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Maloto v. Court of Appeals burning, tearing, obliterating or cancelling

G.R. No. 76464 February 29, 1988 done by the testator himself or by another
Sarmiento, J. (Ponente) under his express direction and presence.
Molo vs. Molo
G.R. No. L-2538 September 21, 1951
Facts: Bautista Angelo, J. (Ponente)
1. Petitioners and respondents are the
neices/nephews or Adriana Maloto who died Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation
in 1963. The four heirs believed that the
deceased did not leave a will, hesnce they Facts:
filed an intestate proceeding. However, the 1. Marcos Molo executed 2 wills, one
parties executed an extrajudicial settlement in August 1918 and another in June 1939. The
of the estate dividing it into four equal parts. latter will contained a revocation clause
which expressly revoked the will in 1918. He
2. In 1967, Atty. Sulpicio Palma, ex-associate died without any forced heirs but he was
of the deceased's counsel allegedly survived by his wife, herein petitioner Juana.
discovered her last will which was The oppositors to the probate were his
purportedly dated 1940, inside a cabinet. nephews and nieces.
Hence the annulment of the proceedings and
a probate petition was filed by the devisees 2. Only a carbon copy of the second will was
and legatees. The said will was allegedly found. The widow filed a petition for the
burned by the househelp under probate of the 1939 will. It was admitted to
the instruction of the deceased probate but subsequently set aside on
ground that the petitioner failed to prove its
3. The lower court denied the probate on the due execution.
ground that the animus revocandi in the
burning of the will was sufficiently proven. 3. As a result, the petitioner filed another
petition for the probate of the 1918 will this
Issue: Whether or not there was valid time. Again the oppositors alleged that said
revocation of the will will had already been revoked under the 1939
will. They contended that despite the
RULING: No, there was no revocation. For a disallowance of the 1939 will, the revocation
valid revocation to occur,the 'corpus' and clause is valid and thus effectively nullified
'animus' must concur, one without the other the 1918 will.
will not produce a valid revocation. The
physical act of destruction of a will must Issue: Whether or not the 1918 will can still
come with an intention to revoke (animus be valid despite the revocation in the
revocandi). In this case, there's paucity of subsequent disallowed 1939 will
evidence to comply with the said
requirement. The paper burned was not RULING: Yes.The court applied the doctrine
established to be the will and the burning laid down in Samson v. Naval that a
though done under her express direction subsequent will,containing a clause revoking
was not done in her presence. a previous will, having been disallowed for
the reason that it was not executed in
Under Art. 830, the physical act of accordance with law cannot produce the
destruction, in this case the burning of the effect of annulling the previous will,
will, does not constitute an effective inasmuch as the said revocatory clause is
revocation, unless it is coupled with animus void.
revocandi on the part of the testator. Since
animus is a state of mind, it has to be There was no valid revocation in this case. No
accompanied by an overt physical act of evidence was shown that the testator

deliberately destroyed the original 1918 will the handwriting of the deceased may be
because of his knowledge of the revocatory exhibited and tested before the probate
clause contained in the will executed in 1939. court.”

The earlier will can still be probated under the

principle of dependent relative
revocation.The doctrine applies when a Azaola v. Singson
testator cancels or destroys a will or executes GR L-14003 Aug 5, 1960
an instrument intended to revoke a will with
the intention to make a new testamentary FACTS:
disposition as substitute for the old, and the
new disposition fails of effect for some Fortunata S. Vda. De Yance died in Quezon
reason. City on September 9, 1957. Petitioner
submitted for probate her holographic will,
in which Maria Azaola was made the sole heir
Rodelas v. Aranza as against the nephew, who is the defendant.
G.R. No. L-58509 December 7, 1982 Only one witness, Francisoco Azaola, was
Relova, J. (Ponente) presented to testify on the handwriting of
the testatrix. He testified that he had seen it
Facts: one month, more or less, before the death of
1. The appellant filed a petition for the the testatrix, as it was given to him and his
probate of the holographic will of Ricardo wife; and that it was in the testatrix’s
Bonilla in 1977. The petition was opposed by handwriting. He presented the mortgage,
the appellees on the ground that the the special power of the attorney, and
deceased did not leave any will, holographic the general power of attorney, and the deeds
or otherwise. of sale including an affidavit to reinforce his
statement. Two residence certificates
2. The lower court dismissed the petition for showing the testatrix’s signature were also
probate and held that since the original will exhibited for comparison purposes.
was lost, a photostatic copy cannot stand in
the place of the original. The probate was opposed on the ground that
(1) the execution of the will was procured by
Issue: Whether or not a holographic will can undue and improper pressure
be proved by means of a photocopy and influence on the part of the petitioner
and his wife, and (2) that the testatrix did not
RULING: Yes. A photocopy of the lost or seriously intend the instrument to be her last
destroyed holographic will may be admitted will, and that the same was actually written
because the authenticity of the handwriting either on the 5th or 6th day of August 1957
of the deceased can be determined by the and not on November 20, 1956 as appears on
probate court with the standard writings of the will.
the testator.
The probate was denied on the ground that
under Article 811 of the Civil Code, the
As in the case of Gam v Yap, “the execution proponent must present three witnesses
and contents of a lost holgraphic will may not who could declare that the will and the
be proved by bare testimony pf witnesses signature are in the writing of the testatrix,
who have seen and/or read such will. Will the probate being contested; and because
itself must be presented, otherwise it shall the lone witness presented “did not prove
produce no effect. But it may be proved by a sufficiently that the body of the will was
photograhic or photostatic copy.. or by other written in the handwriting of the testatrix.”
similar meanw, whereby the authenticity of

Petitioner appealed, urging: first, that he was found (or what amounts to the same thing,
not boundto produce more than one witness that no competent witness may be willing to
because the will’s authenticity was not testify to the authenticity of the will), and
questioned; and second, that Article 811 does provides for resort to expert evidence to
not mandatorily require the production of supply the deficiency.
three witnesses to identify the handwriting
and signature of a holographic will, even if its What the law deems essential is that the
authenticity should be denied by court should be convinced of the will’s
the adverse party. authenticity. Where the prescribed number
of witnesses is produced and the court is
ISSUE: convinced by their testimony that the will is
genuine, it may consider it unnecessary to call
W/N Article 811 of the Civil Code is mandatory for expert evidence. On the other hand, if no
or permissive. competent witness is available, or none of
those produced is convincing, the Court may
HELD: still, and in fact it should, resort to
handwriting experts. The duty of the Court, in
Article 811 is merely permissive and not fine, is to exhaust all available lines of inquiry,
mandatory. Since the authenticity of the will for the state is as much interested as the
was not contested, petitioner was not proponent that the true intention of the
required to produce more than one witness; testator be carried into effect.
but even if the genuineness of
the holographic will were contested, Article
811 can not be interpreted to require the
compulsory presentation of three witnesses Cuenco vs CA
to identify the handwriting of the testator, G.R. No. L-24742, October 26, 1973
under penalty of having the probate denied.
Since no witness may have been present at
the execution of a holographic will, none o The court first taking cognizance of the
being required by law (Art. 810, new Civil settlement of the estate of a decedent, shall
Code), it becomes obvious that the existence exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of all
of witness possessing the requisite other courts
qualifications is a matter beyond the control
of the proponent. For it is not merely a FACTS:
question of finding and producing any three
witnesses; they must be witnesses “who Senator Mariano Jesus Cuenco died in
know the handwriting and signature of the Manila. He was survived by his widow and
testator” and who can declare (truthfully, of two minor sons, residing in Quezon City, and
course, even if the law does not so express) children of the first marriage, residing in
“that the will and the signature are in the Cebu. Lourdes, one of the children from the
handwriting of the testator”. There may be first marriage, filed a Petition for Letters of
no available witness of the testator’s hand; or Administration with the Court of First
even if so familiarized, the witnesses may be Instance (CFI) Cebu, alleging that the senator
unwilling to give a positive opinion. died intestate in Manila but a resident of
Compliance with the rule of paragraph 1 of Cebu with properties in Cebu and Quezon
Article 811 may thus become an impossibility. City.

This is the reason why the 2nd paragraph of The petition still pending with CFI Cebu, Rosa
Article 811 allows the court to resort to Cayetano Cuenco, the second wife, filed a
expert evidence. The law foresees the petition with CFI Rizal for the probate of the
possibility that no qualified witness may be last will and testament, where she was

named executrix. Rosa also filed an over the subject matter but merely of venue.
opposition and motion to dismiss in CFI Cebu If this were otherwise, it would affect the
but this court held in abeyance resolution prompt administration of justice.
over the opposition until CFI Quezon shall
have acted on the probate proceedings. The court with whom the petition is first filed
must also first take cognizance of the
Lourdes filed an opposition and motion to settlement of the estate in order to exercise
dismiss in CFI Quezon, on ground of lack of jurisdiction over it to the exclusion of all other
jurisdiction and/or improper venue, courts, but this does not mean ‘exclusive
considering that CFI Cebu already acquired jurisdiction’ per se. Such court, upon learning
exclusive jurisdiction over the case. The that a petition for probate of will has been
opposition and motion to dismiss were presented in another court in compliance
denied. Upon appeal CA ruled in favor of with residence requirement, may decline to
Lourdes and issued a writ of prohibition to take cognizance of the petition and hold it in
CFI Quezon. abyrancr, and defer to the second court
which has the probate proceedings the
ISSUEs: alleged last will.

Here, this is what happened; Cebu CFI first

o Whether or not CA erred in issuing the writ of assumed jurisdiction, but held in abeyance
prohibition against the QC court the intestacy proceedings due to pending
o Whether or not CFI Quezon acted without probate proceedings in QC CFI. Doctrine of
jurisdiction or grave abuse of discretion in precedence of probate proceedings over
taking cognizance and assuming exclusive intestatce proceedings apply. QC’s order
jurisdiction over the probate proceedings in already long final since respondents did not
pursuance to CFI Cebu's order expressly appeal.
consenting in deference to the precedence of
probate over intestate proceedings

HELD: Codoy v. Calugay

312 SCRA 333
The Supreme Court found that CA erred in
law in issuing the writ of prohibition against FACTS:
the Quezon City court from proceeding with
the testate proceedings and annulling and On 6 April 1990, Evangeline Calugay,
setting aside all its orders and actions, Josephine Salcedo and Eufemia Patigas,
particularly its admission to probate of the devisees and legatees of the holographic will
last will and testament of the deceased and of the deceased Matilde Seño Vda. de
appointing petitioner-widow as executrix Ramonal, filed a petition for probate of the
thereof without bond pursuant to the said will. They attested to the genuineness
deceased testator's wish. and due execution of the will on 30 August
On Venue and Jurisdiction
Eugenio Ramonal Codoy and Manuel
Under Rule 73 Sec. 1, the court first taking Ramonal filed their opposition claiming that
cognizance of the settlement of the estate of the will was a forgery and that the same is
a decent, shall exercise jurisdiction to the even illegible. They raised doubts as regards
exclusion of all other courts. the repeated appearing on the will after
every disposition, calling the same out of the
The residence of the decent or the location of ordinary. If the will was in the handwriting of
his estate is not an element of jurisdiction the deceased, it was improperly procured.

Evangeline Calugay, etc. presented 6 genuine signature of the testator, is

witnesses and various documentary mandatory or directory.
The first witness was the clerk of court of the 2. Whether or not the witnesses sufficiently
probate court who produced and identified establish the authenticity and due execution
the records of the case bearing the signature of the deceased’s holographic will.
of the deceased.
The second witness was election registrar HELD:
who was made to produce and identify the
voter’s affidavit, but failed to as the same 1. YES. The word “shall” connotes a
was already destroyed and no longer mandatory order, an imperative obligation
available. and is inconsistent with the idea of discretion
and that the presumption is that the word
The third, the deceased’s niece, claimed that “shall”, when used in a statute, is mandatory.
she had acquired familiarity with the
deceased’s signature and handwriting as she In the case at bar, the goal to be achieved by
used to accompany her in collecting rentals the law, is to give effect to the wishes of
from her various tenants of commercial the deceased and the evil to be prevented is
buildingsand the deceased always issued the possibility that unscrupulous individuals
receipts. The niece also testified that who for their benefit will employ means to
the deceased left a holographic will entirely defeat the wishes of the testator.
written, dated and signed by said deceased.
The paramount consideration in the present
The fourth witness was a former lawyer for petition is to determine the true intent of
the deceasedin the intestate proceedings of the deceased.
her late husband, who said that the signature
on the will was similar to that of 2. NO. We cannot be certain that the
the deceased but that he can not be sure. holographic will was in the handwriting of
the deceased.
The fifth was an employee of the DENR who
testified that she was familiar with the The clerk of court was not presented to
signature of the deceased which appeared in declare explicitly that the signature
the latter’s application for pasture permit. appearing in the holographic will was that of
The fifth, respondent Evangeline Calugay, the deceased.
claimed that she had lived with
the deceased since birth where she had The election registrar was not able to
become familiar with her signature and that produce the voter’s affidavit
the one appearing on the will was genuine. for verification as it was no longer available.

Codoy and Ramonal’s demurrer to evidence The deceased’s niece saw pre-prepared
was granted by the lower court. It was receipts and letters of the deceased and did
reversed on appeal with not declare that she saw the deceased sign a
the Court of Appeals which granted the document or write a note.
The will was not found in the personal
ISSUE: belongings of the deceased but was in the
possession of the said niece, who kept the
1. W/N Article 811 of the Civil Code, providing fact about the will from the children of
that at least three witnesses explicitly declare the deceased, putting in issue her motive.
the signature in a contested will as the

Evangeline Calugay never declared that she inconsistent with the idea of discretion and
saw the decreased write a note or sign a that the presumption is that the word
document. “shall”, when used in a statute, is mandatory.

The former lawyer of

the deceased expressed doubts as to the
authenticity of the signature in the Roberts v. Leonidas
holographic will. GR L-55509 April 27, 1984

(As it appears in the foregoing, the three- FACTS:

witness requirement was not complied with.)
Grimm, an American resident of Manila, died
A visual examination of the holographic will in 1977. He was survived by his second wife
convinces that the strokes are different when (Maxine), their two children (Pete and Linda),
compared with other documents written by and by his two children by a first
the testator. marriage (Juanita and Ethel) which ended by
The records are remanded to allow the
oppositors to adduce evidence in support of Grimm executed two wills in San Francisco,
their opposition. California on January 23, 1959. One
will disposed of his Philippine estate
The object of solemnities surrounding the described as conjugal property of himself
execution of wills is to close the door against and his second wife. The second
bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of will disposed of his estate outside the
wills and testaments and to guaranty their Philippines. The two wills and a codicil were
truth and authenticity. Therefore, the laws on presented for probate in Utah by Maxine on
this subject should be interpreted in such a March 1978. Maxine admitted that she
way as to attain these primordial ends. But, received notice of the intestate petition filed
on the other hand, also one must not lose in Manila by Ethel in January 1978. The Utah
sight of the fact that it is not the object of the Court admitted the two wills and codicil to
law to restrain and curtail the exercise the probate on April 1978 and was issued upon
right to make a will. (Ajero v CA) consideration of the stipulation between
the attorneys for Maxine and Ethel.
However, we cannot eliminate the possibility
of a false document being adjudged as the Also in April 1978, Maxine and Ethel, with
will of the testator, which is why if the knowledge of the intestate proceeding in
holographic will is contested, the law Manila, entered into
requires three witnesses to declare that the a compromise agreement in Utah regarding
will was in the handwriting of the deceased. the estate.

Article 811, paragraph 1. provides: “In the As mentioned, in January 1978, an intestate
probate of a holographic will, it shall be proceeding was instituted by Ethel. On March
necessary that at least one witness who 1978, Maxine filed an opposition and motion
knows the handwriting and signature of the to dismiss the intestate proceeding on the
testator explicitly declare that the will and ground of pendency of the Utah probate
the signature are in the handwriting of the proceedings. She submitted to the court a
testator. If the will is contested, at least three copy of Grimm’s will. However, pursuant to
of such witnesses shall be required.” the compromiseagreement, Maxine
withdrew the opposition and the motion
The word “shall” connotes a mandatory to dismiss. The court ignored the will found in
order, an imperative obligation and is the record.The estate was partitioned.

In 1980, Maxine filed a petition praying for Facts:

the probate of the two wills (already 1. Martin Hugo died on 1974 and he left a will
probated in Utah), that the partition wherein he instituted Sofia Nepomuceno as
approved by the intestate court be set aside the sole and only executor. It was also
and the letters of administration revoked, provided therein that he was married to
that Maxine be appointedexecutrix and Ethel Rufina Gomez with whom he had 3 children.
be ordered to account for the properties
received by them and return the same to 2. Petitioner (Sofia) filed for the probate of
Maxine. Maxine alleged that they were the will but the legal wife and her children
defrauded due to the machinations of Ethel, opposed alleging that the will was procured
that the compromiseagreement was illegal through improper and undue influence and
and the intestate proceeding was void that there was an admission of concubinage
because Grimm died testate so partition was with the petitioner.
contrary to the decedent’s wills.
3. The lower court denied the probate on the
Ethel filed a motion to dismiss the petition ground of the testator's admission of
which was denied by Judge Leonidas for lack cohabitation, hence making the will invalid
of merit. on its face. The Court of Appeals reversed
and held that the will is valid except the
ISSUE: devise in favor of the petitioner which is null
and void in violation of Art. 739 and 1028.
Whether the judge committed grave abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in Issue: Whether or not the court can pass on
denying Ethel’s motion to dismiss. the intrinsic validity of a will

HELD: RULING: Yes, as an exception. But the

general rule is that the court's area of inquiry
We hold that respondent judge did is limited to the an examination and
not commit any grave abuse of discretion, resolution of the extrinsic validity of the will.
amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in denying This general rule is however not inflexible
Ethel’s motion to dismiss. and absolute. Given exceptional
A testate proceeding is proper in this case circumstances, the probate court is not
because Grimmdied with two wills and “no powerless to do what the situation
will shall pass either real or personal property constrains it to do and may pass upon certain
unless it is proved and allowed” (Art. 838, provisions of the will. The will itself admitted
Civil Code; sec. 1, Rule 75, Rules of Court). on its face the relationship between the
testator and the petitioner.
The probate of the will is mandatory. It
is anomalous that the estate of a person who The will was validly executed in accordance
died testate should be settled in an intestate with law but the court didn't find it to serve a
proceeding. Therefore, the intestate case practical purpose to remand the nullified
should be consolidated with the testate provision in a separate action for that
proceeding and the judge assigned to the purpose only since in the probate of a will,
testate proceeding should continue hearing the court does not ordinarily look into the
the two cases. intrinsic validity of its provisions.

The devisee is invalid by virtue of Art. 739

which voids a donation made between
Nepomuceno v. CA Digests persons guilty of adultery/concubinage at the
Nepomuceno v. Court of Appeals time of the donations. Under Art, 1028 it is
also prohibited.

“Disinheritance” is a testamentary
disposition depriving any compulsory heir of
his share in the legitime for a cause
authorized by law. Governed by Art. 918
Nuguid v. Nuguid
GR L-23445, June 23, 1966
Kalaw v. Relova
FACTS: G.R. No. L-40207 September 28, 1984
Melencio-Herrera, J. (Ponente)
Rosario died single, without descendants,
legitimate or illegitimate. Surviving were her Facts:
legitimate parents, Felix and Paz, and 6
brothers and sisters. One of the siblings filed 1. Gregorio Kalaw, the private respondent,
a holographic will allegedly executed by claiming to be the sole heir of sister
Rosario 11 years before her death and prayed Natividad, filed a peition for probate of the
that she be admitted to the probate and be latter's holographic will in 1968. The will
appointed administrator. The parents contained 2 alterations: a) Rosa's name,
opposed saying that they are the designated as the sole heir was crossed out
compulsory heirs of the decedent in and instead "Rosario" was written above it.
the direct ascending line and that the will Such was not initialed, b) Rosa's name was
should be void on the ground of crossed out as sole executrix and Gregorio's
absolute preterition. ma,e was written above it. This alteration was
initialed by the testator.
2. Rosa contended that the will as first
Is the will void on the ground of preterition? written should be given effect so that she
would be the sole heir. The lower court
RULING: denied the probate due to the
unauthenticated alterations and additions.
YES. The decedent left no descendants,
legitimate or illegitimate. But she Issue: Whether or not the will is valid
left forced heirs in the direct ascending line
her parents. And, the will completely omits Whether or not the original unaltered text
both of them; thus receiving nothing by the (where Rosa is sole heir) ,after the
testament, depriving them of their subsequent alterations were voided by court
legitime; neither were they expressly order, shall be probated
disinherited. This is a clear case of
preterition. Note that A. 854 of the NCC RULING: Basic rule is “when a number of
merely nullifies the “institution of heir”. erasures, corrections, and interlineations
Considering that the will presented solely made by the testator in a holographic will has
provides for the institution of the petitioner not been noted under testator’s signature…
as universal heir and nothing more, the result the will is not invalidated as whole but only as
is the same. The will is null and void. tomthe particular words erased, corrected,
or altered”
“Preterition” is he omission in the testator’s
will of forced heirs or snyone of them, either But here, the will is voided or revoked since
they are not mentioned or though nothing remains in the will which could
mentioned, neither instituted as heirs nor are remain valid as there was only one
expressly disinherited. Governed by Art. 854 disposition in it; which is he assignment of
sole heir of all of Natividad’s estate”. Such

was altered by the substitution of the original and fundamental objectives permeating the
heir with another. provisions of the law wills consists in the
liberalization of the manner of their
To rule that the first will should be given execution with the end in view of giving the
effect is to disregard the testatrix' change of testator more freedom in expressing his last
mind. However, this change of mind cannot wishes, but with sufficient safeguards and
be given effect either as she failed to restrictions to prevent the commission
authenticate it in accordance with Art. 814, or of fraud and the exercise of undue and
by affixing her full signature. improper pressure and influence upon the
testator. If a Will has been executed in
substantial compliance with
the formalities of the law, and the possibility
Roxas v. De Jesus of bad faith and fraud in the exercise thereof
134 SCRA 245 is obviated, said Will should be admitted to
probate (Rey v. Cartagena 56 Phil. 282).
If the testator, in executing his Will, attempts
Bibiane Roxas died. Her brother, Simeon to comply with all the requisites, although
Roxas, filed a spec. pro. for partition of the compliance is not literal, it is sufficient if the
estate of the deceased and also delivered objective or purpose sought to
the holographic will of the deceased. Simeon be accomplished by such requisite is actually
stated that he found a notebook belonging attained by the form followed by the
to deceased, which contained a “letter-will” testator. In Abangan v. Abanga 40 Phil. 476,
entirely written and signed in deceased’s we ruled that: The object of the solemnities
handwriting. The will is dated“FEB./61 ” and surrounding the execution of wills is to close
states: “This is my will which I want to be the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid
respected although it is not written by a substitution of wills and testaments and to
lawyer. Roxas relatives corroborated the fact guaranty their truth and authenticity. …
that the same is a holographic will of
deceased, identifying her handwriting and In particular, a complete date is required to
signature. Respondent opposed probate on provide against such contingencies as that of
the ground that it such does not comply with two competing Wills executed on the same
Article 810 of the CC because the date day, or of a testator becoming insane on the
contained in a holographic will must signify day on which a Will was executed (Velasco v.
the year, month, and day. Lopez, 1 Phil. 720). There is no
such contingency in this case.
We have carefully reviewed the records of
W/N the date “FEB./61 ” appearing on this case and found no evidence of bad faith
the holographicWill of the deceased Bibiana and fraud in its execution nor was there any
Roxas de Jesus is a valid compliance with the substitution of Wins and Testaments. There is
Article 810 of the Civil Code. no question that the holographic Will of the
deceased Bibiana Roxas de Jesus was entirely
HELD: written, dated, and signed by the testatrix
herself and in a language known to her. There
Valid date. is also no question as to its genuineness and
due execution. All the children of the
This will not be the first time that this Court testatrix agree on the genuineness of
departs from a strict and literal application of the holographic Will of their mother and that
the statutory requirements regarding the she had the testamentary capacity at the
due execution of Wills. The underlying time of the execution of said Will. The

objection interposed by the oppositor- allowing the will and the issuance of letters of
respondent Luz Henson is that administration in his name.
the holographic Will is
fatally defectivebecause the date “FEB./61 ” ISSUE:
appearing on the holographicWill is not
sufficient compliance with Article 810 of the Whether or not the petitioner, being
Civil Code. This objection is too technical to a creditor of the late Dr. Arturo de
be entertained. Santos, has a right to intervene and oppose
the petition for issuance of letters
As a general rule, the “date” in testamentary filed by the respondent
a holographic Will should include the day,
month, and year of its execution. However, RULING:
when as in the case at bar, there is no
appearance of fraud, bad faith, undue No. The petitioner in this case avers that, as
influence and pressure and the authenticity the nearest next of kin and creditor of the
of the Will is established and the only issue is testator, his interest in the matter is material
whether or not the date “FEB./61” appearing and direct. Even if petitioner is the nearest
on the holographic Will is a valid compliance next of kin of Dr. De Santos, he cannot be
with Article 810 of the Civil Code, probate of considered an “heir” of the testator. It is a
the holographic Will should be allowed under fundamental rule of testamentary succession
the principle of substantial compliance. that one who has no compulsory or forced
heirs may dispose of his entire estate by will.

Thus, Article 842 of the Civil Code provides:

Maloles II vs Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 133359, January 31, 2000 “One who has no compulsory heirs
may dispose by will of all his estate or any
FACTS: part of it in favor of any person having
capacity to succeed.”
On July 20, 1995, Dr. Arturo de Santos, Filipino
and a resident of Makati City, filed a petition “One who has compulsory heirs
for probate of his will 1 in the Regional may dispose of his estate provided he does
Trial Court. He alleged that he had no not contravene the provisions of this Code
compulsory heirs; that he had named in his with regard to the legitimate of said heirs.”
will as sole legatee and devisee the Arturo de
Santos Foundation, Inc.; that he disposed by Compulsory heirs are limited to the testator’s
his will his properties with —
an approximate value of not less than
P2,000,000.00; and that copies of said will 1. Legitimate children and descendants, with
were in the custody of the named executrix, respect to their legitimate
private respondent Pacita de los Reyes parents and ascendants;
Phillips. 2. In default of the foregoing, legitimate
parents and ascendants, with respect to their
Petitioner Octavio S. Maloles II filed a motion legitimate children and descendants;
for intervention claiming that, as the only 3. The widow or widower;
child of Alicia de Santos (testator’s sister) and 4. Acknowledged natural children, and natural
Octavio L. Maloles, Sr., he was the sole full- children by legal fiction;
blooded nephew and nearest of kin of Dr. De 5. Other illegitimate children referred to in
Santos. He likewise alleged that he was Article 287 of the Civil Code.
a creditor of the testator. Petitioner thus
prayed for the reconsideration of the order

Petitioner, as nephew of the testator, is not a May a last will and testament admitted to
compulsory heir who may have probate but declared intrinsically void in an
been preterited in the testator’s will. Nor order that has become final and executor still
does he have any right to intervene in the be given effect?
settlement proceedings based on his
allegation that he is a creditor of RULING:
the deceased. Since the testator instituted or
named an executor in his will, it is incumbent No. A final and executor decision or order can
upon the Court to respect the desires of the no longer be disturbed or reopened no
testator. Only if the appointed executor is matter how erroneous it may be.
incompetent, refuses the trust, or fails to
give bond may the court appoint other The Supreme Court ruled that the will
persons to administer the estate. None of of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but
these circumstances is present in this case. the intrinsic provisions thereof are
void. Alejandro gave all the property to the
Dr.Santos’ probate of his own will is valid in concubine. Such is invalid because one
accordancd to Art. 838, which allows filing of cannot dispose what he does not own. In this
petition ofmprobate of he will filed by the case, the whole property is
testator himself. the conjugalproperty of Alejandro and
Aniceta. Such has become final and executor.
The only instance where a party interested in
probate proceeding may have a final
Dorotheo v. CA liquidation set aside is when he is left out by
GR No. 108581, December 8, 1999 reason of circumstances beyond his control
or through mistake or inadvertence not
FACTS: imputable to negligence with circumstances
do not concur herein.
Aniceta Reyes died in 1969 without her estate
being settled. Thereafter, her Under Art. 960, testacy is preferred over
husband Alejandro also died. n 1977, Lourdes intestacy. But before there can be testacy
Dorotheo, petitioner who claimed to have distribution, the will must pass the tests and
taken care of Alejandro before he died, filed safeguards provided by law. No intestate
a special proceeding for the probate distribution can be done until and unless the
of Alejandro’s last will and testament. The will failed to pass both its extrinsic and
children of spouses filed their opposition. intrinsic validity.

The RTC ruled that Lourdes being not the If will is extrinsically void, rules of intestacy
wife of Alejandro the will is intrinsically void, applies regardless if intrisicslly valid. If
though extrinsically void; the oppositors are extrinsically valid, next to determine is
the only heir entitled to the estate. Lourdes intrinsic (whether provisions of will are valid
filed a Motion for Consideration arguing that according to laws of succession). Here the
she is entitled to some compensation since will is ruled extrinsically valid but intrinsically
she took care of Alejandro prior to his death invalid as it deprived compulsory heirs of
although they were not legally married to their share and the property involved is
each other. This was denied by the trial court. conjugal propert of Alejandro and Anita.
The CA dismissed her appeal for her failure to Intestacy applies.
wile the same within the extended period. CA
order became final.

ISSUE: Ajero v. CA
236 SCRA 488

FACTS: sign and date some of the dispositions, the

result is that these dispositions cannot be
The holographic will of Annie San was effectuated. Such failure, however, does not
submitted for probate. render the whole testament void.
Private respondent opposed the petition on Likewise, a holographic will can still be
the grounds that: neither the testament’s admitted to probate notwithstanding non-
body nor the signature therein was in compliance with the provisions of Article 814.
decedent’s handwriting; it
contained alterations and corrections which Unless the
were not duly signed by decedent; and, the authenticated alterations, cancellations or
will was procured by petitioners through insertions were made on the date of the
improper pressure and undue influence. holographic will or on testator’s signature,
their presence does not invalidate the will
The petition was also contested by Dr. Ajero itself. The lack of authentication will only
with respect to the disposition in the will of a result in disallowance of such changes.
house and lot. He claimed that said property
could not be conveyed by decedent in its It is also proper to note that
entirety, as she was not its sole owner. he requirements of authentication of
changes and signing and
However, the trial court still admitted the dating of dispositions appear in provisions
decedent’s holographic will to probate. (Article 813 and 814) separate from that
The trial court held that since it must decide which provides for the necessary conditions
only the question of the identity of the will, for the validity of the holographic will (Article
its due execution and the 810).
testamentary capacity of the testatrix, it
finds no reason for the disallowance of the This separation and distinction adds support
will for its failure to comply with the to the interpretation that only
formalities prescribed by law nor for lack of the requirements of Article 810 of the NCC –
testamentary capacity of the testatrix. and not those found in Articles 813 and 814 –
are essential to the probate of a holographic
On appeal, the CA reversed said Decision will.
holding that the decedent did not comply
with Articles 313 and 314 of the NCC. It found Section 9, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court and
that certain dispositions in the will were Article 839 of the Civil Code enumerate the
either unsigned or undated, or signed by grounds for disallowance of wills.
not dated. It also found that the These lists are exclusive; no other grounds
erasures, alterations and cancellationsmade can serve to disallow a will.
had not been authenticated by decedent.
In a petition to admit a holographic will, the
ISSUE: only issues to be resolved are:

Whether the CA erred in holding that Articles 1.whether the instrument submitted is,
813 and 814 of the NCC were not complies indeed, the decedent’s last will and
with. testament;

HELD: 2.whether said will was executed in

accordance with the formalities prescribed
YES. A reading of Article 813 shows that its by law;
requirement affects the validity of
the dispositions contained in the holographic
will, but not its probate. If the testator fails to

3.whether the decedent had the necessary RULING:

testamentary capacity at the time the will
was executed; and In case of doubt, under Art. 220 of the NCC,
all presumptions favor the solidarity of the
4.whether the execution of the will and its family. Thus every intendment of the law or
signing were the voluntary acts of the fact leans toward the validity of marriage
decedent. the legitimacy of children. Even in
the absence of any certificate of marriage or
The object of the solemnities surrounding the other documentary proof of the existence of
execution of wills is to close the door against marriage, the law presumes a man and
bad faith and fraud; accordingly, laws on this woman cohabiting with each other as being
subject should be interpreted to attain these married, in the absence of proof to the
primordial ends. contrary.

In the case of holographic wills, what assures Based on this unrefuted legal presumption,
authenticity is the requirement that they be Jose Rivera is not the son of the deceased
totally authographic or handwritten by the Venancio Rivera whose estate is in question,
testator himself. Failure to strictly observe in addition to the intriguing circumstances
other formalities will no result in the surrounding Jose’s claim that he was a
disallowance of a holographic will that is legitimate son.
unquestionable handwritten by the testator.
Hence, being a mere stranger, he had no
personality to contest the wills and his
opposition thereto did not have
JOSE RIVERA petitioner, vs. the legal effect of requiring the three
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and witnesses as stated in Art. 811. The testimony
ADELAIDO J. RIVERA, respondents. of Zenaida and Venancio Rivera, Jr. who
G.R. Nos. 75005-06 February 15, 1990 authenticated the wills as having been
written and signed by their father, was
FACTS: sufficient.

On May 30, 1975, a prominent and wealthy

resident of that town named Venancio Rivera
died. On July 28, 1975, Jose Rivera, claiming
to be the only surviving legitimate son of the
deceased, filed a petition for the issuance of
letters of administration over Venancio’s
estate. Docketed as SP No. 1076,
this petition was opposed by Adelaido J.
Rivera. Who denied that Jose was the son of
the decedent. Adelaido averred that
Venancio was his father and did not
die interstate but in fact left
two holographic wills.


Whether or not Jose Rivera was the

legitimate son of the deceased Venancio