitioner
Johnny Rabadilla. Maria filed a complain to comply wit
the obligation. A compromise agreement was reached
but due to non-compliance, Maria filed another
complaint but was also dismissed for lack of cause of
action.
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision of
the lower court and ordered the reconveyance from the
modal heir, Dr. Rabadilla’s heirs, of the property to
Maria.

Issue:
Whether there was a modal institution of
heirs as held by the Court of Appeals.

Held:
Yes. The contention of the petitioners are
untenable. It is not a simple institution. The Court of
Appeals found that the private respondents had a
cause of action against petitioners. The designation
was made as modal institution. This was precisely to
stress that the private respondents had a legally
demandable right against the petitioners pursuant to
the subject codicil.
The obligations imposed by the codicil on Dr.
Rabadilla were transmitted to his compulsory heirs
upon his death. Since the obligation is clearly imposed
by the testatrix not only in the instituted heir but also
in his successor-in-interest, the sanction imposed by
the testatrix in non-fulfillment of said obligation
should equally apply to the instituted heir and his
successor-in-interest.
The petition is dismissed and the decision of
the Court of Appeals is affirmed.

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