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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

GENERAL PROVISIONS formalities prescribed by the law of the place in


which he resides, or according to the formalities
A. Definition and Concept observed in his country, or in conformity with those
which this Code prescribes. (n)
Art. 712. Ownership is acquired by occupation
and by intellectual creation. Art. 817. A will made in the Philippines by a
Ownership and other real rights over property are citizen or subject of another country, which is
acquired and transmitted by law, by donation, by executed in accordance with the law of the country of
estate and intestate succession, and in consequence of which he is a citizen or subject, and which might be
certain contracts, by tradition. proved and allowed by the law of his own country,
They may also be acquired by means of shall have the same effect as if executed according to
prescription. the laws of the Philippines. (n)

Art. 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by Art. 818. Two or more persons cannot make a
virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to will jointly, or in the same instrument, either for their
the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person reciprocal benefit or for the benefit of a third person.
are transmitted through his death to another or others (669)
either by his will or by operation of law.
Art. 819. Wills, prohibited by the preceding
Art. 1311. Contracts take effect only between the article, executed by Filipinos in a foreign country
parties, their assigns and heirs, except in case where shall not be valid in the Philippines, even though
the rights and obligations arising from the contract authorized by the laws of the country where they may
are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation have been executed.
or by provision of law. The heir is not liable beyond
the value of the property he received from the In re Will of Rev. Abadia, 50 O.G. #9, p. 4185
decedent. - To determine the law applicable to a will,
the determining factor shall be at the time
B. Laws governing form or date it was executed.
- Article 795 of the New Civil Code provides:
1. As to time of execution The validity of a will as to its form depends
upon the observance of the law in force at
Art. 795. The validity of a will as to its form the time it is made. The validity of a will is
depends upon the observance of the law in force at to be judged not by the law enforced at the
the time it is made. time of the testators death or at the time the
supposed will is presented in court for
2. As to place of execution probate or when the petition is decided by
the court but at the time the instrument is
Art. 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, executed.
wills, and other public instruments shall be governed
by the laws of the country in which they are Fleumer v. Hix, 54 Phil. 610
executed. - The will of an alien who is abroad produces
effect in the Philippines if made with the
Art. 810. A person may execute a holographic formalities prescribed by the law of the
will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed place in which he resides, or according to
by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no the formalities observed in his country, or in
other form, and may be made inor out of the conformity with those which this code
Philippines, and need not be witnessed provides.
- The courts of the Philippines are not
Art. 815. When a Filipino is in a foreign country, authorized to take judicial notice of the laws
he is authorized to make a will in any of the forms of the various States of the American Union.
established by the law of the country in which he Such laws must be proved as facts. Here the
may be. Such will may be probated in the requirements of law were not met. There
Philippines. (n) was no showing that the book from which an
extract was taken was printed or published
Art. 816. The will of an alien who is abroad under the authority of the state of West Va.
produces effect in the Philippines if made with the as provided in the Code of Civil Procedure;

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

nor was the extract from the law attested by effectivity of this Code, shall be adjudicated and
the certificate of the officer having charge of distributed in accordance with this new body of laws
the original. and by the Rules of Court; but the testamentary
provisions shall be carried out insofar as they may be
Estate of Giberson, 48 O.G. #7, 2657 permitted by this Code. Therefore, legitimes,
- If an alien executes a will in the Philippines, betterments, legacies and bequests shall be respected;
not in conformity with our law, but in however, their amount shall be reduced if in no other
conformity with the law of his own state or manner can every compulsory heir be given his full
country, the will can be probated in the share according to this Code
Philippines.
- The requirement of law is that it must 2. As to successional rights, etc.
comply with the laws of the country where it
was executed for validity and not probate on Art. 16(2). However, intestate and testamentary
the country for execution. successions, both with respect to the order of
- An alien who makes a will in a place other succession and to the amount of successional rights
than his country is permitted to follow the and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary
laws of his own country as sanctioned by the provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of
Civil Code. On the other hand, the Rules the person whose succession is under consideration,
provide that wills proved and allowed in a whatever may be the nature of the property and
foreign country, according to the laws of regardless of the country wherein said property may
such country, may be allowed, filed and be found.
recorded by the proper Court of First
Instance in the Philippines. Art. 1039. Capacity to succeed is governed by
the law of the nation of the decedent.
Dela Cerna v. Potot, 12 SCRA 576
- In a joint will of husband and wife, the Estate of Christensen, 61 O.G. # 46, p. 7302
probate decree of the will of the husband - The recognition of the renvoi theory implies
could only affect the share of the deceased that the rules of the conflict of laws are to be
husband. The validity of the will in so far as understood as incorporating not only the
the wife is concerned must be on her death ordinary or internal law of the foreign state
and adjudicated de novo, since a joint will is or country, but its rules of the conflict of
considered a separate will. laws as well.
- A will void on its face can be probated. - The theory in the Renvoi Doctrine is
applicable in this case.
Estate of Rodriguez, 46 O.G. # 2, p. 584 - The theory of the doctrine of renvoi is that
- Neither old age, physical infirmities the court of the forum, in determining the
feebleness of mind, weakness of the question before it, must take into account the
memory, the appointment of a guardian, nor whole law of the other jurisdiction, but also
eccentricities are sufficient singly or jointly its rules as to conflict of laws, and then
to show testamentary incapacity. apply the law to the actual question which
- The provision in the rules of court invoked the rules of the other jurisdiction prescribe.
by the oppositors does not disallow an - The recognition of the renvoi theory implies
administration proceeding. It merely gives that the rules of the conflict of laws are to be
an option to the heirs not to undertake such understood as incorporating not only the
proceeding. ordinary or internal law of the foreign state
or country, but its rules of the conflict of
C. Laws governing content laws as well. According to this theory the
law of the country means the whole of its
1. As to time laws.

Art. 2263. Rights to the inheritance of a person Estate of Amos Bellis, 20 SCRA 358
who died, with or without a will, before the - The national law of the decedent in intestate
effectivity of this Code, shall be governed by the and testate proceedings shall be followed.
Civil Code of 1889, by other previous laws, and by - Texas Law was applied. NCC Article 16 (2)
the Rules of Court. The inheritance of those who, and Art. 1039 render applicable the national
with or without a will, die after the beginning of the law of the decedent in intestate or

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

testamentary successions, with regard to Art. 782. An heir is a person called to the
four items: (1) the order of succession; (2) succession either by the provision of a will or by
the amount of successional rights; (3) the operation of law.
intrinsic validity of the provisions of the Devisees and legatees are persons to whom gifts
will, and (4) the capacity to succeed. of real and personal property are respectively given
- Even assuming that Texas has a conflict of by virtue of a will.
law rule providing that the law of the
domicile should govern, the same would not Art. 887. The following are compulsory heirs:
result in a renvoi to Philippine law, but (1) Legitimate children and descendants, with
would still refer to Texas law. The doctrine respect to their legitimate parents and ascendants;
of of renvoi (reference back) in the case at (2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents
bar is inapplicable because the U.S. does not and ascendants, with respect to their legitimate
adopt the situs theory calling for the children and descendants;
application of where the properties are (3) The widow or widower;
situated, since the properties are located in (4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural
the Philippines. In the absence of proof as to children by legal fiction;
the conflict of law rule of Texas, it should (5) Other illegitimate children referred to in
not be presumed to be different from ours. Article 287.
As the SC ruled in Miciano v. Brimo, a Compulsory heirs mentioned in Nos. 3, 4, and 5
provision in a foreigners will to the effect are not excluded by those in Nos. 1 and 2; neither do
that his properties shall be distributed in they exclude one another.
accordance with Philippine law and not his In all cases of illegitimate children, their filiation
national law, is illegal and void, for his must be duly proved.
national law cannot be ignored in regard to The father or mother of illegitimate children of
those matter that Article 16 of the Civil the three classes mentioned, shall inherit from them
Code states said national law should govern. in the manner and to the extent established by this
Code.
Cayetano v. Leonides, 129 SCRA 524
- It is settled rule that as regards the intrinsic Art. 1003. If there are no descendants,
validity of the provisions of the will, as ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving
provided for by Article 16 (2) and 1039 of spouse, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the
the Civil Code, the national law of the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the
decedent must apply. following articles.
- Philippine law was not applied as regards
the intrinsic validity of the will. The law 1. Who are the subjects?
which governs Adoracion Campos will is
the law of Pennsylvania, USA which is the 2. Relationship
national law of the decedent by virtue of
Art. 16 (2) and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code. Art. 963. Proximity of relationship is determined
The settlement of the estate of Adoracion by the number of generations. Each generation forms
was correctly filed with the CFI of Manila a degree. (915)
where she had an estate since it was alleged
and proven that Adoracion at the time of her Art. 964. A series of degrees forms a line, which
death was a citizen and a permanent resident may be either direct or collateral.
of Pennsylvania, USA and not a usual A direct line is that constituted by the series of
resident of Cavite. degrees among ascendants and descendants.
A collateral line is that constituted by the series
D. Subject of Succession of degrees among persons who are not ascendants
and descendants, but who come from a common
Art. 775. In this Title, "decedent" is the general ancestor. (916a)
term applied to the person whose property is
transmitted through succession, whether or not he left Art. 965. The direct line is either descending or
a will. If he left a will, he is also called the testator. ascending.
The former unites the head of the family with
those who descend from him.

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The latter binds a person with those from whom Art. 16(2). However, intestate and testamentary
he descends. (917) successions, both with respect to the order of
succession and to the amount of successional rights
Art. 966. In the line, as many degrees are and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary
counted as there are generations or persons, provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of
excluding the progenitor. the person whose succession is under consideration,
In the direct line, ascent is made to the common whatever may be the nature of the property and
ancestor. Thus, the child is one degree removed from regardless of the country wherein said property may
the parent, two from the grandfather, and three from be found.
the great-grandparent. b. Who may succeed?
In the collateral line, ascent is made to the Parish Priest of Victoria v. Rigor, 89 SCRA 493
common ancestor and then descent is made to the - In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir,
person with whom the computation is to be made. devisee or legatee must be living at the
Thus, a person is two degrees removed from his moment the succession opens, except in case
brother, three from his uncle, who is the brother of of representation, when it is proper.
his father, four from his first cousin, and so forth.
(918a) Art. 1024. Persons not incapacitated by law may
succeed by will or ab intestato.
Art. 967. Full blood relationship is that existing The provisions relating to incapacity by will are
between persons who have the same father and the equally applicable to intestate succession. (744, 914)
same mother. Art. 1025. In order to be capacitated to inherit, the
Half blood relationship is that existing between heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment
persons who have the same father, but not the same the succession opens, except in case of
mother, or the same mother, but not the same father. representation, when it is proper.
(920a) A child already conceived at the time of the death of
the decedent is capable of succeeding provided it be
Art. 968. If there are several relatives of the same born later under the conditions prescribed in article
degree, and one or some of them are unwilling or 41. (n)
incapacitated to succeed, his portion shall accrue to Art. 1026. A testamentary disposition may be made
the others of the same degree, save the right of to the State, provinces, municipal corporations,
representation when it should take place. (922) private corporations, organizations, or associations
Art. 969. If the inheritance should be repudiated by for religious, scientific, cultural, educational, or
the nearest relative, should there be one only, or by charitable purposes.
all the nearest relatives called by law to succeed, All other corporations or entities may succeed under
should there be several, those of the following degree a will, unless there is a provision to the contrary in
shall inherit in their own right and cannot represent their charter or the laws of their creation, and always
the person or persons repudiating the inheritance. subject to the same.
3. Capacity to Succeed Art. 1029. Should the testator dispose of the whole or
Art. 1024. Persons not incapacitated by law may part of his property for prayers and pious works for
succeed by will or abintestato. the benefit of his soul, in general terms and without
The provisions relating to incapacity by will are specifying its application, the executor, with the
equally applicable to intestate succession. court's approval shall deliver one-half thereof or its
a. Determination proceeds to the church or denomination to which the
Art. 1034. In order to judge the capacity of the heir, testator may belong, to be used for such prayers and
devisee or legatee, his qualification at the time of the pious works, and the other half to the State, for the
death of the decedent shall be the criterion. purposes mentioned in Article 1013. (747a)
In cases falling under Nos. 2, 3, or 5 of Article 1032, Art. 1030. Testamentary provisions in favor of the
it shall be necessary to wait until final judgment is poor in general, without designation of particular
rendered, and in the case falling under No. 4, the persons or of any community, shall be deemed
expiration of the month allowed for the report. limited to the poor living in the domicile of the
If the institution, devise or legacy should be testator at the time of his death, unless it should
conditional, the time of the compliance with the clearly appear that his intention was otherwise.
condition shall also be considered The designation of the persons who are to be
Art. 1039. Capacity to succeed is governed by the considered as poor and the distribution of the
law of the nation of the decedent. property shall be made by the person appointed by
the testator for the purpose; in default of such person,

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

by the executor, and should there be no executor, by (2) Any person who has been convicted of an attempt
the justice of the peace, the mayor, and the municipal against the life of the testator, his or her spouse,
treasurer, who shall decide by a majority of votes all descendants, or ascendants;
questions that may arise. In all these cases, the (3) Any person who has accused the testator of a
approval of the Court of First Instance shall be crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment for
necessary. six years or more, if the accusation has been found
The preceding paragraph shall apply when the groundless;
testator has disposed of his property in favor of the (4) Any heir of full age who, having knowledge of
poor of a definite locality. the violent death of the testator, should fail to report
c. Who are incapable of succeeding? it to an officer of the law within a month, unless the
Art. 1025. In order to be capacitated to inherit, the authorities have already taken action; this prohibition
heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment shall not apply to cases wherein, according to law,
the succession opens, except in case of there is no obligation to make an accusation;
representation, when it is proper. (5) Any person convicted of adultery or concubinage
A child already conceived at the time of the death of with the spouse of the testator;
the decedent is capable of succeeding provided it be (6) Any person who by fraud, violence, intimidation,
born later under the conditions prescribed in article or undue influence should cause the testator to make
41. a will or to change one already made;
Art. 1027. The following are incapable of (7) Any person who by the same means prevents
succeeding: another from making a will, or from revoking one
(1) The priest who heard the confession of the already made, or who supplants, conceals, or alters
testator during his last illness, or the minister of the the latter's will;
gospel who extended spiritual aid to him during the (8) Any person who falsifies or forges a supposed
same period; will of the decedent. (756, 673, 674a)
(2) The relatives of such priest or minister of the Art. 1033. The cause of unworthiness shall be
gospel within the fourth degree, the church, order, without effect if the testator had knowledge thereof at
chapter, community, organization, or institution to the time he made the will, or if, having known of
which such priest or minister may belong; them subsequently, he should condone them in
(3) A guardian with respect to testamentary writing.
dispositions given by a ward in his favor before the Art. 990. The hereditary rights granted by the two
final accounts of the guardianship have been preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be
approved, even if the testator should die after the transmitted upon their death to their descendants,
approval thereof; nevertheless, any provision made who shall inherit by right of representation from their
by the ward in favor of the guardian when the latter is deceased grandparent. (941a)
his ascendant, descendant, brother, sister, or spouse, Art. 991. If legitimate ascendants are left, the
shall be valid; illegitimate children shall divide the inheritance with
(4) Any attesting witness to the execution of a will, them, taking one-half of the estate, whatever be the
the spouse, parents, or children, or any one claiming number of the ascendants or of the illegitimate
under such witness, spouse, parents, or children; children. (942-841a)
(5) Any physician, surgeon, nurse, health officer or Art. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit
druggist who took care of the testator during his last abintestato from the legitimate children and relatives
illness; of his father or mother; nor shall such children or
(6) Individuals, associations and corporations not relatives inherit in the same manner from the
permitted by law to inherit. illegitimate child.
Art. 1028. The prohibitions mentioned in article 739, d. Effect of alienations by the excluded heir
concerning donations inter vivos shall apply to Art. 1036. Alienations of hereditary property, and
testamentary provisions. acts of administration performed by the excluded
Art. 1031. A testamentary provision in favor of a heir, before the judicial order of exclusion, are valid
disqualified person, even though made under the as to the third persons who acted in good faith; but
guise of an onerous contract, or made through an the co-heirs shall have a right to recover damages
intermediary, shall be void. (755) from the disqualified heir.
Art. 1032. The following are incapable of succeeding e. Rights of the excluded heir
by reason of unworthiness: Art. 1035. If the person excluded from the
(1) Parents who have abandoned their children or inheritance by reason of incapacity should be a child
induced their daughters to lead a corrupt or immoral or descendant of the decedent and should have
life, or attempted against their virtue;

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children or descendants, the latter shall acquire his benefit or interest of a person is not sufficient. The
right to the legitime. contracting parties must have clearly and deliberately
The person so excluded shall not enjoy the usufruct conferred a favor upon a third person.
and administration of the property thus inherited by Art. 1429. When a testate or intestate heir voluntarily
his children. pays a debt of the decedent exceeding the value of
Article 1037. The unworthy heir who is excluded the property which he received by will or by the law
from the succession has a right to demand indemnity of intestacy from the estate of the deceased, the
or any expenses incurred in the preservation of the payment is valid and cannot be rescinded by the
hereditary property, and to enforce such credits as he payer.
may have against the estate. (n) Art. 1178. Subject to the laws, all rights acquired in
virtue of an obligation are transmissible, if there has
Art. 1014. If a person legally entitled to the estate of been no stipulation to the contrary.
the deceased appears and files a claim thereto with Art. 1347. All things which are not outside the
the court within five years from the date the property commerce of men, including future things, may be
was delivered to the State, such person shall be the object of a contract. All rights which are not
entitled to the possession of the same, or if sold the intransmissible may also be the object of contracts.
municipality or city shall be accountable to him for No contract may be entered into upon future
such part of the proceeds as may not have been inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by
lawfully spent. law.
All services which are not contrary to law, morals,
f. Liabilities of the excluded heir good customs, public order or public policy may
Art. 1038. Any person incapable of succession, who, likewise be the object of a contract.
disregarding the prohibition stated in the preceding (Revised Penal Code) Art. 108. Obligation to make
articles, entered into the possession of the hereditary restoration, reparation for damages, or
property, shall be obliged to return it together it its indemnification for consequential damages and
accessions. actions to demand the same; Upon whom it devolves.
He shall be liable for all the fruits and rents he may The obligation to make restoration or reparation
have received, or could have received through the for damages and indemnification for consequential
exercise of due diligence. damages devolves upon the heirs of the person liable.
g. Prescription of Action The action to demand restoration, reparation, and
Art. 1040. The action for a declaration of incapacity indemnification likewise descends to the heirs of the
and for the recovery of the inheritance, devise or person injured.
legacy shall be brought within five years from the Reyes v. CA, S.C. L-5620 July 31, 1954
time the disqualified person took possession thereof. - If the contract is void, the property still
It may be brought by anyone who may have an forms part of the inheritance in order not to
interest in the succession. prejudice the heir.
E. Object of Succession - The natural children of the deceased in this
Art. 776. The inheritance includes all the property, case are questioning the intrinsic validity of
rights and obligations of a person which are not the will on the ground that his compulsory
extinguished by his death. heir cannot be one, as theirs was an illicit
Art. 781. The inheritance of a person includes not relationship. SC held that as a general rule,
only the property and the transmissible rights and courts in probate proceedings are limited to
obligations existing at the time of his death, but also pass only upon the extrinsic validity of the
those which have accrued thereto since the opening will sought to be probated. There are,
of the succession. however, notable circumstances wherein the
Art. 1311. Contracts take effect only between the intrinsic validity was first determined as
parties, their assigns and heirs, except in case where when the defect of the will is apparent on its
the rights and obligations arising from the contract face and the probate of the will may become
are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation a useless ceremony if it is intrinsically
or by provision of law. The heir is not liable beyond invalid. The intrinsic validity of a will may
the value of the property he received from the be passed upon because practical
decedent. considerations demanded it as when there
If a contract should contain some stipulation in favor is preterition of heirs or the testamentary
of a third person, he may demand its fulfillment provisions are doubtful legality. In this case
provided he communicated his acceptance to the however, there was never an open admission
obligor before its revocation. A mere incidental

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of any illicit relationship. Thus, there was no No contract may be entered into upon future
need to go beyond the face of the will. inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by
law.
Guinto v. Medina, 50 O.G. # 1, p. 199, Oct. 7, 1953. All services which are not contrary to law, morals,
- SC held that the heirs of a defendant in a good customs, public order or public policy may
civil action is liable for damages for such likewise be the object of a contract.
action survives despite the defendants Art. 1461. Things having a potential existence may
death. be the object of the contract of sale.
- As they are merely substituted in place of The efficacy of the sale of a mere hope or expectancy
Santiago Medina upon his death, their is deemed subject to the condition that the thing will
liability is only up to the extent of the value come into existence.
of the property, which they might have The sale of a vain hope or expectancy is void.
received from the original defendant, Art. 130. The future spouses may give each other in
Santiago Medina. their marriage settlements as much as one-fifth of
their present property, and with respect to their future
F. Opening of Succession property, only in the event of death, to the extent laid
Art. 777. The rights to the succession are transmitted down by the provisions of this Code referring to
from the moment of the death of the decedent. testamentary succession.
Art. 2263. Rights to the inheritance of a person who Art. 132. A donation by reason of marriage is not
died, with or without a will, before the effectivity of revocable, save in the following cases:
this Code, shall be governed by the Civil Code of (1) If it is conditional and the condition is not
1889, by other previous laws, and by the Rules of complied with;
Court. The inheritance of those who, with or without (2) If the marriage is not celebrated;
a will, die after the beginning of the effectivity of this (3) When the marriage takes place without the
Code, shall be adjudicated and distributed in consent of the parents or guardian, as required by
accordance with this new body of laws and by the law;
Rules of Court; but the testamentary provisions shall (4) When the marriage is annulled, and the donee
be carried out insofar as they may be permitted by acted in bad faith;
this Code. Therefore, legitimes, betterments, legacies (5) Upon legal separation, the donee being the guilty
and bequests shall be respected; however, their spouse;
amount shall be reduced if in no other manner can (6) When the donee has committed an act of
every compulsory heir be given his full share ingratitude as specified by the provisions of this Code
according to this Code. on donations in general.
Art. 2253. The Civil Code of 1889 and other previous Art. 390. After an absence of seven years, it being
laws shall govern rights originating, under said laws, unknown whether or not the absentee still lives, he
from acts done or events which took place under their shall be presumed dead for all purposes, except for
regime, even though this Code may regulate them in those of succession.
a different manner, or may not recognize them. But if The absentee shall not be presumed dead for the
a right should be declared for the first time in this purpose of opening his succession till after an
Code, it shall be effective at once, even though the absence of ten years. If he disappeared after the age
act or event which gives rise thereto may have been of seventy-five years, an absence of five years shall
done or may have occurred under prior legislation, be sufficient in order that his succession may be
provided said new right does not prejudice or impair opened.
any vested or acquired right, of the same origin. Art. 391. The following shall be presumed dead for
Art. 533. The possession of hereditary property is all purposes, including the division of the estate
deemed transmitted to the heir without interruption among the heirs:
and from the moment of the death of the decedent, in (1) A person on board a vessel lost during a sea
case the inheritance is accepted. voyage, or an aeroplane which is missing, who has
One who validly renounces an inheritance is deemed not been heard of for four years since the loss of the
never to have possessed the same. vessel or aeroplane;
Art. 1347. All things which are not outside the (2) A person in the armed forces who has taken part
commerce of men, including future things, may be in war, and has been missing for four years;
the object of a contract. All rights which are not (3) A person who has been in danger of death under
intransmissible may also be the object of contracts. other circumstances and his existence has not been
known for four years.

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(Family Code) Art. 84. If the future spouses agree Art. 1043. No person may accept or repudiate an
upon a regime other than the absolute community of inheritance unless he is certain of the death of the
property, they cannot donate to each other in their person from whom he is to inherit, and of his right to
marriage settlements more than one-fifth of their the inheritance. (991)
present property. Any excess shall be considered
void. Art. 1044. Any person having the free disposal of his
Donations of future property shall be governed by the property may accept or repudiate an inheritance.
provisions on testamentary succession and the Any inheritance left to minors or incapacitated
formalities of wills. persons may be accepted by their parents or
(Family Code) Art. 86. A donation by reason of guardians. Parents or guardians may repudiate the
marriage may be revoked by the donor in the inheritance left to their wards only by judicial
following cases: authorization.
(1) If the marriage is not celebrated or judicially The right to accept an inheritance left to the poor
declared void ab initio except donations made in the shall belong to the persons designated by the testator
marriage settlements, which shall be governed by to determine the beneficiaries and distribute the
Article 81; property, or in their default, to those mentioned in
(2) When the marriage takes place without the Article 1030. (992a)
consent of the parents or guardian, as required by Art. 1045. The lawful representatives of corporations,
law; associations, institutions and entities qualified to
(3) When the marriage is annulled, and the donee acquire property may accept any inheritance left to
acted in bad faith; the latter, but in order to repudiate it, the approval of
(4) Upon legal separation, the donee being the guilty the court shall be necessary.(993a)
spouse; Art. 1046. Public official establishments can neither
(5) If it is with a resolutory condition and the accept nor repudiate an inheritance without the
condition is complied with; approval of the government. (994)
(6) When the donee has committed an act of Art. 1047. A married woman of age may repudiate an
ingratitude as specified by the provisions of the Civil inheritance without the consent of her
Code on donations in general. husband. (995a)
Requisites for the transmission of Successional Art. 1048. Deaf-mutes who can read and write may
Rights accept or repudiate the inheritance personally or
1. Express will of the testator or provision of through an agent. Should they not be able to read and
law write, the inheritance shall be accepted by their
2. Death of the person whose property is the guardians. These guardians may repudiate the same
subject of succession with judicial approval. (996a)
Art. 43. If there is a doubt, as between two or Art. 1049. Acceptance may be express or tacit.
more persons who are called to succeed each An express acceptance must be made in a public or
other, as to which of them died first, whoever private document.
alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall A tacit acceptance is one resulting from acts by
prove the same; in the absence of proof, it is which the intention to accept is necessarily implied,
presumed that they died at the same time and or which one would have no right to do except in the
there shall be no transmission of rights from one capacity of an heir.
to the other. Acts of mere preservation or provisional
Survivorship Rule: administration do not imply an acceptance of the
Rule 131, Sec.3(ii)That a trustee or other person inheritance if, through such acts, the title or capacity
whose duty it was to convey real property to a of an heir has not been assumed. (999a)
particular person has actually conveyed it to him Art. 1050. An inheritance is deemed accepted:
when such presumption is necessary to perfect (1) If the heirs sells, donates, or assigns his
the title of such person or his successor in right to a stranger, or to his co-heirs, or to
interest any of them;
3. Acceptance of the inheritance (2) If the heir renounces the same, even
Art. 1041. The acceptance or repudiation of the though gratuitously, for the benefit of one or
inheritance is an act which is purely voluntary and more of his co-heirs;
free. (988) (3) If he renounces it for a price in favor of
Art. 1042. The effects of the acceptance or all his co-heirs indiscriminately; but if this
repudiation shall always retroact to the moment of renunciation should be gratuitous, and the
the death of the decedent. (989) co-heirs in whose favor it is made are those

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

upon whom the portion renounced should does not prejudice or impair any vested or
devolve by virtue of accretion, the acquired right, of the same origin." The right
inheritance shall not be deemed as of ownership of Uson became vested in
accepted. (1000) 1945 upon the death of her husband this is
Art. 1051. The repudiation of an inheritance shall be so because of Art. 777. The new right
made in a public or authentic instrument, or by recognized under the NCC in favor of
petition presented to the court having jurisdiction illegitimate children of the deceased cannot
over the testamentary or intestate proceedings. (1008) be asserted to the impairment of the vested
Art. 1052. If the heir repudiates the inheritance to the right of Uson over the lands.
prejudice of his own creditors, the latter may petition
the court to authorize them to accept it in the name of De Borja v. De Borja, 46 SCRA 577
the heir. - The claim of the defendants that Maria
The acceptance shall benefit the creditors only to an Uson (legal wife) has relinquished her right
extent sufficient to cover the amount of their credits. over the lands in question because she
The excess, should there be any, shall in no case expressly renounced to inherit any future
pertain to the renouncer, but shall be adjudicated to property that her husband may acquire and
the persons to whom, in accordance with the rules leave upon his death in the deed of
established in this Code, it may belong. (1001) separation they had entered into cannot be
Art. 1053. If the heir should die without having entertained for the simple reason that future
accepted or repudiated the inheritance his right shall inheritance cannot be the object of a contract
be transmitted to his heirs. (1006) nor can it be renounced.
Art. 1054. Should there be several heirs called to the
inheritance, some of them may accept and the others
may repudiate it. (1007a) Bonilla v. Barcena, 71 SCRA 491
Art. 1055. If a person, who is called to the same - From the moment of the death of the
inheritance as an heir by will and ab intestato, decedent, the heirs become the absolute
repudiates the inheritance in his capacity as a owners of his property, subject to the rights
testamentary heir, he is understood to have and obligations of the decedent, and they
repudiated it in both capacities. cannot be deprived of their rights thereto
Should he repudiate it as an intestate heir, without except by the methods provided for by law.
knowledge of his being a testamentary heir, he may The moment of death is the determining
still accept it in the latter capacity. (1009) factor when the heirs acquire a definite right
Art. 1056. The acceptance or repudiation of an to the inheritance whether such right be pure
inheritance, once made, is irrevocable, and cannot be or contingent. The right of the heirs to the
impugned, except when it was made through any of property of the deceased vests in them even
the causes that vitiate consent, or when an unknown before judicial declaration of their being
will appears. (997) heirs in the testate or intestate proceedings.
Art. 1057. Within thirty days after the court has - The question as to whether an action
issued an order for the distribution of the estate in survives or not depends on the nature of the
accordance with the Rules of Court, the heirs, action and the damage sued for. In the
devisees and legatees shall signify to the court having causes of action which survive, the wrong
jurisdiction whether they accept or repudiate the complained [of] affects primarily and
inheritance. principally property and property rights, the
If they do not do so within that time, they are deemed injuries to the person being merely
to have accepted the inheritance. (n) incidental, while in the causes of action
Uson v. Del Rosario, 92 Phil. 530 which do not survive, the injury complained
- Rights recognized for the first time in the of is to the person, the property and rights of
NCC shall be given retroactive effect subject property affected being incidental.
to the exception when an acquired or vested
right shall be impaired. Cruz v. Cruz, G.R. No. 173292, September 1, 2010
- Article 2253 provides that "if a right should - A Petition for Declaration of Nullity of
be declared for the first time in this Code, it Deed of Sale of Real Property is one relating
shall be effective at once, even though the to property and property rights, and
act or event which gives rise thereto may therefore, survives the death of the
have been done or may have occurred under petitioner.
the prior legislation, provided said new right

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

Bough v. Modesto, Jan 28, 1954, 94 Phil. (1) If a person dies without a will, or with a void will,
- The contract is valid. It is well settled or one which has subsequently lost its validity;
that rights by inheritance are acquired and (2) When the will does not institute an heir to, or
transmitted upon the death of the decedent. dispose of all the property belonging to the testator.
If this is so, it must necessarily follow that it In such case, legal succession shall take place only
is perfectly legal for an heir to enter into a with respect to the property of which the testator has
contract of the nature of the document not disposed;
(Modesto agreed that he would share with (3) If the suspensive condition attached to the
Restituto whatever property he might inherit institution of heir does not happen or is not fulfilled,
from his deceased wife) in this case, the or if the heir dies before the testator, or repudiates the
understanding to be, of course, that the inheritance, there being no substitution, and no right
contract would be effective only if and when of accretion takes place;
he is really declared an heir and only as (4) When the heir instituted is incapable of
regards any property that might be succeeding, except in cases provided in this Code.
adjudicated to him as such. 3. Mixed
Art. 780. Mixed succession is that effected partly by
Borromeo-Herrera v. Borromeo, 152 SCRA 171 will and partly byoperation of law.
- The heirs could waive their hereditary 4. Contractual
rights in 1967 even if the order to partition Art. 130. The future spouses may give each other in
the estate was issued only in 1969. The their marriage settlements as much as one-fifth of
prevailing jurisprudence on waiver of their present property, and with respect to their future
hereditary rights is that "the properties property, only in the event of death, to the extent laid
included in an existing inheritance cannot be down by the provisions of this Code referring to
considered as belonging to third persons testamentary succession.
with respect to the heirs, who by fiction of Art. 1347. All things which are not outside the
law continue the personality of the former. commerce of men, including future things, may be
Nor do such properties have the character of the object of a contract. All rights which are not
future property, because the heirs acquire a intransmissible may also be the object of contracts.
right to succession from the moment of the No contract may be entered into upon future
death of the deceased. inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by
- For a waiver to exist, three elements are law.
essential: (1) the existence of a right; (2) the All services which are not contrary to law, morals,
knowledge of the existence thereof; and (3) good customs, public order or public policy may
an intention to relinquish such right. The likewise be the object of a contract.
intention to waive a right or advantage must Art. 752. The provisions of Article 750
be shown clearly and convincingly. The notwithstanding, no person may give or receive, by
circumstances of this case show that the way of donation, more than he may give or receive
signatories to the waiver document did not by will.
have the clear and convincing intention to The donation shall be inofficious in all that it may
relinquish their rights, in fact on a later date, exceed this limitation.
an agreement to partition was signed by the (Family Code) Art. 84. If the future spouses agree
heirs and was approved by the trial court. upon a regime other than the absolute community of
property, they cannot donate to each other in their
marriage settlements more than one-fifth of their
G. Kinds of Succession present property. Any excess shall be considered
Art. 778. Succession may be: void.
(1) Testamentary; Donations of future property shall be governed by the
(2) Legal or intestate; or provisions on testamentary succession and the
(3) Mixed. formalities of wills.
5. Compulsory
1. Testamentary
Art. 779. Testamentary succession is that which TESTAMENTARY SUCCESSION
results from the designation of an heir, made in a will
executed in the form prescribed by law II. WILLS
2. Legal or Intestate
Art. 960. Legal or intestate succession takes place: A. Definition.

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

Article 783. A will is an act whereby a person is Article 786. The testator may entrust to a third person
permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to the distribution of specific property or sums of
control to a certain degree the disposition of this money that he may leave in general to specified
estate, to take effect after his death. (667a) classes or causes, and also the designation of the
persons, institutions or establishments to which such
B. Characteristics property or sums are to be given or applied. (671a)
Article 783. A will is an act whereby a person is
permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to Article 787. The testator may not make a
control to a certain degree the disposition of this testamentary disposition in such manner that another
estate, to take effect after his death. (667a) person has to determine whether or not it is to be
operative. (n)
Article 839. The will shall be disallowed in any of the
following cases:
xx C. Interpretation of Wills
xx
(3) If it was executed through force or under duress, Article 788. If a testamentary disposition admits of
or the influence of fear, or threats; different interpretations, in case of doubt, that
(4) If it was procured by undue and improper interpretation by which the disposition is to be
pressure and influence, on the part of the beneficiary operative shall be preferred. (n)
or of some other person;
Article 828. A will may be revoked by the testator at Article 789. When there is an imperfect description,
any time before his death. Any waiver or restriction or when no person or property exactly answers the
of this right is void. (737a) description, mistakes and omissions must be
corrected, if the error appears from the context of the
Article 796. All persons who are not expressly will or from extrinsic evidence, excluding the oral
prohibited by law may make a will. (662) declarations of the testator as to his intention; and
when an uncertainty arises upon the face of the will,
Article 797. Persons of either sex under eighteen as to the application of any of its provisions, the
years of age cannot make a will. (n) testator's intention is to be ascertained from the words
of the will, taking into consideration the
Article 798. In order to make a will it is essential that circumstances under which it was made, excluding
the testator be of sound mind at the time of its such oral declarations. (n)
execution. (n)
Article 790. The words of a will are to be taken in
Article 777. The rights to the succession are their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear
transmitted from the moment of the death of the intention to use them in another sense can be
decedent. (657a) gathered, and that other can be ascertained.
Technical words in a will are to be taken in their
Article 818. Two or more persons cannot make a will technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a
jointly, or in the same instrument, either for their contrary intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears
reciprocal benefit or for the benefit of a third person. that the will was drawn solely by the testator, and that
(669) he was unacquainted with such technical sense.
(675a)
Article 784. The making of a will is a strictly
personal act; it cannot be left in whole or in part to Article 791. The words of a will are to receive an
the discretion of a third person, or accomplished interpretation which will give to every expression
through the instrumentality of an agent or attorney. some effect, rather than one which will render any of
(670a) the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of
interpreting a will, that is to be preferred which will
Article 785. The duration or efficacy of the prevent intestacy. (n)
designation of heirs, devisees or legatees, or the
determination of the portions which they are to take, Article 792. The invalidity of one of several
when referred to by name, cannot be left to the dispositions contained in a will does not result in the
discretion of a third person. (670a) invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is to be
presumed that the testator would not have made such

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

other dispositions if the first invalid disposition had Article 800. The law presumes that every person is of
not been made. (n) sound mind, in the absence of proof to the contrary.
The burden of proof that the testator was not of sound
Article 793. Property acquired after the making of a mind at the time of making his dispositions is on the
will shall only pass thereby, as if the testator had person who opposes the probate of the will; but if the
possessed it at the time of making the will, should it testator, one month, or less, before making his will
expressly appear by the will that such was his was publicly known to be insane, the person who
intention. (n) maintains the validity of the will must prove that the
testator made it during a lucid interval. (n)
Article 794. Every devise or legacy shall cover all the Article 801. Supervening incapacity does not
interest which the testator could device or bequeath invalidate an effective will, nor is the will of an
in the property disposed of, unless it clearly appears incapable validated by the supervening of capacity.
from the will that he intended to convey a less (n)
interest. (n) Article 802. A married woman may make a will
without the consent of her husband, and without the
Article 930. The legacy or devise of a thing authority of the court. (n)
belonging to another person is void, if the testator Article 803. A married woman may dispose by will
erroneously believed that the thing pertained to him. of all her separate property as well as her share of the
But if the thing bequeathed, though not belonging to conjugal partnership or absolute community property.
the testator when he made the will, afterwards (n)
becomes his, by whatever title, the disposition shall B. Supervening incapacity
take effect. (862a) Article 801. Supervening incapacity does not
invalidate an effective will, nor is the will of an
Solla v. Ascuenta, 49 Phil. 333 incapable validated by the supervening of capacity.
Where the testator's intention is manifest from the (n)
context of the will and surrounding circumstances,
but is obscured by inapt and inaccurate modes of
expression, the language will be subordinated to the Baltazar v. Laxa, G.R. No. 174489, April 11, 2012
intention, and in order to give effect to such intention, - The burden of proving the testators
as far as possible, the court may depart from the strict incapacity lies on those who assail the
wording and read word or phrase in a sense different validity of his will. It must be proven with
from that which is ordinarily attributed to it, and for clear and convincing evidence and not just
such purpose may mould or change the language of bare allegation of forgetfulness.
the will. such as restricting its application or
supplying omitted words or phrases. IV. SOLEMNITIES OF WILLS
A. Kinds of Wills. Arts. 804, 810

TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY AND INTENT Article 804. Every will must be in writing and
A. Who may make a will? executed in a language or dialect known to the
Article 796. All persons who are not expressly testator. (n)
prohibited by law may make a will. (662)
Article 797. Persons of either sex under eighteen Article 810. A person may execute a holographic will
years of age cannot make a will. (n) which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by
Article 798. In order to make a will it is essential that the hand of the testator
the testator be of sound mind at the time of its himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be
execution. (n) made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be
Article 799. To be of sound mind, it is not necessary witnessed. (678, 688a)
that the testator be in full possession of all his
reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly B. Notarial Wills
unbroken, unimpaired, or unshattered by disease,
injury or other cause. 1. General requirements.
It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the Article 804. Every will must be in writing and
time of making the will to know the nature of the executed in a language or dialect known to the
estate to be disposed of, the proper objects of his testator. (n)
bounty, and the character of the testamentary act. (n) Suroza v. Honrado, 110 SCRA 388

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

- A will written in a language not known to the other person in his presence and by his
testator is void. It runs contrary to the mandatory express direction.
provision of Article 804 of the Civil Code that every - The present law, Article 805 of the Civil
will must be executed in a language or dialect known Code, in part provides as follows: Every
to the testator. will, other than a holographic will, must be
- In the opening paragraph of the will, it was stated subscribed at the end thereof by the testator
that English was a language understood and known himself or by the testator's name written by
to the testatrix. But in its concluding paragraph, it some other person in his presence, and by
was stated that the will was read to the testatrix and his express direction, and attested and
translated into Filipino language. subscribed by three or more credible witness
in the presence of the testator and of one
another.
2. Specific requirements. - Note that the old law as well as the new
Article 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, requires that the testator himself sign the
must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator will, or if he cannot do so, the testator's
himself or by the testator's name written by some name must be written by some other person
other person in his presence, and by his express in his presence and by his express direction.
direction, and attested and subscribed by three or
more credible witnesses in the presence of the Nera v. Rimando, 18 Phil. 450
testator and of one another. - The true test of presence of the testator and
The testator or the person requested by him to write the witnesses in the execution of a will is not
his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will, whether they actually saw each other sign,
shall also sign, as aforesaid, each and every page but whether they might have been seen each
thereof, except the last, on the left margin, and all the other sign, had they chosen to do so,
pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters considering their mental and physical
placed on the upper part of each page. condition and position with relation to each
The attestation shall state the number of pages used other at the moment of inscription of each
upon which the will is written, and the fact that the signature. The position of the parties with
testator signed the will and every page thereof, or relation to each other at the moment of the
caused some other person to write his name, under subscription of each signature, must be such
his express direction, in the presence of the that they may see each other sign if they
instrumental witnesses, and that the latter witnessed choose to do so.
and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the
presence of the testator and of one another. Taboada v. Rosal, 118 SCRA 195
If the attestation clause is in a language not known to - When the testator signs at the left hand
the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them. (n) margin of the last page instead of the
Article 806. Every will must be acknowledged before attestation clause, it is considered an
a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. The unsubstantial defect which must be ignored
notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of in order to fulfill the wishes of the decedent.
the will, or file another with the office of the Clerk of
Court.(n) Defects:
1. No indication of total number of pages =
Garcia v. Lacuesta, 90 Phil. 489 disposition stated total number of pages;
- An attestation clause must state that 2. Signature of testatrix at the left hand
another person wrote the testators name margin and not at the end = it is an
under the latters express direction. unsubstantial defect which may be ignored.
- A cross cannot be taken as the signature
of the testator absent proof unless it is his
usual signature. Echavez v. Dozen Construction, G.R. No.
- The cross was not proven to be the 192916, October 11, 2010
signature of the testator. - An acknowledgment is made by one
executing a deed, declaring before a
Balonan v. Abellana, 109 Phil. 358 competent officer or court that the deed or
- The law requires that the testator himself act is his own. On the other hand, the
sign the will, or if he cannot do so, the attestation of a will refers to the act of the
testator's name must be written by some instrumental witnesses themselves who

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

certify to the execution of the instrument single witness over whose conduct she had
before them and to the manner of its no control, where the purpose of the law to
execution. guarantee the identity of the testament and
- An attestation must state all the details its component pages is sufficiently attained,
the third paragraph of Article 805 requires. no intentional or deliberate deviation
In the absence of the required avowal by the existed, and the evidence on record attests to
witnesses themselves, no attestation clause the full observance of the statutory
can be deemed embodied in the requisites. The prevailing policy is to require
Acknowledgement of the Deed of Donation satisfaction of the legal requirements in
Mortis Causa. order to guard against fraud and bad faith
but without undue or unnecessary
In re Enrique Lopez. Lopez v. Lopez, G.R. curtailment of testamentary privilege.
No. 189984, November 12, 2012 - The law should not be so strictly and
- The law is clear that the attestation must literally interpreted as to penalize the
state the number of pages used upon which testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a
the will is written. The purpose of the law is single witness over whose conduct she had
to safeguard against possible interpolation or no control, where the purpose of the law to
omission of one or some of its pages and guarantee the identity of the testament and
prevent any increase or decrease in the its component pages is sufficiently attained,
pages. It held that while Article 809 of the no intentional or deliberate deviation
same Code requires mere substantial existed, and the evidence on record attests to
compliance of the form in Article 805, the the full observance of the statutory
rule only applies if the number of pages is requisites. The prevailing policy is to require
reflected somewhere else in the will with no satisfaction of the legal requirements in
evidence aliunde or extrinsic evidence order to guard against fraud and bad faith
required. While the acknowledgment portion but without undue or unnecessary
stated that the will consists of 7 pages curtailment of testamentary privilege.
including the page on which the ratification
and acknowledgment are written, the RTC Cruz v. Villasor, 54 SCRA, 31
observed that it has 8 pages including the - The notary public before whom the will
acknowledgment portion. As such, it was acknowledged cannot be considered as
disallowed the will for not having been the third instrumental witness since he
executed and attested in accordance with cannot acknowledge before himself his
law. having signed the will.

Icasiano v. Icasiano, 11 SCRA 422 Gabucan v. Manta, 95 SCRA 752


- The prevailing policy is to require - If the will bears no required
satisfaction of the legal requirements in documentary stamp, the court should not
order to guard against fraud and bad faith dismiss the probation of a will but rather
but without undue or unnecessary require the petitioner to affix the required
curtailment of testamentary privilege. documentary stamp to the notarial
- The inadvertent failure of one witness acknowledgment of the will.
to affix his signature to one page of a
testament, due to the simultaneous lifting of Javellana v. Ledesma, 97 Phil. 258
two pages in the course of signing, is not per - The New Civil Code does not require
se sufficient to justify denial of probate. that the signing of the testator, witnesses and
Impossibility of substitution of this page is the notary be accomplished in one single act.
assured not only the fact that the testatrix All that is required is that every will must be
and two other witnesses did sign the acknowledged before a notary public by the
defective page, but also by its bearing the testator and witnesses.
coincident imprint of the seal of the notary
public before whom the testament was
ratified by testatrix and all three witnesses.
- The law should not be so strictly and Witnesses to a will
literally interpreted as to penalize the a. Who are competent?
testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

Article 820. Any person of sound mind and of the age accordance with his wishes. The aim of the
of eighteen years or more, and not blind, deaf or law is to ensure that the dispositions of the
dumb, and able to read and write, may be a witness to will are properly communicated to and
the execution of a will mentioned in article 805 of understood by the handicapped testator,
this Code. (n) thus, making them truly reflective of his
Article 821. The following are disqualified from desire.
being witnesses to a will:
(1) Any person not domiciled in the Philippines; 4. Substantial Compliance.
(2) Those who have been convicted of falsification of Article 809. In the absence of bad faith, forgery, or
a document, perjury or false testimony. (n) fraud, or undue and improper pressure and influence,
Article 824. A mere charge on the estate of the defects and imperfections in the form of attestation or
testator for the payment of debts due at the time of in the language used therein shall not render the will
the testator's death does not prevent his creditors invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact
from being competent witnesses to his will. (n) executed and attested in substantial compliance with
b. Supervening incompetency. all the requirements of article 805. (n)

Article 822. If the witnesses attesting the execution of C. Holographic Wills


a will are competent at the time of attesting, their 1. General requirements.
becoming subsequently incompetent shall not prevent Article 804. Every will must be in writing and
the allowance of the will. (n) executed in a language or dialect known to the
testator. (n)
2. Specific requirements.
c. Competency of interested witness. Article 810. A person may execute a holographic will
which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by
Article 823. If a person attests the execution of a will, the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no
to whom or to whose spouse, or parent, or child, a other form, and may be made in or out of the
devise or legacy is given by such will, such devise or Philippines, and need not be witnessed. (678, 688a)
legacy shall, so far only as concerns such person, or
spouse, or parent, or child of such person, or any one Article 812. In holographic wills, the dispositions of
claiming under such person or spouse, or parent, or the testator written below his signature must be dated
child, be void, unless there are three other competent and signed by him in order to make them valid as
witnesses to such will. However, such person so testamentary dispositions. (n)
attesting shall be admitted as a witness as if such
devise or legacy had not been made or given. (n) Article 813. When a number of dispositions
3. Special Requirements for deaf, deaf-mute appearing in a holographic will are signed without
& blind testators. being dated, and the last disposition has a signature
Article 807. If the testator be deaf, or a deaf-mute, he and a date, such date validates the dispositions
must personally read the will, if able to do so; preceding it, whatever be the time of prior
otherwise, he shall designate two persons to read it dispositions. (n)
and communicate to him, in some practicable
manner, the contents thereof. (n) Roxas v. De Jesus, 134 SCRA 245
Article 808. If the testator is blind, the will shall be - A date containing the month and year,
read to him twice; once, by one of the subscribing without indicating the specific day, is valid
witnesses, and again, by the notary public before compliance with art 810 (holographic will
whom the will is acknowledged. (n) must be dated) there being no appearance of
Garcia v. Vasquez, 32 SCRA 489 fraud, bad faith, undue influence and
- Art. 808 of the NCC provides that: if the pressure.
testator is blind, the will shall be read to him
twice; once by one of the subscribing Kalaw v. Relova, 132 SCRA 237
witnesses, and again by the notary public - As a general rule only parts which are under
before whom the will is acknowledged. erasures, corrections, and interlineations
The rationale behind the requirement of made by the testator in a holographic will
reading the will to the testator if he is blind litem not been noted under his signature
or incapable of reading is to make the shall be deemed void, HOWEVER if those
provisions thereof known to him, so that he particular words are erased or corrected if
may able to object if they are not in made void would not leave the will with

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

anything to stand on, is shall be void as a B. When may revocation be


whole. effected.
Article 828. A will may be revoked by the testator at
V. INCORPORATION OF DOCUMENT BY any time before his death. Any waiver or restriction
REFERENCE. of this right is void. (737a)
Article 827. If a will, executed as required by this C. Law governing revocation.
Code, incorporates into itself by reference any Article 829. A revocation done outside the
document or paper, such document or paper shall not Philippines, by a person who does not have his
be considered a part of the will unless the following domicile in this country, is valid when it is done
requisites are present: according to the law of the place where the will was
(1) The document or paper referred to in the will made, or according to the law of the place in which
must be in existence at the time of the execution of the testator had his domicile at the time; and if the
the will; revocation takes place in this country, when it is in
(2) The will must clearly describe and identify the accordance with the provisions of this Code. (n)
same, stating among other things the number of pages D. Modes of revocation.
thereof; Article 830. No will shall be revoked except in the
(3) It must be identified by clear and satisfactory following cases:
proof as the document or paper referred to therein; (1) By implication of law; or
and (2) By some will, codicil, or other writing executed
(4) It must be signed by the testator and the witnesses as provided in case of wills; or
on each and every page, except in case of voluminous (3) By burning, tearing, cancelling, or obliterating the
books of account or inventories. (n) will with the intention of revoking it, by the testator
himself, or by some other person in his presence, and
VI. CODICILS by his express direction. If burned, torn, cancelled, or
A. Definition. Art. 825, 830 obliterated by some other person, without the express
Article 825. A codicil is supplement or addition to a direction of the testator, the will may still be
will, made after the execution of a will and annexed established, and the estate distributed in accordance
to be taken as a part thereof, by which disposition therewith, if its contents, and due execution, and the
made in the original will is explained, added to, or fact of its unauthorized destruction, cancellation, or
altered. (n) obliteration are established according to the Rules of
Article 830. No will shall be revoked except in the Court. (n)
following cases:
(1) By implication of law; or
(2) By some will, codicil, or other writing executed Gago v. Mamuyac, 49 Phil. 902
as provided in case of wills; or - Where the will which cannot be found is
(3) By burning, tearing, cancelling, or obliterating the shown to have been in possession of the
will with the intention of revoking it, by the testator testator, when last seen, the presumption is,
himself, or by some other person in his presence, and in the absence of other competent evidence,
by his express direction. If burned, torn, cancelled, or that the same was cancelled or destroyed;
obliterated by some other person, without the express - The fact that such cancellation or revocation
direction of the testator, the will may still be has taken place must either remain unproved
established, and the estate distributed in accordance or be inferred from evidence showing that
therewith, if its contents, and due execution, and the after due search the original will cannot be
fact of its unauthorized destruction, cancellation, or found.
obliteration are established according to the Rules of - In view of the fact that the original will of
Court. (n) 1919 could not be found after the death of
B. Solemnities. Art. 826 the testator Miguel Mamuyac and in view of
Article 826. In order that a codicil may be effective, the positive proof that the same had been
it shall be executed as in the case of a will. (n) cancelled, the Court is of the conclusion that
the will presented for probate had been
cancelled by the testator in 1920.
VII. REVOCATION OF WILLS AND - Duplicate copy of a will may be admitted in
TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS evidence when it is made to appear that the
original has been lost and was not cancelled
A. Definition of revocation or destroyed by the testator.

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

a substitute is inoperative, the revocation


Casiano v. CA, 158 SCRA 451 fails and the original will remains in full
- In this case, while animus revocandi or the force.
intention to revoke, may be conceded, for
that is a state of mind, yet the requisite alone F. Doctrine of Dependent Relative
would not suffice. Animus revocandi is only Revocation
one of the necessary elements for the VIII. REPUBLICATION AND REVIVAL OF
effective revocation of a last will and WILLS
testament. The intention to revoke must be Article 835. The testator cannot republish, without
accompanied by the overt physical act of reproducing in a subsequent will, the dispositions
burning, tearing, obliterating, or cancelling contained in a previous one which is void as to its
the will carried out by the testator or by form. (n)
another person in his presence and under his Article 836. The execution of a codicil referring to a
express direction. previous will has the effect of republishing the will as
- There is paucity of evidence to show modified by the codicil. (n)
compliance with these requirements. For Article 837. If after making a will, the testator makes
one, the documents or papers burned by a second will expressly revoking the first, the
Adrianas maid, Guadalupe, was not revocation of the second will does not revive the first
satisfactorily established to be a will at all, will, which can be revived only by another will or
much less the will of Adriana Maloto. For codicil. (739a)
another, the burning was not proven to be
under the express direction of Adriana. IX. ALLOWANCE OF WILLS.
Article 838. No will shall pass either real or personal
E. Effect of revocation. property unless it is proved and allowed in
Article 831. Subsequent wills which do not revoke accordance with the Rules of Court.
the previous ones in an express manner, annul only The testator himself may, during his lifetime, petition
such dispositions in the prior wills as are inconsistent the court having jurisdiction for the allowance of his
with or contrary to those contained in the later wills. will. In such case, the pertinent provisions of the
(n) Rules of Court for the allowance of wills after the
Article 832. A revocation made in a subsequent will testator's a death shall govern.
shall take effect, even if the new will should become The Supreme Court shall formulate such additional
inoperative by reason of the incapacity of the heirs, Rules of Court as may be necessary for the allowance
devisees or legatees designated therein, or by their of wills on petition of the testator.
renunciation. (740a) Subject to the right of appeal, the allowance of the
Article 833. A revocation of a will based on a false will, either during the lifetime of the testator or after
cause or an illegal cause is null and void. (n) his death, shall be conclusive as to its due execution.
Article 834. The recognition of an illegitimate child (n)
does not lose its legal effect, even though the will
wherein it was made should be revoked. (741) A. Concept of probate
Molo v. Molo, 90 Phil. 3 Agtarap v. Agtarap, G.R. No. 177099
- This doctrine is known as that of dependent and 177192, June 8, 2011
relative revocation, and is usually applied - GEN RULE: The jurisdiction
here the testator cancels or destroys a will or of the trial court, either as a probate
executes an instrument intended to revoke a or an intestate court, relates only to
will with a present intention to make a new matters having to do with the
testamentary disposition as a substitute for probate of the will and/or
the old, and the new disposition is not made settlement of the estate of deceased
or, if made, fails of effect for same reason. persons, but does not extend to the
The doctrine is limited to the existence of determination of questions of
some other document, however, and has ownership that arise during the
been applied where a will was destroyed as a proceedings.
consequence of a mistake of law. - As held in several cases, a
- Revocation of the first will, will be probate court or one in charge of
conditional and dependent upon the efficacy estate proceedings, whether testate
of the new disposition; and if, for any or intestate, cannot adjudicate or
reason, the new will intended to be made as determine title to properties

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

claimed to be a part of the estate. until the subsequent liquidation of


All that the said court could do as the estate.
regards said properties is to - It is likewise worthy of note in
determine whether or not they this connection that as the
should be included in the inventory surviving spouse of Francisco de
of properties to be administered by Borja, Tasiana Ongsingco was his
the administrator. compulsory heir under article 995
- EXCEPTIONS: (1) the probate of the NCC.
court may provisionally pass upon
in an intestate or a testate C. Modes of probate
proceeding the question of D. Requirements for probate.
inclusion in, or exclusion from, the Article 811. In the probate of a holographic will, it
inventory of a piece of property shall be necessary that at least one witness who
w/o prejudice to the final knows the handwriting and signature of the testator
determination of ownership in a explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in
separate action; (2) if the interested the handwriting of the testator. If the will is
parties are all heirs to estate, or the contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be
question is one of collation or required.
advancement, or the parties consent In the absence of any competent witness referred to
to the assumption of jurisdiction by in the preceding paragraph, and if the court deem it
the probate court and the rights of necessary, expert testimony may be resorted to.
third parties are not impaired, then (619a)
the probate court is competent to Gan v. Yap, 104 Phil 509
resolve issues on ownership. - The courts will not distribute the
property of the deceased in accordance with
B. Necessity of probate his holographic will, unless they are shown
De Borja v. De Borja, 46 SCRA 577 his handwriting and signature.
- Probate of a will is - The execution and the contents of a
MANDATORY when the heirs lost/destroyed holographic will may not be
SETTLE and DISTRIBUTE the proved by the bare testimony of witnesses
estate of the decedent. who have seen and/or read such will.
- Probate of will is NOT - In the case of a lost will, the three
NECESSARY in the subscribing witnesses would be testifying to
CONVEYANCE of SHARE as a a fact which they saw, namely the act of the
hereditary share in a decedents testator of subscribing the will; whereas in
estate is transmitted or vested the case of a lost holographic will, the
immediately from the moment of witnesses would testify as to their opinion of
the death of such predecessor in the handwriting which they allegedly saw,
interest. an opinion which can not be tested in court,
- Probate of will is NOT nor directly contradicted by the oppositors,
NECESSARY in the because the handwriting itself is not at hand.
CONVEYANCE of share
belonging to a compulsory heir; the
compulsory heirs successional Rodelas v. Aranza, 119 SCRA 16
interest exists independent of the - Pursuant to Art. 811 of the Civil Code,
will and would exist even if such probate of holographic will is the allowance
will were not probated at all. of the will by the court after its due
- A hereditary share in a execution has been proved.
decedents estate is transmitted or - The probate may be uncontested or not.
vested immediately from the If uncontested, at least one identifying
moment of the death of the witness is required and, if not witness is
decedent (w/ requisite contracting available, experts may be resorted to. If
capacity) disposing of his/her contested, at least three identifying
hereditary share immediately after witnesses are required.
such death, even if the actual extent - However, if the holographic will has
of such share is not determined been lost/destroyed and no other copy is

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

available, the will cannot be probated although the same have not as yet been
because the best and only evidence is the probated and allowed in the countries of
handwriting of the testator in said will. It is their execution. A foreign will can be given
necessary that there be a comparison legal effects in our jurisdiction. Art. 816 of
between sample handwritten statements of the Civil Code states that the will of an alien
the testator and the handwritten will. But, a who is abroad produces effect in the
photostatic copy or xerox copy of the Philippines if made in accordance with the
holographic will may be allowed because formalities prescribed by the law of the
comparison can be made with the standard place where he resides, or according to the
writings of the testator. formalities observed in his country.
- Our rules require merely that the
petition for the allowance of a will must
Azaola v. Singson, 109 Phil. 102 show, so far as known to the petitioner: (a)
- Whether the will is contested/not jurisdictional facts; (b) the names, ages, and
contested, Art. 811 of the NCC cannot be residences of the heirs, legatees, and
interpreted as to require the compulsory devisees of the testator or decedent; (c) the
presentation of three witnesses to indentify probable value and character of the property
the handwriting of the testator, under of the estate; (d) the name of the person for
penalty of having the probate denied. whom letters are prayed; and (e) if the will
- The three-witness rule in Art. 811 has not been delivered to the court, and the
(when contested) can be considered name of the person having custody of it.
mandatory only in the case of ordinary
testaments, precisely because the presence E. Effect of allowance of wills
of at least three witnesses at the execution of
ordinary wills is made by law essential to Gallanosa .v. Arcangel, 83 SCRA 676
their validity (Art. 805). Where the will is - The 1939 decree of probate is
holographic, no witness need be present conclusive as to the due execution or
(Art. 810), and the rule requiring production formal validity of the will. That means
of three witnesses must be deemed merely that the testator was of sound disposing
permissive if absurd results are to be mind at the time when he executed the
avoided. will and was not acting under duress,
menace, fraud or undue influence; that
Codoy v. Calugay, 312 SCRA 333 the will was signed by him, in the
- Art. 811 is mandatory. The word shall presence of the required number of
in a statute commonly denotes an imperative witnesses, and that the will is genuine
obligation and is inconsistent with the idea and not a forgery. Accordingly, these
of discretion and that the presumption is that facts cannot again be questioned in
the word shall, when used in a statute is subsequent proceeding, not even in a
mandatory. criminal action for the forgery of will.

De la Cerna v. Leonides, 129 SCRA 33


Uy Kiao Eng v. Nixon Lee, G.R. No.
176831, January 15, 2010
- The remedy of mandamus cannot be Roberts v. Leonides, 129 SCRA 33
availed of by a person seeking for the - The probate of the will is
production of the original copy of a mandatory. It is anomalous that the
holographic will because there lies another estate of a person who died testate
plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the should be settled in an intestate
ordinary course of law by virtue of Rule 76, proceeding. Therefore, the intestate case
Sec. 1 and Rule 75, Secs. 2-5. should be consolidated with the testate
proceeding and the judge assigned to
the testate proceeding should continue
Palaganas v. Palaganas, G.R. No. 169144, hearing two case.
January 26, 2011
- Our laws do not prohibit the probate of Nepomuceno v. Ca, 139 SCRA 206
wills executed by foreigners abroad

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

- Citing Nuguid v. Nuguid: In view other relations between the parties, or the fact that the
of certain unusual provisions of the will, person alleged to have been unduly influenced was
which are of dubious legality, and suffering from mental weakness, or was ignorant or
because of the motion to withdraw the in financial distress. (n)
petition for probate, the trial court acted
correctly in passing upon the wills Article 1338. There is fraud when, through insidious
intrinsic validity even before its formal words or machinations of one of the contracting
validity had been established. The parties, the other is induced to enter into a contract
probate of a will might become an idle which, without them, he would not have agreed to.
ceremony if on its face, it appears to be (1269)
intrinsically void.
- Where practical considerations Pascual v. de la Cruz, 28 SCRA 421
demand that the intrinsic validity of the - Contradictions and inconsistencies
will be passed upon, even before it is appearing in the testimonies of the
probated, the court should meet the witnesses and the notary, pointed out by
issue. the oppositors-appellants, relate to
unimportant details of the impressions
of the witnesses about certain details
X. DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS. which could have been affected by the
Article 839. The will shall be disallowed in any of the lapse of time and the treachery of
following cases: human memory, and which
(1) If the formalities required by law have not been inconsistencies, by themselves, would
complied with; not alter the probative value of their
(2) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally testimonies on the due execution of the
incapable of making a will, at the time of its will.
execution; - For purposes of determining the due
(3) If it was executed through force or under duress, execution of a will, it is not necessary
or the influence of fear, or threats; that the instrumental witnesses should
(4) If it was procured by undue and improper give an accurate and detailed account of
pressure and influence, on the part of the beneficiary the proceeding, such as recalling the
or of some other person; order of the signing of the document by
(5) If the signature of the testator was procured by the said witnesses. It is sufficient that
fraud; they have seen or at least were so
(6) If the testator acted by mistake or did not intend situated at the moment that they could
that the instrument he signed should be his will at the have seen each other sign, had they
time of affixing his signature thereto. (n) wanted to do so.

Article 1335. There is violence when in order to XI. LEGITIME


wrest consent, serious or irresistible force is A. Concept. Art. 886
employed. Article 886. Legitime is that part of the testator's
There is intimidation when one of the contracting property which he cannot dispose of because the law
parties is compelled by a reasonable and well- has reserved it for certain heirs who are, therefore,
grounded fear of an imminent and grave evil upon his called compulsory heirs. (806)
person or property, or upon the person or property of
his spouse, descendants or ascendants, to give his Rosales v. Rosales, 148 SCRA 69
consent. A surviving spouse is not an intestate heir of his or
To determine the degree of intimidation, the age, sex her parent-in-law. Surviving spouse is a third party in
and condition of the person shall be borne in mind. the estate of a parent-in-law.
A threat to enforce one's claim through competent
authority, if the claim is just or legal, does not vitiate Intestate or legal heirs are classified into 2 groups: (1)
consent. (1267a) those who inherit by their own right, and (2) those
Article 1337. There is undue influence when a person who inherit by the right of representation (article
takes improper advantage of his power over the will 981). The basis for right of representation is blood
of another, depriving the latter of a reasonable relationship.
freedom of choice. The following circumstances shall
be considered: the confidential, family, spiritual and

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

B. Who are entitled to legitimes: of a legal separation, the surviving spouse may
Compulsory heirs. inherit if it was the deceased who had given cause for
Article 887. The following are compulsory heirs: the same.
(1) Legitimate children and descendants, with respect If there are two or more legitimate children or
to their legitimate parents and ascendants; descendants, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to
(2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and a portion equal to the legitime of each of the
ascendants, with respect to their legitimate children legitimate children or descendants.
and descendants; In both cases, the legitime of the surviving spouse
(3) The widow or widower; shall be taken from the portion that can be freely
(4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural disposed of by the testator. (834a)
children by legal fiction; Art. 893. If the testator leaves no legitimate
(5) Other illegitimate children referred to in article descendants, but leaves legitimate ascendants, the
287. surviving spouse shall have a right to one-fourth of
Compulsory heirs mentioned in Nos. 3, 4, and 5 are the hereditary estate.
not excluded by those in Nos. 1 and 2; neither do This fourth shall be taken from the free portion of the
they exclude one another. estate. (836a)
In all cases of illegitimate children, their filiation Art. 894. If the testator leaves illegitimate children,
must be duly proved. the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-third of
The father or mother of illegitimate children of the the hereditary estate of the deceased and the
three classes mentioned, shall inherit from them in illegitimate children to another third. The remaining
the manner and to the extent established by this third shall be at the free disposal of the testator. (n)
Code. (807a) Art. 895. The legitime of each of the acknowledged
Article 902. The rights of illegitimate children set natural children and each of the natural children by
forth in the preceding articles are transmitted upon legal fiction shall consist of one-half of the legitime
their death to their descendants, whether legitimate or of each of the legitimate children or descendants.
illegitimate. (843a) The legitime of an illegitimate child who is neither an
acknowledged natural, nor a natural child by legal
C. Concurrence of compulsory fiction, shall be equal in every case to four-fifths of
heirs and their corresponding the legitime of an acknowledged natural child.
legitimes. The legitime of the illegitimate children shall be
Article 888. The legitime of legitimate children and taken from the portion of the estate at the free
descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary disposal of the testator, provided that in no case shall
estate of the father and of the mother. the total legitime of such illegitimate children exceed
The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half, that free portion, and that the legitime of the
subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse must first be fully satisfied. (840a)
surviving spouse as hereinafter provided. (808a) Art. 896. Illegitimate children who may survive with
Article 889. The legitime of legitimate parents or legitimate parents or ascendants of the deceased shall
ascendants consists of one-half of the hereditary be entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate to be
estates of their children and descendants. taken from the portion at the free disposal of the
The children or descendants may freely dispose of testator. (841a)
the other half, subject to the rights of illegitimate Art. 897. When the widow or widower survives with
children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter legitimate children or descendants, and
provided. (809a) acknowledged natural children, or natural children by
Article 890. The legitime reserved for the legitimate legal fiction, such surviving spouse shall be entitled
parents shall be divided between them equally; if one to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the
of the parents should have died, the whole shall pass legitimate children which must be taken from that
to the survivor. part of the estate which the testator can freely dispose
If the testator leaves neither father nor mother, but is of. (n)
survived by ascendants of equal degree of the Art. 898. If the widow or widower survives with
paternal and maternal lines, the legitime shall be legitimate children or descendants, and with
divided equally between both lines. If the ascendants illegitimate children other than acknowledged
should be of different degrees, it shall pertain entirely natural, or natural children by legal fiction, the share
to the ones nearest in degree of either line. (810) of the surviving spouse shall be the same as that
Art. 892. If only one legitimate child or descendant of provided in the preceding article. (n)
the deceased survives, the widow or widower shall be Art. 899. When the widow or widower survives with
entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate. In case legitimate parents or ascendants and with illegitimate

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

children, such surviving spouse shall be entitled to specified by law. (n)


one-eighth of the hereditary Art. 892. If only one
legitimate child or descendant of the deceased **P.D. No. 603**
survives, the widow or widower shall be entitled to D. Restrictions regarding the
one-fourth of the hereditary estate. In case of a legal legitime.
separation, the surviving spouse may inherit if it was Article 904. The testator cannot deprive his
the deceased who had given cause for the same. compulsory heirs of their legitime, except in cases
If there are two or more legitimate children or expressly specified by law.
descendants, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to Neither can he impose upon the same any burden,
a portion equal to the legitime of each of the encumbrance, condition, or substitution of any kind
legitimate children or descendants. whatsoever. (813a)
In both cases, the legitime of the surviving spouse Article 872. The testator cannot impose any charge,
shall be taken from the portion that can be freely condition, or substitution whatsoever upon the
disposed of by the testator. (834a) legitimes prescribed in this Code. Should he do so,
Art. 900. If the only survivor is the widow or the same shall be considered as not imposed. (813a)
widower, she or he shall be entitled to one-half of the Article 905. Every renunciation or compromise as
hereditary estate of the deceased spouse, and the regards a future legitime between the person owing it
testator may freely dispose of the other half. (837a) and his compulsory heirs is void, and the latter may
If the marriage between the surviving spouse and the claim the same upon the death of the former; but they
testator was solemnized in articulo mortis, and the must bring to collation whatever they may have
testator died within three months from the time of the received by virtue of the renunciation or compromise.
marriage, the legitime of the surviving spouse as the (816)
sole heir shall be one-third of the hereditary estate, Article 906. Any compulsory heir to whom the
except when they have been living as husband and testator has left by any title less than the legitime
wife for more than five years. In the latter case, the belonging to him may demand that the same be fully
legitime of the surviving spouse shall be that satisfied. (815)
specified in the preceding paragraph. (n) Article 907. Testamentary dispositions that impair or
Art. 901. When the testator dies leaving illegitimate diminish the legitime of the compulsory heirs shall be
children and no other compulsory heirs, such reduced on petition of the same, insofar as they may
illegitimate children shall have a right to one-half of be inofficious or excessive. (817)
the hereditary estate of the deceased.
The other half shall be at the free disposal of the Article 1347. All things which are not outside the
testator. (842a) commerce of men, including future things, may be
Article 903. The legitime of the parents who have an the object of a contract. All rights which are not
illegitimate child, when such child leaves neither intransmissible may also be the object of contracts.
legitimate descendants, nor a surviving spouse, nor No contract may be entered into upon future
illegitimate children, is one-half of the hereditary inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by
estate of such illegitimate child. If only legitimate or law.
illegitimate children are left, the parents are not All services which are not contrary to law, morals,
entitled to any legitime whatsoever. If only the good customs, public order or public policy may
widow or widower survives with parents of the likewise be the object of a contract. (1271a)
illegitimate child, the legitime of the parents is one-
fourth of the hereditary estate of the child, and that of
the surviving spouse also one-fourth of the estate. (n) Santiago v. Santiago, et. al., G.R. 179859, August
Article 39. The following circumstances, among 9, 2010
others, modify or limit capacity to act: age, insanity, Restrictions regarding legitimes Note: This case is
imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, penalty, primarily focused on res judicata, it barely touched
prodigality, family relations, alienage, absence, upon restrictions.
insolvency and trusteeship. The consequences of
these circumstances are governed in this Code, other While the intention of the decedent is clear that the
codes, the Rules of Court, and in special laws. property be owned in common, the condition set is
Capacity to act is not limited on account of religious subject to statutory limitation regarding indivisibility.
belief or political opinion.
A married woman, twenty-one years of age or over,
is qualified for all acts of civil life, except in cases E. Determination or computation.

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

Article 908. To determine the legitime, the value of devisee who did not have such right may exercise it;
the property left at the death of the testator shall be should the latter not make use of it, the property shall
considered, deducting all debts and charges, which be sold at public auction at the instance of any one of
shall not include those imposed in the will. the interested parties. (822)
To the net value of the hereditary estate, shall be
added the value of all donations by the testator that
are subject to collation, at the time he made them. COLLATION.
(818a) Article 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds
Article 909. Donations given to children shall be with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass
charged to their legitime. of the estate any property or right which he may have
Donations made to strangers shall be charged to that received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the
part of the estate of which the testator could have latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous
disposed by his last will. title, in order that it may be computed in the
Insofar as they may be inofficious or may exceed the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the
disposable portion, they shall be reduced according to account of the partition. (1035a)
the rules established by this Code. (819a) Article 1062. Collation shall not take place among
Article 910. Donations which an illegitimate child compulsory heirs if the donor should have so
may have received during the lifetime of his father or expressly provided, or if the donee should repudiate
mother, shall be charged to his legitime. the inheritance, unless the donation should be
Should they exceed the portion that can be freely reduced as inofficious. (1036)
disposed of, they shall be reduced in the manner Article 1063. Property left by will is not deemed
prescribed by this Code. (847a) subject to collation, if the testator has not otherwise
Article 911. After the legitime has been determined provided, but the legitime shall in any case remain
in accordance with the three preceding articles, the unimpaired. (1037)
reduction shall be made as follows: Article 1064. When the grandchildren, who survive
(1) Donations shall be respected as long as the with their uncles, aunts, or cousins, inherit from their
legitime can be covered, reducing or annulling, if grandparents in representation of their father or
necessary, the devises or legacies made in the will; mother, they shall bring to collation all that their
(2) The reduction of the devises or legacies shall be parents, if alive, would have been obliged to bring,
pro rata, without any distinction whatever. even though such grandchildren have not inherited
If the testator has directed that a certain devise or the property.
legacy be paid in preference to others, it shall not They shall also bring to collation all that they may
suffer any reduction until the latter have been applied have received from the decedent during his lifetime,
in full to the payment of the legitime. unless the testator has provided otherwise, in which
(3) If the devise or legacy consists of a usufruct or case his wishes must be respected, if the legitime of
life annuity, whose value may be considered greater the co-heirs is not prejudiced. (1038)
than that of the disposable portion, the compulsory Article 1065. Parents are not obliged to bring to
heirs may choose between complying with the collation in the inheritance of their ascendants any
testamentary provision and delivering to the devisee property which may have been donated by the latter
or legatee the part of the inheritance of which the to their children. (1039)
testator could freely dispose. (820a) Article 1066. Neither shall donations to the spouse of
Article 912. If the devise subject to reduction should the child be brought to collation; but if they have
consist of real property, which cannot be been given by the parent to the spouses jointly, the
conveniently divided, it shall go to the devisee if the child shall be obliged to bring to collation one-half of
reduction does not absorb one-half of its value; and in the thing donated. (1040)
a contrary case, to the compulsory heirs; but the Article 1067. Expenses for support, education,
former and the latter shall reimburse each other in medical attendance, even in extraordinary illness,
cash for what respectively belongs to them. apprenticeship, ordinary equipment, or customary
The devisee who is entitled to a legitime may retain gifts are not subject to collation. (1041)
the entire property, provided its value does not Article 1068. Expenses incurred by the parents in
exceed that of the disposable portion and of the share giving their children a professional, vocational or
pertaining to him as legitime. (821) other career shall not be brought to collation unless
Article 913. If the heirs or devisees do not choose to the parents so provide, or unless they impair the
avail themselves of the right granted by the preceding legitime; but when their collation is required, the sum
article, any heir or which the child would have spent if he had lived in

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the house and company of his parents shall be respondents since neither they nor the donees are
deducted therefrom. (1042a) compulsory (or forced) heirs.
Article 1069. Any sums paid by a parent in F. Freedom to dispose free portion.
satisfaction of the debts of his children, election Article 914. The testator may devise and bequeath the
expenses, fines, and similar expenses shall be brought free portion as he may deem fit. (n)
to collation. (1043a)
Article 1070. Wedding gifts by parents and
ascendants consisting of jewelry, clothing, and outfit, Principles Affecting Legitime
shall not be reduced as inofficious except insofar as XII. PRETERITION.
they may exceed one-tenth of the sum which is Article 854. The preterition or omission of one, some,
disposable by will. (1044) or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line,
Article 1071. The same things donated are not to be whether living at the time of the execution of the will
brought to collation and partition, but only their value or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the
at the time of thedonation, even though their just institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall
value may not then have been assessed. be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.
Their subsequent increase or deterioration and even If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the
their total loss or destruction, be it accidental or testator, the institution shall be effectual, without
culpable, shall be for the benefit or account and risk prejudice to the right of representation. (814a)
of the donee. (1045a) Article 906. Any compulsory heir to whom the
testator has left by any title less than the legitime
Arellano v. Pascual, G.R. No. 189776, December belonging to him may demand that the same be fully
15, 2010 satisfied. (815)
Collation takes place when there are compulsory
heirs, one of its purposes being to determine the Article 855. The share of a child or descendant
legitime and the free portion. If there is no omitted in a will must first be taken from the part of
compulsory heir, there is no legitime to be the estate not disposed of by the will, if any; if that is
safeguarded. not sufficient, so much as may be necessary must be
taken proportionally from the shares of the other
Gregorio v. Madarang, G.R. No. 185226, compulsory heirs. (1080a)
February 11, 2010 Article 918. Disinheritance without a specification of
Even if the heirs have agreed to exclude property the cause, or for a cause the truth of which, if
from the estate, Art. 1061 of the Civil Code must be contradicted, is not proved, or which is not one of
followed. (Heirs cant decide on their own what is those set forth in this Code, shall annul the institution
included and what is not) of heirs insofar as it may prejudice the person
disinherited; but the devises and legacies and other
Dizon-Rivera v. Dizon, 33 SCRA 554 testamentary dispositions shall be valid to such extent
A will that includes the partition wishes of the as will not impair the legitime. (851a)
testator as regards his/her estate is valid and binding Heirs of Policronio Ureta, Sr. v. Heirs of Liberato
among the compulsory heirs without prejudice to Ureta, G.R. No. 165748 and 165930, September
their legitime and cannot be subject to collation. 14, 2011
Preterition is a concept of testamentary succession
De Roma v. CA, 152 SCRA 205 and therefore requires a will.
There is nothing in the provisions of the will which
expressly prohibits the collation of donated Aznar v. Duncan, 17 SCRA 590
properties. The phrase describing the donation as Since the decedent left the preterited heir a legacy,
irrevocable should not be construed as an express then this case is not a case of preterition. The heir
prohibition against collation. Art. 1062 of the Civil could not that the institution of the heirs be annulled,
Code provides that collation shall not take place if the but only that her legitime be completed.
donor should have expressly so provided. Anything
less than such express prohibition will not suffice Nuguid v. Nuguid, 17 SCRA 449
under the clear language of Art. 1062 The declaration of a universal heir and the preterition
of other heirs shall result in the nullification of the
Locsin v. CA, 206 SCRA 383 institution of heirs. However, if the will does not
The right arising under certain circumstances to contain any legacies or devises, then the will shall be
impugn and compel the reduction or revocation of a a complete nullity as well.
decedent's gifts inter vivos does not inure to the

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Reyes v. Barreto-Datu, 19 SCRA 85 Article 891. The ascendant who inherits from his
The legal precept (Article 1081) does not speak of descendant any property which the latter may have
children, or descendants, but of heirs (without acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant,
distinction between forced, voluntary or intestate or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such
ones), and the fact that Salud happened not to be a property as he may have acquired by operation of law
daughter of Bibiano does not preclude her being one for the benefit of relatives who are within the third
of the heirs expressly named in his testament; for degree and who belong to the line from which said
Bibiano Barretto was at liberty to assign the free property came. (871)
portion of his estate to whomsoever he chose. While Edroso v. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295
the share () assigned to Salud impinged on the Upon the death of Victoriano Sablan, he left his son
legitime of Milagros, Salud did not for that reason Pedro two parcels of land. Subsequently, Pedro died
cease to be a testamentary heir of Bibiano Barretto. without issue and the properties were inherited by his
mother, Marcelina. Marcelina filed a petition to
Escuin v. Escuin, 11 Phil. 332 register the said properties under her name. Two
In case of preterition of a compulsory heir, the will is legitimate brothers of Victoriano opposed the
only annulled insofar as the legal portion of the said registration. The trial court denied the application.
heir was impaired. Legacies and betterments shall be Hence, this petition.
valid, insofar as they are not illegal.

The testator wished to dispose property in his will, Seines v. Esparcia, 1 SCRA 750
designating as heirs his natural father, Francisco The reservista has the legal title and dominion to the
Escuin, and his wife, Maria Teresa Ponce de Leon, reservable property but subject to a resolutory
all together ignoring his recognized natural child who condition; that he is like a life usufructuary of the
is the general heir of the late Emilio Escuin. In view reservable property; that he may alienate the same
thereof, and for the reason that he exceeded his but subject to reservation, said alienation transmitting
rights, the said designation of heirs became void only the revocable and conditional ownership of the
insofar as it impaired the right of his general heir and reservists, the rights acquired by the transferee being
deprived him of his legal portions; that the will, revoked or resolved by the survival of reservatarios at
however, is valid with respect to the 2/3 of the the time of the death of the reservista
property which the testator freely disposed of.
Florentino v. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480
Balanay v. Martinez, 64 SCRA 452 Reservable property left, through a will or otherwise,
The preterition of the surviving spouse does not by the death of ascendant (reservista) together with
entirely annul the institution of heir as he is not a his own property in favor of another of his
compulsory heir in the direct line. The institution is descendants as forced heir, forms no part of the
only partially annulled, by reducing the rights of the latter's lawful inheritance nor of the legitime, for the
instituted heir to the extent necessary to cover the reason that, as said property continued to be
legitime of the omitted surviving spouse. This differs reservable, the heir receiving the same as an
from the preterition of compulsory heirs in the direct inheritance from his ascendant has the strict
line, which produces total intestacy, saving devisees obligation of its delivery to the relatives, within the
and legacies. third degree, of the predecessor in interest
(prepositus), without prejudicing the right of the heir
Solano v. CA, 126 SCRA 122 to an aliquot part of the property, if he has at the
same time the right of a reservatario (reservees).
- There is right of representation on the part of the
Acain v. CA, 155 SCRA 100 reservatorios who are within the third degree
(1) Even if the surviving spouse is a compulsory heir, mentioned by law, as in the case of nephews of the
there is no preterition even if she is omitted from the deceased persons from whom the reservable property
inheritance, for she is not in the direct line. (2) came.
Adoption gives to the adopted person the same rights
and duties as if he were a legitimate child of the Padura v. Baldovino, 104 Phil. 1065
adopter and makes the adopted person a legal heir of While all relatives within the third degree, as a group
the adopter. are called to succeed as reservees, as among
themselves the rules of intestacy will apply,
XIII. RESERVA TRONCAL. particularly Articles 1001, 1004, 1005, and 1009 in
this case. In the case at bar, the Baldovinos being

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nephews of whole blood are entitled to a share twice Article 916. Disinheritance can be effected only
as large of the Paduras, who are nephews of half through a will wherein the legal cause therefor shall
blood. be specified. (849)
Article 917. The burden of proving the truth of the
Chua v.CFI, 78 SCRA 406 cause for disinheritance shall rest upon the other heirs
"The essential thing is that the person who transmits of the testator, if the disinherited heir should deny it.
it does so gratuitously, from pure generosity, without (850)
requiring from the transferee any prestation." Article 918. Disinheritance without a specification of
the cause, or for a cause the truth of which, if
As long as the transmission of the property to the contradicted, is not proved, or which is not one of
heirs is free from any condition imposed by the those set forth in this Code, shall annul the institution
deceased himself and the property is given out of of heirs insofar as it may prejudice the person
pure generosity, it is gratuitous. disinherited; but the devises and legacies and other
testamentary dispositions shall be valid to such extent
as will not impair the legitime. (851a)
Gonzales v. CFI 104 SCRA 161 Article 919. The following shall be sufficient causes
The reservor cannot make a disposition mortis causa for the disinheritance of children and descendants,
of the reservable properties as long as the reservees legitimate as well as illegitimate:
survived the reservor. (1) When a child or descendant has been found guilty
of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her
De Papa v. Camacho, 144 SCRA 281 spouse, descendants, or ascendants;
(2) When a child or descendant has accused the
testator of a crime for which the law prescribes
XIV. RESERVA ADOPTIVA. Art. 39, PD 603 imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation
Article 39. The following circumstances, among has been found groundless;
others, modify or limit capacity to act: age, insanity, (3) When a child or descendant has been convicted of
imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, penalty, adultery or concubinage with the spouse of the
prodigality, family relations, alienage, absence, testator;
insolvency and trusteeship. The consequences of (4) When a child or descendant by fraud, violence,
these circumstances are governed in this Code, other intimidation, or undue influence causes the testator to
codes, the Rules of Court, and in special laws. make a will or to change one already made;
Capacity to act is not limited on account of religious (5) A refusal without justifiable cause to support the
belief or political opinion. parent or ascendant who disinherits such child or
A married woman, twenty-one years of age or over, descendant;
is qualified for all acts of civil life, except in cases (6) Maltreatment of the testator by word or deed, by
specified by law. (n) the child or descendant;
(7) When a child or descendant leads a dishonorable
Banawa v. Mirano, 97 SCRA 517 or disgraceful life;
(8) Conviction of a crime which carries with it the
penalty of civil interdiction. (756, 853, 674a)
Teotico v. del Val, 13 SCRA 406 Article 920. The following shall be sufficient causes
Under our law the relationship by adoption is limited for the disinheritance of parents or ascendants,
solely to the adopted and does not extend to the whether legitimate or illegitimate:
relatives of the adopting parents or of the adopted (1) When the parents have abandoned their children
child except only as expressly provided for by law. or induced their daughters to live a corrupt or
Hence, no relationship is created between the adopted immoral life, or attempted against their virtue;
and the collaterals of the adopting parents. As a (2) When the parent or ascendant has been convicted
consequence, the adopted is an heir of the adopter but of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her
not of the relatives of the adopted. spouse, descendants, or ascendants;
(3) When the parent or ascendant has accused the
testator of a crime for which the law prescribes
**P.D. No. 603** imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation
XV. DISINHERITANCE. Arts. 915-923 has been found to be false;
Article 915. A compulsory heir may, in consequence (4) When the parent or ascendant has been convicted
of disinheritance, be deprived of his legitime, for of adultery or concubinage with the spouse of the
causes expressly stated by law. (848a) testator;

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(5) When the parent or ascendant by fraud, violence, cannot be left to the discretion of a third
intimidation, or undue influence causes the testator to person. (670a)
make a will or to change one already made; Article 787. The testator may not make a
(6) The loss of parental authority for causes specified testamentary disposition in such manner that
in this Code; another person has to determine whether or
(7) The refusal to support the children or descendants not it is to be operative. (n)
without justifiable cause; 3. Effect if will institutes no
(8) An attempt by one of the parents against the life heir.
of the other, unless there has been a reconciliation Article 841. A will shall be valid even
between them. though it should not contain an institution of
(756, 854, 674a) an heir, or such institution should not
Article 921. The following shall be sufficient causes comprise the entire estate, and even though
for disinheriting a spouse: the person so instituted should not accept the
(1) When the spouse has been convicted of an inheritance or should be incapacitated to
attempt against the life of the testator, his or her succeed.
descendants, or ascendants; In such cases the testamentary dispositions
(2) When the spouse has accused the testator of a made in accordance with law shall be
crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment of complied with and the remainder of the
six years or more, and the accusation has been found estate shall pass to the legal heirs. (764)
to be false; 4. Freedom of disposition.
(3) When the spouse by fraud, violence, intimidation, Article 842. One who has no compulsory
or undue influence cause the testator to make a will heirs may dispose by will of all his estate or
or to change one already made; any part of it in favor of any person having
(4) When the spouse has given cause for legal capacity to succeed.
separation; One who has compulsory heirs may dispose
(5) When the spouse has given grounds for the loss of of his estate provided he does not
parental authority; contravene the provisions of this Code with
(6) Unjustifiable refusal to support the children or the regard to the legitime of said heirs. (763a)
other spouse. (756, 855, 674a) 5. Manner of designating
Article 922. A subsequent reconciliation between the an heir.
offender and the offended person deprives the latter Article 843. The testator shall designate the
of the right to disinherit, and renders ineffectual any heir by his name and surname, and when
disinheritance that may have been made. (856) there are two persons having the same
Article 923. The children and descendants of the names, he shall indicate some circumstance
person disinherited shall take his or her place and by which the instituted heir may be known.
shall preserve the rights of compulsory heirs with Even though the testator may have omitted
respect to the legitime; but the disinherited parent the name of the heir, should he designate
shall not have the usufruct or administration of the him in such manner that there can be no
property which constitutes the legitime. (857) doubt as to who has been instituted, the
institution shall be valid. (772)
Principles Affecting the Freely Disposable Portion Article 844. An error in the name, surname,
XVI. INSTITUTION OF HEIRS or circumstances of the heir shall not vitiate
A. In General the institution when it is possible, in any
1. Definition. other manner, to know with certainty the
Article 840. Institution of heir is an act by person instituted.
virtue of which a testator designates in his If among persons having the same names
will the person or persons who are to and surnames, there is a similarity of
succeed him in his property and circumstances in such a way that, even with
transmissible rights and obligations. (n) the use of other proof, the person instituted
2. Requisites for valid cannot be identified, none of them shall be
institution of heirs. an heir. (773a)
Article 785. The duration or efficacy of the Article 789. When there is an imperfect
designation of heirs, devisees or legatees, or description, or when no person or property
the determination of the portions which they exactly answers the description, mistakes
are to take, when referred to by name, and omissions must be corrected, if the error
appears from the context of the will or from

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extrinsic evidence, excluding the oral that the intention of the testator was
declarations of the testator as to his otherwise. (769a)
intention; and when an uncertainty arises 10. Simultaneity of
upon the face of the will, as to the institution.
application of any of its provisions, the Article 849. When the testator calls
testator's intention is to be ascertained from to the succession a person and his
the words of the will, taking into children they are all deemed to
consideration the circumstances under which have been instituted simultaneously
it was made, excluding such oral and not successively. (771)
declarations. (n) 11. Institution based on a
6. Disposition in favor of an false cause.
unknown person.
Article 845. Every disposition in favor of an Article 850. The statement of a
unknown person shall be void, unless by false cause for the institution of an
some event or circumstance his identity heir shall be considered as not
becomes certain. However, a disposition in written, unless it appears from the
favor of a definite class or group of persons will that the testator would not have
shall be valid. (750a) made such institution if he had
7. Disposition in favor of a known the falsity of such cause.
definite class. Art. 845 in (767a)
relation to. Art. 786
Article 845. Every disposition in favor of an B. Kinds of Institution
unknown person shall be void, unless by 1. Simple or Pure.
some event or circumstance his identity Article 777. The rights to the
becomes certain. However, a disposition in succession are transmitted from the
favor of a definite class or group of persons moment of the death of the
shall be valid. (750a) decedent. (657a)
2. Conditional. Art. 871
Article 786. The testator may entrust to a Article 871. The institution of an
third person the distribution of specific heir may be made conditionally, or
property or sums of money that he may for a certain purpose or cause.
leave in general to specified classes or (790a)
causes, and also the designation of the a. Kinds
persons, institutions or establishments to 1. Simple or Pure.
which such property or sums are to be given Article 777. The rights to the
or applied. (671a) succession are transmitted from the
8. Equality of heirs. moment of the death of the
Article 846. Heirs instituted without decedent. (657a)
designation of shares shall inherit in equal
parts. (765) 2. Conditional.
Article 848. If the testator should institute Article 871. The institution of an
his brothers and sisters, and he has some of heir may be made conditionally, or
full blood and others of half-blood, the for a certain purpose or cause.
inheritance shall be distributed equally (790a)
unless a different intention appears. (770a) a. Kinds
b. Inoperative conditions.
9. Individuality of Article 872. The testator cannot
institution. impose any charge, condition, or
Article 847. When the testator substitution whatsoever upon the
institutes some heirs individually legitimes prescribed in this Code.
and others collectively as when he Should he do so, the same shall be
says, "I designate as my heirs A considered as not imposed. (813a)
and B, and the children of C," those Article 873. Impossible conditions
collectively designated shall be and those contrary to law or good
considered as individually customs shall be considered as not
instituted, unless it clearly appears imposed and shall in no manner

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prejudice the heir, even if the was unaware thereof, it shall be


testator should otherwise provide. deemed as complied with.
(792a) If he had knowledge thereof, the
Article 874. An absolute condition condition shall be considered
not to contract a first or subsequent fulfilled only when it is of such a
marriage shall be considered as not nature that it can no longer exist or
written unless such condition has be complied with again. (796)
been imposed on the widow or
widower by the deceased spouse, or e. Effect.
by the latter's ascendants or Article 1034. In order to judge the
descendants. capacity of the heir, devisee or
Nevertheless, the right of usufruct, legatee, his qualification at the time
or an allowance or some personal of the death of the decedent shall
prestation may be devised or be the criterion.
bequeathed to any person for the In cases falling under Nos. 2, 3, or
time during which he or she should 5 of article 1032, it shall be
remain unmarried or in necessary to wait until final
widowhood. (793a) judgment is rendered, and in the
case falling under No. 4, the
Article 1183. Impossible expiration of the month allowed for
conditions, those contrary to good the report.
customs or public policy and those If the institution, devise or legacy
prohibited by law shall annul the should be conditional, the time of
obligation which depends upon the compliance with the condition
them. If the obligation is divisible, shall also be considered. (758a)
that part thereof which is not Article 879. If the potestative
affected by the impossible condition imposed upon the heir is
orunlawful condition shall be valid. negative, or consists in not doing or
The condition not to do an not giving something, he shall
impossible thing shall be comply by giving a security that he
considered as not having been will not do or give that which has
agreed upon. (1116a) been prohibited by the testator, and
c. Disposition Captatoria. that in case of contravention he will
Article 875. Any disposition made return whatever he may have
upon the condition that the heir received, together with its fruits
shall make some provision in his and interests. (800a)
will in favor of the testator or of Article 880. If the heir be instituted
any other person shall be void. under a suspensive condition or
(794a) term, the estate shall be placed
d. Compliance. under administration until the
Article 876. Any purely potestative condition is fulfilled, or until it
condition imposed upon an heir becomes certain that it cannot be
must be fulfilled by him as soon as fulfilled, or until the arrival of the
he learns of the testator's death. term.
This rule shall not apply when the The same shall be done if the heir
condition, already complied with, does not give the security required
cannot be fulfilled again. (795a) in the preceding article. (801a)
Article 877. If the condition is Article 881. The appointment of the
casual or mixed, it shall be administrator of the estate
sufficient if it happen or be fulfilled mentioned in the preceding article,
at any time before or after the death as well as the manner of the
of the testator, unless he has administration and the rights and
provided otherwise. obligations of the administrator
Should it have existed or should it shall be governed by the Rules of
have been fulfilled at the time the Court. (804a)
will was executed and the testator

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Article 884. Conditions imposed by Article 882. The statement of the object of
the testator upon the heirs shall be the institution, or the application of the
governed by the rules established property left by the testator, or the charge
for conditional obligations in all imposed by him, shall not be considered as a
matters not provided for by this condition unless it appears that such was his
Section. (791a) intention.
That which has been left in this manner may
3. Institution with a Term be claimed at once provided that the
a. Kinds Art. 885, 1st par. instituted heir or his heirs give security for
Article 885. The designation of the compliance with the wishes of the testator
day or time when the effects of the and for the return of anything he or they
institution of an heir shall may receive, together with its fruits and
commence or cease shall be valid. interests, if he or they should disregard this
In both cases, the legal heir shall be obligation. (797a)
considered as called to the Article 883. When without the fault of the
succession until the arrival of the heir, an institution referred to in the
period or its expiration. But in the preceding article cannot take effect in the
first case he shall not enter into exact manner stated by the testator, it shall
possession of the property until be complied with in a manner most
after having given sufficient analogous to and in conformity with his
security, with the intervention of wishes.
the instituted heir. (805) If the person interested in the condition
b. Effect. Arts.878, 885 2nd should prevent its fulfillment, without the
par.in relation to 880. fault of the heir, the condition shall be
Article 878. A disposition with a deemed to have been complied with. (798a)
suspensive term does not prevent XVII. SUBSTITUTION OF HEIRS
the instituted heir from acquiring A. Concept of substitution.
his rights and transmitting them to Article 857. Substitution is the appointment of
his heirs even before the arrival of another heir so that he may enter into the inheritance
the term. (799a) in default of the heir originally instituted. (n)
Article 885. The designation of the B. Kinds of substitution.
day or time when the effects of the Article 858. Substitution of heirs may be:
institution of an heir shall (1) Simple or common;
commence or cease shall be valid. (2) Brief or compendious;
In both cases, the legal heir shall be (3) Reciprocal; or
considered as called to the (4) Fideicommissary. (n)
succession until the arrival of the 1. Simple or common.
period or its expiration. But in the Article 859. The testator may
first case he shall not enter into designate one or more persons to
possession of the property until substitute the heir or heirs instituted
after having given sufficient in case such heir or heirs should die
security, with the intervention of before him, or should not wish, or
the instituted heir. (805) should be incapacitated to accept
Article 880. If the heir be instituted the inheritance.
under a suspensive condition or A simple substitution, without a
term, the estate shall be placed statement of the cases to which it
under administration until the refers, shall comprise the three
condition is fulfilled, or until it mentioned in the preceding
becomes certain that it cannot be paragraph, unless the testator has
fulfilled, or until the arrival of the otherwise provided. (774)
term. 2. Brief or compendious.
The same shall be done if the heir Article 860. Two or more persons
does not give the security required may be substituted for one; and one
in the preceding article. (801a) person for two or more heirs. (778)
4. Modal Institution. 3. Reciprocal.

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Article 861. If heirs instituted in fiduciary the absolute obligation to


unequal shares should be deliver the property to a second
reciprocally substituted, the heir;
substitute shall acquire the share of (2) Provisions which contain a
the heir who dies, renounces, or is perpetual prohibition to alienate,
incapacitated, unless it clearly and even a temporary one, beyond
appears that the intention of the the limit fixed inarticle 863;
testator was otherwise. If there are (3) Those which impose upon the
more than one substitute, they shall heir the charge of paying to various
have the same share in the persons successively, beyond the
substitution as in the institution. limit prescribed in article 863, a
(779a) certain income or pension;
(4) Those which leave to a person
4. Fideicommissary. the whole or part of the hereditary
Article 863. A fideicommissary property in order that he may apply
substitution by virtue of which the or invest the same according to
fiduciary or first heir instituted is secret instructions communicated
entrusted with the obligation to to him by the testator. (785a)
preserve and to transmit to a second Article 868. The nullity of the
heir the whole or part of the fideicommissary substitution does
inheritance, shall be valid and shall not prejudice the validity of the
take effect, provided such institution of the heirs first
substitution does not go beyond designated; the fideicommissary
one degree from the heir originally clause shall simply be considered
instituted, and provided further, as not written. (786)
that the fiduciary or first heir and Article 869. A provision whereby
the second heir are living at the the testator leaves to a person the
time of the death of the testator. whole or part of the inheritance,
(781a) and to another the usufruct, shall be
Article 864. A fideicommissary valid. If he gives the usufruct to
substitution can never burden the various persons, not
legitime. (782a) simultaneously, but successively,
Article 865. Every fideicommissary the provisions of article 863 shall
substitution must be expressly apply. (787a)
made in order that it may be valid. C. Time-limitation on inalienability.
The fiduciary shall be obliged to Article 870. The dispositions of the testator
deliver the inheritance to the declaring all or part of the estate inalienable
second heir, without other for more than twenty years are void. (n)
deductions than those which arise
from legitimate expenses, credits XVIII. LEGACIES AND DEVISES.
and improvements, save in the case Art. 924. All things and rights which are within the
where the testator has provided commerce of man be bequeathed or devised. (865a)
otherwise. (783) Art. 925. A testator may charge with legacies and
Article 866. The second heir shall devises not only his compulsory heirs but also the
acquire a right to the succession legatees and devisees.
from the time of the testator's The latter shall be liable for the charge only to the
death, even though he should die extent of the value of the legacy or the devise
before the fiduciary. The right of received by them. The compulsory heirs shall not be
the second heir shall pass to his liable for the charge beyond the amount of the free
heirs. (784) portion given them. (858a)
Article 867. The following shall not Art. 926. When the testator charges one of the heirs
take effect: with a legacy or devise, he alone shall be bound.
(1) Fideicommissary substitutions Should he not charge anyone in particular, all shall be
which are not made in an express liable in the same proportion in which they may
manner, either by giving them this inherit. (859)
name, or imposing upon the

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Art. 927. If two or more heirs take possession of the Any other charge, perpetual or temporary, with which
estate, they shall be solidarily liable for the loss or the thing bequeathed is burdened, passes with it to
destruction of a thing devised or bequeathed, even the legatee or devisee. (867a)
though only one of them should have been negligent. Art. 935. The legacy of a credit against a third person
(n) or of the remission or release of a debt of the legatee
Art. 928. The heir who is bound to deliver the legacy shall be effective only as regards that part of the
or devise shall be liable in case of eviction, if the credit or debt existing at the time of the death of the
thing is indeterminate and is indicated only by its testator.
kind. (860) In the first case, the estate shall comply with the
Art. 929. If the testator, heir, or legatee owns only a legacy by assigning to the legatee all rights of action
part of, or an interest in the thing bequeathed, the it may have against the debtor. In the second case, by
legacy or devise shall be understood limited to such giving the legatee an acquittance, should he request
part or interest, unless the testator expressly declares one.
that he gives the thing in its entirety. (864a) In both cases, the legacy shall comprise all interests
Art. 930. The legacy or devise of a thing belonging to on the credit or debt which may be due the testator at
another person is void, if the testator erroneously the time of his death. (870a)
believed that the thing pertained to him. But if the Art. 936. The legacy referred to in the preceding
thing bequeathed, though not belonging to the article shall lapse if the testator, after having made it,
testator when he made the will, afterwards becomes should bring an action against the debtor for the
his, by whatever title, the disposition shall take effect. payment of his debt, even if such payment should not
(862a) have been effected at the time of his death.
Art. 931. If the testator orders that a thing belonging The legacy to the debtor of the thing pledged by him
to another be acquired in order that it be given to a is understood to discharge only the right of pledge.
legatee or devisee, the heir upon whom the obligation (871)
is imposed or the estate must acquire it and give the Art. 937. A generic legacy of release or remission of
same to the legatee or devisee; but if the owner of the debts comprises those existing at the time of the
thing refuses to alienate the same, or demands an execution of the will, but not subsequent ones. (872)
excessive price therefor, the heir or the estate shall Art. 938. A legacy or devise made to a creditor shall
only be obliged to give the just value of the thing. not be applied to his credit, unless the testator so
(861a) expressly declares.
Art. 932. The legacy or devise of a thing which at the In the latter case, the creditor shall have the right to
time of the execution of the will already belonged to collect the excess, if any, of the credit or of the
the legatee or devisee shall be ineffective, even legacy or devise. (837a)
though another person may have some interest Art. 939. If the testator orders the payment of what he
therein. believes he owes but does not in fact owe, the
If the testator expressly orders that the thing be freed disposition shall be considered as not written. If as
from such interest or encumbrance, the legacy or regards a specified debt more than the amount thereof
devise shall be valid to that extent. (866a) is ordered paid, the excess is not due, unless a
Art. 933. If the thing bequeathed belonged to the contrary intention appears.
legatee or devisee at the time of the execution of the
will, the legacy or devise shall be without effect, even The foregoing provisions are without prejudice to the
though it may have subsequently alienated by him. fulfillment of natural obligations. (n)
If the legatee or devisee acquires it gratuitously after Art. 940. In alternative legacies or devises, the choice
such time, he can claim nothing by virtue of the is presumed to be left to the heir upon whom the
legacy or devise; but if it has been acquired by obligation to give the legacy or devise may be
onerous title he can demand reimbursement from the imposed, or the executor or administrator of the
heir or the estate. (878a) estate if no particular heir is so obliged.
Art. 934. If the testator should bequeath or devise If the heir, legatee or devisee, who may have been
something pledged or mortgaged to secure a given the choice, dies before making it, this right
recoverable debt before the execution of the will, the shall pass to the respective heirs.
estate is obliged to pay the debt, unless the contrary Once made, the choice is irrevocable.
intention appears. In the alternative legacies or devises, except as herein
The same rule applies when the thing is pledged or provided, the provisions of this Code regulating
mortgaged after the execution of the will. obligations of the same kind shall be observed, save
such modifications as may appear from the intention
expressed by the testator. (874a)

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Art. 941. A legacy of generic personal property shall From the moment of the testator's death, the thing
be valid even if there be no things of the same kind in bequeathed shall be at the risk of the legatee or
the estate. devisee, who shall, therefore, bear its loss or
A devise of indeterminate real property shall be valid deterioration, and shall be benefited by its increase or
only if there be immovable property of its kind in the improvement, without prejudice to the responsibility
estate. of the executor or administrator. (882a)
The right of choice shall belong to the executor or Art. 949. If the bequest should not be of a specific
administrator who shall comply with the legacy by and determinate thing, but is generic or of quantity,
the delivery of a thing which is neither of inferior nor its fruits and interests from the time of the death of
of superior quality. (875a) the testator shall pertain to the legatee or devisee if
Art. 942. Whenever the testator expressly leaves the the testator has expressly so ordered. (884a)
right of choice to the heir, or to the legatee or Art. 950. If the estate should not be sufficient to
devisee, the former may give or the latter may choose cover all the legacies or devises, their payment shall
whichever he may prefer. (876a) be made in the following order:
Art. 943. If the heir, legatee or devisee cannot make (1) Remuneratory legacies or devises;
the choice, in case it has been granted him, his right (2) Legacies or devises declared by the testator to be
shall pass to his heirs; but a choice once made shall preferential;
be irrevocable. (877a) (3) Legacies for support;
Art. 944. A legacy for education lasts until the (4) Legacies for education;
legatee is of age, or beyond the age of majority in (5) Legacies or devises of a specific, determinate
order that the legatee may finish some professional, thing which forms a part of the estate;
vocational or general course, provided he pursues his (6) All others pro rata. (887a)
course diligently. Art. 951. The thing bequeathed shall be delivered
A legacy for support lasts during the lifetime of the with all its accessories and accessories and in the
legatee, if the testator has not otherwise provided. condition in which it may be upon the death of the
If the testator has not fixed the amount of such testator. (883a)
legacies, it shall be fixed in accordance with the Art. 952. The heir, charged with a legacy or devise,
social standing and the circumstances of the legatee or the executor or administrator of the estate, must
and the value of the estate. deliver the very thing bequeathed if he is able to do
If the testator or during his lifetime used to give the so and cannot discharge this obligation by paying its
legatee a certain sum of money or other things by value.
way of support, the same amount shall be deemed Legacies of money must be paid in cash, even though
bequeathed, unless it be markedly disproportionate to the heir or the estate may not have any.
the value of the estate. (879a) The expenses necessary for the delivery of the thing
Art. 945. If a periodical pension, or a certain annual, bequeathed shall be for the account of the heir or the
monthly, or weekly amount is bequeathed, the legatee estate, but without prejudice to the legitime. (886a)
may petition the court for the first installment upon Art. 953. The legatee or devisee cannot take
the death of the testator, and for the following ones possession of the thing bequeathed upon his own
which shall be due at the beginning of each period; authority, but shall request its delivery and
such payment shall not be returned, even though the possession of the heir charged with the legacy or
legatee should die before the expiration of the period devise, or of the executor or administrator of the
which has commenced. (880a) estate should he be authorized by the court to deliver
Art. 946. If the thing bequeathed should be subject to it. (885a)
a usufruct, the legatee or devisee shall respect such Art. 954. The legatee or devisee cannot accept a part
right until it is legally extinguished. (868a) of the legacy or devise and repudiate the other, if the
Art. 947. The legatee or devisee acquires a right to latter be onerous.
the pure and simple legacies or devises from the Should he die before having accepted the legacy or
death of the testator, and transmits it to his heirs. devise, leaving several heirs, some of the latter may
(881a) accept and the others may repudiate the share
Art. 948. If the legacy or device is of a specific and respectively belonging to them in the legacy or
determinate thing pertaining to the testator, the devise. (889a)
legatee or devisee acquires the ownership thereof Art. 955. The legatee or devisee of two legacies or
upon the death of the testator, as well as any growing devises, one of which is onerous, cannot renounce the
fruits, or unborn offspring of animals, or uncollected onerous one and accept the other. If both are onerous
income; but not the income which was due and or gratuitous, he shall be free to accept or renounce
unpaid before the latter's death. both, or to renounce either. But if the testator

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intended that the two legacies or devises should be shall take place only with respect to the
inseparable from each other, the legatee or devisee property of which the testator has not
must either accept or renounce both. disposed;
Any compulsory heir who is at the same time a
legatee or devisee may waive the inheritance and (3) If the suspensive condition attached to
accept the legacy or devise, or renounce the latter and the institution of heir does not happen or is
accept the former, or waive or accept both. (890a) not fulfilled, or if the heir dies before the
Art. 956. If the legatee or devisee cannot or is testator, or repudiates the inheritance, there
unwilling to accept the legacy or devise, or if the being no substitution, and no right of
legacy or devise for any reason should become accretion takes place;
ineffective, it shall be merged into the mass of the
estate, except in cases of substitution and of the right (4) When the heir instituted is incapable of
of accretion. (888a) succeeding, except in cases provided in this
Art. 957. The legacy or devise shall be without effect: Code. (912a)
(1) If the testator transforms the thing bequeathed in
such a manner that it does not retain either the form 2. Who are the intestate heirs?
or the denomination it had;
(2) If the testator by any title or for any cause Art. 961. In default of testamentary heirs,
alienates the thing bequeathed or any part thereof, it the law vests the inheritance, in accordance
being understood that in the latter case the legacy or with the rules hereinafter set forth, in the
devise shall be without effect only with respect to the legitimate and illegitimate relatives of the
part thus alienated. If after the alienation the thing deceased, in the surviving spouse, and in the
should again belong to the testator, even if it be by State. (913a)
reason of nullity of the contract, the legacy or devise
shall not thereafter be valid, unless the reacquisition 3. Order of and share in the in
shall have been effected by virtue of the exercise of testate succession.
the right of repurchase;
(3) If the thing bequeathed is totally lost during the Art. 962. In every inheritance, the relative
lifetime of the testator, or after his death without the nearest in degree excludes the more distant
heir's fault. Nevertheless, the person obliged to pay ones, saving the right of representation when
the legacy or devise shall be liable for eviction if the it properly takes place.
thing bequeathed should not have been determinate
as to its kind, in accordance with the provisions of Relatives in the same degree shall inherit in
Article 928. (869a) equal shares, subject to the provisions of
Art. 958. A mistake as to the name of the thing article 1006 with respect to relatives of the
bequeathed or devised, is of no consequence, if it is full and half blood, and of Article 987,
possible to identify the thing which the testator paragraph 2, concerning division between
intended to bequeath or devise. (n) the paternal and maternal lines. (912a)
Art. 959. A disposition made in general terms in B. Right of Representation.
favor of the testator's relatives shall be understood to Arts.970-977, Arts. 982, 902, 992, 1005-8.
be in favor of those nearest in degree. (751) Art. 970. Representation is a right created by fiction
of law, by virtue of which the representative is raised
LEGAL OR INTESTATE SUCCESSION to the place and the degree of the person represented,
XIX. GENERAL PROVISIONS and acquires the rights which the latter would have if
A. In general he were living or if he could have inherited. (942a)
1. When does it take place? Art. 971. The representative is called to the
succession by the law and not by the person
Art. 960. Legal or intestate succession takes represented. The representative does not succeed the
place: person represented but the one whom the person
(1) If a person dies without a will, or with a represented would have succeeded. (n)
void will, or one which has subsequently Art. 972. The right of representation takes place in
lost its validity; the direct descending line, but never in the ascending.
In the collateral line, it takes place only in favor of
(2) When the will does not institute an heir the children of brothers or sisters, whether they be of
to, or dispose of all the property belonging the full or half blood. (925)
to the testator. In such case, legal succession

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Art. 973. In order that representation may take place, transmitted upon their death to their descendants,
it is necessary that the representative himself be who shall inherit by right of representation from their
capable of succeeding the decedent. (n) deceased grandparent. (941a)
Art. 974. Whenever there is succession by Art. 991. If legitimate ascendants are left, the
representation, the division of the estate shall be illegitimate children shall divide the inheritance with
made per stirpes, in such manner that the them, taking one-half of the estate, whatever be the
representative or representatives shall not inherit number of the ascendants or of the illegitimate
more than what the person they represent would children. (942-841a)
inherit, if he were living or could inherit. (926a) Art. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit
Art. 975. When children of one or more brothers or abintestato from the legitimate children and relatives
sisters of the deceased survive, they shall inherit from of his father or mother; nor shall such children or
the latter by representation, if they survive with their relatives inherit in the same manner from the
uncles or aunts. But if they alone survive, they shall illegitimate child.(943a)
inherit in equal portions. (927)
Art. 976. A person may represent him whose
inheritance he has renounced.(928a) 2. Estate of an illegitimate decedent
Art. 977. Heirs who repudiate their share may not be a. Legitimate children and
represented. (929a) descendant
Art. 982. The grandchildren and other descendants Art. 903. The legitime of the parents who have an
shall inherit by right of representation, and if any one illegitimate child, when such child leaves neither
of them should have died, leaving several heirs, the legitimate descendants, nor a surviving spouse, nor
portion pertaining to him shall be divided among the illegitimate children, is one-half of the hereditary
latter in equal portions. (933) estate of such illegitimate child. If only legitimate or
Art. 902. The rights of illegitimate children set forth illegitimate children are left, the parents are not
in the preceding articles are transmitted upon their entitled to any legitime whatsoever. If only the
death to their descendants, whether legitimate or widow or widower survives with parents of the
illegitimate. (843a) illegitimate child, the legitime of the parents is one-
Art. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit fourth of the hereditary estate of the child, and that of
abintestato from the legitimate children and relatives the surviving spouse also one-fourth of the estate. (n)
of his father or mother; nor shall such children or Art. 987. In default of the father and mother, the
relatives inherit in the same manner from the ascendants nearest in degree shall inherit.
illegitimate child.(943a) Should there be more than one of equal degree
Art. 1005. Should brothers and sisters survive belonging to the same line they shall divide the
together with nephews and nieces, who are the inheritance per capita; should they be of different
children of the descendant's brothers and sisters of lines but of equal degree, one-half shall go to the
the full blood, the former shall inherit per capita, and paternal and the other half to the maternal ascendants.
the latter per stirpes. (948) In each line the division shall be made per
capita. (937)
XX. ORDER OF INTESTATE SUCCESSION Art. 988. In the absence of legitimate descendants or
A. Descending Direct Line ascendants, the illegitimate children shall succeed to
1. Estate of a legitimate the entire estate of the deceased. (939a)
decedent Art. 989. If, together with illegitimate children, there
a. Illegitimate children. should survive descendants of another illegitimate
Art. 983. If illegitimate children survive with child who is dead, the former shall succeed in their
legitimate children, the shares of the former shall be own right and the latter by right of
in the proportions prescribed by Article 895. (n) representation. (940a)
Art. 988. In the absence of legitimate descendants or Art. 990. The hereditary rights granted by the two
ascendants, the illegitimate children shall succeed to preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be
the entire estate of the deceased. (939a) transmitted upon their death to their descendants,
Art. 989. If, together with illegitimate children, there who shall inherit by right of representation from their
should survive descendants of another illegitimate deceased grandparent. (941a)
child who is dead, the former shall succeed in their Art. 991. If legitimate ascendants are left, the
own right and the latter by right of illegitimate children shall divide the inheritance with
representation. (940a) them, taking one-half of the estate, whatever be the
Art. 990. The hereditary rights granted by the two number of the ascendants or of the illegitimate
preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be children. (942-841a)

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Art. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit illegitimate children or their descendants, whether
abintestato from the legitimate children and relatives legitimate or illegitimate, such widow or widower
of his father or mother; nor shall such children or shall be entitled to the same share as that of a
relatives inherit in the same manner from the legitimate child. (n)
illegitimate child.(943a) Art. 1000. If legitimate ascendants, the surviving
Art. 993. If an illegitimate child should die without spouse, and illegitimate children are left, the
issue, either legitimate or illegitimate, his father or ascendants shall be entitled to one-half of the
mother shall succeed to his entire estate; and if the inheritance, and the other half shall be divided
child's filiation is duly proved as to both parents, who between the surviving spouse and the illegitimate
are both living, they shall inherit from him share and children so that such widow or widower shall have
share alike. (944) one-fourth of the estate, and the illegitimate children
Art. 994. In default of the father or mother, an the other fourth. (841a)
illegitimate child shall be succeeded by his or her Art. 1001. Should brothers and sisters or their
surviving spouse who shall be entitled to the entire children survive with the widow or widower, the
estate. latter shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance
If the widow or widower should survive with and the brothers and sisters or their children to the
brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, she or he other half. (953, 837a)
shall inherit one-half of the estate, and the latter the Art. 1002. In case of a legal separation, if the
other half. (945a) surviving spouse gave cause for the separation, he or
b. Illegitimate children and she shall not have any of the rights granted in the
descendant. preceding articles. (n)
Art. 990. The hereditary rights granted by the two
preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be C. Ascending direct line
transmitted upon their death to their descendants, 1. Legitimate parents and
who shall inherit by right of representation from their ascendant.
deceased grandparent. (941a) Art. 985. In default of legitimate children and
Art. 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit descendants of the deceased, his parents and
abintestato from the legitimate children and relatives ascendants shall inherit from him, to the exclusion of
of his father or mother; nor shall such children or collateral relatives. (935a)
relatives inherit in the same manner from the Art. 986. The father and mother, if living, shall
illegitimate child.(943a) inherit in equal shares.
Should one only of them survive, he or she shall
B. Surviving Spouse. succeed to the entire estate of the child. (936)
Art. 995. In the absence of legitimate descendants Art. 987. In default of the father and mother, the
and ascendants, and illegitimate children and their ascendants nearest in degree shall inherit.
descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, the Should there be more than one of equal degree
surviving spouse shall inherit the entire estate, belonging to the same line they shall divide the
without prejudice to the rights of brothers and sisters, inheritance per capita; should they be of different
nephews and nieces, should there be any, under lines but of equal degree, one-half shall go to the
article 1001. (946a) paternal and the other half to the maternal ascendants.
Art. 996. If a widow or widower and legitimate In each line the division shall be made per
children or descendants are left, the surviving spouse capita. (937)
has in the succession the same share as that of each of
the children. (834a) 2. Illegitimate parents.
Art. 997. When the widow or widower survives with Art. 993. If an illegitimate child should die without
legitimate parents or ascendants, the surviving spouse issue, either legitimate or illegitimate, his father or
shall be entitled to one-half of the estate, and the mother shall succeed to his entire estate; and if the
legitimate parents or ascendants to the other child's filiation is duly proved as to both parents, who
half. (836a) are both living, they shall inherit from him share and
Art. 998. If a widow or widower survives with share alike. (944)
illegitimate children, such widow or widower shall be
entitled to one-half of the inheritance, and the D. Collateral line.
illegitimate children or their descendants, whether Art. 1003. If there are no descendants, ascendants,
legitimate or illegitimate, to the other half. (n) illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse, the
Art. 999. When the widow or widower survives with collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of
legitimate children or their descendants and

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the deceased in accordance with the following The court, at the instance of an interested party, or on
articles. (946a) its own motion, may order the establishment of a
Art. 1004. Should the only survivors be brothers and permanent trust, so that only the income from the
sisters of the full blood, they shall inherit in equal property shall be used. (956a)
shares. (947) Art. 1014. If a person legally entitled to the estate of
Art. 1005. Should brothers and sisters survive the deceased appears and files a claim thereto with
together with nephews and nieces, who are the the court within five years from the date the property
children of the descendant's brothers and sisters of was delivered to the State, such person shall be
the full blood, the former shall inherit per capita, and entitled to the possession of the same, or if sold the
the latter per stirpes. (948) municipality or city shall be accountable to him for
Art. 1006. Should brother and sisters of the full blood such part of the proceeds as may not have been
survive together with brothers and sisters of the half lawfully spent. (n)
blood, the former shall be entitled to a share double PROVISIONS COMMON TO TESTATE
that of the latter. (949) AND INTESTATE SUCCESSION
Art. 1007. In case brothers and sisters of the half XXI. Right of Accretion
blood, some on the father's and some on the mother's A. Concept.
side, are the only survivors, all shall inherit in equal Art. 1015. Accretion is a right by virtue of which,
shares without distinction as to the origin of the when two or more persons are called to the same
property. (950) inheritance, devise or legacy, the part assigned to the
Art. 1008. Children of brothers and sisters of the half one who renounces or cannot receive his share, or
blood shall succeed per capita or per stirpes, in who died before the testator, is added or incorporated
accordance with the rules laid down for the brothers to that of his co-heirs, co-devisees, or co-legatees. (n)
and sisters of the full blood. (915) Art. 1016. In order that the right of accretion may
Art. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters take place in a testamentary succession, it shall be
nor children of brothers or sisters, the other collateral necessary:
relatives shall succeed to the estate. (1) That two or more persons be called to the same
The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or inheritance, or to the same portion thereof, pro
preference among them by reason of relationship by indiviso; anD
the whole blood. (954a) (2) That one of the persons thus called die before the
Art. 1010. The right to inherit abintestato shall not testator, or renounce the inheritance, or be
extend beyond the fifth degree of relationship in the incapacitated to receive it. (928a)
collateral line. (955a) Art. 1017. The words "one-half for each" or "in equal
shares" or any others which, though designating an
E. The State. aliquot part, do not identify it by such description as
Art. 1011. In default of persons entitled to succeed in shall make each heir the exclusive owner of
accordance with the provisions of the preceding determinate property, shall not exclude the right of
Sections, the State shall inherit the whole accretion.
estate.(956a) In case of money or fungible goods, if the share of
Art. 1012. In order that the State may take possession each heir is not earmarked, there shall be a right of
of the property mentioned in the preceding article, the accretion. (983a)
pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court must be Art. 1019. The heirs to whom the portion goes by the
observed. (958a) right of accretion take it in the same proportion that
Art. 1013. After the payment of debts and charges, they inherit. (n)
the personal property shall be assigned to the Art. 1020. The heirs to whom the inheritance accrues
municipality or city where the deceased last resided shall succeed to all the rights and obligations which
in the Philippines, and the real estate to the the heir who renounced or could not receive it would
municipalities or cities, respectively, in which the have had. (984)
same is situated. B. In legal succession.
If the deceased never resided in the Philippines, the Art. 1018. In legal succession the share of the person
whole estate shall be assigned to the respective who repudiates the inheritance shall always accrue to
municipalities or cities where the same is located. his co-heirs. (981)
Such estate shall be for the benefit of public schools, C. Compulsory succession.
and public charitable institutions and centers, in such Art. 1021. Among the compulsory heirs the right of
municipalities or cities. The court shall distribute the accretion shall take place only when the free portion
estate as the respective needs of each beneficiary may is left to two or more of them, or to any one of them
warrant. and to a stranger.

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

Should the part repudiated be the legitime, the other Even though forbidden by the testator, the co-
co-heirs shall succeed to it in their own right, and not ownership terminates when any of the causes for
by the right of accretion. (985) which partnership is dissolved takes place, or when
D. Testamentary. the court finds for compelling reasons that division
Art. 1022. In testamentary succession, when the right should be ordered, upon petition of one of the co-
of accretion does not take place, the vacant portion of heirs. (1051a)
the instituted heirs, if no substitute has been Art. 1084. Voluntary heirs upon whom some
designated, shall pass to the legal heirs of the testator, condition has been imposed cannot demand a
who shall receive it with the same charges and partition until the condition has been fulfilled; but the
obligations. (986) other co-heirs may demand it by giving sufficient
Art. 1023. Accretion shall also take place among security for the rights which the former may have in
devisees, legatees and usufructuaries under the same case the condition should be complied with, and until
conditions established for heirs. (987a) it is known that the condition has not been fulfilled or
XXII. PARTITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF can never be complied with, the partition shall be
THE ESTATE understood to be provisional. (1054a)
A. Partition. Art. 1085. In the partition of the estate, equality shall
Art. 1078. Where there are two or more heirs, the be observed as far as possible, dividing the property
whole estate of the decedent is, before its partition, into lots, or assigning to each of the co-heirs things of
owned in common by such heirs, subject to the the same nature, quality and kind. (1061)
payment of debts of the deceased. (n) Art. 1086. Should a thing be indivisible, or would be
Art. 1079. Partition, in general, is the separation, much impaired by its being divided, it may be
division and assignment of a thing held in common adjudicated to one of the heirs, provided he shall pay
among those to whom it may belong. The thing itself the others the excess in cash.
may be divided, or its value. (n) Nevertheless, if any of the heirs should demand that
Art. 1080. Should a person make partition of his the thing be sold at public auction and that strangers
estate by an act inter vivos, or by will, such partition be allowed to bid, this must be done. (1062)
shall be respected, insofar as it does not prejudice the Art. 1087. In the partition the co-heirs shall
legitime of the compulsory heirs. reimburse one another for the income and fruits
A parent who, in the interest of his or her family, which each one of them may have received from any
desires to keep any agricultural, industrial, or property of the estate, for any useful and necessary
manufacturing enterprise intact, may avail himself of expenses made upon such property, and for any
the right granted him in this article, by ordering that damage thereto through malice or neglect. (1063)
the legitime of the other children to whom the Art. 1088. Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary
property is not assigned, be paid in cash. (1056a) rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of
Art. 1081. A person may, by an act inter vivos or the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the
mortis causa, intrust the mere power to make the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the
partition after his death to any person who is not one sale, provided they do so within the period of one
of the co-heirs. month from the time they were notified in writing of
The provisions of this and of the preceding article the sale by the vendor. (1067a)
shall be observed even should there be among the co- Art. 1089. The titles of acquisition or ownership of
heirs a minor or a person subject to guardianship; but each property shall be delivered to the co-heir to
the mandatary, in such case, shall make an inventory whom said property has been adjudicated. (1065a)
of the property of the estate, after notifying the co- Art. 1090. When the title comprises two or more
heirs, the creditors, and the legatees or pieces of land which have been assigned to two or
devisees. (1057a) more co-heirs, or when it covers one piece of land
Art. 1082. Every act which is intended to put an end which has been divided between two or more co-
to indivision among co-heirs and legatees or devisees heirs, the title shall be delivered to the one having the
is deemed to be a partition, although it should purport largest interest, and authentic copies of the title shall
to be a sale, and exchange, a compromise, or any be furnished to the other co-heirs at the expense of
other transaction. (n) the estate. If the interest of each co-heir should be the
Art. 1083. Every co-heir has a right to demand the same, the oldest shall have the title.(1066a)
division of the estate unless the testator should have B. Effects of Partition.
expressly forbidden its partition, in which case the Art. 1091. A partition legally made confers upon
period of indivision shall not exceed twenty years as each heir the exclusive ownership of the property
provided in article 494. This power of the testator to adjudicated to him. (1068)
prohibit division applies to the legitime.

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

Art. 1092. After the partition has been made, the co- presumed, that the intention of the testator was
heirs shall be reciprocally bound to warrant the title otherwise. (1075)
to, and the quality of, each property Art. 1100. The action for rescission on account of
adjudicated.(1069a) lesion shall prescribe after four years from the time
Art. 1093. The reciprocal obligation of warranty the partition was made. (1076)
referred to in the preceding article shall be Art. 1101. The heir who is sued shall have the option
proportionate to the respective hereditary shares of of indemnifying the plaintiff for the loss, or
the co-heirs, but if any one of them should be consenting to a new partition.
insolvent, the other co-heirs shall be liable for his Indemnity may be made by payment in cash or by the
part in the same proportion, deducting the part delivery of a thing of the same kind and quality as
corresponding to the one who should be indemnified. that awarded to the plaintiff.
Those who pay for the insolvent heir shall have a If a new partition is made, it shall affect neither those
right of action against him for reimbursement, should who have not been prejudiced nor those have not
his financial condition improve. (1071) received more than their just share. (1077a)
Art. 1094. An action to enforce the warranty among Art. 1102. An heir who has alienated the whole or a
heirs must be brought within ten years from the date considerable part of the real property adjudicated to
the right of action accrues. (n) him cannot maintain an action for rescission on the
Art. 1095. If a credit should be assigned as ground of lesion, but he shall have a right to be
collectible, the co-heirs shall not be liable for the indemnified in cash. (1078a)
subsequent insolvency of the debtor of the estate, but Art. 1103. The omission of one or more objects or
only for his insolvency at the time the partition is securities of the inheritance shall not cause the
made. rescission of the partition on the ground of lesion, but
The warranty of the solvency of the debtor can only the partition shall be completed by the distribution of
be enforced during the five years following the the objects or securities which have been
partition. omitted. (1079a)
Co-heirs do not warrant bad debts, if so known to, Art. 1104. A partition made with preterition of any of
and accepted by, the distributee. But if such debts are the compulsory heirs shall not be rescinded, unless it
not assigned to a co-heir, and should be collected, in be proved that there was bad faith or fraud on the part
whole or in part, the amount collected shall be of the other persons interested; but the latter shall be
distributed proportionately among the heirs. (1072a) proportionately obliged to pay to the person omitted
Art. 1096. The obligation of warranty among co-heirs the share which belongs to him. (1080)
shall cease in the following cases: Art. 1105. A partition which includes a person
(1) When the testator himself has made the partition, believed to be an heir, but who is not, shall be void
unless it appears, or it may be reasonably presumed, only with respect to such person. (1081a)
that his intention was otherwise, but the legitime shall XXIII. EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS.
always remain unimpaired; Art. 1058. All matters relating to the appointment,
(2) When it has been so expressly stipulated in the powers and duties of executors and administrators
agreement of partition, unless there has been bad and concerning the administration of estates of
faith; deceased persons shall be governed by the Rules of
(3) When the eviction is due to a cause subsequent to Court. (n)
the partition, or has been caused by the fault of the Art. 1059. If the assets of the estate of a decedent
distributee of the property. (1070a) which can be applied to the payment of debts are not
C. Rescission and Nullity of Partition. sufficient for that purpose, the provisions of Articles
Art. 1097. A partition may be rescinded or annulled 2239 to 2251 on Preference of Credits shall be
for the same causes as contracts. (1073a) observed, provided that the expenses referred to in
Art. 1098. A partition, judicial or extra-judicial, may Article 2244, No. 8, shall be those involved in the
also be rescinded on account of lesion, when any one administration of the decedent's estate. (n)
of the co-heirs received things whose value is less, by Art. 1060. A corporation or association authorized to
at least one-fourth, than the share to which he is conduct the business of a trust company in the
entitled, considering the value of the things at the Philippines may be appointed as an executor,
time they were adjudicated. (1074a) administrator, guardian of an estate, or trustee, in like
Art. 1099. The partition made by the testator cannot manner as an individual; but it shall not be appointed
be impugned on the ground of lesion, except when guardian of the person of a ward. (n)
the legitime of the compulsory heirs is thereby RULE 87: ACTIONS BY AND AGAINST
prejudiced, or when it appears or may reasonably be EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS

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Notes on Succession (Codal Provisions and Case Doctrines)

Sec. 1. Actions which may and which may not be


brought against executor or administrator. - No action
upon a claim for the recovery of money or debt or
interest thereon shall be commenced against the
executor or administrator; but actions to recover real
or personal property, or an interest therein, from the
estate, or to enforce a lien thereon, and actions to
recover damages for an injury to person or property,
real or personal, may be commenced against him.
RULE 86: CLAIMS AGAINST ESTATE
Sec. 5. Claims which must be filed under the notice. -
If not filed, barred; exceptions. All claims for money
against the decedent, arising from contract, express or
implied, whether the same be due, not due, or
contingent, all claims for funeral expenses and
expenses for the last sickness of the decedent, and
judgment for money against the decedent, must be
filed within the time limited in the notice; otherwise
they are barred forever, except that they may be set
forth as counterclaims in any action that the executor
or administrator may bring against the claimants.
Where an executor or administrator commences an
action, or prosecutes an action already commenced
by the deceased in his lifetime, the debtor may set
forth by answer the claims he has against the
decedent, instead of presenting them independently to
the court as herein provided, and mutual claims may
be set off against each other in such action; and if
final judgment is rendered in favor of the defendant,
the amount so determined shall be considered the true
balance against the estate, as though the claim had
been presented directly before the court in the
administration proceedings. Claims not yet due or
contingent, may be approved at their present value.

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