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Case:Hilario M Ruiz vs. CA, GR 118671, 29 Jan.

1996 Author: Brian ʕ/ ·ᴥ·ʔ/


Topic: SPECPRO Estate Others:
Emergency: The case revolves around the powers of an administrator after admitting will to probabte but
before payment of estate debts. The admin wanted a release of funds, titles given to heirs and possession of
properties of the estate.
Facts:
- Hilario Ruiz executed a holographic will naming as his heirs his only son, Edmond Ruiz, his adopted
daughter, Maria Pilar Ruiz Montes, and his three granddaughters Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria
Angeline
- testator bequeathed to his heirs substantial cash, personal and real properties and named Edmond Ruiz
executor of his estate
- After Hilario died, cash component of his estate was distributed among the only son, the adopted daughter
and grand daughters
- However, the Son as administrator did not probate the holographic will.
- 4 years after testator's death, adopted daughter filed petition for probate. The son opposed because will was
executed under undue influence but the opposition was eventually withdrawn so probate ensued.
- One of the properties- house and lot was given to granddaughters and leased by son to 3rd persons
- Probate court ordered son-administrator to deposit rentals and payments amounting to 540k- lease income.
- The testator's estate as executor filed motion to release funds, including rent payments deposited. The
adopted daughter also motioned for release of funds to the grandchildren in accord with the holographic will.
- The motions for release of funds by the estate (rentals) were denied but the funds for the grandchildren were
released and granted.
- The estate moved for reconsideration. The court released funds but only such amount as may be necessary
to cover the espenses of administration and allowanceas for support of the testators three granddaughters
subject to collation and deductible from their share in the inheritance.The court, however, held in abeyance
the release of the titles to respondent Montes and the three granddaughters until the lapse of six months from
the date of firast publication of the notice to creditors
- Estate assailed the order, CA affirmed.
Issue: whether the probate court, after admitting the will to probate but before payment of the estates debts
and obligations, has the authority:
(1) to grant an allowance from the funds of the estate for the support of the testators grandchildren;
(2) to order the release of the titles to certain heirs; and
(3) to grant possession of all properties of the estate to the executor of the will.
Held: (1) Court has authority, but not to grandchildren. (2) No (3) Possession can be granted but not absolute.
Ratio:
1. Issue of Allowance:
- Sec. 3. Allowance to widow and family. - The widow and minor or incapacitated children of a deceased
person, during the settlement of the estate, shall receive therefrom under the direction of the court, such
allowance as are provided by law.
- grandchildren are not entitled to provisional support from the funds of the decedents estate. The law clearly
limits the allowance to widow and children and does not extend it to the deceaseds grandchildren, regardless
of their minority or incapacity. It was error, therefore, for the appellate court to sustain the probate courts order
granting an allowance to the grandchildren of the testator pending settlement of his estate.

2. Release of Titles
- No distribution shall be allowed until the payment of the obligations above-mentioned has been
made or provided for, unless the distributees, or any of them, give a bond, in a sum to be fixed by the
court, conditioned for the payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs.(Rule 90
sec. 1)
- In settlement of estate proceedings, the distribution of the estate properties can only be made:
(1) after all the debts, funeral charges, expenses of administration, allowance to the widow, and estate tax
have been paid; or
(2) before payment of said obligations only if the distributees or any of them gives a bond in a sum fixed by
the court conditioned upon the payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs, or when
provision is made to meet those obligations.
- the probate court ordered the release of the titles to the Valle Verde property and the Blue Ridge apartments
to the private respondents after the lapse of six months from the date of first publication of the notice to
creditors. The questioned order speaks of notice to creditors, not payment of debts and obligations. Testator
allegedly left no debts when he died but the taxes on his estate had not hitherto been paid

3. The right of an executor or administrator to the possession and management of the real and personal
properties of the deceased is not absolute and can only be exercised so long as it is necessary for the
payment of the debts and expenses of administration
Sec. 3. Executor or administrator to retain whole estate to pay debts, and to administer estate not willed. - An
executor or administrator shall have the right to the possession and management of the real as well as the
personal estate of the deceased so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses
for administration (sec. 3 Rule 84)
- When petitioner moved for further release of the funds deposited with the clerk of court, he had been
previously granted by the probate court certain amounts for repair and maintenance expenses on the
properties of the estate, and payment of the real estate taxes thereon. But petitioner moved again for the
release of additional funds for the same reasons he previously cited. It was correct for the probate court to
require him to submit an accounting of thenecessary expenses for administration before releasing any further
money in his favor.
- As executor, he is a mere trustee of his fathers estate. The funds of the estate in his hands are trust funds
and he is held to the duties and responsibilities of a trustee of the highest order. He cannot unilaterally
assign to himself and possess all his parents properties and the fruits without first submitting an
inventory and appraisal of all real and personal properties of the deceased, rendering a true account
of his administration, the expenses of administration, the amount of the obligations and estate tax, all
of which are subject to a determination by the court as to their veracity, propriety and justness.