Succession Digests Part 2
some are from the professors themselves. I do not claim any rights on the reviewers/handouts/presentation here. Just sha...
Late Digests ABANGAN v ABANGAN 40 Phil 476 AVANCENA FACTS - On September 19, 1917, CFI of Cebu admitted to probate Ana Abangan's will executed July, 1916. From this decision the opponents appealed. - The will consists of 2 sheets. The first contains all the disposition of the testatrix, duly signed at the bottom by Martin Montalban (in the name and under the direction of the testatrix) and by three witnesses. The following sheet contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the three instrumental witnesses. Neither of these sheets is signed on the left margin by the testatrix and the three witnesses, nor numbered by letters. These omissions, according to appellants' contention, are defects whereby the probate of the will should have been denied. ISSUE WON the will was duly admitted to probate. HELD YES. In requiring that each and every sheet of the will be signed on the left margin by the testator and three witnesses in the presence of each other, Act No. 2645 evidently has for its object the avoidance of substitution of any of said sheets which may change the disposition of the testatrix. But when these dispositions are wholly written on only one sheet (as in the instant case) signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses, their signatures on the left margin of said sheet are not anymore necessary as such will be purposeless. In requiring that each and every page of a will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of the sheet, it is likewise clear that the object of Act No. 2645 is to know whether any sheet of the will has been removed. But, when all the dispositive parts of a will are written on one sheet only, the object of the statute disappears because the removal of this single sheet, although unnumbered, cannot be hidden. In a will consisting of two sheets the first of which contains all the testamentary dispositions and is signed at the bottom by the testator and three witnesses and the second contains only the attestation clause and is signed also at the bottom by the three witnesses, it is not necessary that both sheets be further signed on their margins by the testator and the witnesses, or be paged. The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guaranty their truth and authenticity. Therefore the laws on this subject should be interpreted in such a way as to attain these primordal ends. But, on the other hand, also one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustative of the testator's last will, must be disregarded.
SUROZA v HONRADO A.M. No. 2026 AQUINO; December 19, 1981 FACTS - Respondent judge admitted to probate a will, which on its face is void because it is written in English, a language not known to the illiterate testatrix, and which is probably forged. - Mauro Suroza, a member of the US Army married Marcelina Salvador. They were childless but they reared a boy named Agapito. Mauro died and Marcelina became a pensioner of the Federal Government. - Agapito married Nenita and had a child Lilia. Agapito was eventually disabled and Nenita was appointed guardian when he was declared as incompetent in a court proceeding. Arsenia dela Cruz also wanted to be Agapito's guardian. She tried to prove that Nenita was unfaithful to Agapito. The second guardianship proceeding was dismissed and Nenita's appointment was confirmed. - Spouses Antonio Sy and Hermogena Talan begot a child named Marilyn Sy, who was entrusted to Arsenia and later delivered to Marcelina Salvador Suroza. Marilyn was brought up as the supposed daughter of Agapito, but she was not legally adopted. Marliyn married Oscar Medrano - Marcelina supposedly executed a notarial will when she was 73 years old. That will which is in English was thumbmarked by her. She was illiterate. Marcelina bequeathed all her estate to her supposed granddaughter Marilyn. When Marcelina died, she owned a 150-square meter lot and house in that place. - Marina Paje, alleged to be a laundrywoman of Marcelina and the executrix in her will, filed with the Court a petition for the probate of Marcelina's alleged will. The case was assigned to Judge Reynaldo P. Honrado. - Judge Honrado appointed Marina as administratrix. - Upon motion of Marina, Judge Honrado issued another order instructing a deputy sheriff to eject the occupants of the testatrix's house, among whom was Nenita V. Suroza, and to place Marina in possession thereof. That order alerted Nenita to the existence of the testamentary proceeding for the settlement of Marcelina's estate. She and the other occupants of the decedent's house filed a motion to set aside the order ejecting them. They alleged that the decedent's son Agapito was the sole heir of the deceased, that he has a daughter named Lilia, that Nenita was Agapito's guardian and that Marilyn was not Agapito's daughter nor the decedent's granddaughter. Later, they questioned the probate court's jurisdiction to issue the ejectment order. -Judge Honrado issued an order probating her supposed will wherein Marilyn was the instituted heiress. - Nenita filed in the testate case an omnibus petition "to set aside proceedings, admit opposition with counter-petition for administration and preliminary injunction". Nenita reiterated her allegation that Marilyn was a stranger to Marcelina, that the will was not duly executed and attested, that it was procured by means of undue influence employed by Marina and Marilyn and that the thumbmarks of the testatrix were procured by fraud or trick. - Marina in her answer admitted that Marilyn was not Marcelina's granddaughter but was the daughter of Agapito and Arsenia de la Cruz and that Agapito was not Marcelina's son but merely an anak-anakan who was not legally adopted. - Judge Honrado dismissed Nenita's counter-petition for the issuance of letters of administration because of the non-appearance of her counsel at the hearing. - In a motion for the consolidation of all pending incidents, Nenita V. Suroza reiterated her contention that the alleged will is void because Marcelina did not appear before the notary and because it is written in English which is not known to her.
SUCCESSION A2010 - Judge Honrado "denied" the various incidents "raised" by Nenita. - Nenita "filed a case to annul" the probate proceedings which was assigned to Judge Honrado. It was dismissed. - Judge Honrado closed the testamentary proceeding. - About ten months later, Nenita charged Judge Honrado with having probated the fraudulent will of Marcelina. Nenita further alleged that Judge Honrado, in spite of his knowledge that the testatrix had a son named Agapito, who was preterited in the will, did not take into account the consequences of such a preterition. - Nenita filed in the CA against Judge Honrado a petition for certiorari and prohibition wherein she prayed that the will, the decree of probate and all the proceedings in the probate case be declared void. Attached to the petition was the affidavit of Domingo P. Aquino, who notarized the will. He swore that the testatrix and the three attesting witnesses did not appear before him and that he notarized the will "just to accommodate a brother lawyer on the condition" that said lawyer would bring to the notary the testatrix and the witnesses but the lawyer never complied with his commitment. - The CA dismissed the petition because Nenita's remedy was an appeal and her failure to do so did not entitle her to resort to the special civil action of certiorari . HELD - We hold that disciplinary action should be taken against respondent judge for his improper disposition of the testate case which might have resulted in a miscarriage of justice because the decedent's legal heirs and not the instituted heiress in the void win should have inherited the decedent's estate. - A judge may be criminally liable or knowingly rendering an unjust judgment or interlocutory order or rendering a manifestly unjust judgment or interlocutory order by reason of inexcusable negligence or ignorance. - Administrative action may be taken against a judge of the court of first instance for serious misconduct or inefficiency. Misconduct implies malice or a wrongful intent, not a mere error of judgment. "For serious misconduct to exist, there must be reliable evidence showing that the judicial acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by an intention to violate the law, or were in persistent disregard of well-known legal rules" - In this case, respondent judge, on perusing the will and noting that it was written in English and was thumbmarked by an obviously illiterate testatrix, could have readily perceived that the will is void. - In the opening paragraph of the will, it was stated that English was a language "understood and known" to the testatrix. But in its concluding paragraph, it was stated that the will was read to the testatrix "and translated into Filipino language". That could only mean that the will was written in a language not known to the illiterate testatrix and, therefore, it is void because of the mandatory provision of article 804 of the Civil Code that every will must be executed in a language or dialect known to the testator. Thus, a will written in English, which was not known to the Igorot testator, is void and was disallowed. Under the circumstances, we find his negligence and dereliction of duty to be inexcusable.
KALAW v RELOVA 132 SCRA 237 MELENCIO-HERRERA; September 28, 1984 FACTS - On September 1, 1971, private respondent GREGORIO K. KALAW, claiming to be the sole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad K. Kalaw, filed a petition before the Court of
First Instance of Batangas, Branch VI, Lipa City, for the probate of her holographic Will executed on December 24, 1968. - The holographic Will, as first written, named ROSA K. Kalaw, a sister of the testatrix as her sole heir. Hence, on November 10, 1971, petitioner ROSA K. Kalaw opposed probate alleging, in substance, that the holographic Will contained alterations, corrections, and insertions without the proper authentication by the full signature of the testatrix as required by Article 814 of the Civil Code reading: Art. 814. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holographic will the testator must authenticate the same by his full signature. - ROSA's position was that the holographic Will, as first written, should be given effect and probated so that she could be the sole heir thereunder. - After trial, respondent Judge denied probate in an Order, dated September 3, 197 3, citing that the NBI reported that the handwriting, the signature, the insertions and/or additions and the initial were made by one and the same person. Consequently, the will was in the handwriting of the decedent, Natividad K. Kalaw. However the Court finds, that the provision of Article 814 of the Civil Code is applicable to Exhibit "C". Finding the insertions, alterations and/or additions in the not to be authenticated by the full signature of the testatrix Natividad K. Kalaw, the Court will deny the admission to probate. - From that Order, GREGORIO moved for reconsideration arguing that since the alterations and/or insertions were the testatrix, the denial to probate of her holographic Will would be contrary to her right of testamentary disposition. Reconsideration was denied in an Order, dated November 2, 1973, on the ground that Article 814 of the Civil Code being clear and explicit requires no necessity for interpretation. - From that Order, dated September 3, 1973, denying probate, and the Order dated November 2, 1973 denying reconsideration, ROSA filed this Petition for Review on certiorari ISSUE WON the original unaltered text after subsequent alterations and insertions were voided by the Trial Court for lack of authentication by the full signature of the testatrix HELD - Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic Will litem not been noted under his signature... the Will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined. - However, when as in this case, the holographic Will in dispute had only one substantial provision, which was altered by substituting the original heir with another, but which alteration did not carry the requisite of full authentication by the full signature of the testator, the effect must be that the entire Will is voided or revoked for the simple reason that nothing remains in the Will after that which could remain valid. To state that the Will as first written should be given efficacy is to disregard the seeming change of mind of the testatrix. But that change of mind can neither be given effect because she failed to authenticate it in the manner required by law by affixing her full signature.
ROUNDS 2 and 3
SUCCESSION A2010 DISPOSITION LIPANA v LIPANA 70 PHIL 865 MORAN; June 28, 1940 NATURE Original action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari. FACTS - Eliodora Lipana filed an application for the probate of a will supposedly executed by the deceased, Manuela Lipana. - Natividad Lipana filed an opposition, alleging that evidence was unnecessary upon the supposed facts and that the will was not executed according to law. - The application was dismissed on the ground that such copy could not be admitted to probate, it not having been signed by the testatrix and the attesting witnesses at the end thereof and on the left margin of each page. ISSUE WON the dismissal by the respondent court was correct HELD NO Reasoning - The pronouncement made by the respondent court that the will had not been executed in accordance with law, is founded undoubtedly on the erroneous assumption that the probate of the carbon copy of the will was being applied for. Such copy was attached to the application merely to corroborate the allegation as to the existence of its original and not to establish a full compliance with the requirements of the law as to the execution of the will. - Under section 623 of Act No. 190, if a will is shown to have been torn by some other person without the express direction of the testator, it may be admitted to probate, if its contents, due execution and its unauthorized destruction are established by satisfactory evidence. - The applicant, therefore, was entitled to hearing to prove the due execution of the original will and its loss or destruction, and the respondent court had no statutory authority to dismiss the application without such hearing. - It is alleged therein that the original was in the possession of a third person or that it was either lost or destroyed by some person other than the testatrix. The applicant, therefore, was entitled to hearing to prove the due execution of the original will and its loss or destruction, and the respondent court had no statutory authority to dismiss the application without such hearing, all in accordance with Sec. 623 of Act 190.
GAGO v MAMUYAC 49 Phil 902 JOHNSON; Jan 29, 1927 FACTS - Miguel Mamuyac executed a last will and testament on July 27, 1918 (first will). On Jan, 1922, Francisco Gago presented a petition in the CFI of La Union for the probation of that will. This was opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina Mamuyac. The petition for probation was denied on the ground
that the deceased had executed a new will and testament on April 16, 1919 (second will). Miguel Mamuyac died on Jan 2, 1922. - The present petition, filed on Feb 21, 1925, is intended to secure the probation of the second will. Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina Mamuyac presented their oppositions, alleging (a) that the said will is a copy of the second will and testament executed by the said Miguel Mamuyac; (b) that the same had been cancelled and revoked during the lifetime of Miguel Mamuyac and (c) that the said will was not the last will and testament of the deceased Miguel Mamuyac. - The CFI denied the probation of the second will, upon the ground that the same had been cancelled and revoked in the year 1920. - Gago contends that the lower court committed an error in not finding from the evidence that the will in question had been executed with all the formalities required by the law; that the same had been revoked and cancelled in 1920 before his death; that the said will was a mere carbon copy and that the oppositors were not estopped from alleging that fact. ISSUE WON the CFI erred in not granting the probation of Miguel Mamuyac’s second will HELD NO - As to the cancellation of the will, there is positive proof, not denied, which was accepted by the lower court, that will in question had been cancelled in 1920. The law does not require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation of a will to be preserved. The fact that such cancellation or revocation has taken place must either remain unproved or be inferred from evidence showing that after due search the original will cannot be found. Where a will which cannot be found is shown to have been in the possession of the testator, when last seen, the presumption is, in the absence of other competent evidence, that the same was cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption arises where it is shown that the testator had ready access to the will and it cannot be found after his death. It will not be presumed that such will has been destroyed by any other person without the knowledge or authority of the testator. The force of the presumption of cancellation or revocation by the testator, while varying greatly, being weak or strong according to the circumstances, is never conclusive, but may be overcome by proof that the will was not destroyed by the testator with intent to revoke it. - In a proceeding to probate a will the burden of proofs is upon the proponent clearly to establish not only its execution but its existence. Having proved its execution by the proponents, the burden is on the contestant to show that it has been revoked. In a great majority of instances in which wills are destroyed for the purpose of revoking them there is no witness to the act of cancellation or destruction and all evidence of its cancellation perishes with the testator. Copies of wills should be admitted by the courts with great caution. When it is proven, however, by proper testimony that a will was executed in duplicate and each copy was executed with all the formalities and requirements of the law, then the duplicate may be admitted in evidence when it is made to appear that the original has been lost and was not cancelled or destroyed by the testator. (Borromeo vs. Casquijo)
MALOTO v CA 153 SCRA 451 SARMIENTO; February 29, 1988 FACTS
SUCCESSION A2010 - Oct.20, 1963, Adriana Maloto died leaving as heirs her niece and nephews, the petitioners Aldina Maloto-Casiano and Constancio Maloto, and the private respondents Panfilo Maloto and Felino Maloto. Believing that the deceased did not leave behind a last will and testament, these four heirs commenced an intestate proceeding for the settlement of their aunt's estate. However, while the case was still in progress, the parties executed an agreement of extrajudicial settlement of Adriana's estate. The agreement provided for the division of the estate into four equal parts among the parties. The Malotos then presented the extrajudicial settlement agreement to the trial court for approval which the court did. - 3 years later, Atty. Sulpicio Palma, a former associate of Adriana's counsel (Att.Hervas), discovered a document entitled "KATAPUSAN NGA PAGBUBULAT-AN (Testamento)," dated January 3,1940, and purporting to be the last will and testament of Adriana. Atty. Palma claimed to have found the testament, the original copy, while he was going through some materials inside the cabinet drawer formerly used by Atty. Hervas. - The document was submitted to the office of the clerk of the CFI of Iloilo. Incidentally, while Panfilo and Felino are still named as heirs in the said will, Aldina and Constancio are bequeathed much bigger and more valuable shares in the estate of Adriana than what they received by virtue of the agreement of extrajudicial settlement they had earlier signed. The will likewise gives devises and legacies to other parties, among them being the petitioners Asilo de Molo, the Roman Catholic Church of Molo, and Purificacion Miraflor. - Thus, Aldina and Constancio, joined by the other devisees and legatees named in the will, filed in Special Proceeding No. 1736 a motion for reconsideration and annulment of the proceedings therein and for the allowance of the will. When the trial court denied their motion, the petitioner came to us. We dismissed that petition and advised that a separate proceeding for the probate of the alleged will would be the appropriate vehicle. - Significantly, the appellate court while finding as inconclusive the matter on WON the document or papers allegedly burned by the househelp of Adriana, upon instructions of the testatrix, was indeed the will, contradicted itself and found that the will had been revoked. The CA stated that the presence of animus revocandi in the destruction of the will had, nevertheless, been sufficiently proven. The appellate court based its finding on the facts that the document was not in the two safes in Adriana's residence, by the testatrix going to the residence of Atty. Hervas to retrieve a copy of the will left in the latter's possession, and, her seeking the services of Atty. Palma in order to have a new will drawn up. ISSUES 1. WON the will was revoked by Adriana. 2. WON the case is barred by res judicata. HELD 1. NO. Ratio The provisions of the NCC pertinent to the issue can be found in Article 830. 1 It is clear that the physical act of destruction of a will, like burning in this case, does not 1
Art. 830. No will shall be revoked except in the following cases: (1) By implication of law; or (2) By some will, codicil, or other writing executed as provided in case of wills: or (3) By burning, tearing, cancelling, or obliterating the will with the intention of revoking it, by the testator himself, or by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction. If burned, torn cancelled, or obliterated by some other person, without the express direction of the testator, the will may still be established, and the estate distributed in accordance therewith, if its contents, and due execution, and the fact of its unauthorized destruction, cancellation, or obliteration are established according to the Rules of Court.
per se constitute an effective revocation, unless the destruction is coupled with animus revocandi on the part of the testator. It is not imperative that the physical destruction be done by the testator himself. It may be performed by another person but under the express direction and in the presence of the testator. Of course, it goes without saying that the document destroyed must be the will itself. Reasoning In this case, while animus revocandi or the intention to revoke, may be conceded, for that is a state of mind, yet that requisite alone would not suffice. Animus revocandi is only one of the necessary elements for the effective revocation of a last will and testament. The intention to revoke must be accompanied by the overt physical act of burning, tearing, obliterating, or cancelling the will carried out by the testator or by another person in his presence and under his express direction. There is paucity of evidence to show compliance with these requirements. For one, the document or papers burned by Adriana's maid was not satisfactorily established to be a will at all, much less the will of Adriana. For another, the burning was not proven to have been done under the express direction of Adriana. And then, the burning was not in her presence. Both witnesses were one in stating that they were the only ones present at the place where the stove (presumably in the kitchen) was located in which the papers proffered as a will were burned. - The respondent appellate court in assessing the evidence presented by the private respondents, concluded that the testimony of the two witnesses who testified in favor of the will's revocation appear "inconclusive." We share the same view. Nowhere in the records before us does it appear that the two witnesses, Guadalupe and Eladio, both illiterates, were unequivocably positive that the document burned was indeed Adriana's will. 2. NO. The respondents claim that this bar was brought about by the petitioners' failure to appeal timely from the order of the trial court in the intestate proceeding denying their (petitioners') motion to reopen the case, and their prayer to annul the previous proceedings therein and to allow the last will and testament of the late Adriana. The doctrine of res adjudicata finds no application in the present controversy. We do not find here the presence of all the requisites of res judicata. There is yet, strictly speaking, no final judgment rendered insofar as the probate of Adriana Maloto's will is concerned. Neither is it a judgment on the merits of the action for probate. There is likewise no Identity between the cause of action in intestate proceeding and that in an action for probate.
MOLO v MOLO 90 PHIL 37 ANGELO; 1951 NATURE Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Rizal admitting to probate the last will and testament of the deceased Mariano Molo y Legaspi executed on August 17, 1918. FACTS Mariano Molo y Legaspi died on January 24, 1941, in the municipality of Pasay, province of Rizal, without leaving any forced heir either in the descending or ascending line. He was survived, however, by his wife, the herein petitioner Juana Juan Vda. de Molo, and by his nieces and nephew, the oppositors-appellants, Luz, Gliceria and Cornelio, all surnamed Molo, who were the legitimate children of Candido Molo y Legaspi, deceased brother of the testator. Mariano Molo y Legaspi left two wills, one
SUCCESSION A2010 executed on August 17, 1918, and another executed on June 20, 1939. THE LATTER WILL CONTAINS A CLAUSE WHICH EXPRESSLY REVOKES THE WILL EXECUTED IN 1918. On February 7, 1941, Juana Juan Vda. de Molo filed in the Court of First Instance of Rizal a petition, seeking the probate of the will executed by the deceased on June 20, 1939. There being no opposition, the will was probated. However, upon petition filed by the herein oppositors, the order of the court admitting the will to probate was set aside and the case was reopened. After hearing, at which both parties presented their evidence, the court rendered decision denying the probate of said will on the ground that the petitioner failed to prove that the same was executed in accordance with law. In view of the disallowance of the will executed on June 20, 1939, the widow on February 24, 1944, filed another petition for the probate of the will executed by the deceased on August 17, 1918, in the same court. Again, the same oppositors filed an opposition to the petition based on three grounds: (1) that petitioner is now estopped from seeking the probate of the will of 1918; (2) that said will has not been executed in the manner required by law and (3) that the will has been subsequently revoked. ISSUE WON the declaration of nullity of a subsequent will by the probate court (the 1939 will in this case, which purports to revoke the 1918 will) would have the effect of resurrecting the prior will. HELD YES This is the DOCTRINE OF DEPENDENT RELATIVE REVOCATION. The failure of the new testamentary disposition, upon whose validity the revocation depends, is equivalent to the non-fulfillment of a suspensive condition, and HENCE PREVENTS THE REVOCATION OF THE ORIGINAL WILL. But a mere intent to make at some time a will in place of that destroyed will not render the destruction conditional. It must appear that the revocation is dependent upon the valid execution of a new will." A subsequent will, containing a clause revoking a previous will, having been disallowed, for the reason that it was not executed in conformity with the provisions of section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure as to the making of wills, cannot produce the effect of annulling the previous will, inasmuch as said revocatory clause is void (Samson vs. Naval, 41 Phil., 838).. THE THEORY ON WHICH THIS PRINCIPLE IS PREDICATED IS THAT THE TESTATOR DID NOT INTEND TO DIE INTESTATE. AND THIS INTENTION IS CLEARLY MANIFEST WHEN HE EXECUTED TWO WILLS ON TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS AND INSTITUTED HIS WIFE AS HIS UNIVERSAL HEIR. THERE CAN THEREFORE BE NO MISTAKE AS TO HIS INTENTION OF DYING TESTATE. We find the same opinion in the American Law Reports, Annotated, edited in 1939. On page 1400, Volume 123, there appear many authorities on the "application of rules where second will is invalid", among which a typical one is the following: "It is universally agreed that where the second will is invalid on account of not being executed in accordance with the provisions of the statute, or where the testator has not sufficient mental capacity to make a will or the will is procured through undue influence, or the such, in other words, where the second will is really no will, it does not revoke the first will or affect it in any manner." Mort vs. Baker University (1935) 229 Mo. App., 632, 78 S. W. (2d), 498." These treatise cannot be mistaken. They uphold the view on which the ruling in the Samson case is predicated. They reflect the opinion that this ruling is sound and good and for this reason we see no justification for abandoning it as now suggested by counsel for the oppositors.
Granting for the sake of argument that the earlier will was voluntarily destroyed by the testator after the execution of the second will, which revoked the first, could there be any doubt, under this theory, that said earlier will was destroyed by the testator in the honest belief that it was no longer necessary because he had expressly revoked it in his will of 1939? In other words, can we not say that the destruction of the earlier will was but the necessary consequence of the testator's belief that the revocatory clause contained in the subsequent will was valid and the latter would be given effect? If such is the case, then it is our opinion that the earlier will can still be admitted to probate under the principle of "dependent relative revocation". "THIS DOCTRINE IS KNOWN AS THAT OF DEPENDENT RELATIVE REVOCATION, AND IS USUALLY APPLIED WHERE THE TESTATOR CANCELS OR DESTROYS A WILL OR EXECUTES AN INSTRUMENT INTENDED TO REVOKE A WILL WITH A PRESENT INTENTION TO MAKE A NEW TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE OLD, AND THE NEW DISPOSITION IS NOT MADE OR, IF MADE, FAILS OF EFFECT FOR SOME REASON. THE DOCTRINE IS NOT LIMITED TO THE EXISTENCE OF SOME OTHER DOCUMENT, HOWEVER, AND HAS BEEN APPLIED WHERE A WILL WAS DESTROYED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF A MISTAKE OF LAW . . .." (68 C. J.:. 799). "The rule is established that where the act of destruction is connected with the making of another will so as fairly to raise the inference that the testator meant the revocation of the old to depend upon the efficacy of the new disposition intended to be substituted, the revocation will be conditional and dependent upon the efficacy of the new disposition; and if, for any reason, the new will intended to be made as a substitute is inoperative, the revocation fails and the original will remains in full force." (Gardner, pp. 232, 233.) "This is the doctrine of dependent relative revocation. The failure of the new testamentary disposition, upon whose validity the revocation depends, is equivalent to the non-fulfillment of a suspensive condition, and hence prevents the revocation of the original will. But a mere intent to make at some time a will in place of that destroyed will not render the destruction conditional. It must appear that the revocation is dependent upon the valid execution of a new will." (1 Alexander, p. 751; Gardner, p. 233.) We hold, therefore, that even in the supposition that the destruction of the original will by the testator could be presumed from the failure of the petitioner to produce it in court, such destruction cannot have the effect of defeating the prior will of 1918 because of the fact that it is founded on the mistaken belief that the will of 1939 has been validly executed and would be given due effect.
IX. ALLOWANCE OF WILLS GUEVARA v GUEVARA 74 Phil 479 OZAETA; December 29, 1943 FACTS -In 1931, Victorino L. Guevara executed a will with all the formalities of the law, wherein he made bequests to his legitimate son, natural daughter and stepchildren and wife of 2nd marriage. -On July 12, 1933, Victorino L. Guevara executed a deed of sale in favor of Ernesto M. Guevara conveying to him the southern half of a large parcel of land in consideration of the sum of P1 and other valuable considerations.On September 27, 1933 a final decree of registration was issued in favor of Ernesto M. Guevara over the whole parcel of land described in the deed of sale above referred to. The registration proceeding had been commenced by Victorino L. Guevara and Ernesto M. Guevara as applicants,
SUCCESSION A2010 with Rosario, among others, as oppositor; but before the trial of the case Victorino L. Guevara withdrew as applicant and Rosario Guevara and her co-oppositors also withdrew their opposition, thereby facilitating the issuance of the title in the name of Ernesto M. Guevara alone. On September 27, 1933, Victorino L. Guevara died. His last will and testament, however, was never presented to the court for probate, nor has any administration proceeding ever been instituted for the settlement of his estate. Whether the various legatees mentioned in the will have received their respective legacies or have even been given due notice of the execution of said will and of the dispositions therein made in their favor, does not affirmatively appear from the record of this case. Ever since the death of Victorino L. Guevara, his only legitimate son Ernesto M. Guevara appears to have possessed the land adjudicated to him in the registration proceeding and to have disposed of various portions thereof for the purpose of paying the debts left by his father. -Rosario Guevara, who had her father's last will and testament in her custody, did nothing judicially to invoke the testamentary dispositions made therein in her favor, whereby the testator acknowledged her as his natural daughter and, aside from certain legacies and bequests, devised to her a portion of 21.6171 hectares of the large parcel of land described in the will. But a little over four years after the testator's demise, she commenced the present action against Ernesto M. Guevara alone for the purpose hereinbefore indicated; and it was only during the trial of this case that she presented the will to the court, not for the purpose of having it probated but only to prove that the deceased Victorino L. Guevara had acknowledged her as his natural daughter. Upon that proof of acknowledgment she claimed her share of the inheritance from him, but on the theory or assumption that he died intestate, because the will had not been probated, for which reason, she asserted, the betterment therein made by the testator in favor of his legitimate son Ernesto M. Guevara should be disregarded. Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals sustained that theory. ISSUE WON the procedure adopted by the Rosario Guevara is sanctioned by law HELD No. We cannot sanction the procedure adopted by the respondent Rosario Guevara, it being in violation of procedural law and an attempt to circumvent and disregard the last will and testament of the decedent. The Code of Civil Procedure, which was in force up to the time this case was decided by the trial court, contains the following pertinent provisions: "Sec. 625.Allowance Necessary, and Conclusive as to Execution. — No will shall pass either the real or personal estate, unless it is proved and allowed in the Court of First Instance, or by appeal to the Supreme Court; and the allowance by the court of a will of real and personal estate shall be conclusive as to its due execution. "Sec. 626.Custodian of Will to Deliver. — The person who has the custody of a will shall, within thirty days after he knows of the death of the testator, deliver the will into the court which has jurisdiction, or to the executor named in the will. "Sec. 627.Executor to Present Will and Accept or Refuse Trust. — A person named as executor in a will, shall within thirty days after he knows of the death of the testator, or within thirty days after he knows that he is named executor, if he obtained such knowledge after knowing of the death of the testator, present such will to the court which has jurisdiction, unless the will has been otherwise returned to said court, and shall, within such period, signify to the court his acceptance of the trust, or make known in writing his refusal to accept it.
"Sec. 628.Penalty. — A person who neglects any of the duties required in the two preceding sections, unless he gives a satisfactory excuse to the court, shall be subject to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars. "Sec. 629.Person Retaining Will may be Committed. — If a person having custody of a will after the death of the testator neglects without reasonable cause to deliver the same to the court having jurisdiction, after notice by the court so to do, he may be committed to the prison of the province by a warrant issued by the court, and there kept in close confinement until he delivers the will." -The proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem, with notice by publication to the whole world and with personal notice to each of the known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator. Although not contested (section 5, Rule 77), the due execution of the will and the fact that the testator at the time of its execution was of sound and disposing mind and not acting under duress, menace, and undue influence or fraud, must be proved to the satisfaction of the court, and only then may the will be legalized and given effect by means of a certificate of its allowance, signed by the judge and attested by the seal of the court; and when the will devises real property, attested copies thereof and of the certificate of allowance must be recorded in the register of deeds of the province in which the land lies. (Section 12, Rule 77, and section 624, C. C. P.) -It will readily be seen from the above provisions of the law that the presentation of a will to the court for probate is mandatory and its allowance by the court is essential and indispensable to its efficacy. To assure and compel the probate of a will, the law punishes a person who neglects his duty to present it to the court with a fine not exceeding P2,000, and if he should persist in not presenting it, he may be committed to prison and kept there until he delivers the will. -We hold that if the decedent left a will and no debts and the heirs and legatees desire to make an extrajudicial partition of the estate, they must first present that will to the court for probate and divide the estate in accordance with the will. They may not disregard the provisions of the will unless those provisions are contrary to law. Neither may they do away with the presentation of the will to the court for probate, because such suppression of the will is contrary to law and public policy. The law enjoins the probate of the will and public policy requires it, because unless the will is probated and notice thereof given to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered nugatory, as is attempted to be done in the instant case. Absent legatees and devisees, or such of them as may have no knowledge of the will, could be cheated of their inheritance thru the collusion of some of the heirs who might agree to the partition of the estate among themselves to the exclusion of others.
DE BORJA v VDA. DE DE BORJA GR L-28040 REYES, JBL; August 18, 1972 NATURE Appeal from decisions of CFI Rizal (handling probate proceeding of Josefa) and CFI NUeva Ecija (handling probate of Francisco) FACTS - Cast of Characters: Francisco de Borja – husband/ father. Deceased 1954. Josefa Tangco – 1st wife/ mother. Deceased 1940. Jose de Borja – son of Francisco and Josefa (of four children), also administrator of testate estate of Josefa
SUCCESSION A2010 Tasiana Ongsingco – 2nd wife of Francisco, and administratrix of testate estate of Francisco. - Tasiana, as surviving spouse of Francisco, instituted probate proceedings upon his death. Children of the 1st marriage questioned the validity of 2nd marriage. Relationship between 2nd wife and kids of 1st marriage since then had been plagued with many suits (18 pending). - To put and end to the numerous litigations, a compromise agreement was entered into, between Jose personally and as administrator of the estate of Josefa, and Tasiana, as the surviving spouse and administratrix of the estate of Francisco. It provided that with the mutual desire to terminate and settle the various court litigations, Jose will pay Tasiana P800,000 (P200,000 for each child) which amount shall be considered as the complete and full payment and settlement of her hereditary share in the estate of Francisco. The compromise also served as quit claim. - the compromise agreement was presented for approval to the courts where the probate proceedings of the estates of Josefa and Francisco were pending. However, Tasiana, apparently having had changed her mind about the compromise, opposed such submission for approval. She claims that: (1) the heirs cannot enter into such kind of agreement without first probating the will of Francisco de Borja; (2) it involves a compromise on the validity of the marriage between Francisco and Tasiana; and (3) that even if it were valid, it has ceased to have force and effect ISSUE 1. WON the compromise agreement was valid and binding HELD 1. YES Reasoning #1: that probate is first required before any agreement may be entered: - Tasiana relies on the ruling in Guevara v. Guevara, wherein the court said that “the presentation of the will for probate is mandatory and that the settlement and distribution of the estate on the basis of intestacy when the decedent left a will, is against law and public policy.” Thus, Tasiana mainatains that since Francisco left a will, the same must be probated and any agreement to the contrary is invalid. - However, SC ruled in this case that Guevara is not applicable since what is involved is not the distribution or settlement of the entire estate, but the sale of the share of Tasiana in favor of the other heirs. - there is no legal bar to an heir (with requisite contracting capacity) disposing of his hereditary share immediately after such death, even if the actual extent of such share is not determined until the subsequent liquidation of the estate. Of course, the effect of such alienation is to be deemed limited to what is ultimately adjudicated to the vendor heir - being the surviving spouse of the decedent, Tasiana need not await the outcome of the probate proceedings since she was considered by law as a compulsory heir. Thus, the prerequisite of a previous probate of the will, as established in Guevara can not apply to the case of Tasiana #2: that it involves compromise of the validity of the 2nd marriage - the marriage has impliedly been recognized by Jose in signing the compromise agreement which described Tasiana as the “surviving spouse of Francisco.” This serves as recognition of her civil status #3: that it ceased to have force and effect -this was raised because Jose filed a motion AFTER submitting the compromise agreement for approval, which stated that “no amicable settlement had been arrived
at” and that “the compromise agreement failed to materialize,” allegedly showing abandonment of the compromise agreement signed -SC said that such declaration in the motion only shows that any effort to reach an amicable settlement after Tasiana unilaterally backed out of the compromise had failed. However, this does not affect the validity and binding force of the compromise agreement already reached, signed, and notarized. The failure to reach a novatory accord can not invalidate the original compromise.
GALLANOSA v ARCANGEL 83 SCRA 676 AQUINO; June 21, 1978 NATURE Special civil action of certiorari FACTS - Florentino Hitosis executed a will in the Bicol dialect on June 19, 1938 when he was 81 yo. He died on May 26, 1939 at Irosin, Sorsogon. A childless widower, he was survived by his brother, Leon. On June 24, 1939 a petition for the probate of his will was filed in CFI Sorsogon. The notice of hearing was duly published in that will. Florentino bequeathed his ½ share in the conjugal estate to his second wife, Tecla Dollentas, and, should Tecla predecease him, as was the case, his ½ share would be assigned to the spouses Pedro Gallanosa and Corazon Grecia, the reason being that Pedro, Tecla's son by her first marriage, grew up under the care of Florentino: he had treated Pedro as his foster child, and Pedro has rendered services to Florentino and Tecla. Florentino likewise bequeathed his separate properties to his protege Adolfo Fortajada, a minor. Opposition to the probate of the will was registered by the testator's legal heirs, namely, Leon and his nephews and nieces. After a hearing, wherein the oppositors did not present any evidence, Judge Rivera, in his decision of October 27, 1939, admitted the will to probate and appointed Gallanosa as executor. Judge Rivera specifically found that the testator executed his last will "enjoying good health and mental faculties and not acting under threat, fraud or undue influence " [1939 DECREE OF PROBATE]. The testator's legal heirs did not appeal from the decree of probate (1939) and from the order of partition and distribution (1941) of 61 parcels of land by Gallanosa spouses and Fortajada. - On February 20, 1952, Leon Hitosis and nephews and nieces instituted an action in CFI Sorsogon against Pedro Gallanosa for the recovery of the said 61 parcels of land. They alleged that they had been in continuous possession of those lands en concepto de dueño and that Gallanosa entered those lands in 1951 and asserted ownership over the lands. They prayed that they be declared the owners of the lands, be restored to the possession thereof and also claimed damages (Civil Case No. 696). [1952 COMPAINT] - CFI: Dismissed their opposition and Ordered the probate of his will because the oppositors did not file any appeal within the period fixed by law, despite the fact that they were duly thereof, so that the said decision had become final and it now constitutes a bar to any action that the plaintiffs may institute for the purpose of seeking a redetermination of their right to inherit the properties of the late Florentino Hitosis. In other words, the said decision of this Court in 1939, which they intervened as parties oppositors, constitutes a final judicial determination of the issue that they have no legal rights to succeed to any of the properties of the late Florentino Hitosis; consequently, their present claim to the ownership and possession of the 61 parcels of land in question is without any legal merit or basis. [1952 DISMISSAL OF COMPLAINT]
SUCCESSION A2010 - On September 21, 1967, or fifteen years after the dismissal of Civil Case No. 696 and twenty-eight years after the probate of the will, another action in the same court against the Gallanosa spouses and Adolfo Fortajada for the "annulment" of the will of Florentino Hitosis and for the recovery of the same 61 parcels of land. They prayed for the appointment of a receiver. [1967 COMPLAINT] ISSUE WON allowance of will (prayed for in 1967 complaint) is valid given the 1939 decree of probate and the 1952 order of dismissal in Civil Case No. 696 HELD NO Ratio After the finality of the allowance of a will, the issue as to the voluntariness of its execution cannot be raised anymore (Santos vs. De Buenaventura). Reasoning - The 1939 decree of probate is conclusive as to the due execution or formal validity of the will (Sec. 625, Act 190; sec. 1, Rule 76, now sec. 1, Rule 75, Rules of Court; Last par. of art. 838, Civil Code). That means that the testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time when he executed the will and was not acting under duress, menace, fraud, or undue influence; that the will was signed by him in the presence of the required number of witnesses, and that the will is genuine and is not a forgery. Accordingly, these facts cannot again be questioned in a subsequent proceeding, not even in a criminal action for the forgery of the will. (3 Moran's Comments on the Rules of Court, 1970 Edition, p. 395; Manahan vs. Manahan). -Austria vs. Ventenilla > a "petition for annulment of a will" was not entertained after the decree of probate had become final. "Wills; Probate; Alleged Fraudulent Will; Appeal. V. died. His will was admitted to probate without objection. No appeal was taken from said order. It was admitted that due and legal notice had been given to all parties. Fifteen months after the date of said order, a motion was presented in the lower court to have said will declared null and void, for the reason that fraud had been practiced upon the deceased in the making of his will. "Held: That under section 625 of Act No. 190, the only time given parties who are displeased with the order admitting to probate a will, for an appeal is the time given for appeals in ordinary actions; but without deciding whether or not an order admitting a will to probate will be opened for fraud, after the time allowed for an appeal has expired, when no appeal is taken from an order probating a will, the heirs can not, in subsequent litigation in the same proceedings, raise questions relating to its due execution. The probate of a will is conclusive as to its due execution and as to the testamentary capacity of the testator." (See Austria vs. Heirs of Ventenilla, 99 Phil. 1069).
DE LA CERNA v POTOT 12 SCRA 576 REYES NATURE Appeal from the CA decision reversing Cebu CFI FACTS - Spouses Bernabe de la Cerna and Gervasia Rebaca executed a joint last will and testament in their local dialect willing two parcels of land together with all the improvements thereon to their niece, Manuela Rebaca. The couple were childless. As
a condition on the joint will, the fruits of the two parcels shall be enjoyed by either the testators while he or she is yet living. - Upon the death of Bernabe de la Cerna in 1939 the will was submitted for probate before the CFI of Cebu which declared said will to be legal and valid. When Gervasia died in 1952, another petition for the probate of the same will was submitted before the same Cebu CFI. This time, however, the testament ws declared null and void for being executed contrary to the prohibition of joint wills in Article 669 of the Old Civil Code and Article 818 of the New Civil Code. - On appeal, the CA reversed the ruling of the Cebu CFI on the ground that the decree of probate in 1939 was conclusive on the due execution of the testament. The CA declared that "* * *. It is true the law (Art. 669, old Civil Code; Art. 818, new Civil Code) prohibits the making of a will jointly by two or more persons either for their reciprocal benefit or for the benefit of a third person. However, this form of will has long been sanctioned by use, and the same has continued to be used; and when, as in the present case, one such joint last will and testament has been admitted to probate by final order of a Court of competent jurisdiction, there seems to be no alternative except to give effect to the provisions thereof that are not contrary to law, as was done in the case of Macrohon vs. Saavedra, 51 Phil. 267, wherein our Supreme Court gave effect to the provisions of the joint will therein mentioned, saying 'assuming that the joint will in question is valid'." - Hence this appeal by the heirs intestate of the deceased husband, Bernabe de la Cerna ISSUE/S 1. WON the joint will is legal and valid in so far as Bernabe de la Cerna is concerned 2. WON the joint will is legal and valid in so far as Gervasia Rebaca is concerned HELD 1. Yes. The SC ruled that the final decree of probate entered in 1939 by the Cebu CFI has conclusive effect as to the last will and testament of Bernabe de la Cerna despite the fact that the Civil Code already decredd the invalidity of joint wills, whether in favor of the joint testators, reciprocally, or in favor of a third party. The error committed by the probate court was an error of law that should have been corrected by appeal. A final judgment rendered on a petition for the probate of a will is binding upon the whole world (Manalo vs. Paredes, 47 Phil. 938; In re Estate of Johnson, 39 Phil. 156) ; and public policy and sound practice demand that at the risk of occasional errors, judgment of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law. Interest rei publicae ut finis sit litium (Dy Cay vs. Crossfield, 38 Phil. 521, and other cases cited in 2 Moran Comments on the Rules of Court 1963 Ed., P. 322). The dismissal of the action by the heirs and successors of De la Cerna was correct. 2. No. The present subject matter of the probate is the last will and testament of Gervasia who died much later than her husband. Hence, in so far as the estate of the wife is concerned, the joint will must be reesamined and adjudicated de novo since the joint will is considered a separate will of each testator. Thus regarded, the holding of the Court of First Instance of Cebu that the joint will is one prohibited by law was correct as to the participation of the deceased Gervasia Rebaca in the properties in question, for the reasons extensively discussed in our decision in Bilbao vs. Bilbao, 87 Phil. 144, that explained the previous holding in Macrohon vs. Saavedra, 51 Phil., 267. Therefore, the undivided interest of Gervasia Rebaca should pass upon her death to her heirs intestate, and not exclusively to the testamentary heir, unless some other valid will in her favor is shown to exist, or unless she be the only heir intestate of said Gervasia.
SUCCESSION A2010 MANINANG v CA (PRONOVE) 114 SCRA 478 MELENCIO-HERRERA; June 19, 1982 NATURE A Petition to Review the Decision CA FACTS - Clemencia Aseneta, single, died and left a holographic will saying that all her real properties located in Manila, Makati, Quezon City, Albay and Legaspi City and all her personal properties shall be inherited by Dra. Soledad L. Maninang with whose family she have lived with. - Soledad Maninang filed a Petition for probate of the Will of the decedent with the CFI. - Bernardo Aseneta, who, as the adopted son, claims to be the sole heir of decedent Clemencia Aseneta, instituted intestate proceedings. - The two cases were ordered consolidated. - Bernardo then filed a Motion to Dismiss the Testate Case on the ground that the holographic will was null and void because he, as the only compulsory heir, was preterited and, therefore, intestacy should ensue. - The lower Court ordered the dismissal of the Testate Case. MR denied. Maninang resorted to a certiorari Petition before CA. ISSUE WON the Court a quo a quo acted in excess of its jurisdiction when it dismissed the Testate Case. HELD - YES. Generally, the probate of a Will is mandatory. Normally, the probate of a Will does not look into its intrinsic validity. - The Nuguid and the Balanay cases provide the exception rather than the rule. The intrinsic validity of the Wills in those cases was passed upon even before probate because "practical considerations" so demanded. Moreover, for the parties in the Nuguid case, the "meat of the controversy" was the intrinsic validity of the Will; in fact, the parties in that case "shunted aside the question of whether or not the Will should be allowed probate." Not so in the case before us now where the probate of the Will is insisted on by petitioners and a resolution on the extrinsic validity of the Will demanded. - Moreover, in the Nuguid case, this Court ruled that the Will was intrinsically invalid as it completely preterited the parents of the testator. In the instant case, a crucial issue that calls for resolution is whether under the terms of the decedent's Will, private respondent had been preterited or disinherited, and if the latter, whether it was a valid disinheritance. Preterition and disinheritance are two diverse concepts. - By virtue of the dismissal of the Testate Case, the determination of that controversial issue has not been thoroughly considered. We gather from the assailed Order of the trial Court that its conclusion was that respondent Bernardo has been preterited We are of opinion, however, that from the face of the Will, that conclusion is not indubitable.
PASTOR v CA (QUEMADA) 40 Phil 476 PLANA ; June 24, 1983
NATURE This is a case of hereditary succession. FACTS - Alvaro Pastor, Sr. (PASTOR, SR.) died in Cebu City on June 5, 1966. He was survived by his wife Sofia Bossio, their two legitimate children Alvaro Pastor, Jr. (PASTOR, JR.) and Sofia Pastor de Midgely (SOFIA), and an illegitimate child Lewellyn Barlito QUEMADA. - QUEMADA filed with the CFI a petition for the probate and allowance of an alleged holographic will left by PASTOR, SR. The will contained only one testamentary disposition: a legacy in favor of QUEMADA consisting of 30% of PASTOR, SR.'s 42% share in the operation by ATLAS of some mining claims in Pina-Barot, Cebu. - The probate court appointed him special administrator of the entire estate of PASTOR, SR. to which Pastor Jr. And his sister Sofia opposed. QUEMADA as special administrator, instituted against PASTOR, JR. and his wife an action for reconveyance of alleged properties of the estate subject of the legacy which were in the names of PASTOR, JR. and his wife, who claimed to be the owners thereof in their own rights, and not by inheritance. - The probate court then issued an order allowing the holographic will to probate. - For two years after remand of the case to the PROBATE COURT, QUEMADA filed pleading after pleading asking for payment of his legacy and seizure of the properties subject of said legacy. - PASTOR, JR. and SOFIA opposed these pleadings on the ground that there is still a reconveyance suit pending with another branch of CFI. - The PROBATE COURT then set a hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will but no hearing was held because of the opposition of Pastor Jr. and Sofia again on the same ground of pendency of the reconveyance suit. Instead, the probate court required the parties to submit their respective position papers. - PASTOR. JR. and SOFIA submitted their Memorandum which in effect showed that determination of how much QUEMADA should receive was still premature. QUEMADA also submitted his Position paper. - So while the reconveyance suit was still being litigated, the PROBATE COURT issued an Order of Execution and Garnishment resolving the question of ownership of the royalties from ATLAS and ruling that the legacy to Quemada was not inofficious. The order being "immediately executory", QUEMADA succeeded in obtaining a Writ of Execution and Garnishment and in serving the same on ATLAS on the same day. - Pastor Jr. and Sofia filed a motion for reconsideration on the ground that the PROBATE COURT gravely abused its discretion when it resolved the question of ownership of the royalties and ordered the payment of QUEMADA's legacy after prematurely passing upon the intrinsic validity of the will. - Even before the MFR could be resolved, PASTOR, JR. and his wife filed with the CA a Petition for certiorari. The petition was denied on the ground that
SUCCESSION A2010 its filing was premature because there was still an MFR pending before the PROBATE COURT. The spouses moved for reconsideration. - While this petition was pending, the probate court issued an order which the court claims to have resolved the question of the instrinsic validity of the will and of the ownership of the mining claims, rendering moot and academic the suit for reconveyance. - Hence this petition assailing the orders issued by the probate court. The petitioners are arguing that before the provisions of the holographic will can be implemented, the questions of ownership of the mining properties and the intrinsic validity of the holographic will must first be resolved with finality. ISSUES WON the Probate Order resolved with finality the questions of ownership and intrinsic validity of the will. HELD No. Contrary to the position taken by the probate court, these two issued have not yet been resolved. Therefore, the Probate Order could not have resolved and actually did not decide QUEMADA's entitlement to the legacy. This being so, the Orders for the payment of the legacy in alleged implementation of the Probate Order of 1972 are unwarranted for lack of basis. In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue by and large is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will, i.e., whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. As a rule, the question of ownership is an extraneous matter which the Probate Court cannot resolve with finality. Thus, for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory of estate properties, the Probate Court may pass upon the title thereto, but such determination is provisional, not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title. When PASTOR, SR. died in 1966, he was survived by his wife. There is therefore a need to liquidate the conjugal partnership and set apart the share of PASTOR, SR.'s wife in the conjugal partnership. When the disputed order was issued, no liquidation of the community propertied transpired yet. Thus, there had been no prior definitive determination of the assets of the estate of PASTOR, SR. There was an inventory of his properties presumably prepared by the special administrator, but it does not appear that it was ever the subject of a hearing or that it was judicially approved. The reconveyance or recovery of properties allegedly owned but not in the name of PASTOR, SR. was still being litigated in another court. There was no appropriate determination, much less payment, of the debts of the decedent and his estate. Nor had the estate tax been determined and paid. The net assets of the estate not having been determined, the legitime of the forced heirs in concrete figures could not be ascertained.
All the foregoing deficiencies considered, it was not possible to determine whether the legacy of QUEMADA - a fixed share in a specific property rather than an aliquot part of the entire net estate of the deceased would produce an impairment of the legitime of the compulsory heirs. There actually was no determination of the intrinsic validity of the will in other respects. It was obviously for this reason that as late as March 5, 1980 - more than 7 years after the order was issued the Probate Court scheduled on a hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will.
ROBERTS v LEONIDAS G.R. No. L-55509 AQUINO; April 27, 1984 FACTS -Edward M. Grimm an American resident of Manila, died.He was survived by his second wife, Maxine Tate Grimm and their two children, named Edward Miller Grimm II (Pete) and Linda Grimm and by Juanita Grimm Morris and Ethel Grimm Roberts (McFadden), his two children by a first marriage which ended in divorce . - He executed two wills in San Francisco, California. One will disposed of his Philippine estate which he described as conjugal property of himself and his second wife. The second win disposed of his estate outside the Philippines. In both wills, the second wife and two children were favored. The two children of the first marriage were given their legitimes in the will disposing of the estate situated in this country. - Maxine and her two children Linda and Pete, as the first parties, and Ethel, Juanita Grimm Morris and their mother Juanita Kegley Grimm as the second parties, with knowledge of the intestate proceeding in Manila, entered into a compromise agreement in Utah regarding the estate. - In that agreement, Maxine, Pete and Ethel would be designated as personal representatives (administrators) of Grimm's Philippine estate. It was also stipulated that Maxine's one-half conjugal share in the estate should be reserved for her and that would not be less than $1,500,000 plus the homes in Utah and Santa Mesa, Manila. The agreement indicated the computation of the "net distributable estate". - It was stipulated that the decedent's four children "shall share equally in the Net Distributable Estate" and that Ethel and Juanita Morris should each receive at least 121/2% of the total of the net distributable estate and marital share. - Ethel filed in the CFI an intestate proceeding for the settlement of his estate. She was named special administratrix.Maxine, filed an opposition and MTD the intestate proceeding on the ground of the pendency of Utah of a proceeding for the probate. She also moved that she be appointed special administratrix, She submitted to the court a copy of Grimm's will disposing of his Philippine estate. - The intestate court noted that Maxine withdrew that opposition and MTD and, at the behest of Maxine, Ethel and Pete, appointed them joint administrators, pursuant to the Utah compromise agreement. The court ignored the will already found in the record. - The three administrators submitted an inventory. With the authority and approval of the court, they sold businesses and shares of stock owned by the deceased. - Acting on the declaration of heirs and project of partition signed and filed by lawyers (not signed by Maxine and her two children), the lower court adjudicated to Maxine ½ of the decedent's Philippine estate and 1/8 each to his four children. - For a period of more than five months, there was no movement or activity in the intestate case. Then Juanita Grimm Morris, filed a motion for accounting "so that the Estate properties can be partitioned among the heirs and the present intestate estate be closed." Del Callar, Maxine's lawyer was notified of that motion.
SUCCESSION A2010 - Before that motion could be heard, Maxine, Pete and Linda, filed a petition praying for the probate of Grimm's two wills (already probated in Utah), that the 1979 partition approved by the intestate court be set aside and the letters of administration revoked, that Maxine be appointed executrix and that Ethel and Juanita Morris be ordered to account for the properties received by them and to return the same to Maxine. - The second wife and two children alleged that they were defraud due to the machinations of the Roberts spouses, that the 1978 Utah compromise agreement was illegal, that the intestate proceeding is void because Grimm died testate and that the partition was contrary to the decedent's wills. - Ethel filed a MTD. Judge Leonidas denied it for lack of merit. Ethel then filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in this Court, praying that the testate proceeding be dismissed, or. alternatively that the two proceedings be consolidated and heard and that the matter of the annulment of the Utah compromise agreement be heard prior to the petition for probate. HELD We hold that respondent judge did not commit any grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction, in denying Ethel's MTD. - A testate proceeding is proper in this case because Grimm died with two wills and "no will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed" (Art. 838, CC). - The probate of the will is mandatory. It is anomalous that the estate of a person who died testate should be settled in an intestate proceeding. Therefore, the intestate case should be consolidated with the testate proceeding and the judge assigned to the testate proceeding should continue hearing the two cases. - Ethel may file within twenty days from notice of the finality of this judgment an opposition and answer to the petition unless she considers her motion to dismiss and other pleadings sufficient for the purpose. Juanita G. Morris, who appeared in the intestate case, should be served with copies of orders, notices and other papers in the testate case.
NEPOMUCENO v CA (GOMEZ) 139 SCRA 206 October 9, 1985; GUTIERREZ NATURE Petition for certiorari FACTS Martin Jugo died with last Will and Testament with all the formalities required by law. In the said Will, the testator named and appointed herein petitioner Sofia J. Nepomuceno as his sole and only executor of his estate. It is clearly stated in the Will that the testator was legally married to a certain Rufina Gomez by whom he had two legitimate children, Oscar and Carmelita, but since 1952, he had been estranged from his lawfully wedded wife and had been living with petitioner as husband and wife. In fact, on December 5, 1952, the testator Martin Jugo and the petitioner herein, Sofia J. Nepomuceno were married in Victoria, Tarlac before the Justice of the Peace. The testator devised to his forced heirs, namely, his legal wife Rufina Gomez and his children Oscar and Carmelita his entire estate and the free portion thereof to herein petitioner.
The petitioner filed a petition for the probate of the last Will and Testament of the deceased Martin Jugo in the CFI Rizal and asked for the issuance to her of letters testamentary. The legal wife of the testator, Rufina Gomez and her children filed an opposition. The lower court denied the probate of the Will on the ground that as the testator admitted in his Will to cohabiting with the petitioner from December 1952 until his death on July 16, 1974, the Will's admission to probate will be an idle exercise because on the face of the Will, the invalidity of its intrinsic provisions is evident. The case reached the CA and the respondent court set aside the decision of the CFI of Rizal denying the probate of the will. The CA declared the Will to be valid except that the devise in favor of the petitioner is null and void pursuant to Article 739 2 in relation with Article 10283. ISSUE WON the respondent court acted in excess of its jurisdiction when after declaring the last Will and Testament of the deceased Martin Jugo validly drawn, it went on to pass upon the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provision in favor of herein petitioner. HELD NO. The general rule is that in probate proceedings, the court's area of inquiry is limited to an examination and resolution of the extrinsic validity of the Will. The rule, however, is not inflexible and absolute. Given exceptional circumstances, the probate court is not powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and pass upon certain provisions of the Will. Reasoning: a. In Nuguid v. Nuguid, the testator instituted the petitioner as universal heir and completely preterited her surviving forced heirs. A will of this nature, no matter how valid it may appear extrinsically, would be null and void. Separate or latter proceedings to determine the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provisions would be superfluous. b. The prohibition in Article 739 of the Civil Code is against the making of a donation between persons who are living in adultery or concubinage. It is the donation which becomes void. The giver cannot give even assuming that the recipient may receive. The very wordings of the Will invalidate the legacy because the testator admitted he was disposing the properties to a person with whom he had been living in concubinage. (Note: The defense of Nepomuceno that she was not aware that Jugo was married was not believed by the court.)
MERCADO v SANTOS G.R. No. 45629 LAUREL; September 22, 1938 FACTS 2
The following donations shall be void: (1) Those made between persons who were guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of the donation; (2) Those made between persons found guilty of the same criminal offense, in consideration thereof; (3) Those made to a public officer or his wife, descendants and ascendants, by reason of his office. In the case referred to in No. 1, the action for declaration of nullity may be brought by the spouse of the donor or donee; and the guilt of the donor and donee may be proved by preponderance of evidence in the same action.
"The prohibitions mentioned in Article 739, concerning donations inter vivos shall apply to testamentary provisions."
SUCCESSION A2010 In May 1931, the petitioner Atilano Mercado filed in the CFI of Pampanga a petition for the probate of the will of his deceased wife, Ines Basa. The probate court, in June 1931, admitted the will to probate. Almost 3 years later, 5 intervenors moved ex parte to reopen the proceedings, alleging lack of jurisdiction of the court to probate the will and to close the proceedings, which motion was denied. It appears that 16 months after the probate of the will of Ines Basa, intervenor de Leon filed 3 complaints against Mercado for falsification or forgery of the will probated as above indicated. The 1st 2 cases were dismissed at the instance of the complainant, while last case was dismissed on the ground that the will alleged to have been falsified had already been probated and there was no evidence that the petitioner had forged the signature of the testatrix appearing thereon. Dissatisfied with the result, the provincial fiscal moved for reinvestigation of the case. (fyi- petitioner was arrested 4 times!) The petitioner moved to dismiss the case claiming that the will alleged to have been forged had already been probated and, further, that the order probating the will is conclusive as to the authenticity and due execution thereof. The motion was overruled. ISSUE WON the probate of the will of his deceased wife is a bar to the petitioner’s criminal prosecution for the alleged forgery of the said will HELD YES - Sec.306 of our Code of CivPro: " Effect of judgment. The effect of a judgment or final order in an action or special proceeding before a court or judge of the Philippine Islands… may be as follows: Xxx in respect to the probate of a will… the judgment or order is conclusive upon… the will or administration… Provided, That the probate of a will or granting of letters of administration shall only be prima facie evidence of the death of the testator or intestate.” - SEC. 625. “ Allowance Necessary, and Conclusive as to Execution. No will shall pass either the real or personal estate, unless it is proved and allowed in the CFI, or by appeal to the SC; and the allowance by the court of a will of real and personal estate shall be conclusive as to its due execution." - Manahan vs. Manahan: ". . . The decree of probate is conclusive with respect to the due execution thereof and it cannot be impugned on any of the grounds authorized by law, except that of fraud, in any separate or independent action or proceeding. " - The probate of a will in this jurisdiction is a proceeding in rem. The provision of notice by publication as a prerequisite to the allowance of a will is constructive notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court is binding upon everybody, even against the State. - The proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem and the court acquires jurisdiction over all the persons interested, through the publication of the notice prescribed by section 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure, and any order that may be entered therein is binding against all of them. - Sec. 333, par. 4, of the Code of Civil Procedure establishes an incontrovertible presumption in favor of judgments declared by it to be conclusive: " The following presumptions or deductions, which the law expressly directs to be made from particular facts, are deemed conclusive: xxx xxx xxx "4. The judgment or order of a court, when declared by this code to be conclusive." - Conclusive presumptions are inferences which the law makes so peremptory that it will not allow them to be overturned by any contrary proof however strong. The will in
question having been probated by a competent court, the law will not admit any proof to overthrow the legal presumption that it is genuine and not a forgery. - American and English cases show a conflict of authorities on the question as to whether or not the probate of a will bars criminal prosecution of the alleged forger of the probated will. We have examined some important cases and have come to the conclusion that no fixed standard may be adopted or drawn therefrom, in view of the conflict no less than of diversity of statutory provisions obtaining in different jurisdictions. It behooves us, therefore, as the court of last resort, to choose that rule most consistent with our statutory law, having in view the needed stability of property rights and the public interest in general. To be sure, we have seriously reflected upon the dangers of evasion from punishment of culprits deserving of the severity of the law in cases where, as here, forgery is discovered after the probate of the will and the prosecution is had before the prescription of the offense. By and large, however, the balance seems inclined in favor of the view that we have taken. Not only does the law surround the execution of the will with the necessary formalities and require probate to be made after an elaborate judicial proceeding, but section 113, not to speak of section 513, of our Code of Civil Procedure provides for an adequate remedy to any party who might have been adversely affected by the probate of a forged will, much in the same way as other parties against whom a judgment is rendered under the same or similar circumstances. The aggrieved party may file an application for relief with the proper court within a reasonable time, but in no case exceeding six months after said court has rendered the judgment of probate, on the ground of mistake, inadvertence, surprise or excusable neglect. An appeal lies to review the action of a court of first instance when that court refuses to grant relief. After a judgment allowing a will to be probated has become final and unappealable , and after the period fixed by section 113 of the Code of Civil Procedure has expired, the law as an expression of the legislative wisdom goes no further and the case ends there. - Therefore, that in view of the provisions of sections 306, 333 and 625 of our Code of Civil Code Procedure, criminal action will not lie in this jurisdiction against the forger of a will which had been duly admitted to probate by a court of competent jurisdiction. The petitioner is entitled to have the criminal proceedings against him quashed.
X. DISALLOWANCE OF WILLS PASCUAL V DELA CRUZ 28 SCRA 421 REYES; May 30, 1969 NATURE Appeal from the CFI decision admitting to probate the purported will of Catalina de la Cruz FACTS -Catalina de la Cruz, single and without any surviving descendant or ascendant, died. A petition for the probate of her alleged will was filed by Andres Pascual, who was named in the said will as executor and sole heir of the decedent. -Pedro dela Cruz and 26 other nephews and nieces of the late Catalina de la Cruz contested the validity of the will on the grounds that the formalities required by law were not complied with; that the testatrix was mentally incapable of disposing of her properties by will at the time of its execution; that the will was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part of the petitioner; and that the signature of the testatrix was obtained through fraud.
SUCCESSION A2010 -probate court upheld the due execution of the will and appointed Andres Pascual as executor and administrator of the estate, as provided in the will, without bond. Oppositors appealed to SC directly (value of properties involved more than P300k) -Dela Cruz et al. claim: lower court erred in giving credence to the testimonies of the subscribing witnesses and the notary that the will was duly executed, notwithstanding the existence of inconsistencies and contradictions in the testimonies, and in disregarding their evidence that the will was not signed by all the witnesses in the presence of one another -CFI’s response: alleged contradictions and inconsistencies were not substantial in nature sufficient to discredit the entire testimony on the due execution of the will. Plus lapse of 8 years from execution of the will to the testimony in court. There is unanimity and certainty in their testimony regarding the identity of the signatures of the testatrix, the attesting witnesses, and the Notary Public, and the fact that they were all present at the time those signatures were affixed on the document ISSUES 1. WON the contradictions and inconsistencies pointed out by Dela Cruz were substantial as to discredit the entire testimony of the subscribing witnesses 2. WON the execution of the will was tainted by fraud and undue influence HELD 1. NO. Ratio. For the purpose of determining the due execution of a will, it is not necessary that the instrumental witnesses should give an accurate and detailed account of the proceeding, such as recalling the order of the signing of the document by the said witnesses. It is sufficient that they have seen or at least were so situated at the moment that they could have seen each other sign, had they wanted to do so. [Estate of Javellana vs. Javellana] Reasoning. The contradictions and inconsistencies appearing in the testimonies of the witnesses and the notary, pointed out by the oppositors-appellants (such as the weather condition at the time the will was executed; the sequence of the signing by the witnesses; and the length of time it took to complete the act), relate to unimportant details of the impressions of the witnesses about certain details which could have been affected by the lapse of time and the treachery of human memory, and which inconsistencies, by themselves, would not alter the probative value of their testimonies on the due execution of the will -on argument that Pascual was friends with the witnesses: the will was executed when the testatrix was already 83 years old suffering from rheumatism, it was likely that she has entrusted the task of requesting the subscribing witnesses to witness in the execution of the will to Andres Pascual himself. Although the witnesses had failed to testify that Catalina asked them to witness her testament (after 8 years), the error of recall is consonant with the well known vagaries of human memory and recollection, particularly since the main detail that must have stuck in his minds is that they did witness the signing of the will, upon which their attention must have principally concentrated. That they did so is attested by their signatures and those of the deceased testatrix, which are nowhere impugned; nor is there any claim by appellants that the latter was incapable of reading and understanding the will that she signed. In fact, the evidence is that she did read it before signing. The authorities are to the effect that friendly relations of the witnesses with the testator or the beneficiaries do not affect the credibility of the former, so that the proven friendship between the proponent and the instrumental witnesses would have no bearing on the latter's qualification to testify on the circumstances surrounding the signing of the will. -on the alleged tape-recorded testimony of witness Manuel Jiongco (recorded without the latter’s knowledge) wherein the latter was supposed
to have stated that when he signed the will the other witnesses' signatures were already affixed, and were not then present, and that he (Jiongco) signed the document in 1958 or 1959: (1) no adequate proof that the declarations tape recorded were in fact made by Jiongco as he denied that fact under oath, that the tape recording was not supported by truly impartial evidence, and it was done without the knowledge of the witness; (2) In the Notarial Registry of the notary, the ratification of the testament appears among the entries for 1954, as well as in corresponding copies produced by the Notarial Section of the Clerk of Court’s office (so, assuming regularity in the performance of duty, the document was indeed executed in 1954, not in 1958 or 1959). 2. NO. Ratio. To be sufficient to avoid a will, the influence exerted must be of a kind that so overpowers and subjugates the mind of the testator as to destroy his free agency and make him express the will of another rather than his own; that the contention that a will was obtained by undue influence or improper pressure cannot be sustained on mere conjecture or suspicion, as it is enough that there was opportunity to exercise undue influence, or a possibility that it may have been exercised; that the exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence that it was actually exercised; that the burden is on the person challenging the will to show that such influence was exerted at the time of its execution; that mere general or reasonable influence is not sufficient to invalidate a will; nor is moderate and reasonable solicitation and entreaty addressed to the testator; or omission of relatives, not forced heirs, evidence of undue influence Reasoning. Considering that testarix considered proponent as her own son, to the extent that she expressed no objection to his being made the sole heir of her sister, Florentina Cruz, in derogation of her own rights, we find nothing abnormalin her instituting proponent also as her own beneficiary. -on allegation that Pascual bought a building supposedly for the testatrix but placed the title in his name, and merely painted thereon the name of the testatrix to mislead the deceased: if Catalina’s mind was really subjugated by Pascual, then he had no need to recourse to the deception averred. -on the choice of witnesses: the rheumetism of the testarix made it difficult for her to look for all the witnesses. That she did not resort to relatives or friends is, likewise explainable: it would have meant the disclosure of the terms of her will to those interested in her succession but who were not favored by her, thereby exposing her to unpleasant importunity and recriminations that an aged person would naturally seek to avoid. The natural desire to keep the making of a will secret can, likewise, account for the failure to probate the testament during her lifetime. -on allegation that Pascual participated in the execution of the will, therefore, there is a presumption of undue influence: although the will was prepared by the nephew of Pascual, the presumption does not arise for in the normal course of events, said attorney would follow the instructions of the testatrix; and a member of the bar in good standing may not be convicted of unprofessional conduct, or of having conspired to falsify a statement, except upon clear proof.
REYES-BARRETTO v BARRETTO-DATU 19 SCRA 83 REYES, J.B.L.; January 25, 1967 NATURE
SUCCESSION A2010 Direct appeal from a judgment of CFI Bulacan dismissing the complaint of Tirso T. Reyes and ordering him to deliver to Lucia Milagros Barretto-Datu, the properties received by his deceased wife under the terms of the will of the late Bibiano Barretto FACTS - Bibiano Barretto was married to Maria Gerardo. During their lifetime they acquired a vast estate, consisting of real properties in Manila, Pampanga, and Bulacan. When Bibiano died, he left his share of these properties in a will to Salud Barretto, mother of plaintiff's wards, and Lucia Milagros Barretto and a small portion as legacies to his two sisters Rosa and Felisa and his nephews and nieces. Usufruct was reserved for his widow. The widow then prepared a project of partition which she signed in her own behalf, and as guardian of the minor Milagros. This was approved by CFI Manila. As a consequence, Salud Barretto took immediate possession of her share and secured the cancellation of the originals and the issuance of new titles in her own name. - Upon the widow’s death, it was discovered that she had executed two wills, in the first of which, she instituted Salud and Milagros as her heirs; and, in the second, she revoked the same and left all her properties in favor of Milagros alone. - Thus, the later will was allowed and the first rejected. In rejecting the first will presented by Tirso Reyes, as guardian of the children of Salud Barretto, the lower court held that Salud was not the daughter of the decedent Maria Gerardo by her husband Bibiano Barretto. SC affirmed. - Plaintiff then filed an action for the recovery of one-half portion of properties left for them under Bibiano’s will. This action afforded the defendant an opportunity to set up her right of ownership, not only of the fishpond under litigation, but of all the other properties willed and delivered to Salud, for being a spurious heir, and not entitled to any share in the estate of Bibiano, thereby directly attacking the validity, not only of the project of partition, but of the decision of the court based thereon. - The defendant contends that the Project of Partition from which Salud acquired the fishpond in question is void ab initio. - CFI then declared the project of partition to be null and void ab initio (not merely voidable) because the distributee, Salud Barretto, predecessor of plaintiffs, was not a daughter of the spouses Bibiano and Maria. This was based on Article 1081 of the Civil Code of 1889: “A partition in which a person was believed to be an heir, without being so, has been included, shall be null and void.” - CFI rejected plaintiff’s contention that since Bibiano was free to dispose of one-third (1/3) of his estate under the old Civil Code, his will was valid in favor of Salud to the extent, at least, of such free part. And it concluded that, as defendant Milagros was the only true heir of Bibiano Barretto, she was entitled to recover from Salud, and from the latter's children and successors, all the Properties received by her from Bibiano's estate, in view of the provisions of Art 1456 of the new Civil Code establishing that property acquired by fraud or mistake is held by its acquirer in implied trust for the real owner. ISSUE 1. WON the partition between Salud and Milagros in the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Bibiano (duly approved by CFI Manila) is void 2. WON there was preterition HELD 1. NO Ratio At any rate, independently of a project of partition which, as its own name implies, is merely a proposal for distribution of the estate, that the court may accept
or reject, it is the court alone that makes the distribution of the estate and determines the persons entitled thereto and the parts to which each is entitled, and it is that judicial decree of distribution, once final, that vests title in the distributees. If the decree was erroneous or not in conformity with law or the testament, the same should have been corrected by opportune appeal; but once it had become final, its binding effect is like that of any other judgment in rem, unless properly set aside for lack of jurisdiction or fraud. Reasoning The agreement of partition was not only ratified by the court's decree of distribution, but actually consummated, so much so that the titles in the name of the deceased were cancelled, and new certificates issued in favor of the heirs, long before the decree was attacked. In fact, even without the project of partition, the distribution could stand, since it was in conformity with the probated will of Bibiano, against the provisions whereof no objection had been made. - The only instance that we can think of in which a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence. Even then, the better practice to secure relief is reopening of the same case by proper motion within the reglementary period, instead of an independent action the effect of which, if successful, would be, for another court or judge to throw out a decision or order already final and executed and reshuffle properties long ago distributed and disposed of. - Art. 1081 has been misapplied. Salud admittedly had been instituted heir in the late Bibiano Barretto's last will and testament together with defendant Milagros; hence, the partition had between them could not be one such had with a party who was believed to be an heir without really being one, and was not null and void under said article. The legal precept (Article 1081) does not speak of children, or descendants, but of heirs (without distinction between forced, voluntary or intestate ones), and the fact that Salud happened not to be a daughter of the testator does not preclude her being one of the heirs expressly named in his testament; for Bibiano was at liberty to assign the free portion of his estate to whomsoever he chose. While the share assigned to Salud impinged on Milagros’ legitime, Salud did not for that reason cease to be a testamentary heir of Bibiano. 2. NO Reasoning The fact that Milagros was allotted in her father's will a share smaller than her legitime does not invalidate the institution of Salud as heir. There was no preterition, or total ommission of a forced heir. For this reason, Neri vs. Akutin is not at all applicable, that case involving an instance of preterition or omission of children of the testator's former marriage.
AJERO v CA (SAND) 236 SCRA 488 PUNO; September 15, 1994 NATURE Petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the CA FACTS -The holographic will of the late Annie Sand, who died on November 25, 1982, was submitted for probate by the petitioners Ajero -Named as devisees, were the following: petitioners Roberto and Thelma Ajero, private respondent Clemente Sand, Meriam S. Arong, Leah Sand, Lilia Sand, Edgar Sand, Fe Sand, Lisa S. Sand, and Dr. Jose Ajero, Sr., and their children.
SUCCESSION A2010 -Private respondent opposed the petition on the grounds that: neither the testament's body nor the signature therein was in decedent's handwriting; it contained alterations and corrections which were not duly signed by decedent; and, the will was procured by petitioners through improper pressure and undue influence. -TC admitted the decedent's holographic will to probate. -On appeal, said decision was reversed, and the petition for probate of decedent's will was dismissed. The Court of Appeals found that, "the holographic will fails to meet the requirements for its validity." It held that the decedent did not comply with Articles 8134 and 8145 of the New Civil Code. It alluded to certain dispositions in the will which were either unsigned and undated, or signed but not dated. It also found that the erasures, alterations and cancellations made thereon had not been authenticated by decedent. ISSUE WON the holographic will should be disallowed HELD No. Sec 96, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court, and Article 8397 of the New Civil Code are the applicable provisions with regard to disallowance of wills. -These lists are exclusive; no other grounds can serve to disallow a will. -Thus, in a petition to admit a holographic will to probate, the only issues to be resolved are: (1) whether the instrument submitted is, indeed, the decedent's last will and testament; (2) whether said will was executed in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law; (3) whether the decedent had the necessary testamentary capacity at the time the will was executed; and, (4) whether the execution of the will and its signing were the voluntary acts of the decedent. -Respondent court’s reliance on failure of the decedent to comply with Arts. 813 and 814 to disallow the will is erroneous. -In Abangan vs. Abangan, it was held that:The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guarantee their truth and authenticity. But, on the other hand, one must not lose sight of the fact that it is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. So when an 4
Art. 813: When a number of dispositions appearing in a holographic will are signed without being dated, and the last disposition has a signature and date, such date validates the dispositions preceding it, whatever be the time of prior dispositions.
Art. 814: In case of insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holographic will, the testator must authenticate the same by his full signature.
Section 9, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court provides that will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases: (a) If not executed and attested as required by law; (b) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable to make a will, at the time of its execution; (c) If it was executed under duress, or the influence of fear, or threats; (d) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on the part of the beneficiary, or of some other person for his benefit; (e) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick, and he did not intend that the instrument should be his will at the time of fixing his signature thereto.
Art. 839: The will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases; (1) If the formalities required by law have not been complied with; (2) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable of making a will, at the time of its execution; (3) If it was executed through force or under duress, or the influence of fear, or threats; (4) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on the part of the beneficiary or of some other person; (5) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud; (6) If the testator acted by mistake or did not intend that the instrument he signed should be his will at the time of affixing his signature thereto.
interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustrative of the testator's last will, must be disregarded. -In the case of holographic wills, what assures authenticity is the requirement that they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as provided under Article 8108 of the New Civil Code -Failure to strictly observe other formalities will not result in the disallowance of a holographic will that is unquestionably handwritten by the testator. -A reading of Article 813 of the New Civil Code shows that its requirement affects the validity of the dispositions contained in the holographic will, but not its probate. If the testator fails to sign and date some of the dispositions, the result is that these dispositions cannot be effectuated. Such failure, however, does not render the whole testament void. -Likewise, a holographic will can still be admitted to probate, notwithstanding noncompliance with the provisions of Article 814. In the case of Kalaw vs. Relova 132 SCRA 237 242 (1984), this Court held: Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic will have not been noted under his signature, . . . the will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or interlined.
XI. INSTITUTION OF WILLS AUSTRIA v REYES 31 SCRA 754 CASTRO; February 27, 1970 FACTS -Basilia Austria vda. de Cruz filed with the CFI a petition for probate, ante mortem, of her last will and testament. The probate was opposed by her nephews and nieces. -The bulk of the estate of Basilia, admittedly, was destined under the will to pass on to those who had been assumed and declared by Basilia as her own legally adopted children. -Basilia died 2 years later. -In the same proceedings, the nieces and nephews filed a petition in intervention for partition alleging in substance that they are the nearest of kin of Basilia, and that the “adopted children” had not in fact been adopted by the decedent in accordance with law, in effect rendering these respondents mere strangers to the decedent and without any right to succeed as heirs. -The lower court ruled in favor of the “adopted children”, delimiting the intervention of the nieces and nephews to the properties of the deceased which were not disposed of in the will. These nieces and nephews went to SC. -The nephews and niece insist that the entire estate should descend to them by intestacy by reason of the intrinsic nullity of the institution of heirs embodied in the decedent's will. ISSUE WON such institution of heirs would retain efficacy in the event there exists proof that the adoption of the same heirs by the decedent is false 8
A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed.
SUCCESSION A2010 HELD YES. Article 850 of the Civil Code reads: "The statement of a false cause for the institution of an heir shall be considered as not written, unless it appears from the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had known the falsity of such cause." -Coming closer to the center of the controversy, the nieces and nephews have called the attention of this Court to the following pertinent portions of the will of the deceased which recite: "Ang aking mga sapilitang tagapagmana (herederos forzosos) ay ang aking itinuturing na mga anak na tunay (Hijos legalmente adoptados) na sina Perfecto, Alberto, Luz, Benita at Isagani, na pawang may apelyidong Cruz. -Before the institution of heirs may be annulled under article 850 of the Civil Code, the following requisites must concur: First, the cause for the institution of heirs must be stated in the will; second, the cause must be shown to be false; and third, it must appear from the face of the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had known the falsity of the cause. -The nieces and nephews would have the SC imply, from the use of the terms, "sapilitang tagapagmana" (compulsory heirs) and "sapilitang mana" (legitime), that the impelling reason or cause for the institution of the respondents was the testatrix's belief that under the law she could not do otherwise. If this were indeed what prompted the testatrix in instituting the respondents, she did not make it known in her will. Surely if she was aware that succession to the legitime takes place by operation of law, independent of her own wishes, she would not have found it convenient to name her supposed compulsory heirs to their legitimes. Her express adoption of the rules on legitimes should very well indicate her complete agreement with that statutory scheme. But even this, like the nephews and nieces' own proposition, is highly speculative of what was in the mind of the testatrix when she executed her will. One fact prevails, however, and it is that the decedent's will does not state in a specific or unequivocal manner the cause for such institution of heirs. We cannot annul the same on the basis of guesswork or uncertain implications. -Article 850 of the Civil Code, quoted above, is a positive injunction to ignore whatever false cause the testator may have written in his will for the institution of heirs. Such institution may be annulled only when one is satisfied, after an examination of the will, that the testator clearly would not have made the institution if he had known the cause for it to be false. Now, would the late Basilia have caused the revocation of the institution of heirs if she had known that she was mistaken in treating these heirs as her legally adopted children? Or would she have instituted them nonetheless? SC said the will is mute on this point. Therefore, the will was upheld because of this construction: Testacy is favored and doubts are resolved on its side. Also, the legality of the adoption can be assailed only in a separate action brought for that purpose, and cannot be the subject of a collateral attack.
XII. SUBSTITUTION OF HEIRS PCIB v ESCOLIN 56 SCRA 266 BARREDO; March 29, 1974 DISCLAIMER. These are the facts, issue, and ruling pertinent to our topic. This case, as admitted by J. Barredo is unusually extensive because of the 78 assignments of error regarding 30 separate orders of the lower court. Hopefully, hindi ito kasama sa
evidence outline (may stuff about admissions by a party related to the effects of foreign laws, which have to be proven in our courts like any other controverted fact, create estoppels.* Bwahahaha!) FACTS - The spouses Hodges are American citizens living in the Philippines. - Linnie Jane Hodges’ will contained: “ xxx … I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder [after payment of debts, taxes, and funeral expenses] of my estate, both personal and real, wherever situated, or located, to my beloved husband, Charles Newton Hodges, to have and to hold unto him, my said husband, during his natural lifetime. xxx At the death of my said husband, Charles Newton Hodges, I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal, wherever situated or located, to be equally divided among my brothers and sisters, share and share alike … xxx” - Charles Newton Hodges’ will was pretty much the same, including the part about Mrs. Hodges’ brothers and sisters. (Aw… he loves her…) Mrs. died 5 yrs. before Mr. Both died in the Philippines. Each estate had its own administrator. ISSUE WON there was fideicommisary substitution. HELD NO. Mrs. Hodges simultaneously instituted her brothers and sisters as co-heirs with her husband, with the condition, however, that the latter would have complete rights of dominion over the whole estate during his lifetime and what would go to the former would be only the remainder thereof at the time of Mr. Hodges' death. In other words, whereas they are not to inherit only in case of default of Hodges, on the other hand, Hodges was not obliged to preserve anything for them. Clearly then, the essential elements of testamentary substitution are absent; the provision in question is a simple case of conditional simultaneous institution of heirs, whereby the institution of Hodges is subject to a partial resolutory condition the operative contingency of which is coincidental with that of the suspensive condition of the institution of his brothers and sisters-in-law, which manner of institution is not prohibited by law. * Basically, what the case was all about is whether there was any part of Mrs. Hodges estate left that didn’t pass on to Mr. Hodges thru succession. It was ruled that meron nga natirang estate ni Mrs. Hogdes (foreign law issue). LESSON. Masakit sa ulo mamatay ng mayaman at mag-iwan ng magulong will. Ok fine, mahal nila ang isa’t isa.
PALACIOS v RAMIREZ 00 SCRA 00 ABAD SANTOS; February 15, 1982 FACTS The main issue in this appeal is the manner of partitioning the testate estate of Jose Eugenio Ramirez among the principal beneficiaries, namely: his widow Marcelle Demoron de Ramirez; his two grandnephews Roberto and Jorge Ramirez; and his companion Wanda de Wrobleski. The task is not trouble-free because the widow
SUCCESSION A2010 Marcelle is a French who lives in Paris, while the companion Wanda is an Austrian who lives in Spain. Moreover, the testator provided for substitutions. Jose Eugenio Ramirez, a Filipino national, died in Spain on December 11, 1964, with only his widow as compulsory heir. His will was admitted to probate by the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch X, on July 27, 1965. Maria Luisa Palacios was appointed administratrix of the estate. In due time she submitted an inventory of the estate. On June 23, 1966, the administratrix submitted a project of partition as follows: the property of the deceased is to be divided into two parts. One part shall go to the widow 'en pleno dominio" in satisfaction of her legitime; the other part or "free portion" shall go to Jorge and Roberto Ramirez "en nuda propriedad." Furthermore, 1/3 of the free portion is charged with the widow's usufruct and the remaining 2/3 with a usufruct in favor of Wanda. One of the grounds cited by Jorge and Roberto for opposing the project of partition is that the provisions for fideicommissary substitutions are also invalid because the first heirs are not related to the second heirs or substitutes within the first degree, as provided in Article 863 of the Civil Code. The lower court, however, approved the project of partition. ISSUE WON the substitution in its fideicommissary aspect is void HELD YES. The substitutes (Juan Pablo Jankowski and Horace V. Ramirez) are not related to Wanda, the heir originally instituted. Art. 863 of the Civil Code validates a fideicommissary substitution "provided such substitution does not go beyond one degree from the heir originally instituted." What is meant by "one degree" from the first heir is explained by Tolentino as follows: Scaevola Maura, and Traviesas construe "degree" as designation, substitution, or transmission. The Supreme Court of Spain has decidedly adopted this construction. From this point of view, there can be only one tranmission or substitution, and the substitute need not be related to the first heir. Manresa, Morell and Sanchez Roman, however, construe the word "degree" as generation, and the present Code has obviously followed this interpretation. by providing that the substitution shall not go beyond one degree "from the heir originally instituted." The Code thus clearly indicates that the second heir must be related to and be one generation from the first heir. From this, it follows that the fideicommissary can only be either a child or a parent of the first heir. These are the only relatives who are one generation or degree from the fiduciary Further, there is no absolute duty imposed on Wanda to transmit the usufruct to the substitutes as required by Arts. 865 and 867 of the Civil Code. In fact, the appellee admits "that the testator contradicts the establishment of a fideicommissary substitution when he permits the properties subject of the usufruct to be sold upon mutual agreement of the usufructuaries and the naked owners."
DE PEREZ v GATCHITORENA 54 Phil 431 ROMUALDEZ; February 13, 1930 NATURE Appeal FACTS
- Ana Maria Alcantara (deceased) left P21,428.58 on deposit in the Carmen's name with the association known as La Urbana in Manila, as the final payment of her liquidated credit against Andres Garchitorena, also deceased, represented by his son, Mariano. - Mariano Garchitorena held a judgment for P7,872.23 against Joaquin, husband of Carmen. The sheriff pursuant to the writ of execution issued in said judgment levied an attachment on said amount deposited with La Urbana. - Carmen secured a preliminary injunction restraining the execution of said judgment on the sum so attached because the La Urbana deposit belongs to her children as fideicommissary heirs of Ana Maria Alcantara. -Pertinent clauses of the Will: “Ninth. xxx… so that upon my death and after probate of this will, and after the report of the committee on claims and appraisal has been rendered and approved, she will receive from my executrix and properties composing my hereditary estate, that she may enjoy them with God's blessing and my own. Tenth. Should my heiress Carmen Garchitorena die, I order that my whole estate shall pass unimpaired to her surviving children; and should any of these die, his share shall serve to increase the portions of his surviving brothers (and sisters) by accretion, in such wise that my estate shall never pass out of the hands of my heiress or her children in so far as it is legally possible. Eleventh. Should my aforesaid heiress, Carmen Garchitorena, die after me while her children are still in their minority, I order that my estate be administered by my executrix, Mrs. Josefa Laplana, and in her default, by Attorney Ramon Salinas and in his default, by his son Ramon Salinas; xxx.” -The appellants contend that in these clauses the testatrix has ordered a simple substitution, while the appellee contends that it is a fideicommissary substitution. ISSUE WON a fideicommissary exists HELD YES. The requisites for a fideicommissary substitution exists, namely: 1. At first heir primarily called to the enjoyment of the estate. In this case the plaintiff was instituted an heiress, called to the enjoyment of the estate, according to clause IX of the will. 2. An obligation clearly imposed upon the heir to preserve and transmit to a third person the whole or a part of the estate. Such an obligation is imposed in clause X which provides that the "whole estate shall pass unimpaired to her (heiress's) surviving children;" thus, instead of leaving the heiress at liberty to dispose of the estate by will, or of leaving the law to take its course in case she dies intestate, said clause not only disposes of the estate in favor of the heiress instituted, but also provides for the disposition thereof in case she should die after the testatrix. 3. A second heir. Such are the children of the heiress instituted, who are referred to as such second heirs both in clause X and in clause XI. 4. The fideicommissarius be entitled to the estate from the time the testator dies, since he is to inherit from the latter and not from the fiduciary. The children in this case are the owners of the inheritance by virtue of the testatrix’s death. (TF, the deposit cannot be the subject of execution by Garchitorena as it doesn’t belong to Carmen.) Reasoning: -This will certainly provides for a substitution of heirs but not just a simple one considering that clause XI in connection with clause X provides for a substitution where the heiress instituted dies after the testatrix. -Clause X doesn’t conflict with the idea of fideicommisary:
SUCCESSION A2010 The word sole does not necessarily exclude the idea of substitute heirs; and taking these three clauses together, such word means that the plaintiff is the sole heiress instituted in the first instance. The testatrix had in mind a fideicommissary substitution, since she limits the transmission of her estate to the children of the heiress in accordance with the limits fixed by A 781 CC which prescribed that fideicommissary substitutions shall be valid "provided they do not go beyond the second degree." Another indication of fideicommissary substitution is this clause provides that the whole estate shall pass unimpaired to the heiress's children, that is to say the heiress is required to preserve the whole estate, without diminution, in order to pass it on in due time to the fideicommissary heirs. - The disposition contained in clause IX is not incompatible with a fideicommissary substitution (it certainly is incompatible with the idea of simple substitution, where the heiress instituted does not receive the inheritance): In fact the enjoyment of the inheritance is in conformity with the idea of fideicommissary substitution, by virtue of which the heir instituted receives the inheritance and enjoys it, although at the same time he preserves it in order to pass it on the second heir. It should also be noted that said clause IX vests in the heiress only the right to enjoy but not the right to dispose of the estate. It says, she may enjoy it, but does not say she may dispose of it. This is an indication of the usufruct inherent in fideicommissary substitution. -Clause XI more clearly indicates the idea of fideicommissary substitution, when a provision is therein made in the event the heiress should die after the testatrix. That is, said clause anticipates the case where the instituted heiress should die after the testatrix and after receiving and enjoying the inheritance.
CRISOLOGO v SINGSON GR No. L-13876 DIZON; February 28, 1962 NATURE Action for partition by Sps Crisologo against Singson FACTS - This involves a lot and improvements thereon. Complaint alleged that Singson owned half pro-indiviso of said prop and that Florentino owned the other half by virtue of the duly probated last will of Singson (the orig owner). - Defendant's defense was that Consolacion Florentino was a mere usufructuary of, and not owner of one-half pro-indiviso of the property in question, and that, therefore, she was not entitled to demand partition thereof. - Lower court rendered judgment in favor of plaintiff. Singson appealed. - At the time of the execution of the will, the nearest living relatives of the orig owner were her brothers Evaristo, Manuel and Dionisio Singson, her nieces Rosario, Emilia and Trinidad, and her grandniece Consolation, all surnamed Florentino. ISSUE Whether the testamentary disposition provided for sustitucion vulgar or for sustitucion fideicomisaria HELD SUSTITUCION VULGAR
- This case is governed by the old Civil Code. - Testator may not only designate heirs who’ll succeed him, but also substitutes in the event that said heirs don’t accept or are in no position to accept inheritance or legacies, or die ahead of him. - Testator may also bequeath his properties to particular person w/ obligation, on part of latter, to deliver the same to another, totally or partially, upon occurrence of particular event. - The particular testamentary clause provides for substitution of heir in this manner: upon death of Consolacion Florentino, whether before or after that of testatrix, property bequeathed to her shall be delivered or shall belong in equal parts to testatrix's 3 bros, Evaristo, Manuel, Dionisio, or their forced heirs, should anyone of them die ahead of Consolacion Florentino. - If this created sustitucion vulgar, necessary result would be that Consolacion Florentino, upon death of testatrix, became owner of one undivided half of the property, but if it provided for sustitution fideicomisaria, she would have acquired nothing more than usufructuary rights over same half. In the former, she would be entitled to partition, but not in the latter. As Manresa says, if fiduciary did not acquire full ownership of property bequeathed by will, but mere usufructuary rights until time came for him to deliver said property to the fideicomisario, it’s obvious that nude ownership over property, upon death of testatrix, passed to and was acquired by another person, and the person cannot be other than the fideicomisario. - It seems to be of the essence of a fideicommissary substitution that an obligation be clearly imposed upon first heir to preserve & transmit to another the whole or part of estate bequeathed to him, upon his death or upon happening of particular event. For this reason, Art 785 of old Civil Code provides that fideicommissary substitution has no effect unless made expressly either by giving it such name, or by imposing upon first heir the absolute obligation to deliver the inheritance to a substitute or second heir. - The substitution of heirs provided for therein is not expressly made of fideicommissary kind, nor does it contain a clear statement to the effect that appellee, during her lifetime, shall only enjoy usufructuary rights over the property bequeathed to her, naked ownership thereof being vested in the brothers of the testatrix. As already stated, it merely provides that upon appellee's death, whether before or after that of testatrix, her share shall belong to the brothers of the testatrix.
VDA. DE KILAYKO v TENGCO 207 SCRA 600 ROMERO; March 27, 1992 NATURE Petition for certiorari and prohibition and/or mandamus with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction. FACTS - Maria Lizares y Alunan died and left her "testamento" in the possession and custody of her niece, Eustaquia Lizares, who later filed a petition for the settlement of her estate. The probate court declared the will probated and appointed Eustaquia as the executrix of the estate of Maria Lizares. - Eustaquia filed a project of partition, which was granted by the probate court. Simultaneously, said court declared the heirs, devisees, legatees and usufructuaries mentioned in the project of partition as the only heirs, devisees, legatees and usufructuaries of the estate; adjudicated to them the properties repectively assigned
SUCCESSION A2010 to them, and ordered the Register of Deeds to effect the corresponding transfer of properties. - Eustaquia filed an urgent motion to reopen the testate proceedings in order that some properties of Maria Lizares which had been omitted in the partition be adjudicated to her. The Court granted the motion and adjudicated to Eustaquia certain shares of stocks, a revolving fund certificate, plantation credits and sugar quota allocations, and real or personal properties of Maria Lizares which were not given by her to any other person in her last will and testament. The heirs executed an agreement of partition and subdivision, thereby terminating their co-ownership over the inherited land. - Eustaquia Lizares died single without any descendant. Rodolfo and Amelo Lizares were appointed joint administrators of her intestate estate. - On the strength of the testamentary provisions contained in pars. 10 and 11 of the will of Maria Lizares, which were allegedly in the nature of a simple substitution, Celsa L. Vda. de Kilayko, et al. filed a motion to reopen once again the testate estate proceedings of Maria Lizares. They prayed among others that a substitute administrator be appointed. - The intestate heirs of Eustaquia opposed the motion, alleging that the court had no more jurisdiction to reopen the testate estate proceedings of Maria Lizares as the order of closure had long become final and that the testamentary provisions sought to be enforced are null and void. - The Court denied the motion to reopen the testate proceedings. - Celsa L. Vda. de Kilayko, et al. filed a complaint for recovery of ownership and possession of real property against the joining administrators of the estate of Eustaquia Lizares. - The joint administrators filed the present petition. Petitioners contend, among others, that the claim of petitioners over the properties left by their niece Eustaquia and which the latter had inherited by will from Maria Lizares, was groundless because paragraphs 10 and 11 of Maria's will on which Celsa L. Vda. de Kilayko, et al. base their claim, conceived of a fideicommissary substitution of heirs. Petitioners claim that said provisions of the will are not valid because under Article 863 of the Civil Code, they constitute an invalid fideicommissary substitution of heirs. ISSUES 1. WON the independent action for reconveyance should prosper 2. WON petitioners are the conditional substitute heirs of Eustaquia in the testate estate of Maria Lizares HELD 1. NO Ratio A final decree of distribution of the estate of a deceased person vests the title to the land of the estate in the distributees. If the decree is erroneous, it should be corrected by opportune appeal, for once it becomes final, its binding effect is like any other judgment in rem, unless properly set aside for lack of jurisdiction or fraud. Reasoning - Any challenge to the validity of a will, any objection to the authentication thereof, and every demand or claim which any heir, legatee or party interested in a testate or intestate succession may make, must be acted upon and decided within the same special proceedings, not in a separate action, and the same judge having jurisdiction in the administration of the estate shall take cognizance of the question raised, inasmuch as when the day comes he will be called upon to make distribution and adjudication of the property to the interested parties. - The facts show that the petitioners recognized the decree of partition sanctioned by the probate court and in fact reaped the fruits thereof. Hence, they are now precluded
from attacking the validity of the partition or any part of it in the guise of a complaint for reconveyance. A party cannot, in law and in good conscience be allowed to reap the fruits of a partition, agreement or judgment and repudiate what does not suit him. Thus, where a piece of land has been included in a partition and there is no allegation that the inclusion was affected through improper means or without petitioner's knowledge, the partition barred any further litigation on said title and operated to bring the property under the control and jurisdiction of the court for its proper disposition according to the tenor of the partition. - Moreover, when petitioners. moved for the reopening of the testate estate proceedings of Maria Lizares, the judicial decree of partition and order of closure of such proceedings was already final and executory, then reglementary period of thirty days having elapsed from the time of its issuance, with no timely appeal having been filed by them. - The only instance where a party interested in a probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence. Even then, the better practice to secure relief is the opening of the same by proper motion within the reglementary period, instead of an independent action, the effect of which if successful, would be for another court or judge to throw out a decision or order already final and executed and reshuffle properties long ago distributed and disposed of. 2. NO Ratio When a testator merely names an heir and provides that if such heir should die a second heir also designated shall succeed, there is no fideicommissary substitution. The substitution should then be construed as a vulgar or simple substitution under Art. 859 of the Civil Code but it shall be effective only if the first heir dies before the testator. Reasoning - Although the testatrix intended a fideicommissary substitution in paragraphs 10 and 11 of her will, the substitution can have no effect because the requisites for it to be valid, had not been satisfied. The allegation of the joint administrators that paragraphs 10 and 11 of Maria Lizares' last will and testament conceives of a fideicommissary substitution under Article 863 of the Civil Code is baseless as said paragraphs do not impose upon Eustaquia a clear obligation to preserve the estate in favor of Celsa L. Vda. de Kilayko, et al., neither may said paragraphs be considered as providing for a vulgar or simple substitution. - In this case, the instituted heir, Eustaquia, survived the testatrix, Maria Lizares. Hence, there can be no substitution of heirs for, upon Maria Lizares' death, the properties involved unconditionally devolved upon Eustaquia. Under the circumstances, the sisters of Maria Lizares could only inherit the estate of Eustaquia by operation of the law of intestacy.
XIV. LEGITIME ROSALES v. ROSALES 148 SCRA 69 GANCAYCO; February 27, 1987 NATURE Petition for Review of 2 Orders of the CFI of Cebu. FACTS
SUCCESSION A2010 - Petra Rosales died intestate. She was survived by her husband Fortunato and their 2 children Magna and Antonio. Another child, Carterio, predeceased her, leaving behind a child, Macikequerox, and his widow Irenea, the petitioner. The estate of the deceased has an estimated gross value of about P30,000. - In the intestate proceedings, the trial court issued an Order declaring the following individuals the legal heirs of the deceased and prescribing their respective share of the estate: Fortunato (husband), 1/4; Magna (daughter), 1/4; Macikequerox (grandson), 1/4; and Antonio (son), 1/4. - Irenea insisted in getting a share of the estate in her capacity as the surviving spouse of the late Carterio, son of the deceased, claiming that she is a compulsory heir of her mother-in-law together with her son, Macikequerox. The trial court denied her plea. Hence, this petition. ISSUE 1. WON the widow whose husband predeceased his mother can inherit from the latter, her mother-in-law. HELD 1. NO. Ratio A surviving spouse is not an intestate heir of his/her parent-in-law. Reasoning Intestate or legal heirs are classified into 2 groups, namely, those who inherit by their own right, and those who inherit by the right of representation. Restated, an intestate heir can only inherit either by his own right, as in the order of intestate succession provided for in the CC or by the right of representation provided for in Art 981 of the same law. - The relevant provisions of the CC are Arts. 980, 981, 982 and 999. There is no provision which states that a widow (surviving spouse) is an intestate heir of her mother-in-law. The entire Code is devoid of any provision which entitles her to inherit from her mother-in-law either by her own right or by the right of representation. The provisions of the Code which relate to the order of intestate succession (Articles 978 to 1014) enumerate with meticulous exactitude the intestate heirs of a decedent, with the State as the final intestate heir. If the legislature intended to make the surviving spouse an intestate heir of the parent-in-law, it would have so provided in the Code. - Irenea argues that she is a compulsory heir in accordance with the provisions of Art 887. The provision refers to the estate of the deceased spouse in which case the surviving spouse (widow or widower) is a compulsory heir. It does not apply to the estate of a parent-in-law. - By the same token, the provision of Art 999 does not support Irenea's claim. The estate contemplated in the article is the estate of the deceased spouse. The subject matter of the intestate estate proceedings in this case is that of the deceased Petra Rosales, the mother-in-law of Irenea. It is from the estate of Petra that Macikequerox draws a share of the inheritance by the right of representation as provided by Art 981. - Art 971 explicitly declares that Macikequerox is called to succession by law because of his blood relationship. He does not succeed his father, Carterio (the person represented) who predeceased his grandmother, Petra, but the latter whom his father would have succeeded. Irenea cannot assert the same right of representation as she has no filiation by blood with her mother-in-law. - Irenea also contends that at the time of the death of her husband, he had an inchoate or contingent right to the properties of Petra Rosales as compulsory heir. Be that as it may, said right of her husband was extinguished by his death that is why it is their son Macikequerox who succeeded from Petra by right of representation. He did not succeed from his deceased father Carterio.
BARITUA v CA
page 36 (Sarah) LOCSIN v CA 206 SCRA 383 NARVASA; February
FACTS Mariano Locsin married Catalina Jaucian. They had no children. In his will, Mariano instituted Catalina as his sole universal heir. They both agreed that after death, their properties that they had from their respective sides of the families would revert to their families (Locsins and Jaucians). 9 years after Mariano’s death, Catalina began transferring, by sale, donation or assignment, their properties to their respective nieces and nephews. 6 years after Catalina’s death, some of her Jaucian nephews and nieces who had already received their legacies and hereditary shares from her estate filed action to recover properties that Catalina had conveyed to the Locsins during her lifetime, alleging they were inofficious, w/o consideration, and intended solely to circumvent laws on succession. Those closest to Catalina did not join the action The TC and CA declared private respondents entitled to inherit the property Catalina had disposed of more than 10 years before her death ISSUE WON respondents were entitled to inherit the property Catalina had disposed of HELD NO The property Catalina disposed of more than 10 years before her death was not part of her hereditary estate, that is, “the property and transmissible rights and obligations existing at the time of the decedent’s death and those which have accrued thereto since the opening of succession.” Had she died intestate, only the property that remained in her estate at the time of death would have devolved to her legal heirs. Even if all the transfers were treated as donations, the right arising under certain circumstances to impugn and compel reduction/revocation of decedent’s gifts inter vivos does not inure to respondents, who are not compulsory heirs. So there’s no basis for assuming intention on her part to circumvent the law in violation of respondents’ right to succession. In fact no legitimes could conceivably be impaired by any transfer of her property during her life time. They had no kids!
XV. PRETERITION AZNAR v DUNCAN 17 SCRA 590 MAKALINTAL; June 30, 1966 FACTS - Edward E. Christensen, a citizen of California with domicile in the Philippines, died leaving a will executed on March 5, 1951. The will was admitted to probate by CFI Davao. There, the court declared that Maria Helen Christensen Garcia (Helen Garcia) was a natural child of the deceased. The declaration was appealed to SC and was affirmed.
SUCCESSION A2010 - In another incident relative to the estate’s partition, the TC approved the project submitted by the executor in accordance with the provisions of the will, which said court found to be valid under the law of California. Helen Garcia appealed from the order of approval, and SC reversed the same on the ground that the validity of the provisions of the will should be governed by Philippine law, and returned the case to the lower court with instructions that the partition be made as provided by said law. - CFI Davao approved the project of partition submitted by the executor wherein the properties of the estate were divided equally between Maria Lucy Christensen Duncan (named in the will as Maria Lucy Christensen Daney, and hereinafter referred to as Lucy Duncan), whom the testator had expressly recognized in his will as his daughter (natural) and Helen Garcia, who had been judicially declared as such after his death. This was based on the proposition that since Helen Garcia had been preterited in the will, the institution of Lucy Duncan as heir was annulled. Hence, the properties passed to both of them as if the deceased had died intestate, saving only the legacies left in favor of certain other persons, which legacies have been duly approved by the lower court and distributed to the legatees. Lucy Duncan now appeals. - The will contains, among others, the following clauses which are pertinent to the issue in this case: 3. I declare ... that I have but ONE child, named MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN (Now Mrs. Bernard Daney), who was born in the Philippines about 28 years ago, who is now residing at No. 665 Rodger Young Village, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. 4. I further declare that I now have no living ascendants, and no descendants except my above-named daughter, MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DANEY. xxx xxx xxx 7. I give, devise, and bequeath unto MARIA HELEN CHRISTENSEN, now married to Eduardo Garcia, about 18 years of age and who, notwithstanding the fact that she was baptized Christensen, is not in any way related to me, nor has she been at any time adopted by me, and who, from all information I have now resides in Egpit, Digos, Davao, Philippines, the sum of P3,600.00, the same to be deposited in trust for the said Maria Helen Christensen with PNB Davao Branch, and paid to her at the rate of P100.00 per month until the principal thereof as well as any interest which may have accrued thereon, is exhausted. xxx xxx xxx 12. I hereby give, devise and bequeath, unto my well-beloved daughter, the said MARIA LUCY CHRISTENSEN DANEY, all the income from the rest, remainder, and residue of my property and estate, real, personal and/or mixed, of whatsoever kind or character, and wheresoever situated, of which I may be possessed at my death and which may have come to me from any source whatsoever, during her lifetime… - The TC ruled, and appellee now maintains, that there has been preterition of Helen Garcia, a compulsory heir in the direct line, resulting in the annulment of the institution of heir pursuant to Article 854 of the Civil Code, which provides: ART. 854. The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. - On the other hand, appellant contends that this is not a case of preterition, but is governed by Article 906 of the Civil Code, which says: "Any compulsory heir to whom the testator has left by any title less than the legitime belonging to him may demand that the same be fully satisfied." Appellant also suggests that considering the provisions of the will whereby the testator expressly denied his relationship with Helen Garcia, but left to her a legacy nevertheless although less than the amount of her legitime, she was in effect defectively disinherited within the meaning of Article 918, which reads:
ART. 918. Disinheritance without a specification of the cause, or for a cause the truth of which, if contradicted, is not proved, or which is not one of those set forth in this Code, shall annul the institution of heirs insofar as it may prejudice the person disinherited; but the devices and legacies and other testamentary dispositions shall be valid to such extent as will not impair the legitimate. - Thus, according to appellant, under both Article 906 and 918, Helen Garcia is entitled only to her legitime, and not to a share of the estate equal that of Lucy Duncan as if the succession were intestate. ISSUE/S 1. WON the estate, after deducting the legacies, should be divided in equal shares [or should the inheritance of Lucy Duncan as instituted heir be merely reduced to the extent necessary to cover the legitime of Helen Garcia, equivalent to 1/4 of the entire estate] HELD 1. NO Ratio Neri, et al. v. Akutin, cited by appellees in support of their theory of preterition is not here applicable, because it referred to a will where "the testator left all his property by universal title to the children by his second marriage, and (that) without expressly disinheriting the children by his first marriage, he left nothing to them or, at least, some of them." In the case at bar the testator did not entirely omit oppositorappellee Helen Garcia, but left her a legacy of P3,600.00. Reasoning The question may be posed: In order that the right of a forced heir may be limited only to the completion of his legitime (instead of the annulment of the institution of heirs) is it necessary that what has been left to him in the will "by any title," as by legacy, be granted to him in his capacity as heir, that is, a titulo de heredero? In other words, should he be recognized or referred to in the will as heir? Manresa cites particularly 3 decisions of the SC of Spain. In each case the testator left to one who was a forced heir a legacy worth less than the legitime, but without referring to the legatee as an heir or even as a relative, and willed the rest of the estate to other persons. It was held that Article 815 applied, and the heir could not ask that the institution of heirs be annulled entirely, but only that the legitime be completed. The foregoing solution is indeed more in consonance with the expressed wishes of the testator in the present case as may be gathered very clearly from the provisions of his will. He refused to acknowledge Helen Garcia as his natural daughter, and limited her share to a legacy of P3,600.00. The fact that she was subsequently declared judicially to possess such status is no reason to assume that had the judicial declaration come during his lifetime his subjective attitude towards her would have undergone any change and that he would have willed his estate equally to her and to Lucy Duncan, who alone was expressly recognized by him. The estate of the deceased Christensen upon his death consisted of 399 shares of stocks in the Christensen Plantation Company and a certain amount in cash. 1/4 of said estate descended to Helen Garcia as her legitime. Since she became the owner of her share as of the moment of the death of the decedent (Arts. 774, 777, Civil Code), she is entitled to a corresponding portion of all the fruits or increments thereof subsequently accruing. These include the stock dividends on the corporate holdings. The contention of Lucy Duncan that all such dividends pertain to her according to the terms of the will cannot be sustained, for it would in effect impair the right of ownership of Helen Garcia with respect to her legitime.
NUGUID v NUGUID
SUCCESSION A2010 17 SCRA 449 Sanchez J; June23, 1966 FACTS -Rosario Nuguid died on December 30, 1962, single, without descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. Surviving her were her legitimate parents, Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, and six brothers and sisters -Petitioner Remedios Nuguid, one of the brothers filed a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid on November 17, 1951, some 11 years before her demise. Petitioner prayed that said will be admitted to probate and that letters of administration with the will annexed be issued to her. On June 25, 1963, parents Felix and Nuguid, concededly the legitimate father and mother of the deceased Rosario Nuguid, entered their opposition to the probate of her will. Ground therefor, inter alia, is that by the institution of petitioner Remedios Nuguid as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors who are compulsory heirs of the deceased in the direct ascending line. were illegally preterited and that in consequence the institution is void. ISSUE WON the will is void due to preterition HELD YES -Will stated “Nov. 17, 1951 I, ROSARIO NUGUID, being of sound and disposing mind and memory, having amassed a certain amount of property, do hereby give, devise, and bequeath all of the property which I may have when I die to my beloved sister Remedios Nuguid, age 34, residing with me at 38-B Iriga, Q.C. In witness whereof, I have signed my name this seventh day of November, nineteen hundred and fifty-one. (Sgd.) Illegible T/ ROSARIO NUGUID -the law in the CC provides: ART. 854. The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. ...” -Definition of ANNUL:. To reduce to nothing; annihilate; obliterate; to make void or of no effect; to nullify; to abolish; to do away with. Ex parte Mitchell -“The deceased Rosario Nuguid left no descendants, legitimate or illegitimate. But she left forced heirs in the direct ascending line her parents, now oppositors Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid. And, the will completely omits both of them: They thus received nothing by the testament; tacitly, they were deprived of their legitime; neither were they expressly disinherited. This is a clear case of preterition… The onesentence will here institutes petitioner as the sole, universal heir ? nothing more. No specific legacies or bequests are therein provided for. It is in this posture that we say that the nullity is complete”. -Remedios contends that an ineffective disinheritance was made instead of preterition and thus Art. 854 does not apply. This contention was held invalid by the court. Preterition "consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited." 16 Disinheritance, in turn, "is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heir of his share in the legitime for a cause authorized by law” disinheritance must expressly be stated. In this case, no such express inheritance was mentioned
-effect of preterition v disinheritance: Preterition under Article 854 of the Civil Code, we repeat, "shall annul the institution of heir". This annulment is in toto, unless in the will there are, in addition, testamentary dispositions in the form of devises or legacies In disinheritance the nullity is limited to that portion of the estate of which the disinherited heirs have been illegally deprived
ESCUIN v ESCUIN 11 PHIL 332 TORRES; September 24, 1908 FACTS - On the 19th of January, 1899, Emilio Antonio Escuin de los Santos executed a will before a notary public of Sevilla, Spain, stating therein that he was a native of Cavite, the son Francisco Escuin and Eugenia de los Santos, the latter being deceased; that he was married about six months previously to Maria Teresa Ponce de Leon, and that he had no lawful descendants; the testator, however, stated in clause three of his will, that in case he has a duly registered successor, his child would be his sole and universal heir; but that if, as would probably be the case, there should be no such heir, then in clause four he named his said father Francisco Escuin, and his wife Maria Teresa Ponce de Leon and his universal heirs, they to divide the estate in equal shares between them. - The testator died on the 20th of January, 1899 - Upon the will having been admitted to probate, commissioners were appointed to consider claims against the estate - On the 10th and 12th of July 1907, the attorney for the widow, Ponce de Leon, and the attorneys who represented the guardian to the minor, Emilio Escuin y Batac, appealed to the Court of First Instance from the findings of the aforesaid commissioners. - It appears in the proposed partition that, according to the opinion of the administrator by whom it was signed in the result of the proceedings, the property left by the estator, in accordance with the accounts passed upon by the court, amounted to P8,268.02 - From said sum the following must be deducted the credit alluded to be admitted by the commissioners, 10% remuneration due to the administrator, all legal expenses paid and approved. Deducting the abovementioned amounts, there remains a balance of P5,014.81. - The partition and adjudication was proceeded with of the sum of P5,014.81 into three shares of P1,671.60 to each one of the parties in interest, that is, the natural son, Emilio Escuin y Batac, in full control as general heir; the widow, Teresa Ponce de Leon, as legatee of one-half of the two-thirds of the funds of free disposition; and the said widow the usufruct of the other half of the aforesaid two-thirds of free disposition, the bare ownership of the last third held in usufruct by the widow being adjudicated to Francisco Escuin, as legatee taking into account the provisions of article 817 of the Civil Code upon making the division. - The representative of the minor natural child of the testator objected in writing to the partition proposed by the administrator, and for the reasons he set forth asked that the same be disapproved, and that in lieu thereof the entire estate be adjudicated to Emilio Escuin y Batac, the said minor. - It was also presented that in a certified proceeding, plaintiff asked on the 12th of January, 1905, that an allowance be granted to him for subsistence for account of the estate of the late testator, Emilio Escuin de los Santos, and that the same be paid him monthly in advance; that judgment be entered declaring that the minor, Emilio Escuin
SUCCESSION A2010 y Batac, is a natural child of the testator; that the said minor, as the only natural son of the same is his general heir; that it be held that the said testator had died without either lawful ascendants or descendants; that the designation of heirs made under his above-mentioned will be declared null and void; and that the defendants be sentenced to pay the costs in case they did not conform to the complaint, with any further remedy that the court might consider just and equitable. - The administrator, Ricardo Summers, in answer to the complaint denied all and every one of the facts alleged in all and every one of its paragraphs. - The court below found that Escuin y Batac was the recognized natural child of the late Emilio Escuin de los Santos, had by Julia Batac; that the testator was also the natural son of the defendant Francisco Escuin and Eugenia de los Santos, and was recognized by his father; and that the plaintiff minor, Emilio Escuin y Batac, is one of the heirs of the late testator. - By an order of the lower court, the judge expressed an opinion that a natural child is only entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary property, the clause in the will being annulled only in so far as the amount to be divided should be reduced, taking into account the share due to the natural son and the right of the father and the widow of the testator, each to one-half of the remainder of the property of the estate. ISSUES 1. WON there was preterition 2. WON the testator could be considered to have died intestate HELD 1. YES There is preterition to 1/3 of the estate, which amount constitutes the legal portion of a natural child; and for the reason that mino9r was ignored in the will, the designation of heirs made therein was, as a matter of fact annulled by force of law, insofar as the legal portion of the said minor was thereby impaired. Legacies, and betterments shall be valid, insofar as they are not illegal, for the reason that a testator cannot deprive the heirs of their legal portions, express in the cases expressly indicated by law. 2. NO Notwithstanding the fact that the said designation of heirs was annulled and that the law recognizes the title of the minor, Escuin y Batac, to one-third of the property of his natural father, as his lawful and general heir, it is not proper to assert that the late Emilio Escuin de los Santos died intestate in order to establish the conclusion that his said natural recognized child is entitled to succeed to the entire estate under the provisions of article 939 of the Civil Code, inasmuch in accordance with the law a citizen may die partly testate and partly intestate (art. 764, Civil Code). It is clear and unquestionable that it was the wish of the testator to favor his natural father and his wife with certain portions of his property which, under the law, he had the right to dispose of by will, as he has done, provided the legal portion of his general heir was not thereby impaired, the two former persons being considered as legatees under the will.
LAJOM v LEUTERIO G.R. No. L-13557 CONCEPCION; April 25, 1960 NATURE Petition for a writ of certiorari and mandamus FACTS
- Maximo Viola died on Sept.r 3, 1933. Judicial proceedings of his testate estate were instituted in the CFI of Bulacan, and later on closed. An agreement of partition and distribution was executed by and among the 3 legitimate children. - Donato Lajom (plaintiff-appellee herein) filed in CFI of Nueva Ecija that he be declared a natural child of Maximo Viola, impliedly recognized and acknowledged in accordance with the laws in force prior to the Civil Code, thereby being a co-heir of Jose, Rafael and Silvio Viola (defendants-appellants). After trial, CFI of Nueva Ecija declared Lajom as natural child of the deceased. Thereafter, Lajom sought to have all the properties of the deceased collated and redistributed so that Lajom may get his share of the inheritance as a compulsory heir. - Lajom instituted the present case because upon MR, the court issued a decision dated October 30, 1957, saying that: “The properties donated to Rafael Viola and which are sought to be collated by the plaintiff are not in question, not having been put in issue by the pleadings. Neither are they mentioned in the inventory of the 75 parcels which are annexed to the complaint.” Hence, such is excluded from the collation. ISSUE/S 1. WON there was preterition in this case 2. WON, due to the preterition, the institution of heirs made by the deceased Maximo Viola became ineffective, and that Civil Case No. 8077 was thereby converted into an intestate proceedings for the settlement of his estate. HELD 1. YES - The will having completely omitted the plaintiff who is a compulsory heir, and having disposed of all the properties in favor of the defendants, it naturally encroached upon the legitime of the plaintiff. Such testamentary dispositions may not impair the legitimate (Art. 1037, Spanish Civil Code). In another sense, the plaintiff, being a compulsory heir in the direct line, and having been preterited, the institution is annulled in its entirety (Art. 814, Spanish Civil Code now Art. 854, N.C.C., Neri vs. Akutin, 72 Phil., 322) Note that this Court simply reiterated what the respondent Judge has ruled regarding this particular issue in his decision date October 30, 1956. 2. NO - There might have been merit therein if we were dealing with special proceedings for the settlement of the testate estate of a deceased person, which, in consequence of said preterition, would thereby acquire the character of a proceeding for the settlement of an intestate estate, with jurisdiction over any and all properties of the deceased. But, Civil Case No. 8077 is an ordinary civil action, and the authority of the court having jurisdiction over the same is limited to the properties described in the pleadings, which admittedly do not include the aforementioned riceland.
BALANAY v MARTINEZ 64 SCRA 452 AQUINO; June 27, 1975 NATURE Appeal by Certiorari FACTS -Leodegaria Julian died leaving her husband Felix Sr., and six legitimate children, Felix, Jr. Avelina, Beatriz, Carolina, Delia, and Emilia.
SUCCESSION A2010 -She left a notarial will and in paragraph 5 of the will she said that after the death of Felix Sr. her land and all conjugal lands should be divided in the manner set forth in that part of her will. She devised and partitioned of in the will her husband’s one-half share of the conjugal assets. -Felix Sr and Avelina opposed. -Subsequently, Felix Sr withdrew and he conformed and renounced his hereditary rights. However, Avelina continued on with her opposition. -The lower court declared the will as void and converted the testate proceeding to an intestate proceeding. -Felix, Jr. appealed. ISSUE 1. WON the will should first be determined to be intrinsically valid prior to the determination of its allowance or formal validity 2. WON the declaration that the will was void is proper 3. WON the renunciation of Felix, Sr. of his hereditary rights is valid 4. WIN Felix, Sr. will was intrinsically void because it preterited him HELD 1. Yes, it was correct in passing upon the question of intrinsic validity first. The court was of the opinion that in view of certain unusual provisions of the will (i.e. paragraph 5), which are of dubious legality, and because of the motion to withdraw the petition for probate. It was correct to pass upon the will’s intrinsic validity even before its formal validity is established. The probate of a will might become an idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically void. Where practical consideration demand that the intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the issue. 2. No, it was not proper. The invalidity of one of the several dispositions does not affect the validity of the other dispositions. Except if the other dispositions is dependent on the first invalid disposition that has been made. The valid parts should be upheld if they can be separated from the invalid without defeating the intention of the testator or interfering with the general scheme, or doing injustice to the beneficiaries. 3. Yes, it was valid. Art. 793 of the Civil Code states that Property acquired after the making of a will shall only pass thereby, as if the testator had possessed it at the time of making the will, should it expressly appear by the will that such was his intention and Art. 930 The legacy or devise of a thing belonging to another person is void, if the testator erroneously believed that the thing pertained to him. But if the thing bequeathed, though not belonging to the testator when he made the will, afterwards becomes his, by whatever title, the disposition shall take effect. The partition then has become valid. 4. No, Felix, Sr.’s case In the case, the preterited heir was the surviving spouse. His preterition did not produce intestacy. Moreover, he signified his conformity to his wife’s will and renounced his hereditary rights. Thus it is different from the Nuguid case because where the testatrix as heir her sister and preterited her parents. Her will was intrinsically void because it preterited her compulsory heirs in the direct line. Art. 854 of the Civil Code provides, “The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be effectual, without prejudice to the right of representation.” Since the preterition of the parents annulled the institution of the sister as testatrix and there were no legacies and devises, total intestacy resulted.
Moreover, testacy is preferable to intestacy. Doubts are resolved in favor of intestacy. As far as legally possible, the expressed desire of the testator must be followed and the dispositions in the will should be followed.
SOLANO v CA 136 SCRA 122 MELENCIO HERRERA; November 29, 1983 NATURE Petition for Review on certiorari FACTS - Bienvenido Garcia and Emeteria Garcia filed an action for recognition against Meliton Solano, claiming to be illegitimate children. Solano died during the pendenct of the suit. Zonia Solano was ordered substituted since she was the only surviving heir mentioned in his will. - The Garcias filed their "Reply to ZONIA's Appearance and Supplemental Cause of Action" impugning the recognition of Zonia as an acknowledged natural child with the prayer that she be declared instead, like them, as an adulterous child. - The trial court ruled that the Garcias and Zonia were illegitimate children. The CA affirmed. Both courts found the following facts: Solano married Riosa. The latter died. On a world tour, he met Gorand. He married her. However, she left him in 1929. In 1930, he had relations with Juana Garcia. The Garcias were then born out of the affair. Though documents do not name him as father, Solano recognized them as shown by his acts of support. In 1935, he lived with Trinidad Tuagnon. ZONIA Ana Tuagnon was born. In her birth certificate, it was indicated that she was illegitimate. During the Jap occupation, Solano was able to obtain divorce from Gorand. Later, Solano and Trinidad Tuagnon executed an "Escritura de Reconocimiento de Unit Hija Natural" acknowledging ZONIA as a "natural child" and giving her the right to use the name ZONIA Ana Solano y Tuagnon. In 1969, Solano executed a will, making Zonia as his universal heir, except for certain parcels of land wherein Trinidad was granted usufructuary rights. ISSUE/S 1. WON the CA and TC acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction in declaring substitute defendant Zonia Ana Solano an illegitimate child of the late Solano in an action where private respondents, sought recognition as natural children of Solano 2. WON the CA and TC acted without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction in declaring null and void the institution of heir in SOLANO's will; in concluding that total intestacy resulted therefrom; and distributing the shares of the parties in SOLANO's estate when said estate was under the jurisdiction and control of the Probate Court in Special Proceedings No. 842 HELD 1. NO Reasoning -In her "Appearance of Substitute Defendant Zonia Ana T. Solano ... Sole and Universal Heir", ZONIA specifically prayed that she be allowed to assume her duties as executrix and administratrix of the probated will. In other words, ZONIA did not only rely upon SOLANO's Answer already of record but asserted new rights in her capacity as sole and universal heir, "executrix and administratrix, "and challenged the right of the GARCIAS to recognition. Thus, she was not defending the case as a mere
SUCCESSION A2010 representative of the deceased but asserted rights and defenses in her own personal capacity. - During the trial, the Garcias presented their evidence to support their claim. Zonia did not object. She even presented her own evidence to prove she was a legitimate child. Thus, as raised by the parties in their own pleadings and pursuant to their respective evidence during the trial, the litigation was converted into a contest between the GARCIAS and ZONIA precisely as to their correct status as heirs and their respective rights as such. 2. No. Reasoning -The general rule would be that the court would have no jurisdiction. However, there is a peculiar situation in the case. First, Solano himself instituted the petition for probate of the Will during his lifetime. With the Will allowed to probate, the case would have terminated except that it appears that the parties, after SOLANO's death, continued to file pleadings therein. Second, the Trial Court ordered the impleading of the estate of SOLANO and proceeded on that basis. In effect, therefore, the two cases were consolidated. Third, it is settled that the allowance of a Will is conclusive only as to its due execution. A probate decree is not concerned with the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the Will. - The TC then had jurisdiction to declare Zonia and the Garcias illegitimate. It found that the acknowledgement of Zonia as a natural child is erroneous since Solano was still married to Gorand. The Garcias are compulsory heirs, and as a result of such preterition the institution of ZONIA as sole heir by SOLANO is null and void pursuant to Article 854. - The TC had jurisdiction in resolving the issue of the hereditary shares. However, the the pretention of the GARCIAS should annul the institution of ZONIA as heir only insofar as the legitime of the omitted heirs is impaired - The case of Nuguid vs. Nuguid, et al., 14 reiterating the ruling in Neri, et al. vs. Akutin, et al., 15 which held that where the institution of a universal heir is null and void due to pretention, the Will is a complete nullity and intestate succession ensues, is not applicable herein because in the Nuguid case, only a one-sentence Will was involved with no other provision except the institution of the sole and universal heir; there was no specification of individual property; there were no specific legacies or bequests. In contrast, in the case at bar, there is a specific bequest or legacy so that Article 854 of the Civil Code, supra, applies merely annulling the "institution of heir. - Lastly, it should be noted that Sonia only questioned the court’s jurisdiction in the SC. She is already estopped.
ACAIN v CA (FERNANDEZ & DIONGSON) 155 SCRA 100 PARAS; October 27, 1997 NATURE This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of respondent Court of Appeals. FACTS - May 29, 1984: petitioner Constantino Acain filed in the RTC of Cebu City a petition for the probate of the will of the late Nemesio Acain and for the issuance of letters testamentary, on the premise Nemesio died leaving a will in which Constantino and his siblings were instituted as heirs (the will was in Bisaya, with English translation).
- The will contained provisions on burial rites, payment of debts, and the appointment of a certain Atty. Ignacio G. Villagonzalo as the executor of the testament. On the disposition of property it stated: “All my shares that I may receive from our properties, house, lands and money which I earned jointly with my wife Rosa Diongson shall be given by me to my brother SEGUNDO ACAIN, Filipino, widower, of legal age and presently residing at 351C Sanciangko, Street, Cebu City. In case my brother Segundo Acain predeceases me, all which constitute my share shall be given by me to his children, namely: Anita, Constantino, Concepcion, Quirina, Laura, Flores, Antonio and Jose, all surnamed Acain.” - Segundo pre-deceased Nemesio. It is the children of Segundo who are claiming to be heirs, with Constantino as the petitioner. The oppositors are respondents Virginia A. Fernandez, Nemesio’s legally adopted daughter, and his widow Rosa Diongson (oppositors filed a motion to dismiss). - CA granted respondents’ petition and ordered the TC to dismiss the petition for the probate of the will of Nemesio. Petitioner’s Claim - They are the instituted heirs of Nemesio Acain. - The will of Nemesio is valid and must therefore, be admitted to probate. Respondents’ Comments - Petitioner has no legal capacity; - Petitioner is merely a universal heir; - The adopted daughter and the widow have been preterited. ISSUE(S) 1. WON private respondents have been preterited (therefore inheritance to them). (YES) 2. WON Constantino has legal standing to petition for probate. (NO)
HELD 1. YES Ratio Preterition annuls the institution of an heir and annulment throws open to intestate succession the entire inheritance (Art. 854, Civil Code). The nullification of such institution of universal heirs—without any other testamentary disposition in the will—amounts to a declaration that nothing at all was written. Reasoning Civil Code Art. 854. The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devisees and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be effectual, without prejudice to the right of representation. - Preterition consists in the omission in the testator's will of the forced heirs or anyone of them either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. - The requisites of preterition are: 1) The heir omitted is a forced heir (in the direct line); 2) The omission is by mistake or thru an oversight; 3) The omission is complete so that the forced heir received nothing in the will. - Insofar as the widow is concerned, Art. 854 of the Civil Code may not apply as she does not ascend or descend from the testator, although she is a compulsory heir.
SUCCESSION A2010 Preterition applies only to Fernandez, as her adoption by the testator was not questioned by Constantino. - Under the Child and Youth Welfare Code, adoption gives to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he were a legitimate child of the adopter and makes the adopted person a legal heir of the adopter. It cannot be denied that she was totally omitted and preterited in the will of the testator and that both adopted child and the widow were deprived of at least their legitime. Neither can it be denied that they were not expressly disinherited. Hence, this is a clear case of preterition of the legally adopted child. - No legacies nor devises having been provided in the will, the whole property of the deceased has been left by universal title to petitioner and his brothers and sisters. Art. 854 of the Civil Code is clear as to this point. 2. NO. Ratio In order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding he must have an interest in the estate, or in the will, or in the property to be affected by it either as executor or as a claimant of the estate and an interested party is a one who would be benefited by the estate such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate like a creditor. Reasoning - Constantino is not the appointed executor, neither a devisee nor a legatee there being no mention in the testamentary disposition of any gift of an individual item of personal or real property he is called upon to receive. - Intestacy having resulted from the preterition of respondent adopted child and the universal institution of heirs, petitioner is in effect not an heir of the testator. He has no legal standing to petition for the probate of the will left by the deceased. On Certiorari and prohibition as proper remedy for Respondents: - As a general rule certiorari cannot be a substitute for appeal, except when the questioned order is an oppressive exercise of judicial authority. The probate court's authority is limited only to the extrinsic validity of the will, the due execution thereof, the testator's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of the will normally comes only after the Court has declared that the will has been duly authenticated. Said court at this stage of the proceedings is not called upon to rule on the intrinsic validity or efficacy of the provisions of the will. - However, under exceptional circumstances, the probate court is not powerless to do what the situation constrains it to do and pass upon certain provisions of the will. - The TC could have denied its probate outright or could have passed upon the intrinsic validity of the testamentary provisions before the extrinsic validity of the will was resolved. The remedies of certiorari and prohibition were properly availed of by private respondents. - Where the grounds for dismissal are indubitable, the defendants had the right to resort to the more speedy, and adequate remedies of certiorari and prohibition to correct a grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack of jurisdiction, committed by the trial court in not dismissing the case. MELENCIO-HERRERA, Concurring: - Preterition in this case was by mistake or inadvertence. An important distinction has to be made as to whether the omission of a forced heir in the Will of a testator is by mistake or inadvertence, or voluntary or intentional. If by mistake or inadvertence, there is true preterition and total intestacy results. - If the omission is intentional, the effect would be a defective disinheritance.
TOLENTINO: Preterition is presumed to be only an involuntary omission; that is, that if the testator had known of the existence of the compulsory heir at the time of the execution of the win, he would have instituted such heir. On the other hand, if the testator attempts to disinherit a compulsory heir, the presumption of the law is that he wants such heir to receive as little as possible from his estate.
XVI. RESERVA TRONCAL EDROSO v SABLAN 25 Phil. 295 ARELLANO; September 13 1913 -Marcelina Edroso was married to Victoriano Sablan until his death on Sept. 22, 1882. In this marriage they had a son named Pedro, who was born on August 1, 1881, and who at his father's death inherited the two said parcels. Pedro also died on July 15, 1902, unmarried and without issue, and by his decease the two parcels of land in Pagsanjan, Laguna, passed through inheritance to his mother, Marcelina Edroso. Hence the hereditary title whereupon is based the application for registration of her ownership. -Two legitimate brothers of Victoriano Sablan [uncles german of Pedro] appeared in the case to oppose the registration, claiming either (1) that the registration be denied OR (2) that if granted to her the right reserved by law to the opponents be recorded in the registration of each parcel. -The Court of Land Registration denied the registration and the applicant appealed through a bill of exceptions. Registration was denied because the trial court held that the parcels of land in question partake of the nature of property required by law to be reserved and that in such a case application could only be presented jointly in the names of the mother and the said two uncles of Pedro Sablan. Note: Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez son Victoriano Sablan son Pedro Sablan mother Marcelina Edroso ISSUE WON the lands which are the subject matter of the application are required by law to be reserved HELD YES. -The hereditary title is one without a valuable consideration [gratuitous title]. He who acquires by inheritance gives nothing in return for what he receives -Art. 811, OCC provides: “The ascendant who inherits from his descendant property which the latter acquired without a valuable consideration from another ascendant, or from a brother or sister, is under obligation to reserve what he has acquired by operation of law for the relatives who are within the third degree and belong to the line whence the property proceeded.” -Marcelina Edroso, ascendant of Pedro Sablan, inherited from him these two parcels of land which he acquired without a valuable consideration – that is, by inheritance from another ascendant, his father Victoriano. Having acquired them by operation of law, she is obligated to reserve them intact for the claimants, who are uncles or relatives within the third degree and belong to the line of Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, whence the lands proceeded. The trial court's ruling that they partake of the nature of property required by law to be reserved is therefore in accordance with the law. -If Pedro Sablan had instituted his mother in a will as the universal heiress of his property, all he left at death would not be required by law to be reserved, but only
SUCCESSION A2010 what he would have perforce left her as the legal portion of a legitimate ascendant. [Art. 809, OCC.] In such case only the half constituting the legal portion would be required by law to be reserved, because it is what by operation of law would fall to the mother from her son's inheritance; the other half at free disposal would not have to be reserved. This is all that article 811 of the Civil Code says. -Proof of testate succession devolves upon the heir or heiress who alleges it. In this case, the interested party has not proved that either of the lots became Marcelina’s inheritance through the free disposal of her son. -Two kinds of property required by law to be reserved are distinguished in the Civil Code. Article 968: "Besides the reservation imposed by article 811, the widow or widower contracting a second marriage shall be obliged to set apart for the children and descendants of the first marriage the ownership of all the property he or she may have acquired from the deceased spouse by will, by intestate succession, by gift, or other transfer w/out a valuable consideration." -From principles of jurisprudence laid down by the Supreme Court of Spain, it is inferred that if from December, 1889, to July, 1893, a case had occurred of a right required to be reserved by article 811, the persons entitled to such right would have been able to institute, against the ascendants who must make the reservation, proceedings for the assurance and guaranty that articles 977 and 978 grant to the children of a first marriage against their father or mother who has married again. The proceedings for assurance, under article 977, are: Inventory of the property subject to the right reserved, annotation in the property registry of such right reserved in the real property and appraisal of the personal property; and the guaranty, under article 978, is the assurance by mortgage, in the case of realty, of the value of what is validly alienated. -Article 199 of amended Mortgage Law: "The special mortgage for guaranteeing the right reserved by article 811 of the Civil Code can only be required by the relatives in whose favor the property is to be reserved, if they are of age; if minors, it will be required by the persons who should legally represent them. In either case the right of the persons in whose favor the property must be reserved will be secured by the same requisites as set forth in the preceding articles (relative to the right reserved by article 968 of the Civil Code), applying to the person obligated to reserve the right the provisions with respect to the father." -The lapse of the ninety days is not the expiration by prescription of the period for the exercise of this right of action by the persons in whose favor the right must be reserved, but really the commencement thereof, and enables them to exercise it at any time, since no limit is set in the law. So, if the annotation of the right required by law to be reserved in the two parcels of land in question must be made in the property registry of the Mortgage Law, the persons entitled to it may now institute proceedings to that end, and an allegation of prescription against the exercise of such right of action cannot be sustained. “What are the rights in the property of the person who holds it subject to the reservation of article 811 of the Civil Code?” -The person required by article 811 to reserve the right has, beyond any doubt at all, the rights of use and usufruct. He has, moreover, the legal title and dominion, although under a condition subsequent. Clearly he has, under an express provision of the law, the right to dispose of the property reserved, and to dispose of is to alienate, although under a condition. He has the right to recover it, because he is the one who possesses or should possess it and have title to it, although a limited and revocable one. In a word, the legal title and dominion, even though under a condition, reside in him while he lives. After the right required by law to be reserved has been assured, he can do anything that a genuine owner can do. -On the other hand, the relatives within the third degree in whose favor the right is reserved cannot dispose of the property, first because it is no way, either actually,
constructively or formally, in their possession; and, moreover, because they have no title of ownership or of fee simple which they can transmit to another, on the hypothesis that only when the person who must reserve the right should die before them will they acquire it, thus creating a fee simple, and only then will they take their place in the succession of the descendant of whom they are relatives within the third degree, that is to say, a second contingent place in said legitimate succession in the fashion of aspirants to a possible future legacy. If any of the persons in whose favor the right is reserved should, after their right has been assured in the registry, dare to dispose of even nothing more than the fee simple of the property to be reserved his act would be null and void, for it is impossible to determine the part "that might pertain therein to the relative at the time he exercised the right, because in view of the nature and scope of the right required by law to be reserved the extent of his right cannot be foreseen, for it may disappear by his dying before the person required to reserve it, just as it may even become absolute should that person die." -No act of disposal inter vivos of the person required by law to reserve the right can be impugned by him in whose favor it is reserved, because such person has all, absolutely all, the rights inherent in ownership, except that the legal title is burdened with a condition that the third party acquirer may ascertain from the registry in order to know that he is acquiring a title subject to a condition subsequent. In conclusion, it seems to us that only an act of disposal mortis causa in favor of persons other than relatives within the third degree of the descendant from whom he got the property to be reserved must be prohibited to him, because this alone has been the object of the law: "To prevent persons outside a family from securing, by some special accident of life, property that would otherwise have remained therein." “Can the heir of the property required by law to be reserved himself alone register the ownership of the property he has inherited?” -YES when the persons in whose favor the reservation must be made agree thereto and provided that the right reserved to them in the two parcels of land is recorded, as the law provides.
SIENES v ESPARCIA 1 SCRA 750 DIZON; March 24, 1966 FACTS - Lot 3368 originally belonged to Saturnino Yaeso. With his first wife, Teresa Ruales, he had four children named Agaton, Fernando, Paulina and Cipriana, while with his second wife, Andrea Gutang, he had an only son named Francisco. - According to the cadastral records of Ayuquitan, Saturnino upon his death left Lot 3368 (western portion) to Francisco. - As a result of the cadastral proceedings, Original Certificate of Title No. 10275 covering Lot 3368 was issued in the name of Francisco. Because Francisco was a minor at the time, his mother Andrea Gutang administered the property for him. - When Francisco died, single and without any descendant, his mother, as his sole heir, executed the public instrument entitled EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT AND SALE whereby, among other things, for and in consideration of the sum of P800.00 she sold the property in question to appellants. - When thereafter said vendees demanded from Paulina Yaeso and her husband Jose Esparcia, the surrender of OCT No. 10275 — which was in their possession — the latter refused, thus giving rise to the filing of the corresponding motion in the cadastral record No. 507. The same, however, was denied.
SUCCESSION A2010 - Thereafter, Cipriana and Paulina Yaeso, the surviving half-sisters of Francisco, and who as such had declared the property in their name, executed a deed of sale in favor of the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes. - Appellants commenced this action below to secure judgment (1) declaring null and void the sale executed by Paulina and Cipriana Yaeso in favor of appellees, the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes; (2) ordering the Esparcia spouses to reconvey to appellants Lot 3368; and (3) ordering all the appellees to pay, jointly and severally, to appellants the sum of P500.00 as damages, plus the costs of suit. - Appellees disclaimed any knowledge or information regarding the sale allegedly made by Andrea Gutang in favor of appellants and alleged that, if such sale was made, the same was void on the ground that Andrea Gutang had no right to dispose of the property subject matter thereof. ISSUE WON the sale made by Andrea Gutang in favor of appellants is void. HELD As held by the trial court, it is clear upon the facts already stated, that the land in question was reservable property. Francisco Yaeso inherited it by operation of law from his father Saturnino, and upon Francisco's death, unmarried and without descendants, it was inherited, in turn, by his mother, Andrea Gutang. The latter was, therefore, under obligation to reserve it for the benefit of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came, if any survived her. The record discloses in this connection that Andrea Gutang died, the lone reservee surviving her being Cipriana Yaeso. In connection with reservable property, the weight of opinion is that the reserve creates two resolutory conditions, namely, (1) the death of the ascendant obliged to reserve and (2) the survival, at the time of his death, of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which the property came. The Court has held in connection with this matter that the reservista has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to a resolutory condition; that he is like a life usufructuary of the reservable property; that he may alienate the same but subject to reservation, said alienation transmitting only the revocable and conditional ownership of the reservists, the rights acquired by the transferee being revoked or resolved by the survival of reservatarios at the time of the death of the reservista. The sale made by Andrea Gutang in favor of appellees was, therefore, subject to the condition that the vendees would definitely acquire ownership, by virtue of the alienation, only if the vendor died without being survived by any person entitled to the reservable property. Inasmuch much as when Andrea Gutang died, Cipriana Yaeso was still alive, the conclusion becomes inescapable that the previous sale made by the former in favor of appellants became of no legal effect and the reservable property subject matter thereof passed in exclusive ownership to Cipriana. On the other hand, it is also clear that the sale executed by the sisters Paulina and Cipriana Yaeso in favor of the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes was subject to a similar resolutory condition. The reserve instituted by law in favor of the heirs within the third degree belonging to the line from which the reservable property came, constitutes a real right which the reservee may alienate and dispose of, albeit conditionally, the condition being that the alienation shall transfer ownership to the vendee only if and when the reservee survives the person obliged to reserve. In the present case, Cipriana Yaeso, one of the reservees, was still alive when Andrea Gutang, the person obliged to reserve, died. Thus the former became the absolute owner of the reservable property upon Andrea's death. While it may be true that the sale made by her and her sister prior to this event, became effective because of the occurrence of the resolutory condition, we are not now in a position to reverse the
appealed decision, in so far as it orders the reversion of the property in question to the Estate of Cipriana Yaeso, because the vendees — the Esparcia spouses did — not appeal therefrom.
FLORENTINO v FLORENTINO 40 PHIL 480 TORRES; November 15, 1919 NATURE Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur FACTS - Apolonio Jr.’s first marriage to Antonia produced nine children. Antonia died so Apolonio contracted a second marriage with Severina with whom he had two children Merces and Apolonio III. - Out of Apolonio’s children by Antonia, three remained unmarried until their respective deaths. The petitioners in this case are the surviving children of Apolonio’s children by Antonia along with the heirs of Apolonio’s other married children who had since died. - Apolonio died on February 13, 1890, survived by his window Severina and his ten children. His second child Apolonio III by Severina was born after his death. - On January 17 and February 13, 1890, Apolonio Isabelo Florentino executed a will before the notary public of Ilocos Sur, instituting as his universal heirs his ten children, his widow Severina and his yet unborn son Apolonio III. He declared that his propery should be divided equally among his children. - Among the properties received by Apolonio III were the properties marked A, B, C, D, E and F. Apolonio III died in 1891 and his mother succeeded to all his property described in the complaint. When Severina died, she left a will designating her daughter Mercedes as the universal heiress. - Mercedes took possession of her mother’s property, including the properties marked A to F which Severina inherited from her son. Mercedes had been gathering the fruits of the said properties for herself. Petitioners’ Claims: - The complainants argue that they should each be entitled to 1/7 of the fruits of the said properties on the ground that Severina inherited the property from her son Apolonio III as reservable property. The properties then passed on to her daughter Mercedes who was the former’s forced heiress. - The complainants amicably asked Mercedes for their corresponding share but Mercedes has refused to give them their alleged portion. Respondent’s Comments: - The cause of action is based on the obligation of the widow to reserve the property she inherited from her deceased son who, in turn, inherited the property from is father Apolonio Jr. - The object of the CC articles on reservation (then A811 and now A891 in the NCC) is to avoid he transfer of said reservable property to those extraneous to the family of the original owner. - Since the property passed on to Mercedes, a legitimate daughter of Apolonio Jr. and his second wife Severina, it cannot be said that the property passed on to strangers. - While in the possession of Severina, the property had ceased to become reservable because Severina lawfully inherited the property in question and Mercedes, being Severina’s heir, had acquired the right to the said property. - Mercedes Florentino is a forced heiress of her mother so there is no property reserved for the plaintiffs since there is a forced heiress entitled to the property left by
SUCCESSION A2010 the death of the widow Severina who never remarried. - The CFI judge absolved Mercedes from the complaint. ISSUE WON the property in question is reservable property HELD YES Ratio Any ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property, while there are living, within the third degree, relatives of the latter, is nothing but a life usufructuary or a fiduciary of the reservable property received. He is, however, the legitimate owner of his own property which is not reservable, property and which constitutes his legitime. But if, afterwards, all of the relatives, within the third degree, of the descendant (from whom came the reservable property) die or disappear, the said property becomes free property, by operation of law, and is thereby converted into the legitime of the ascendant heir who can transmit it at his death to his legitimate successors or testamentary heirs. This property has now lost its nature of reservable property, pertaining thereto at the death of the relatives, called reservatarios, who belonged within the third degree to the line from which such property came. Reasoning - Even if Severina left in her will said property, together with her own, to her only daughter and forced heiress, Mercedes Florentino, nevertheless this property had not lost its reservable nature inasmuch as it originated from the common ancestor of the litigants, Apolonio Jr. - The right of the nearest relative, called reservatario, over the property which the reservista (person holding it subject to reservation) should return to him, excludes that of the one more remote. The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such property came from. - Nevertheless there is right of representation on the part of reservatarios who are within the third degree, mentioned by law, as in the case of nephews of the deceased person from whom the reservable property came. These reservatarios have the right to represent their ascendants (fathers and mothers) who are the brothers of the said deceased person and relatives within the third degree. - In this case it is conceded without denial by defendants, that the plaintiffs are the legitimate children of the first marriage of the deceased Apolonio Jr. to Antonia. There are then seven "reservatarios" who are entitled to the reservable property left at the death of Apolonio III: Encarnacion, Gabriel, Magdalena; his three children, Jose, Espirita and Pedro who are represented by their own twelve children respectively; and Mercedes Florentino, his daughter by a second marriage.
PADURA v BALDOVINO G.R. No. L-11960 REYES; December 27, 1958 NATURE Appeal from order of CFI Laguna FACTS - Agustin Padura contracted two marriages during his lifetime. With his first wife Gervacia Landig, he had one child, Manuel Padura. With the second wife, Benita Garing, he had two children, Fortunato and Candelaria Padura.
- Agustin died on Apr 26, 1908, leaving a last will and testament, duly probated, wherein he bequeathed his properties among his three children and his surviving spouse, Benita Garing. - Fortunato was adjudicated four parcels of land. He died unmarried on May 28, 1908, without having executed a will; and not having any issue, the parcels of land were inherited exclusively by his mother Benita. - Benita was issued a Torrens Certificate of Title in her name, subject to the condition that the properties were reservable in favor of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came. - On Aug 26, 1934, Candelaria died, leaving as her heirs her four legitimate children: Cristeta, Melania, Anicia, and Pablo Baldovino (Oppositors-appellants) - On Oct 6, 1940, Manuel also died, survived by his legitimate children Dionisia, Felisa, Flora, Cornelio, Francisco, Juana, and Severino Padura (Petitioners-appellees) - Upon the death of Benita (the reservista) on Oct 15, 1952, the heirs took possession of the reservable properties. CFI Laguna declared the children of Manuel and Candelaria to be the rightful reservees, and as such, entitled to the reservable properties (the original reservees, Candelaria and Manuel, having predeceased the reservista) - The Baldovino heirs filed a petition seeking to have the properties partitioned, such that one-half be adjudicated to them, and the other half to the appellees, allegedly on the basis that they inherited by right of representation from their respective parents, the original reservees. - Padura heirs opposed, maintaining that they should all be deemed as inheriting in their own right, under which, they claim, each should have an equal share. (In essence, the Baldovino heirs, who are whole blood relatives of the reservista, were contending that they should get more than their half-blood relatives, the Padura heirs. They anchor their claim on Articles 1006 and 1008 of the Civil Code) - trial court declared all the reservees, without distinction, “co-owners, pro-indiviso, in equal shares of the parcels of land.” ISSUE WON the reserved properties should, as the trial court held, be apportioned among the heirs equally. HELD NO. The nephews of the whole blood should take a share twice as large as that of the nephews of the half blood. - The reserva troncal is a special rule designed primarily to assure the return of the reservable property to the third degree relatives belonging to the line from which the property originally came, and avoid its being dissipated into and by the relatives of the inheriting ascendant (reservista). Article 891 of the Code provides: ART 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came. - the purpose of the reserva troncal is accomplished once the property has devolved to the specified relatives of the line of origin. But from this time on, there is no further occasion for its application. In the relations between one reservatario and another of the same degree, there is no call for applying Art 891 any longer; the respective share of each in the reversionary property should be governed by the ordinary rules of interstate succession.
SUCCESSION A2010 - Florentino v Florentino (as restated in the case): upon the death of the ascendant reservista, the reservable property should pass, not to all the reservatorios as a class, but only to those nearest in degree to the descendant (prepositus), excluding those reservatarios of more remote degree... And within the third degree of relationship from the descendant (prepositus), the right of representation operates in favor of nephews. - Proximity of degree and right of representation are basic principles of ordinary intestate succession; so is the rule that whole blood brothers and nephews are entitled to share double that of brothers and nephews of half-blood. If in determining the rights of the reservatarios inter se, proximity of degree and the right of representation of nephews are made to aply, the rule of double share for immedaite collaterals of the whole blood should likewise be operative. - in other words, reserva troncal merely determines the group of relatives (reservatarios) to whom the property should be returned; but within that group, the individual right to the property should be decided by the applicable rules of ordinary intestate succession, since Art 891 does not specify otherwise. The reserva being an exceptional case, its application should be limited to what is strictly needed to accomplish the purpose of the law. - even during the reservista’s lifetime, the reservatarios, who are the ultimate acquirers of the property, can already assert the right to prevent the reservista from doing anything that might frustrate their reversionary right: and for this purpose they can compel the annotation of their right in the Registry of Property even while the reservista is alive. This right is incompatible with the mere expectancy that corresponds to the natural heirs of the reservista. It is also clear that the reservable property is not part of the estate of the reservista, who may not dispose of them by will, so long as there are reservatarios existing. The latter, therefore, do not inherit from the reservista, but from the descendant prepositus, of whom the reservatarios are the heirs mortis causa, subject to the condition that they must survive the reservista.
CHUA v CFI (SUSANA DE LA TORRE) 78 SCRA 406 MARTIN; August 31, 1977 NATURE Petition for review of the decision of CFI which dismissed the complaint of petitioners FACTS - It appears that in the first marriage of Jose Frias Chua with Patricia S. Militar alias Sy Quio he sired three children, namely: Ignacio, Lorenzo and Manuel. When Patricia died, Jose Frias Chua contracted a second marriage with Consolacion de la Torre with whom he had a child by the name of Juanita Frias Chua. - Manuel died without leaving any issue. - Then in 1929, Jose died intestate leaving his widow Consolacion and his son Juanito of the second marriage and sons Ignacio and Lorenzo of his first marriage. - In the Intestate Proceeding, the lower court issued an order adjudicating, among others, the one-half portion of Lot No. 399 and the sum of P8,000.00 in favor of Jose's widow, Consolacion, the other half of Lot No. 399 in favor of Juanito; P3,000.00 in favor of Lorenze; and P1,550.00 in favor of Ignacio. By virtue of said adjudication, a TCT was issued by the Register of Deeds in the names of Consolacion and Juanito. - On Feb.27, 1952, Juanito died intestate without any issue. After his death, his mother Consolacion succeeded to his pro-indivisio share of Lot No. 399. In a week's time, Consolacion executed a declaration of heirship adjudicating in her favor the pro-
indiviso share of her son Juanito as a result of which a TCT covering the whole lot was issued in her name. Then on March 5, 1966, Consolacion died intestate leaving no direct heir either in the descending or ascending line except her brother and sisters. - In the "Intestate Estate of Consolacion de la Torre", the petitioners herein, Ignacio, of the first marriage and Dominador and Remedios Chua, the supposed legitimate children of the deceased Lorenzo Chua, also of the first marriage filed the complaint before the respondent CFI of Negros Occidental, praying that the one-half portion of Lot No. 399 which formerly belonged to Juanito but which passed to Consolacion upon the latter's death, be declared as a reservable property for the reason that the lot in question was subject to reserval troncal pursuant to Article 981 of the NCC. - the respondent Court rendered a decision dismissing the complaint of petitioner. ISSUE WON the property in question was acquired by Juanito Frias Chua from his father Jose Frias Chua gratuitously or not. (In relation to the first requisite of reserva troncal) HELD YES. Ratio In Cabardo v. Villanueva, "The transmission is gratuitous or by gratuitous title when the recipient does not give anything in return." It matters not whether the property transmitted be or be not subject to any prior charges; what is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously, or by an act of mere liberality of the person making it, without imposing any obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving the property gives or does nothing in return; or, as ably put by an eminent Filipino commentator, "the essential thing is that the person who transmits it does so gratuitously, from pure generosity, without requiring from the transferee any prestation." It is evident from the record that the transmission of the property in question to Juanito Frias Chua upon the death of his father Jose Frias Chua was by means of a hereditary succession and therefore gratuitous. The obligation of paying the Standard Oil Co. of New York the amount of P3,971.20 is imposed upon Consolacion and Juanito not personally by the deceased Jose in his last will and testament but by an order of the court in the Testate Proceeding. As long as the transmission of the property to the heirs is free from any condition imposed by the deceased himself and the property is given out of pure generosity, it is gratuitous. It does not matter if later the court orders one of the heirs, in this case Juanito, to pay the Standard Oil Co. This does not change the gratuitous nature of the transmission of the property to him. This being the case the lot in question is subject to reserva troncal under Art, 891. Reasoning - The pertinent provision of reserva troncal provides: ART. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and belong to the line from which said property came. - In order that a property may be impressed with a reservable character the following requisites must exist: (1) that the property was acquired by a descendant from an ascendant or from a brother or sister by gratuitous title; (2) that said descendant died without an issue; (3) that the property is inherited by another ascendant by operation of law; and (4) that there are relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came. - In this case, all of the foregoing requisites are present. Juanito died intestate; he died without leaving any issue; his pro-indiviso of 1/2 share of Lot No. 399 was acquired by his mother; Juanito who died intestate had relatives within the third degree. These
SUCCESSION A2010 relatives are Ignacio and Dominador and Remidios, the supposed legitimate children of the deceased Lorenzo, who are the petitioners herein.
GONZALEZ v CFI OF MANILA 104 SCRA 161 AQUINO
NATURE Beatriz Legarda Gonzalez appealed from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila, dismissing her complaint for partition, accounting, reconveyance and damages and holding, as not subject to reserva troncal, the properties which her mother Filomena Roces inherited in 1943 from Filomena Legarda FACTS Benito Legarda y De la Paz, the son of Benito Legarda y Tuason, died in Manila on June 17, 1933. He was survived by his widow, Filomena Roces, and their seven children: four daughters named Beatriz, Rosario, Teresa and Filomena and three sons named Benito, Alejandro and Jose. On July 12, 1939, the real properties left by Benito Legarda y Tuason were partitioned in three equal portions by his daughters, Consuelo and Rita, and the heirs of his deceased son Benito Legarda y De la Paz who were represented by Benito F. Legarda. Filomena Legarda y Roces died intestate and without issue on March 19, 1943. Her sole heiress was her mother, Filomena Roces Vda. de Legarda. Mrs. Legarda executed on May 12, 1947 an affidavit adjudicating extrajudicially to herself the properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena Legarda. As a result of the affidavit of adjudication, Filomena Roces succeeded her deceased daughter Filomena Legarda as co-owner of the properties held proindiviso by her other six children. Mrs. Legarda on March 6, 1953 executed two hand-written identical documents wherein she disposed of the properties, which she inherited from her daughter, in favor of the children of her sons, Benito, Alejandro and Jose (sixteen grandchildren in all). During the period from July, 1958 to February, 1959 Mrs. Legarda and her six surviving children partitioned the properties consisting of the one-third share in the estate of Benito Legarda y Tuason which the children inherited in representation of their father, Benito Legarda y De la Paz. Mrs. Legarda died on September 22, 1967. Her will was admitted to probate as a holographic will in the order dated July 16, 1968 of the Court of First Instance of Manila in Special Proceeding No. 70878, Testate Estate of Filomena Roces Vda. de Legarda. In the testate proceeding, Beatriz Legarda Gonzalez, a daughter of the testatrix, filed on May 20, 1968 a motion to exclude from the inventory of her mother's estate the properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena, on the ground that said properties are reservable properties which should be inherited by Filomena Legarda's three sisters and three brothers and not by the children of Benito, Alejandro and Jose, all surnamed Legarda. That motion was opposed by the administrator, Benito F. Legarda. Without awaiting the resolution on that motion, Mrs. Gonzalez filed on June 20, 1968 an ordinary civil action against her brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and her mother's estate for the purpose of securing a declaration that the said properties are reservable properties which Mrs. Legarda could not bequeath in her holographic will to 9
RESERVA TRONCAL IS THE MOST DIFFICULT SUCCESSION TOPIC AND DETAIL SPECIFIC, HENCE THE LENGTH OF THIS DIGEST.
her grandchildren to the exclusion of her three daughters and her three sons (See Paz vs. Madrigal, 100 Phil. 1085). The lower court dismissed the action of Mrs. Gonzalez. I ISSUES 1. Whether the disputed properties are reservable properties under article 891 of the Civil Code, formerly article 811. 2.
Whether Filomena Roces Vda. de Legarda could dispose of them in her will in favor of her grandchildren to the exclusion of her six children.
HELD 1. YES RATIO The properties in question were indubitably reservable properties in the hands of Mrs. Legarda. Undoubtedly, she was a reservor. The reservation became a certainty when at the time of her death the reservees or relatives within the third degree of the prepositus Filomena Legarda were living or they survived Mrs. Legarda REASONING As will hereinafter be shown that is not a novel issue or a question of first impression. It was resolved in Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480. it may be useful to make a brief discourse on the nature of reserva troncal, also called lineal, familiar, extraordinaria o semi-troncal. Much time, effort and energy were spent by the parties in their five briefs in descanting on the nature of reserva troncal, which together with the reserva viudal and reversion legal, was abolished by the Code Commission to prevent the decedent's estate from being entailed, to eliminate the uncertainty in ownership caused by the reservation (which uncertainty impedes the improvement of the reservable property) and to discourage the confinement of property within a certain family for generations which situation allegedly leads to economic oligarchy and is incompatible with the socialization of ownership. The Code Commission regarded the reservas as remnants of feudalism which fomented agrarian unrest. Moreover, the reservas, insofar as they penalize legitimate relationship, is considered unjust and inequitable. However, the lawmaking body, not agreeing entirely with the Code Commission, restored the reserva troncal, a legal institution which, according to Manresa and Castan Tobeñas, has provoked questions and doubts that are difficult to resolve. Reserva troncal is provided for in article 811 of the Spanish Civil Code, now article 891, which reads: "ART. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came. " IN RESERVA TRONCAL, (1) a descendant inherited or acquired by gratuitous title property from an ascendant or from a brother or sister; (2) the same property is inherited by another ascendant or is acquired by him by operation of law from the said descendant, and (3) the said ascendant should reserve the said property for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree from the deceased descendant ( prepositus) and who belong to the line from which the said property came. SO, THREE TRANSMISSIONS ARE INVOLVED:
SUCCESSION A2010 1) a first transmission by lucrative title (inheritance or donation) from an ascendant or brother or sister to the deceased descendant; (2) a posterior transmission, by operation of law (intestate succession or legitime) from the deceased descendant (causante de la reserva) in favor of another ascendant, the reservor or reservista, which two transmissions precede the reservation, and (3) a third transmission of the same property (in consequence of the reservation) from the reservor to the reservees (reservatarios) or the relatives within the third degree from the deceased descendant belonging to the line of the first ascendant, brother or sister of the deceased descendant (6 Castan Tobeñas, Derecho Civil, Part I, 1960, 6th Ed., pp. 198-9). If there are only two transmissions there is no reserva. THE PERSONS INVOLVED IN RESERVA TRONCAL ARE (1) the ascendant or brother or sister from whom the property was received by the descendant by lucrative or gratuitous title, (2) the descendant or prepositus ( propositus) who received the property, (3) the reservor (reservista), the other ascendant who obtained the property from the prepositus by operation of law and (4) the reservee (reservatario) who is within the third degree from the prepositus and who belongs to the line (linea o tronco) from which the property came and for whom the property should be reserved by the reservor. The reservees may be half-brothers and sisters (Rodriguez vs. Rodriguez, 101 Phil. 1098; Chua vs. Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, L-29901, August 31, 1977, 78 SCRA 412). Fourth degree relatives are not included (Jardin vs. Villamayor, 72 Phil. 392). ILLUSTRATION #1 An illustration of reserva troncal is found in Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295. In that case, Pedro Sablan inherited two parcels of land from his father Victoriano. Pedro died in 1902, single and without issue. His mother, Marcelina Edroso, inherited from him the two parcels of land. It was held that the land was reservable property in the hands of Marcelina. The reservees were Pablo Sablan and Basilio Sablan, the paternal uncles of Pedro Sablan, the prepositus. Marcelina could register the land under the Torrens system in her name but the fact that the land was reservable property in favor of her two brothers-in-law, should they survive her, should be noted in the title. ILLUSTRATION #2 In another case, it appears that Maria Aglibot died intestate in 1906. Her one-half share of a parcel of conjugal land was inherited by her daughter, Juliana Mañalac. When Juliana died intestate in 1920, said one-half share was inherited by her father, Anacleto Mañalac who owned the other one-half portion. Anacleto died intestate in 1942, survived by his second wife and their six children. It was held that the said one-half portion was reservable property in the hands of Anacleto Mañalac and, upon his death, should be inherited by Leona Aglibot and Evarista Aglibot, sisters of Maria and maternal aunts of Juliana Mañalac, who belonged to the line from which said one-half portion came (Aglibot vs. Mañalac, 114 Phil. 964). The person from whom the degree should be reckoned is the descendant, or the one at the end of the line from which the property came and upon whom the property last revolved by descent. He is called the prepositus (Cabardo vs. Villanueva, 44 Phil. 186, 190). First cousins of the prepositus are in the fourth degree and are not reservees. They cannot even represent their parents because representation is confined to relatives within the third degree (Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480). Within the third degree, the nearest relatives exclude the more remote subject to the rule of representation. But the representative should be within the third degree from the prepositus (Padura vs. Baldovino, 104 Phil. 1065).
Reserva troncal contemplates legitimate relationship. Illegitimate relationship and relationship by affinity are excluded. Gratuitous title or titulo lucrativo refers to a transmission wherein the recipient gives nothing in return such as donation and succession (Cabardo vs. Villanueva, 44 Phil. 186-189-190, citing 6 Manresa, Codigo Civil, 7th Ed., 1951, p. 360). THE RESERVA CREATES TWO RESOLUTORY CONDITIONS, namely, (1) the death of the ascendant obliged to reserve and (2) the survival, at the time of his death, of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which the property came (Sienes vs. Esparcia, 111 Phil. 349, 353). The reservor has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to the resolutory condition that such title is extinguished if the reservor predeceased the reservee. The reservor is a usufructuary of the reservable property. He may alienate it subject to the reservation. The transferee gets the revocable and conditional ownership of the reservor. The transferee's rights are revoked upon the survival of the reservees at the time of the death of the reservor but become indefeasible when the reservees predecease the reservor. (Sienes vs. Esparcia, 111 Phil. 349, 353; Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295; Lunsod vs. Ortega, 46 Phil. 664; Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480; Director of Lands vs. Aguas, 63 Phil. 279.) The reservor's title has been compared with that of the vendee a retro in a pacto de retro sale or to a fideicomiso condicional. The reservor's alienation of the reservable property is subject to a resolutory condition, meaning that if at the time of the reservor's death, there are reservees, the transferee of the property should deliver it to the reservees. If there are no reservees at the time of the reservor's death, the transferee's title would become absolute (Lunsod vs. Ortega, 46 Phil. 664; Gueco vs. Lacson, 118 Phil. 944; Nono vs. Nequia, 93 Phil. 120). On the other hand, the reservee has only an inchoate, expectant or contingent right. His expectant right would disappear if he predeceased the reservor. It would become absolute should the reservor predecease the reservee. The reservee cannot impugn any conveyance made by the reservor but he can require that the reservable character of the property be recognized by the purchaser (Riosa vs. Rocha, 48 Phil. 737; Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295, 312-3; Gueco vs. Lacson, 118 Phil. 944). There is a holding that the renunciation of the reservee's right to the reservable property is illegal for being a contract regarding future inheritance (Velayo Bernardo vs. Siojo, 58 Phil. 89, 96). And there is a dictum that the reservee's right is a real right which he may alienate and dispose of conditionally. The condition is that the alienation shall transfer ownership to the vendee only if and when the reservee survives the reservor (Sienes vs. Esparcia, 111 Phil. 349, 353). "The reservatario receives the property as a conditional heir of the descendant ( prepositus), said property merely reverting to the line of origin from which it had temporarily and accidentally strayed during the reservista's lifetime. The authorities are all agreed that there being reservatarios that survive the reservista, the latter must be deemed to have enjoyed no more than a life interest in the reservable property." (J. J.B.L. Reyes in Cano vs. Director of Lands, 105 Phil. 1, 5.) "Even during the reservista's lifetime, the reservatarios, who are the ultimate acquirers of the property, can already assert the right to prevent the reservista from doing anything that might frustrate their reversionary right, and, for this purpose, they can compel the annotation of their right in the registry of property even while the reservista is alive" (Ley Hipotecaria de Ultramar, Arts. 168, 199; Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295). THIS RIGHT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE MERE EXPECTANCY THAT CORRESPONDS TO THE NATURAL HEIRS OF THE RESERVISTA. It is likewise clear
SUCCESSION A2010 that the reservable property is no part of the estate of the reservista who may not dispose of them (it) by will, so long as there are reservatarios existing (Arroyo vs. Gerona, 58 Phil. 226, 237). "The latter, therefore, do not inherit from the reservista but from the descendant prepositus, of whom the reservatarios are the heirs mortis causa, subject to the condition that they must survive the reservista." (Sanchez Roman, Vol. VI, Tomo 2, p. 286; Manresa, Commentaries, Vol. 6, 6th Ed., pp. 274, 310, cited by J. J.B.L. Reyes in Padura vs. Baldovino, L-11960, December 27, 1958, 104 Phil. 1065). Hence, upon the reservista's death, the reservatario nearest to the prepositus becomes, "automatically and by operation of law, the owner of the reservable property." (Cano vs. Director of Lands, 105 Phil. 1, 5.) 2. NO RATIO We hold that Mrs. Legarda could not convey in her holographic will to her sixteen grandchildren the reservable properties which she had inherited from her daughter Filomena because the reservable properties did not form part of her estate (Cabardo vs. Villanueva, 44 Phil. 186, 191). The reservor cannot make a disposition mortis causa of the reservable properties as long as the reservees survived the reservor. As repeatedly held in the Cano and Padura cases, the reservees inherit the reservable properties from the prepositus, not from the reservor. Article 891 clearly indicates that the reservable properties should be inherited by all the nearest relatives within the third degree from the prepositus who in this case are the six children of Mrs. Legarda. She could not select the reservees to whom the reservable property should be given and deprive the other reservees of their share therein. To allow the reservor in this case to make a testamentary disposition of the reservable properties in favor of the reservees in the third degree and, consequently, to ignore the reservees in the second degree would be a glaring violation of article 891. That testamentary disposition cannot be allowed. REASONING We have stated earlier that this case is governed by the doctrine of Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480, a similar case, where it was ruled: "Reservable property left, through a will or otherwise, by the death of ascendant (reservista) together with his own property in favor of another of his descendants as forced heir, forms no part of the latter's lawful inheritance nor of the legitime, for the reason that, as said property continued to be reservable, the heir receiving the same as an inheritance from his ascendant has the strict obligation of its delivery to the relatives, within the third degree, of the predecessor in interest ( prepositus), without prejudicing the right of the heir to an aliquot part of the property, if he has at the same time the right of a reservatario" (reservee). Under the rule of stare decisis et non quieta movere, we are bound to follow in this case the doctrine of the Florentino case. That doctrine means that as long as during the reservor's lifetime and upon his death there are relatives within the third degree of the prepositus, regardless of whether those reservees are common descendants of the reservor and the ascendant from whom the property came, the property retains its reservable character. The property should go to the nearest reservees. The reservor cannot, by means of his will, choose the reservee to whom the reservable property should be awarded. It is contended by the appellees herein that the properties in question are not reservable properties because only relatives within the third degree from the paternal line have survived and that when Mrs. Legarda willed the said properties to her sixteen grandchildren, who are third-degree relatives of Filomena Legarda who belong to the paternal line, the reason for the reserva troncal has been satisfied: "to prevent
persons outside a family from securing, by some special accident of life, property that would otherwise have remained therein." That same contention was advanced in the Florentino case where the reservor willed the reservable properties to her daughter, a full-blood sister of the prepositus and ignored the other six reservors, the relatives of the half-blood of the prepositus. In rejecting that contention, this Court held that the reservable property bequeathed by the reservor to her daughter does not form part of the reservor's estate nor of the daughter's estate but should be given to all the seven reservees or nearest relatives of the prepositus within the third degree. This Court noted that, while it is true that by giving the reservable property to only one reservee it did not pass into the hands of strangers, nevertheless, it is likewise true that the heiress of the reservor was only one of the reservees and there is no reason founded upon law and justice why the other reservees should be deprived of their shares in the reservable property (pp. 894-5). Applying that doctrine to this case, it results that Mrs. Legarda could not dispose of in her will the properties in question even if the disposition is in favor of the relatives within the third degree from Filomena Legarda. The said properties, by operation of article 891, should go to Mrs. Legarda's six children as reservees within the second degree from Filomena Legarda.
DE PAPA v CAMACHO G.R. No. L-28032 NARVASA; September 24, 1986 FACTS This case, which involves the application of Article 891 of the Civil Code on reserva troncal, was submitted for judgment in the lower court by all the parties on a Stipulation of Facts and Partial Compromise. -Defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho and the Plaintiffs, Francisco Tioco de Papa, Manuel Tioco and Nicolas Tioco, are legitimate relatives, plaintiffs being said defendant's grandaunt and granduncles. -They have as a common ancestor the late Balbino Tioco (who had a sister by the name of Romana Tioco), father of plaintiffs and great grandfather of defendant. Romana Tioco during her lifetime gratuitously donated four (4) parcels of land to her niece Toribia Tioco (legitimate sister of plaintiffs), which parcels of land. -Toribia Tioco died intestate in l9l5, survived by her husband, Eustacio Dizon, and their two legitimate children, Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon (mother of defendant Dalisay D, Tongko-Camacho) and leaving the afore-mentioned four (4) parcels of land as the inheritance of her said two children in equal pro-indiviso shares. -In 1928, Balbino Tioco died intestate, survived by his legitimate children by his wife Marciana Felix (among them plaintiffs) and legitimate grandchildren Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon. In the partition of his estate, three (3) parcels of land were adjudicated as the inheritance of the late Toribia Tioco, but as she had predeceased her father, Balbino Tioco, the said three (3) parcels of land devolved upon her two legitimate children Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon in equal pro-indiviso shares. -In 1937, Faustino Dizon died intestate, single and without issue, leaving his one-half (1/2) pro-indiviso share in the seven (7) parcels of land above-mentioned to his father, Eustacio Dizon, as his sole intestate heir, who received the said property subject to a reserva troncal which was subsequently annotated on the Transfer Certificates -In 1939 Trinidad Dizon-Tongko died intestate, and her rights and interests in the parcels of land abovementioned were inherited by her only legitimate child, defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho, subject to the usufructuary right of her surviving husband, defendant Primo Tongko.
SUCCESSION A2010 -They stipulate that on June 14, 1965, Eustacio Dizon died intestate, survived his only legitimate descendant, defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho. -The parties agree that defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho now owns one-half (1/2) of all the seven (7) parcels of land abovementioned as her inheritance from her mother, Trinidad Dizon-Tongko. - Defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho also claims, upon legal advice, the other half of the said seven (7) parcels of land abovementioned by virtue of the reserva troncal imposed thereon upon the death of Faustino Dizon and under the laws on intestate succession; but the plaintiffs, also upon legal advice, oppose her said claim because they claim three-fourths (3/4) of the one-half pro-indiviso interest in said parcel of land, which interest was inherited by Eustacio Dizon from Faustino Dizon, or threeeights (3/8) of the said parcels of land, by virtue of their being also third degree relatives of Faustino Dizon. The parties agreed to submit for judicial determination the legal issue of whether defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho is entitled to the whole of the seven (7) parcels of land in question, or whether the plaintiffs, as third degree relatives of Faustino Dizon are reservatarios (together with said defendant) of the one-half pro-indiviso share therein which was inherited by Eustacio Dizon from his son Faustino Dizon, and entitled to three-fourths (3/4) of said one-half pro-indiviso share, or three eights (3/8) of said seven (7) parcels of land, and, therefore, to three-eights (3/8) of the rentals collected and to be collected by defendant Dalisay P. Tongko Camacho from the tenants of said parcels of land, minus the expenses and/or real estate taxes corresponding to plaintiffs' share in the rentals. -On the basis thereof, the lower Court declared the plaintiffs Francisco Tioco, Manuel Tioco and Nicolas Tioco, as well as the defendant Dalisay Tongko-Camacho, entitled, as reservatarios, to one-half of the seven parcels of land in dispute, in equal proportions Not satisfied, the defendant appealed to this Court. ISSUE WON all relatives of the praepositus within the third degree in the appropriate line succeed without distinction to the reservable property upon the death of the reservista, as seems to be implicit in Art. 89110 of the Civil Code, (or) WON the rights of said relatives are subject to, and should be determined by, the rules on intestate succession HELD No. In, where the reservatario was survived by eleven nephews and nieces of the praepositus in the line of origin, four of whole blood and seven of half blood, and the claim was also made that all eleven were entitled to the reversionary property in equal shares. This Court, speaking through Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, declared the principles of intestacy to be controlling, and ruled that the nephews and nieces of whole blood were each entitled to a share double that of each of the nephews and nieces of half blood in accordance with Article 1006 of the Civil Code. Said the Court:
Art. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came. (811),
…The issue in this appeal may be formulated as follows: In a case of reserva troncal, where the only reservatarios (reservees) surviving the reservista, and belonging to the fine of origin, are nephews of the descendant (prepositus), but some are nephews of the half blood and the others are nephews of the whole blood, should the reserved properties be apportioned among them equally, or should the nephews of the whole blood take a share twice as large as that of the nephews of the half blood? ....The reserva troncal is a special rule designed primarily to assure the return of the reservable property to the third degree relatives belonging to the line from which the property originally came, and avoid its being dissipated into and by the relatives of the inheriting ascendant (reservista).The stated purpose of the reserva is accomplished once the property has devolved to the specified relatives of the line of origin. But from this time on, there is no further occasion for its application. In the relations between one reservatario and another of the same degree there is no call for applying Art. 891 any longer; wherefore, the respective share of each in the reversionary property should be governed by the ordinary rules of intestate succession. In this spirit the jurisprudence of this Court and that of Spain has resolved that upon the death of the ascendant reservista, the reservable property should pass, not to all the reservatarios as a class but only to those nearest in degree to the descendant (prepositus), excluding those reservatarios of more remote degree (Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 489-490; T.S. 8 Nov. 1894; Dir. Gen. de los Registros, Resol. 20 March 1905). And within the third degree of relationship from the descendant (prepositus), the right of representation operates in favor of nephews (Florentino vs. Florentino, supra). Following the order prescribed by law in legitimate succession when there are relatives of the descendant within the third degree, the right of the nearest relative, called reservatarios over the property which the reservista (person holding it subject to reservation) should return to him, excludes that of the one more remote. The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which such property came, inasmuch as the right granted by the Civil Code in Article 811 is in the highest degree personal and for the exclusive benefit of designated persons who are within the third degree of the person from whom the reservable property came. Therefore, relatives of the fourth and the succeeding degrees can never be considered as reservatarios, since the law does not recognize them as such. -In spite of what has been said relative to the right of representation on the part of one alleging his right as reservatario who is not within the third degree of relationship, nevertheless there is right of representation on the part of reservatarios who are within the third degree mentioned by law, as in the case of nephews of the deceased person from whom the reservable property came. ... . (Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480, 489-490) Proximity of degree and right of representation are basic principles of ordinary intestate succession; so is the rule that whole blood brothers and nephews are entitled to a share double that of brothers and nephews of half blood. If in determining the rights of the reservatarios inter se, proximity of degree and the right of representation of nephews are made to apply, the rule of double share for immediate collaterals of the whole blood should be likewise operative. -In other words, the reserva troncal merely determines the group of relatives reservatarios to whom the property should be returned; but within that group, the individual right to the property should be decided by the applicable rules of ordinary intestate succession, since Art. 891 does not specify otherwise. This conclusion is strengthened by the circumstance that the reserva being an exceptional case, its application should be limited to what is strictly needed to accomplish the purpose of the law.
-Reversion of the reservable property being governed by the rules on intestate succession, the plaintiffs-appellees must be held without any right thereto because, as aunt and uncles, respectively, of Faustino Dizon (the praepositus), they are excluded from the succession by his niece, the defendant-appellant, although they are related to him within the same degree as the latter. To this effect is Abellana vs. Ferraris where Arts. 100111, 100412 100513 and 100914 of the Civil Code were cited and applied: …Nevertheless, the trial court was correct when it held that, in case of intestacy nephews and nieces of the de cujus exclude all other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the succession. This is readily apparent from Articles 1001 15, 1004, 16100517 and 100918 of the Civil Code of the Philippines., that provide as follows: Under the article 1009, the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession. -This conclusion is fortified by the observation, also made in Padura, supra, that as to the reservable property, the reservatarios do not inherit from the reservista, but from the descendant praepositus: ... . It is likewise clear that the reservable property is no part of the estate of the reservista, who may not dispose of it by will, as long as there are reservatarios existing (Arroyo vs. Gerona, 58 Phil. 237). The latter, therefore, do not inherit from the reservista, but from the descendant prepositus, of whom the reservatarios are the heirs mortis causa, subject to the condition that they must survive the reservista. (Sanchez Roman, Vol. VI, Tomo 2, p. 286; Manresa, Commentaries, Vol. 6, 6th Ed., pp. 274, 310) ... . Had the reversionary property passed directly from the praepositus, there is no doubt that the plaintiffs-appellees would have been excluded by the defendant-appellant under the rules of intestate succession. There is no reason why a different result should obtain simply because "the ransmission of the property was delayed by the interregnum of the reserva;" i.e., the property took a "detour" through an ascendantthereby giving rise to the reservation before its transmission to the reservatario.
- Raul Balantakbo inherited 1/3 interest pro-indiviso of a lot in Liliw from his father, and 1/7 interest pro-indiviso in 10 parcels of land from his maternal grandmother. Raul then died intestate, leaving his mother Consuelo Joaquin Vda. De Balantakbo as his sole surviving heir. - Consuelo then adjudicated unto herself the properties in an affidavit then subsequently sold the same to Mariquita Sumaya who in turn sold them to Villa Honorio Dev’t Corp. who in turn sold them to Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative (the present possessors of the properties). - Consuelo then died. The brothers in “full blood” of Raul, and his niece and nephews from a dead brother then filed suits to recover the properties which were sold by Consuelo, arguing that the same properties were subject to a reserva troncal in their favor - They claim that since there was no annotation in the title, they should be treated as innocent purchasers in good faith and for value, thus they may not be stripped of the properties. - RTC ruled in favor of Balantakbo clan, and ordered the possessor of the properties to convey the same to the Balantakbos. It said that the registration of an affidavit of the self-adjudication of the estate of Raul, wherein it was clearly stated that the properties were inherited from Raul’s father and maternal grandmother, was in its form, declaration, and substance, a recording in the Registry of Deeds of the reservable character of the properties. Note: Propositus Raul Reservista/ Reservor Consuelo
SUMAYA v IAC (BALANTAKBO) 201 SCRA 178 MEDIALDEA; September 2, 1991
HELD 1. YES Ratio Reasoning It was admitted that the certificates of titles covering the properties in question show that they were free from any liens and encumbrances at the time of the sale. The fact remains however, that the affidavit of self-adjudication executed by Consuelo stating the source of the properties thereby showing the reservable nature thereof was registered with the Register of Deeds of Laguna, and this is sufficient notice to the whole world in accordance with Section 52 of the Property Registration Decree (formerly Sec. 51 of R.A. 496) which provides: Sec. 52. CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE UPON REGISTRATION. Every conveyance, mortgage, lease, lien attachment, order, judgment, instrument or entry affecting registered land shall, if registered, filed or entered in the Office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land to which it relates lies, be constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registering, filing or entering. - Gatioan v Gaffud: Under the rule of notice, it is presumed that the purchaser has examined every instrument of record affecting the title. Such presumption is irrebuttable. He is charged with notice of every fact shown by the record and is presumed to know every fact which an examination of the record would have disclosed. This presumption cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or good faith. … Such presumption cannot be defeated by proof of want of knowledge of what the record contains any more than one may be permitted to show that he was ignorant of
NATURE Petition for review on certiorari decision of IAC affirming decision of CFI FACTS 11
Art. 1001. Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or widower, the latter shall be entitle to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or their children to the other half. 12 Art. 1004. Should the only survivors be brothers and sisters of the full blood, they shall inherit in equal shares
Art . 1005. Should brothers and sisters survive together with nephews and nieces who are the children of the decedent's brothers and sisters of the full blood, the former shall inherit per capita, and the latter per stirpes.
Art. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers and sisters, the other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate. 15 16 17
ISSUE 1. WON the registration of the affidavit of self-adjudication operated as an annotation to the title to the properties 2. WON the purchasers can be held as innocent purchasers in good faith
SUCCESSION A2010 the provisions of the law. The rule that all persons must take notice of the facts which the public record contains is a rule of law.” - affidavit of self adjudication executed by Consuelo which contained a statement that the property was inherited from a descendant, Raul, which has likewise inherited by the latter from another ascendant, was registered with the Registry of Property. The failure of the Register of Deeds to annotate the reservable character of the property in the certificate of title cannot be attributed to Consuelo. 2. NO Ratio That the properties were subject to reserva troncal was made apparent by the affidavit of self-adjudication and deed of sale whereby Consuelo explicitly stated that she inherited these properties from her son who in turn inherited from his father. Such fact operates as constructive notice to the buyers, thus preventing them from being innocent purchasers in good faith. Reasoning Art. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came. - The obligation to reserve rests upon the reservor, Consuelo. - Dir. Of Lands v Aguas (obiter in that case): The reservable character of a property is but a resolutory condition of the ascendant reservor's right of ownership. If the condition is fulfilled, that is, if upon the ascendant reservor's death there are relatives having the status provided in Article (891), the property passes, in accordance with this special order of succession, to said relatives, or to the nearest of kin among them.... But if this condition is not fulfilled, the property is released and will be adjudicated in accordance with the regular order of succession. The fulfillment or nonfulfillment of the resolutory condition, the efficacy or cessation of the reservation, the acquisition of rights or loss of the vested ones, are phenomena which have nothing to do with whether the reservation has been noted or not in the certificate of title to the property. The purpose of the notation is nothing more than to afford to the persons entitled to the reservation, if any, due protection against any act of the reservor, which may make it ineffective . . . - Dizon and Dizon v. Galang: “reservable character may be lost to innocent purchasers for value. The obligation imposed on a widowed spouse to annotate the reservable character of a property subject of reserva viudal is applicable to reserva troncal. Since these parcels of land have been legally transferred to 3 rd persons, Vicente Galang has lost ownership thereof and cannot now register nor record in the Registry of Deeds their reservable character…” - Consistent with the rule in reserva viudal where the person obliged to reserve (the widowed spouse) had the obligation to annotate in the Registry of Property the reservable character of the property, in reserva troncal, the reservor (the ascendant who inherited from a descendant property which the latter inherited from another descendant) has the duty to reserve and therefore, the duty to annotate also. - jurisprudential rule requiring annotation in the Registry of Property of the right reserved in real property subject of reserva viudal insofar as it is applied to reserva troncal stays despite abolition of reserva viudal in NCC - The properties involved in this case are already covered by a Torrens title and unless the registration of the limitation is effected (either actual or constructive), no third persons shall be prejudiced thereby.
XVII. RESERVA ADOPTIVA BANAWA v MIRANO
page 52 97 SCRA 517 FERNANDEZ; May 16, 1980
NATURE Petition for review by certiorari of CA decision FACTS - Casiano Amponin and his wife Gliceria Abrenica, legally adopted daughter of one of the deceased petitioners and donee of the Carsuche property, represents the spouses Banawa and Mendoza (because they died during the pendency of the case). Maria Mirano (dead) is represented by her nearest relatives are Primitiva Mirano, a surviving sister, and Gregoria, Juana and Marciano Mirano, children of a deceased brother - in 1911, Maria Mirano, a niece of appellant Mendoza, and who was then about nine years old, was taken in by the appellants-spouses, Banawa and Mendoza, in the latter's house in Taal, Batangas. The spouses being childless, treated and reared her up like their own child. They hired a private tutor to teach her the rudiments of reading, writing and arithmetic. They supported her, gave her money, clothes and even jewelry. Maria reciprocated their care and affection by helping with the household chores. The spouses opened up a store for general merchandise in Quezon, from which they derived considerable income and which enabled them to acquire several parcels of land (2 parcels of sugar land in Taal, Batangas - Iba Property and Carsuche property) - Iba Property (only in contention as to reversion adoptiva) was originally owned by Placido Punzalan and acquired by the spouses through a deed of sale contained in a public instrument stating that the Iba property consisted formerly of two parcels of land and that they were sold for the amount of P2,000.00 in favor of Maria Mirano. Defendant Doroteo Banawa impliedly admitted the execution of this notarial document when he declared that in the execution of the document concerning the purchase of the Iba property from Punzalan the notary public charged him P20.00 and another P5.00 for stamps in the name of Maria Mirano since 1923. By contrast, Miranos claim of ownership over the Iba property is predicated upon their assertion that the money used in buying said land pertained to the outstanding debit of Punzalan to the spouses Doroteo Banawa and Juliana Mendoza. Banawas likewise maintain that the sale was made to appear in favor of Maria Mirano because said spouses being already old, they wanted to leave something to Maria Mirano for her to lean upon when they would have been gone. They, however, made Maria understand that although the property was placed under her name, they would continue to be the owners thereof, to administer and enjoy the fruits of the same as long as they live, and that she would become the owner of the land only after their death. Maria supposedly expressed her conformity to and appreciation for the said arrangement. - CA: granted Iba Property to Miranos ISSUES 1. WON the Iba Property in the name of Maria Mirano is a donation inter vivos 2. WON Rule 100 Sec 5 of the Old Rules of Court is not applicable because Maria Mirano is not legally adopted HELD 1. YES Reasoning
SUCCESSION A2010 - If the money used by Maria Mirano in purchasing the properties was given to her by the spouses then the money had belonged to her. Maria Mirano purchased and paid for the said properties with her money. - It is also contended by the petitioners that the deeds of sale executed by the owners of the land in favor of Maria Mirano were simulated contracts intended to shortcut two different transactions: (1) a sale in favor of the spouses Doroteo Banawa and Juliana Mendoza; and (2) a donation of lands by the spouses in favor of Maria Mirano. - There are two kinds of simulated contracts, namely: the absolutely simulated contract and the relatively simulated one. In both instances, however, their nullity is based on the want of true consent of the parties. There is no intent to be bound or the true intent is hidden or concealed. Such contracts are even generally regarded as fraudulent with intent of injuring third persons. The purpose, therefore, of a simulated contract which may be annulled is to conceal the parties' true intent, or to deceive or defraud third persons. From the record, there is no showing of deception or fraud, nor of concealment of intent of the parties as to the sale of the Iba property by the vendors in favor of Maria Mirano. The transactions which transpired were purely: (1) donations of money or things representing or equivalent to money by the spouses in favor of Maria Mirano which could be made and accepted verbally; and (2) purchase of lands by Maria Mirano with the use of that money or credits (pre-existing indebtedness in favor of the spouses) as consideration thereof. 2. YES Reasoning - Section 5, Rule 100 of the Old Rules of Court, the pertinent portion of which reads: ". . . In case of the death of the child, his parents and relatives by nature, and not by adoption, shall be his legal heirs, except as to property received or inherited by the adopted child from either of his parents by adoption, which shall become the property of the latter or their legitimate relatives who shall participate in the order established by the Civil Code for intestate estate". - The submission of the petitioners is that extrajudicial adoption is within the contemplation and spirit of this rule of reversion adoptiva. However, the rule involved specifically provides for the case of the judicially adopted child. It is an elementary rule of construction that when the language of the law is clear and unequivocal, the law must be taken to mean exactly what it says. Maria is not judicially adopted therefore reversion adoptive does not apply Disposition CA decision affirmed as to the Iba property
SEPARATE OPINION MAKASIAR [dissent] - I dissent, re the Iba parcel; because there was no valid donation of the land or of the purchase money. - The money with which to buy the property was not donated to Maria by the spouses. Said spouses would not donate the large amount of P4,080.00 (although the deed states the amount as P2,000.00) to Maria Mirano who was merely tutored to learn the 3 R's - reading, writing and arithmetic - at the expense of said spouses. While it is true that they supported her, gave her money, clothes and even jewelry, they did not send her to school, much less give her a college education. It is unthinkable that the said spouses would give her P4,080.00 where they could not even give her a primary education which would cost very much less (from 1911 to 1915). The jewelry they could have given to her could not be better than trinkets, the cost of which was negligible but could be a fond possession of a poor, impressionable child in the rural area like Maria
- No cash actually passed to Maria from the spouses. - Up to the time of her death on July 31, 1949 at the age of 48, Maria was still living with the spouses who reared her. This fact shows that Maria was still being supported by the spouses - If there was a valid donation of the money to pay for the Iba sugar land in Taal in 1921, which consists of 4.42 hectares, it would seem that Maria would have sufficient funds derived from the produce of such a big parcel with which to purchase for herself the Carsuche parcel. But it was still the spouses who paid for the Carsurche property, only that the sale was allegedly made in favor of Maria, whom they did not legally adopt, to insure the survival of Maria long after they would have been dead as they were then already old. Again, this goes against the grain of human nature; because no such deep concern was exhibited by the spouses in favor of their legally adopted daughter Gliceria Abrenica; and - The spouses legally adopted Gliceria Abrenica but never legally adopted Maria, niece of petitioner Juliana Mendoza. If the said spouses wanted to favor their niece Maria for helping in their business, they could have easily adopted her legally and thereby make her their legal heir, like Gliceria Abrenica.
TEOTICO v DEL VAL 13 SCRA 406 BAUTISTA NATURE Appeal from the Manila CFI decision FACTS - Maria Mortera Vda de Aguirre on May 17, 1951 executed a will written in Spanish making many legacies and devises including Pesos 20,000 to Rene Teotico who was married to testatrix’s niece, Josefina Mortera. Josefina was instituted as the sole and universal heir to all the remainder of the properties not otherwise disposed of in the will. The testatrix died on July 14, 1955 and a petition for the probate was file before the Manila CFI on July 17, 1955. - Ana del Val Chan, claiming to be an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix, and an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the same testatrix, filed an opposition to the probate alleging that the will was not executed as required by law, that the testatrix was physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution, and that the will was executed under duress, threat or influence of fear. The lower court allowed Ana del Val Chan’s opposition despite a motion to have said opposition dismissed on the ground that Ana had no legal personality to intervene. - Ana amended her opposition by alleging that the will is inoperative with regard the share of Rene Teotico because he was the physician who took care of the testatrix during her last illness. - After the parties had presented their evidence, the probate court rendered its decision on November 10, 1960 admitting the will to probate but declaring the disposition made in favor of Dr. Rene Teotico void with the statement that the portion to be vacated by the annulment should pass to the testatrix's heirs by way of intestate succession. - Hence this appeal ISSUE/S 1. WON Ana Del Val Chan has the right to intervene 2. WON the will has been duly admitted to probate
SUCCESSION A2010 3. WON probate court committed an error on passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will HELD 1. No. Under the terms of the will, oppositor has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir, executor, or administrator, nor does she have any claim to any property affected by the will, because it nowhere appears therein any provision designating her as heir, legatee or devisee of any portion of the estate. She has also no interest in the will either as administratrix or executrix. Neither has she any claim against any portion of the estate because she is not a co-owner thereof, and while she previously had an interest in the Calvo building located in Escolta., she had already disposed of it long before the execution of the will. In the supposition that the will is denied probate, would the oppositor acquire any interest in any portion of the estate left by the testatrix? She would acquire such right only if she were a legal heir of the deceased, but she is not under our Civil Code. It is true that oppositor claims to be an acknowledged natural child of Jose Mortera, a deceased brother of the deceased, and also an adopted daughter of Francisca Mortera, a deceased sister of the testatrix, but such claim cannot give her any comfort for, even if it be true, the law does not give her any right to succeed to the estate of the deceased sister of both Jose Mortera and Francisca Mortera. And this is so because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father. Thus, Article 992 of our Civil Code provides: "An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother.” 2 The oppositor cannot also derive comfort from the fact that she is an adopted child of Francisca Mortera because under our law the relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter and the adopted does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents or of he adopted child except only as expressly provided for by law. Hence, no relationship is created between the adopted and the collaterals of the adopting parents. As a consequence, the adopted is an heir of the adopter but not of the relatives of the adopter. 2. Yes. The claim of the oppositor that the testatrix was of unsound mind when she executed the will was belied by the testimonies of the three people who witnessed the signing of the will. The claim that Teotico exerted improper pressure and undue influence over the testatrix to overpower and subjugate her mind to destroy her free agency and make her express the will of another rather than her own was not proved. 3. Yes. "Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained in Probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the requirements of the law." "To establish conclusively as against everyone, and once for all, the facts that a will was executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to make a will, is the only purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will. (Sec. 625.) The judgment in such proceedings determines and can determine nothing more. In them the court has no power to pass upon the validity of any provisions made in the will. It can not decide, for example, that a certain legacy is void and another one valid."
XIX. LEGACIES AND DEVISEES
page 54 FERNANDEZ v DIMAIGBA G.R. No. L-23638 REYES; October 12, 1967
NATURE Petition for a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals FACTS - Ismaela Dimagiba submitted to the CFI a petition for the probate of the purported will of the late Benedicta de los Reyes. The will instituted the petitioner as the sole heir of the estate of the deceased. - The petition was set for hearing, and in due time, Dionisio Fernandez, Eusebio Reyes and Luisa Reyes and one month later, Mariano, Cesar, Leonor and Paciencia, all surnamed Reyes, all claiming to be heirs intestate of the decedent, filed oppositions to the probate asked. Grounds advanced for the opposition were forgery, vices of consent of the testatrix, estoppel by laches of the proponent and revocation of the will by two deeds of conveyance of the major portion of the estate made by the testatrix in favor of the proponent in 1943 and 1944, but which conveyances were finally set aside by this Supreme Court. - CFI found that the will was genuine and properly executed; but deferred resolution on the questions of estoppel and revocation. - Fernandez and Reyes petitioned for reconsideration, and/or new trial, insisting that the issues of estoppel and revocation be considered and resolved; the Court overruled the claim that proponent was in estoppel to ask for the probate of the will, but "reserving unto the parties the right to raise the issue of implied revocation at the opportune time." - CFI appointed Ricardo Cruz as administrator for the sole purpose of submitting an inventory of the estate. - TC resolved against the oppositors and held the will of the late Benedicta de los Reyes "unaffected and unrevoked by the deeds of sale." The oppositors elevated the case to the CA. - CA held that the decree admitting the will to probate, had become final for lack of opportune appeal; that the same was appealable independently of the issue of implied revocation; that there had been no legal revocation by the execution of the 1943 and 1944 deeds of sale. ISSUES 1. WON the decree of the CFI allowing the will to probate had become final for lack of appeal 2. WON the order of the CFI overruling the estoppel invoked by oppositors-appellants had likewise become final 3. WON the 1930 will of Benedicta de los Reyes had been impliedly revoked by her execution of deeds of conveyance in favor of the proponent . HELD 1. YES. A probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions concerning capacity of the testator and the proper execution and witnessing of his last will and testament, irrespective of whether its provisions are valid and enforceable or otherwise. - There being no controversy that the probate decree of the Court below was not appealed on time, the same had become final and conclusive. Hence, the appellate courts may no longer revoke said decree nor review the evidence upon which it is
SUCCESSION A2010 made to rest. Thus, the appeal belatedly lodged against the decree was correctly dismissed. 2. NO. The presentation and probate of a will are requirements of public policy, being primarily designed to protect the testator's, expressed wishes, which are entitled to respect as a consequence of the decedent's ownership and right of disposition within legal limits. - Evidence of it is the duty imposed on a custodian of a will to deliver the same to the Court, and the fine and imprisonment prescribed for its violation (Revised Rule 75). It would be a non sequitur to allow public policy to be evaded on the pretext of estoppel. Whether or not the order overruling the allegation of estoppel is still appealable or not, the defense is patently unmeritorious and the Court of Appeals correctly so ruled. 3. NO. The existence of any such change or departure from the original intent of the testatrix, expressed in her 1930 testament, is rendered doubtful by the circumstance that the subsequent alienations in 1943 and 1944 were executed in favor of the legatee herself, appellee Dimagiba. - But even if Art 957 were applicable, the annulment of the conveyances would not necessarily result in the revocation of the legacies, if we bear in mind that the findings made in the decision decreeing the annulment of the subsequent 1943 and 1944 deeds of sale were also that it was the moral influence, originating from their confidential relationship, which was the only cause for the execution
BELEN v BPI G.R. No. L-14474 REYES; October 31, 1960 NATURE Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila denying appellant's petition FACTS - Benigno Diaz (DIAZ) executed a codicil on September 29, 1944. On November 7, 1944, he died and the aforesaid codicil, together with the will, was admitted to probate in Special Proceedings No. 894 of the same Court of First Instance of Manila. - The proceedings for the administration of the estate of DIAZ were closed in 1950 and the estate was thereafter put under the administration of BPI, as trustee for the benefit of the legatees. - Filomena Diaz (FILOMENA) then died in 1954, leaving two legitimate children, MILAGROS, married, with 7 legitimate children, and ONESIMA, single. - On March 19, 1958, ONESIMA filed a petition in Special Proceedings No. 9226, contending that the amount that would have appertained to FILOMENA under the codicil should now be divided equally between herself and MILAGROS, as the surviving children, to the exclusion of the 7 legitimate children of MILAGROS. - The court denied this petition. It said that after due consideration of the petition filed by ONESIMA. The share of FILOMENA from the codicil does not and should not form part of her estate. The aforesaid share of should be distributed not only between her children but also among her other
legitimate descendants which also includes her grandchildren, etc., and in this connection. it is not amiss to observe that one may be a descendant and not yet not be an heir, and vice versa, one may be an heir and yet not be a descendant. - From this order ONESIMA appealed to this Court. She contends that the term "sus descendeintes legitimos," as used in the codicil, should be interpreted to mean descendants nearest in the degree to the original legatee FILOMENA, which are the two daughters. ISSUE WON the words "sus descendientes legitimos" refer conjointly to all the living descendant (children and grandchildren) of the legatee as a class or only to the descendants nearest in degree HELD NO - In her argument, FILOMENA invokes Art. 959 of the CC, which says: A distribution made in general terms in favor of the testator's relatives shall be understood as made in favor of those nearest in degree. However, the argument fails to note that this article is specifically limited in its application in cases where the beneficiaries are relatives of the testator, not those of the legatee. In such an event, the law assumes that the testator intended to refer to the rules of intestacy, in order to benefit the relatives closest to him based on the ratio legis that among a testator's relative the closest are dearest. - Obviously, this does not apply where the beneficiaries are relatives of another person (the legatee) and not of the testator . There is no logical reason in this case to presume that the testator intended to refer to the rules of intestacy, for he precisely made a testament and provided substitutes for each legatee; nor can it be said that his affections would prefer the nearest relatives of the legatee to those more distant, since he envisages all of them in a group, and only as mere substitutes for a preferred beneficiary. - The result of applying the "nearest relatives" rule of Article 959 is that the inheritance would be limited to her children excluding the grandchildren altogether. This could hardly be the intention of the testator who in the same clause 10 of his codicil speaks of his grandchildren indicating clearly that he understood well that hijos and descendientes are not synonymous terms. - We conclude that in the absence of other indications of contrary intent, the proper rule to apply in the instant case is that the testator, by designating a class or group of legatees, intended all members thereof to succeed per capita. So that the original legacy to FILOMENA should be equally divided among her surviving children and grandchidren. Disposition The order appealed from is affirmed, with costs to the appellant.
SUCCESSION A2010 XX. GENERAL PROVISION OF INTESTATE DE LOS SANTOS v DE LA CRUZ G.R. No. L-29192 VILLAMOR; February 22, 1971 NATURE Direct appeal to SC on questions of law from the judgment of the CFI FACTS - On May 21, 1965, Gertrudes de los Santos filed a complaint for specific performance against Maximo de la Cruz, alleging, among others, that on August 24, 1963, she and several co-heirs, including the defendant, executed an extrajudicial partition agreement over a certain portion of land with an area of around 20,000 sq. m.; that the parties thereto had agreed to adjudicate (3) lots to the defendant, in addition to his corresponding share, on condition that the latter would undertake the development and subdivision of the estate which was the subject matter of the agreement, all expenses in connection therewith to be defrayed from the proceeds of the sale of the aforementioned (3) lots; that in spite of demands by the plaintiff, by the co-heirs, and by the residents of the subdivision, the defendant refused to perform his aforesaid obligation although he had already sold the aforesaid lots. The plaintiff prayed the court to order the defendant to comply with his obligation under the extrajudicial partition agreement, actual damages and to pay attorney's fees and costs. - In his answer, the defendant admitted the due execution of the extrajudicial partition agreement, but set up the affirmative defenses that the plaintiff had no cause of action against him because the said agreement was void with respect to her, for the reason that the plaintiff was not an heir of Pelagia de la Cruz, deceased owner of the property, and was included in the extrajudicial partition agreement by mistake; and that although he had disposed of the three lots adjudicated to him, nevertheless the proceeds of the sale were not sufficient to develop and improve properly the subdivided estate. The answer contained a counterclaim wherein the defendant alleged that the plaintiff had likewise sold her share in the estate for P10,000.00, and that the extrajudicial partition agreement being void insofar as the latter was concerned, he was entitled to (1/4) of the proceeds as his share by way of reversion. The defendant prayed that the complaint be dismissed; that the extrajudicial partition agreement be declared void with respect to the plaintiff; and, on his counterclaim, that the plaintiff be ordered to pay him the sum of P2,500.00. - The plaintiff was found in default for not answering counterclaim. - CFI held that that the defendant, being a party to the extrajudicial partition agreement, was estopped from raising in issue the right of the plaintiff to inherit from the decedent Pelagia de la Cruz; hence, he must abide by the terms of the agreement. The CFI ordered the defendant "to perform his obligations to develop Lots as part of the Extrajudicial Partition Agreement". No disposition was made of defendant's counterclaim. The defendant filed a MNT but the same was denied. Hence, this appeal. ISSUES (1) WON plaintiff-appellee is a heir of the decedent. (2) WON there was estoppel (3)WON the damages were properly adjudicated (4)WON court erred in not deciding on the counterclaim
HELD (1)Ratio No. Partition of property affected between a person entitled to inherit from the deceased owner thereof and another person who thought he was an heir, when he was not really and lawfully such, to the prejudice of the rights of the true heir designated by law to succeed the deceased, is null and void. (De Torres vs. De Torres, et al., 28 Phil. 49). Reasoning Plaintiff-appellee being a mere grandniece of Pelagia de la Cruz, she could not inherit from the latter by right of representation.19Much less could plaintiff-appellee inherit in her own right.20 In the present case, the relatives "nearest in degree" to Pelagia de la Cruz are her nephews and nieces, one of whom is defendant-appellant. Necessarily, plaintiffappellee, a grandniece is excluded by law from the inheritance. The express purpose of the extrajudicial partition agreement was to divide the estate among the heirs of Pelagia de la Cruz. The said agreement itself states that plaintiff-appellee was participating therein in representation of her deceased mother. In executing the partition agreement, the parties under the erroneous belief that plaintiff-appellee was one of the legal heirs of Pelagia de la Cruz. Plaintiff-appellee not being such a heir, the partition is void with respect to her, pursuant to Art 1105 CC. (2)Ratio No estoppel arises where the representation or conduct the party sought to be estopped is due to ignorance founded upon a mistake. And which there is authority to the contrary, the weight of authority is that the acts and declarations of a party based upon an innocent mistake as to his legal rights will not estop him to assert the same, especially where every fact known to the party sought to be estopped is equally well known to the party setting up the estoppel. (21 C.J., 1125, 1126.) Reasoning The extrajudicial partition agreement being void with respect to plaintiff-appellee, she may not be heard to assert estoppel against defendant-appellant. Estoppel cannot be predicated on a void contract, or on acts which are prohibited by law or are against public policy. (3)Reasoning The award of actual damages in favor of plaintiff-appellee cannot be sustained in view of the conclusion above. Furthermore, actual or compensatory damages must be duly proved (Article 2199, Civil Code). Here, no proof of such damages was presented inasmuch as the case was decided on a stipulation of facts and no evidence was adduced before the trial court. (4)Yes. The plaintiff-appellee had been declared in default on defendant-appellant's counterclaim; but the latter did not present any evidence to prove the material allegation therein. Nevertheless, in the stipulation submitted by the parties that said plaintiff-appellee admitted having received a portion of the estate by virtue of the extrajudicial partition agreement. Defendant-appellant is correct in his contention that the lower court erred in not passing on his counterclaim and, consequently, in not sentencing appellee to turn 19
ART. 972. The right of representation takes place in the direct descending line, but never in the ascending. In the collateral line, it takes place only in favor of the children of brothers or sisters, whether they be of the full or half blood.
ART. 962. In every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the more distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes place. ... .
SUCCESSION A2010 over to him his corresponding share of said portion received by appellee under the void partition. Remote relatives or unrelated person who unduly received and took possession of the property of a deceased person without any right, by virtue of a null and void partition, must restore it to the legitimate successor in the inheritance. If such share has already been disposed of by appellee to a bona fide purchaser, as seems to be indicated in the unproven allegations of the counterclaim. We cannot render judgment awarding any specific amount to defendant-appellant as his proportionate share of the proceeds of such sale for the reason that, as already stated above, this aspect of the counterclaim has not been touched upon in the stipulation of facts nor has it been supported by evidence which appellant should have presented in the lower court but did not.
DIAZ v IAC 183 SCRA 427 PARAS; February 21, 1990 NATURE Second Motion for Reconsideration FACTS It is undisputed 1) that Felisa Pamuti Jardin is a niece of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero who together with Felisa's mother Juliana were the only legitimate children of the spouses Felipe Pamuti and Petronila Asuncion; 2) that Juliana married Simon Jardin and out of their union were born Felisa Pamuti and another child who died during infancy; 3) that Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero is the widow of Pascual Santero and the mother of Pablo Santero; 4) that Pablo Santero was the only legitimate son of his parents Pascual Santero and Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero; 5) that Pascual Santero died in 1970; Pablo Santero in 1973 and Simona Santero in 1976; 6) that Pablo Santero, at the time of his death was survived by his mother Simona Santero and his six minor natural children to wit: four minor children with Anselma Diaz and two minor children with Felixberta Pacursa. ISSUE Who are the legal heirs of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero ? her niece Felisa PamutiJardin or her grandchildren (the natural children of Pablo Santero)? Could petitioners as illegitimate children of Pablo Santero inherit from Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero, by right of representation of their father Pablo Santero who is a legitimate child of Simona Pamuti Vda. de Santero? HELD Felisa Pamuti-Jardin is the legal heir of Simona. Ratio The right of representation is not available to illegitimate descendants of legitimate children in the inheritance of a legitimate grandparent. The determining factor is the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the person to be represented. If the person to be represented is an illegitimate child, then his descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, may represent him; however, if the person to be represented is legitimate, his illegitimate descendants cannot represent him because the law provides that only his legitimate descendants may exercise the right of representation by reason of the barrier imposed Article 992. Reasoning: a. "The rules laid down in Article 982 that 'grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation and in Article 902 that the rights of illegitimate children ... are transmitted upon their death to their
descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by Article 992 to the end that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother."' (Amicus Curiae's Opinion by former Justice Minister Ricardo C. Puno, p. 12) It may not be amiss to state that Article 982 is the general rule and Article 992 the exception. b. The law recognizes that between the legitimate family and the illegitimate family there is presumed to be antagonism and incompatibility. c. It is clear from Article 992 of the New Civil Code that the phrase “legitimate relatives of his father or mother” includes Simona Pamuti as the word “relative” is broad enough to comprehend all the kindred of the person spoken of. GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting: I agree that a clear and precise amendment is needed if collateral relatives such as illegitimate children and legitimate uncles, aunts, or cousins or illegitimate siblings and their legitimate half-brothers or half-sisters are to inherit from one another. But I must stress that the barrier is between the legitimate and illegitimate families. I see no reason why we should include a grandmother or grandfather among those where a firm wall of separation should be maintained. She cannot be a separate "family" from her own grandchildren. The adoption of a harsh and absurd interpretation, pending an amendment of the law, does not impress me as correct. Precisely, the word "relatives" in Art. 992 calls for reinterpretation because the Code has been amended. The meaning of relatives must follow the changes in various provisions upon which the word's effectivity is dependent. The law should be interpreted to accord with what appears right and just. Unless the opposite is proved, I will always presume that a grandmother loves her grandchildren —legitimate or illegitimate. more than the second cousins of said grandchildren or the parents of said cousins. The grandmother may be angry at the indiscretions of her son but why should the law include the innocent grandchildren as objects of that anger. "Relatives" can only refer to collateral relatives, to members of a separate group of kins but not to one's own grandparents.
ABELLANA DE BACAYO v DE BORROMEO 14 SCRA 986 REYES; August 31, 1965 FACTS Melodia Ferraris was a resident of Cebu City until 1937 when she transferred to Intramuros, Manila. She was known to have resided there continuously until 1944. Thereafter, up to the filing on December 22, 1960 of the petition for the summary settlement of her estate, she has not been heard of and her whereabouts are still unknown. More than 10 years having elapsed since the last time she was known to be alive, she was declared presumptively dead for purposes of opening her succession and distributing her estate among her heirs. Ferraris left properties in Cebu City, consisting of one third (1/3) share in the estate of her aunt, Rosa Ferraris, valued at P6,000. The deceased Ferraris left no surviving direct descendant, ascendant, or spouse, but was survived only by collateral relatives: Abellana de Bacayo, an aunt, and half- sister of decedent's father, Ancleto; and her nieces and nephew, who were the children of Melodia's only brother of full blood, Arturo, who pre-deceased her. These two classes of heirs claim to be the nearest intestate heirs and seek to participate in the estate of Ferraris. ISSUE
SUCCESSION A2010 WON nephews and nieces of the decedent exclude all other collaterals from the succession HELD YES. As an aunt of the deceased, de Bacayo is as far distant as the nephews from the decedent (three degrees) since in the collateral line to which both kinds of relatives belong degrees are counted by first ascending to the common ancestor and then descending to the heir (Civil Code, Art. 966). Appellant is right in her contention that nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation (i.e., per stirpes) unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased, as provided expressly by Article 975. Nevertheless, the trial court was correct when it held that, in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces of the de cujus exclude all other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the succession. This is readily apparent from articles 1001, 1004, 1005, and 1009 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, that provided as follows: ART. 1001. Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or widower, the latters shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or their children to the other half. ART. 1004. Should the only survivors be, brothers and sisters of the full blood, they shall inherit in equal shares. ART. 1005. Should brothers and sisters survive together with nephews and nieces who are the children of the decedent's brothers and sisters of the full blood, the former shall inherit per capita, and the latter per stirpes. ART. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers or sisters, the other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate. The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among by reason of relationship by the whole blood. Under the Art. 1009, the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession. This was also and more clearly the case under the Spanish Civil Code of 1889, that immediately preceded the Civil Code. Thus, Articles 952 and 954 of the Code of 1889 prescribed as follows: "ART. 952. In the absence of brothers or sisters and of nephews or nieces, children of the former, whether of the whole blood or not, the surviving spouse, if not separated by a final decree of divorce shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased." "ART. 954. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers or sisters, nor a surviving spouse, the other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate of deceased. The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by reason of the whole blood." It will be seen that under the preceding articles, brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces inherited ab intestato ahead of the surviving spouse, while other collaterals succeeded only after the widower or widow. The present Civil Code of the Philippines merely placed the spouse on a par with the nephews and nieces and brothers and sisters of the deceased, but without altering the preferred position of the latter vis a vis the other collaterals. Tolentino's commentaries to Art. 1009: "Other Collaterals.— The last of the relatives of the decedent to succeed in intestate succession are the collaterals other than brothers or sisters or children of brothers or sisters. They are, however, limited to relatives within the fifth degree. Beyond this, we can safely say, there is hardly any affection to merit the succession of collaterals.
Under the law, therefore, persons beyond the fifth degree are no longer considered as relatives, for successional purposes.” "Article 1009 does not state any order of preference. However, this article should be understood in connection with the general rule that the nearest relatives exclude the farther. Collaterals of the same degree inherit in equal parts, there being no right of representation. They succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them on account of the whole blood relationship." Therefore, under our laws of succession, a decedent's uncles and aunts may not succeed ab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed.
CORPUS v CORPUS 85 SCRA 567 AQUINO; October 23, 1978 NATURE Appeal from a judgment of the CFI FACTS -Teodoro R. Yangco, the son of Luis Rafael Yangco and Ramona Arguelles (the widow of Tomas Corpus) died in Manila on April 20, 1939 -Yangco had no forced heirs. At the time of his death, his nearest relatives were (1) his half brother, Luis R. Yangco, (2) his half sister, Paz Yangco (3) Amalia Corpus, Jose A. V. Corpus, and Ramon L. Corpus, the children of his half brother, Pablo Corpus, and (4) Juana (Juanita) Corpus, the daughter of his half brother Jose Corpus. Juanita died in October, 1944 at Palauig, Zambales. -His will dated August 29, 1934 was probated in the CFI of Manila, and the decree of probate was affirmed by the SC -Pursuant to the order of the probate court, a project of partition was submitted by the administrator and the legatees named in the will -Said project of partition was approved by the probate court -Pedro Martinez, Juliana de Castro , Juanita Corpus (deceased) and the estate of Luis R. Yangco appealed to the SC, but these were dismissed after the legatees and the appellants entered into compromise agreements -Herein appellant Tomas Corpus signed that compromise settlement as the sole heir of Juanita Corpus. -On September 20, 1949, the legatees executed an agreement for the settlement and physical partition of the Yangco estate. The probate court approved that agreement and noted that the 1945 project of partition was pro tanto modified. -On October 5, 1951, Tomas Corpus, as the sole heir of Juanita corpus, filed an action in the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover her supposed share in Yangco intestate estate. He alleged in his complaint that the dispositions in his Yangco’s will imposing perpetual prohibitions upon alienation rendered it void under article 785 of the old Civil Code and that the 1949 partition is invalid and, therefore, the decedent's estate should be distributed according to the rules on intestacy. -The trial court dismissed the action on the grounds of res judicata and laches. -Tomas Corpus appealed to the Court of Appeals which certified the appeal to this Court because it involves real property valued at more than fifty thousand pesos ISSUE WON Juanita Corpus, the mother of appellant Tomas Corpus, was a legal heir of Yangco, thus giving Tomas Corpus a cause of action to recover his mother's supposed intestate share in Yangco's estate
SUCCESSION A2010 HELD -The trial court found that Teodoro R. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child and not a legitimate child through the statement in the will of his father, Luis Rafael Yangco, dated June 14, 1907, that Teodoro and his three other children were his acknowledged natural children. -On the other hand, the children of Ramona Arguelles and Tomas Corpus are presumed to be legitimate. -Since Teodoro R. Yangco was an acknowledged natural child or was illegitimate and since Juanita Corpus was the legitimate child of Jose Corpus, himself a legitimate child, we hold that appellant Tomas Corpus has no cause of action for the recovery of the supposed hereditary share of his mother, Juanita Corpus, as a legal heir, in Yangco's estate. - Juanita Corpus was not a legal heir of Yangco because there is no reciprocal succession between legitimate and illegitimate relatives. -Article 943 of the old Civil code "prohibits all successory reciprocity mortis causa between legitimate and illegitimate relatives" -The rule in article 943 is now found in article 992 of the Civil Code which provides that "an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child". -That rule is based on the theory that the illegitimate child is disgracefully looked upon by the legitimate family while the legitimate family is, in turn, hated by the illegitimate child. -The law does not recognize the blood tie and seeks to avod further grounds of resentment -Under articles 944 and 945 of the Spanish Civil Code, "if an acknowledged natural or legitimated child should die without issue, either legitimate or acknowledged, the father or mother who acknowledged such child shall succeed to its entire estate; and if both acknowledged it and are alive, they shall inherit from it share and share alike. In default of natural ascendants, natural and legitimated children shall be succeeded by their natural brothers and sisters in accordance with the rules established for legitimate brothers and sisters." -Hence, Teodoro R. Yangco's half brothers on the Corpus side, who were legitimate, had no right to succeed to his estate under the rules of intestacy.
SAYSON v CA (SAYSON) 205 SCRA 321 CRUZ; January 23, 1992 NATURE Petition for review by certiorari. At issue in this case is the status of the private respondents and their capacity to inherit from their alleged parents and grandparents. The petitioners deny them that right, asserting if for themselves to the exclusion of all others. FACTS - Eleno and Rafaela Sayson had 5 children: Mauricio, Rosario, Basiliso, Remedios and Teodoro - Teodoro married Isabel Bautista - Teodoro and Isabela had 3 children: Delia, Edmundo and Doribel - Eleno and Rafaela Sayson died, and so did Teodoro and Isabela. - Delia, Edmundo and Doribel filed a complaint for the accounting and partition of the
estate of Eleno and Rafaela Sayson, against the couple’s 4 surviving children. They asserted that Delia and Edmundo were the adopted children and Doribel was the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and Isabel and that, as such, they were entitled to inherit Teodor’s share in his parents’ estate by right of representation - the lower court ruled in favor of Delia, Edmundo and Doribel, saying they were entitled to inherit from Eleno and Rafaela by right of representation ISSUE WON Delia, Edmundo and Doribel have the right of representation, giving them the right to represent their deceased father Teodoro in the distribution of the intestate estate of their grandparents HELD 1. YES and NO: Doribel is entitled to her father’s share of her grandparents’ estate through her right of representation, but Delia and Edmundo are not so entitled. Ratio Adopted children do not have the right of representation Reasoning As the legitimate daughter of Teodoro and thus the granddaughter of Eleno and Rafaela, Doribel has a right to represent her deceased father in the distribution of the intestate estate of her grandparents. Under Article 981, Art. 981. Should children of the deceased and descendants of other children who are dead, survive, the former shall inherit in their own right, and the latter by right of representation. she is entitled to the share her father would have directly inherited had he survived, which shall be equal to the shares of her grandparents' other children. But a different conclusion must be reached in the case of Delia and Edmundo, to whom the grandparents were total strangers. While it is true that the adopted child shall be deemed to be a legitimate child and have the same right as the latter, these rights do not include the right of representation. The relationship created by the adoption is between only the adopting parents and the adopted child and does not extend to the blood relatives of either party.
XXI. ORDER OF INTESTATE LEONARDO
v CA G.R. No. L-51263 DE CASTRO; February 28, 1983 FACTS -Francisca Reyes died intestate. She was survived by 2 daughters, Maria and Silvestra, and a grandson, Sotero Leonardo (Sotero), the son of her daughter, Pascuala, who predeceased her. Sotero and Silvestra both died. -Cresenciano Leonardo (Cresenciano), claiming to be the son of the late Sotero Leonardo, filed a complaint for ownership of properties seeking judgment, among others, to be declared one of the lawful heirs of the deceased Francisca Reyes, entitled to one-half share in the estate of said deceased jointly with the other remaining heir Maria -Maria asserted exclusive ownership saying that Cresenciano is an illegitimate child who CAN’T succeed by right of representation. TC ruled in his favor. CA reversed. Hence, this petition. ISSUE WON Cresenciano is an heir in the inheritance in question
SUCCESSION A2010 HELD NO. Other than his bare allegation, Cresenciano did not submit any durable evidence showing that the 'Alfredo Leonardo' mentioned in the birth certificate is no other than he himself. SC safely concluded that Cresenciano failed to prove his filiation which is a fundamental requisite in this action where he is claiming to be an heir in the inheritance in question. EVEN IF it’s true that Cresenciano is the child of Sotero, still he cannot, by right of representation, claim a share of the estate left by the deceased Francisca Reyes considering that, as found again by the CA, he was born outside wedlock and what is more, his alleged father's first marriage was still subsisting. At most, Cresenciano would be an illegitimate child who has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father, like the deceased Francisca Reyes. (Article 992, Civil Code)
PASCUAL v PASCUAL-BAUTISTA 207 SCRA 561 PARAS; March 25, 1992 FACTS Petitioners are acknowledged natural children of brother of the decedent (who died intestate). They want to represent their father in his succession to the intestate estate of the decedent. Petitioners say that as acknowledged natural children of the brother of the decedent, they are not excluded from inheriting, as only spurious children are “illegitimate children” in contemplation of the law. ISSUE WON the “illegitimate children” includes only spurious children, and excludes ackn’d natural children HELD NO. - Article 992 of the Civil Code, provides: An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. - The rules laid down in Article 982 that `grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation' and in Article 902 that the rights of illegitimate children . . . are transmitted upon their death to their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate are subject to the limitation prescribed by Article 992 to the end that an illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother. - In Diaz v. IAC: "Article 992 of the Civil Code provides a barrier or iron curtain in that it prohibits absolutely a succession ab intestato between the illegitimate child and the legitimate children and relatives of the father or mother of said legitimate child. They may have a natural tie of blood, but this is not recognized by law for the purposes of Article 992. Between the legitimate family and illegitimate family there is presumed to be an intervening antagonism and incompatibility. The illegitimate child is disgracefully looked down upon by the legitimate family; the family is in turn hated by the illegitimate child; the latter considers the privileged condition of the former, and the resources of which it is thereby deprived; the former, in turn, sees in the illegitimate child nothing but the product of sin, palpable evidence of a blemish broken in life the law does no more than recognize this truth, by avoiding further grounds of resentment."
- Clearly the term "illegitimate" refers to both natural and spurious. - Under Article 176 of the Family Code, all illegitimate children are generally placed under one category, which undoubtedly settles the issue as to whether or not acknowledged natural children should be treated differently, in the negative. - It may be said that the law may be harsh but that is the law
ERAZO v HANSEN ENRIQUEZ; JUNE 24, 1963 NATURE Appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila FACTS Julia Galang died intestate on September 1, 1960, leaving a residential lot and house covered by TCT No. 6823. The lot was acquired in 1926 during the marriage of Julia Galang to Fontanilla (1920-1944) who constructed a house thereon in 1928. On May 31, 1947, plaintiff Erazo married Galang, while co-plaintiffs Romana Galang and Jose Galang are the sister and brother, respectively, of Julia, and Felicidad Casaje and Juliana Casaje are the children of a deceased sister, Juana Galang. After the death of Julia Galang, defendant Ana Julia Hansen, claiming to be the only child and legal heir of the deceased, adjudicated to herself the house and lot aforementioned pursuant to Sec 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court. In virtue thereof, the Register of Deeds of Manila cancelled TCT No. 6823 and issued in favor of defendant TCT No. 61912. The Court of First Instance of Manila dismissed plaintiff’s complaint which prays to declare them the owners of the house and lot of the deceased Julia Galang and for reconveyance thereof to them. Hence, this appeal. ISSUE WON Erazo is owner of one-half interest in the house and lot covered by TCT No. 61912 HELD YES. Article 996 of the new Civil Code provides: “If a widow or widower and legitimate children or descendants are left, the surviving spouse has in the succession the same share as that of each of the children.” Professors Tolentino, Paras, and Jurado believe that the case is governed by Article 996 under the rule of statutory construction that the plural can be understood to include the singular, despite the apparent unfairness to the child, as acknowledged by Tolentino, who does not get any increase over his legitime, while the spouse receives double his legitime which, moreover, has been converted from usufruct to full ownership. Hence, “both will get equal intestate shares, in accordance with the clear intent of the law to consider the spouse as a child.” The widower and the child each gets ½ of the estate.
SANTILLON v MIRANDA G.R. No. L-19281 BENGZON; June 30, 1965 NATURE Appeal FACTS
SUCCESSION A2010 - Nov. 21, 1953: Pedro Santillon died intestate in Tayug, Pangasinan, his residence, leaving one son, Claro, and his wife, Perfecta Miranda. During his marriage, Pedro acquired several parcels of land located in that province. - About 4 years after his death, Claro Santillon filed a petition for letters of administration. -Perfecta and the spouses Benito U. Miranda and Rosario Corrales opposed on the ff grounds: (a) that the properties enumerated in the petition were all conjugal, except three parcels which Perfecta Miranda claimed to be her exclusive properties; (b) that Perfecta by virtue of 2 documents had conveyed 3/4 of her undivided share in most of the properties enumerated in the petition to said spouses Benito and Rosario; (c) that administration of the estate was not necessary, there being a case for partition pending; and (d) that if administration was necessary at all, Perfecta and not the Claro was better qualified for the post. It appears that subsequently, Perfecta was appointed administratrix of the estate. - March 22, 1961, the court appointed commissioners to draft within 60 days, a project of partition and distribution of all the properties of the deceased Pedro. - Claro filed a "Motion to Declare Share of Heirs" and to resolve the conflicting claims of the parties with respect to their respective rights in the estate. Invoking Art. 892 (NCC), Claro claimed 3/4 of Pedro's inheritance, while Perfecta claimed ½ as per A996. - CFI ordered that in the intestate succession of the deceased Pedro, Perfecta shall inherit 1/2 share and the remaining 1/2 share for their only son, Atty. Claro Santillon after deducting the share of the widow as co-owner of the conjugal properties. - Hence, Claro‘s appeal to this Court. ISSUE How shall the estate of a person who dies intestate be divided when the only survivors are the spouse and one legitimate child? /WON A.892 or A.996 applies HELD Since this is an intestate proceeding, only A. 996 is applicable. -Claro cannot rely on Art. 892 to support his claim to 3/4 of his father's estate as A892 falls under the chapter of Testamentary Succession in the NCC. Art 892 merely fixes the legitime of the surviving spouse and Art. 888 thereof, the legitime of children in testate succession. While it may indicate the intent of the law with respect to the ideal shares that a child and a spouse should get when they concur with each other, it does not fix the amount of shares that such child and spouse are entitled to when intestacy occurs.
On A. 996, Justice J.B.L. Reyes: under this article, when the widow survives with only one legitimate child, they share the estate in equal parts. Sen. Tolentino in his commentaries writes as follows: One child Surviving. If there is only one legitimate child surviving with the spouse, since they share equally, one-half of the estate goes to the child and the other half goes to the surviving spouse. Although the law refers to "children or descendants," the rule in statutory construction that the plural can be understood to include the singular is applicable in this case. (Tolentino, Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. III, p. 436.) - The theory of those holding otherwise seems to be premised on these propositions: (a) Art. 996 speaks of "Children," TF it does not apply when there is only one "child"; consequently Art. 892 (and Art. 888) should be applied, thru a process of judicial
construction and analogy; (b) Art. 996 is unjust or unfair because, whereas in testate succession, the widow is assigned one-fourth only (Art. 892), she would get 1/2 in intestate. - STATCON MAXIM: words in plural include the singular. So Art. 996 could or should be read (and so applied) : "If the widow or widower and a legitimate child are left, the surviving spouse has the same share as that of the child." Indeed, if we refuse to apply the article to this case on the ground that "child" is not included in "children," the consequences would be tremendous, because "children" will not include "child" in Arts 887, 888, 886 and 901. - In testate succession, where there is only one child of the marriage, the child gets one-half, and the widow or widower one-fourth. But in intestate , if Art. 996 is applied now, the child gets one-half, and the widow or widower one-half. On this point, it is not correct to assume that in testate succession the widow or widower "gets only onefourth." She or he may get one-half - if the testator so wishes. So, the law virtually leaves it to each of the spouses to decide (by testament, whether his or her only child shall get more than his or her survivor). - A834 of the Spanish Civil Code, from which Art. 996 was taken, contained two paragraphs governing two contingencies, the first, where the widow or widower survives with legitimate children (general rule), and the second, where the widow or widower survives with only one child (exception), whereas Art. 996 omitted to provide for the second situation, thereby indicating the legislator's desire to promulgate just one general rule applicable to both situations.
BICOMONG v ALMANZA 80 SCRA 421 GUERRERO; November 29, 1977 NATURE Appeal from decision of CFI Manila FACTS • SIMEON BAGSIC and SISENANDRA BARCENAS (died) (first marriage) o Perpetua (died) Gaudencio Bicomong Felicidad Bicomong Salome Bicomong Gervacio Bicomong o Igmedia (died) Dionisio Tolentino Maria Tolentino Petra Tolentino o Ignacio (died) Francisca Bagsic • SIMEON BAGSIC (died) and SILVESTRA GLORIOSO (died) (second marriage) o Felipa (died) and Geronimo Almanza Cristeta Almanza (died) and Engracio Manese o Maura (died) - The subject matter is the half undivided share of Maura Bagsic in 5 parcels of land w/c she inherited from Silvestra Glorioso. - There are 3 sets of plaintiffs: the Bicomongs. The Tolentinos, and Francisca Bagsic, for their shares in the properties of Maura Bagsic. - When Maura Bagsic died, the properties passed on to Cristeta Almanza, who also
SUCCESSION A2010 died without division of the properties. - Trial court rendered judgment in favor of plaintiffs. - Almanzas appealed to CA. It was contended that since Maura died ahead of Felipa, Felipa succeeded to Maura’s estate, to the exclusion of the plaintiffs. They said the relatives nearest in degree excludes the more distant ones. - The plaintiffs claim that Felipa died ahead of Maura. - CA certified case to SC. ISSUE/S WON Maura is succeeded by Felipa to the exclusion of nephews and nieces of half blood HELD NO. - In the absence of descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or surviving spouse, collateral relatives succeed to the entire estate of deceased. - Since Maura died intestate and her husband and her ascendants died ahead of her, she is succeded by surviving collateral relatives, namely the daughter of her sister of full blood and the children of her brother and sisters of half blood, in accordance with Art 975 of New Civil Code. - The nephews and nieces are entitled to inherit in their own right. Nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation (that is per stirpes) unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased. - The contention that Maura should be succeeded by Felipa to the exclusion of the nephews and nieces of half blood is erroneous. As it was shown, Felipa predeceased her sister Maura.
BACAYO v BORROMEO 14 SCRA 986 REYES, JBL; August 31, 1965 NATURE Appeal from the Decision of the CFI of Cebu FACTS - More than ten years having elapsed since the last time Melodia Ferraris was known to be alive, she was declared presumptively dead for purposes of opening her succession and distributing her estate among her heirs. - The deceased was survived only by collateral relatives, namely, an aunt, who is the half- sister of decedent's father, and by her nieces and nephew, who were the children of her only brother of full blood, who pre-deceased her. These two classes of heirs claim to be the nearest intestate heirs and seek to participate in the estate of said Melodia Ferraris. - CFI ruled that the children of the only predeceased brother of the decedent exclude the aunt of the same decedent, reasoning out that the former are nearer in degree (two degrees) than the latter since nieces and nephew succeed by right of representation, while petitioner- appellant is three degrees distant from the decedent, and that other collateral relatives are excluded by brothers or sisters, or children of brothers or sisters of the decedent in accordance with article 1009 of the New Civil Code. ISSUES
WON the nephews and nieces of the decedent would exclude the aunt of the decedent from inheriting from the intestate estate of the deceased HELD YES Ratio A decedent's uncles and aunts may not succeed ab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed. Reasoning - As an aunt of the deceased, she is as far distant as the nephews from the decedent (three degrees) since in the collateral line to which both kinds of relatives belong degrees are counted by first ascending to the common ancestor and then descending to the heir (Civil Code, Art. 966). Appellant is likewise right in her contention that nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased, as provided expressly by Article 975: - Nevertheless, the CFI correctly held that, in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces of the de cujus exclude all other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the succession. This is readily apparent from articles 1001, 1004, 1005, and 1009 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. - Under Art. 1009, the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession. - Appellants quote Tolentino's commentaries as declaring that Article 1009 does not establish a rule of preference. Which is true as to "other collaterals", since preference among them is according to their proximity to the decedent, as established by Article 962, paragraph 1. But Tolentino does not state that nephews and nieces concur with other collaterals of equal degree. On the contrary, Tolentino expressly states: “Other Collaterals.— The last of the relatives of the decedent to succeed in intestate succession are the collaterals other than brothers or sisters or children of brothers or sisters...”
XXIII. CAPACITY TO SUCCEED PARISH PRIEST OF VICTORIA v RIGOR 89 SCRA 493 AQUINO, April 30, 1979 NATURE APPEAL from the decision of the CA. FACTS - Father Rigor, the parish priest of Pulilan, Bulacan, died in 1935, leaving a will which was probated by the CFI of Tarlac. Named as devisees in the will were the testator's nearest relatives: his 3 sisters and a cousin. - In addition, the will contained a controversial bequest: a devise of rice lands with a total area of around 44 hectares in favor of his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood. The parish priest of Victoria would administer the rice lands during the interval of time that no nearest male relative of the testator was studying for the priesthood. - Inasmuch as no nephew of the testator claimed the devise and as the administratrix and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no right to administer the rice lands, the same were not delivered to that ecclesiastic. The testate proceeding remained pending.
SUCCESSION A2010 - In 1957 the parish priest filed a petition for the delivery of the rice lands to the church as trustee. The intestate heirs of Father Rigor countered with a petition praying that the bequest he declared inoperative and that they be adjudged as the persons entitled to the said rice lands since no nearest male relative of the testator has ever studied for the priesthood. The lower court declared the bequest inoperative and adjudicated the rice lands to the testator's legal's heirs. The parish priest filed two motions for reconsideration. The second MR was granted on the ground that the testator had a grandnephew named Edgardo Cunanan (his cousin’s grandson who appears to have been born after his death) who was a seminarian in the San Jose Seminary of the Jesuit Fathers in QC. The administrator was directed to deliver the rice lands to the parish priest of Victoria as trustee. (While the case was pending, in 1961, Edgardo ceased to be a seminarian.) - The CA reversed that order. It held that Father Rigor had created a testamentary trust for his nearest male relative who would take the holy orders but that such trust could exist only for 20 years because to enforce it beyond that period would violate "the rule against perpetuities". It ruled that since no legatee claimed the rice lands within 20 after the testator's death, the same should pass to his legal heirs, citing Arts 888 and 912(2) of the old CC and Art 870 of the new CC. ISSUE WON the testator contemplated only his nearest male relative at the time of his death and not any of his nearest male relatives at anytime after his death? HELD YES. Only his nearest male relative at the time of his death. Ratio In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper. Reasoning The said testamentary provisions should be sensibly or reasonably construed. To construe them as referring to the testator's nearest male relative at anytime after his death would render the provisions difficult to apply and create uncertainty as to the disposition of his estate. That could not have been his intention. - Had the testator intended to include indefinitely anyone of his nearest male relatives born after his death he could have so specified in his will. He must have known that such a broad provision would suspend for an unlimited period of time the efficaciousness of his bequest. The reasonable view is that he was referring to a situation whereby his nephew living at the time of his death, who would like to become a priest, was still in grade school or in high school or was not yet in the Seminary. In that case, the parish priest of Victoria would administer the rice lands before the nephew entered the seminary. But the moment the testator's nephew entered the seminary, he would be entitled to enjoy and administer the rice lands and receive the fruits. In that event, the trusteeship would be terminated. - Following that interpretation of the will, the inquiry would be whether at the time Father Rigor died he had a nephew who was studying for the priesthood or who had manifested his desire to follow the ecclesiastical career. That query is categorically answered in paragraph 4 of appellant priest's petitions. He unequivocally alleged therein that “no nearest male relative of the late Father Rigor has ever studied for the priesthood.” - Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in question was ineffectual or inoperative. Therefore, the administration of the rice lands by the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the will, was likewise inoperative. - This case is covered by Art 912(2) of the old CC, now Art 960(2), which provides that legal succession takes piece when the will "does not dispose of all that belongs to the
testator." There being no substitution or accretion as to the said rice lands, it should be distributed among the testator's legal heirs. The effect is as if the testator had made no disposition as to the said rice lands.
XXIV. ACCEPTANCE AND REPUDIATION OF INHERITANCE DIZO v DIZON (Sarah)DI
XXV. COLLATION (MARINA) DIZON-RIVERA v DIZON 33 SCRA 554 TEEHANKEE; June 30, 1970 NATURE Appeal from CFI orders approving the Executrix-appellee’s project of partition instead of Oppositors-Appellants’ proposed counter-project of partition FACTS - The testatrix, Agripina Valdez, a widow, died and was survived by 7 compulsory heirs: 6 legitimate children and a legitimate granddaughter - 6 of the 7 compulsory heirs are the oppositors-appellants. The remaining 1/7 is Marina, the executrix-appelle - In her will, Valdez “commanded that her property be divided” in accordance with her testamentary disposition, whereby she devised and bequeathed specific real properties comprising practically the entire bulk of her estate among her six children and eight grandchildren. - the executrix filed her project of partition: The executrix filed her project of partition dated February 5, 1964, in substance adjudicating the estate as follows: (1) with the figure of P129,254.96 as legitime for a basis Marina (exacultrix-appellee) and Tomas (appellant) are admittedly considered to have received in the will more than their respective legitime, while the rest of the appellants, namely, Estela, Bernardita, Angelina, Josefina and Lilia received less than their respective legitime; (2) thus, to each of the latter are adjudicated the properties respectively given them in the will, plus cash and/or properties, to complete their respective legitimes to P129,254.96; (3) on the other hand, Marina and Tomas are adjudicated the properties that they received in the will less the cash and/or properties necessary to complete the prejudiced legitime mentioned in number 2 above; (4) the adjudications made in the will in favor of the grandchildren remain untouched On the other hand oppositors submitted their own counter-project of partition dated February 14, 1964, wherein they proposed the distribution of the estate on the following basis: (a) all the testamentary dispositions were proportionally reduced to the value of onehalf of the entire estate, the value of the said one-half amounting to P905,534.78; (b) the shares of the Oppositors-Appellants should consist of their legitime, plus the devises in their favor proportionally reduced; (c) in payment of the total shares of the appellants in the entire estate, the properties devised to them plus other properties left by the Testatrix and/or cash are adjudicated to them; and (d) to the grandchildren who are not compulsory heirs are adjudicated the properties respectively devised to them subject to reimbursement by Gilbert D. Garcia, et al., of the sums by which the devise in their favor should be proportionally reduced.
SUCCESSION A2010 Under the oppositors' counter-project of partition, the testamentary disposition made by the testatrix of practically her whole estate of P1,801,960.01, as above stated, were proposed to be reduced to the amounts set forth after the names of the respective heirs and devisees totalling one-half thereof as follows: 1. Estela Dizon ........................................... P 49,485.56 2. Angelina Dizon ......................................... 53,421.42 3. Bernardita Dizon ....................................... 26,115.04 4. Josefina Dizon .......................................... 26,159.38 5. Tomas V. Dizon ......................................... 65,874.04 6. Lilia Dizon .................................................. 36,273.13 7. Marina Dizon ........................................... 576,938.82 8. Pablo Rivera, Jr. ......................................... 34,814.50 9. Grandchildren Gilbert Garcia et al .......... 36,452.80 T o t a l ................................................... P905,534.78 while the other half of the estate (P905,534.78) would be deemed as constituting the legitime of the executrix-appellee and oppositors-appellants, to be divided among them in seven equal parts of P129,362.11 as their respective legitimes. - The lower court sustained and approved the executrix' project of partition, ruling that "(A)rticles 906 and 907 of the New Civil Code specifically provide that when the legitime is impaired or prejudiced, the same shall be completed and satisfied. While it is true that this process has been followed and adhered to in the two projects of partition, it is observed that the executrix and the oppositors differ in respect to the source from which the portion or portions shall be taken in order to fully restore the impaired legitime. The proposition of the oppositors, if upheld, will substantially result in a distribution of intestacy, which is in controversion of Article 791 of the New Civil Code" adding that "the testatrix has chosen to favor certain heirs in her will for reasons of her own, cannot be doubted. This is legally permissible within the limitation of the law, as aforecited." With reference to the payment in cash of some P230,552.38, principally by the executrix as the largest beneficiary of the will to be paid to her five co-heirs, the oppositors (excluding Tomas Dizon), to complete their impaired legitimes, the lower court ruled that "(T)he payment in cash so as to make the proper adjustment to meet with the requirements of the law in respect to legitimes which have been impaired is, in our opinion, a practical and valid solution in order to give effect to the last wishes of the testatrix." - COLLATION: oppositors invoke A1063 "(P)roperty left by will is not deemed subject to collation, if the testator has not otherwise provided, but the legitime shall in any case remain unimpaired" ISSUE/S WON A1603 applies HELD 1. NO Ratio When the testatrix has not made any previous donations during her lifetime, nor left merely some properties by will, collation isn’t necessary to determine the legitime of each heir. Reasoning Oppositors' invoking of Article 1063 of the Civil Code that "(P)roperty left by will is not deemed subject to collation, if the testator has not otherwise provided, but the legitime shall in any case remain unimpaired" and invoking of the construction thereof given by some authorities that "'not deemed subject to collation' in this article really means not imputable to or chargeable against the legitime", while it may have some plausibility 19 in an appropriate case, has no application in the present case. Here, we have a case of a distribution and partition of the entire estate by the testatrix, without her having made any previous donations during her lifetime which
would require collation to determine the legitime of each heir nor having left merely some properties by will which would call for the application of Articles 1061 to 1063 of the Civil Code on collation. The amount of the legitime of the heirs is here determined and undisputed.
DE ROMA v CA (CARINGAL) 152 SCRA 205 CRUZ; July 23, 1987 FACTS - Candelaria de Roma had 2 legally adopted daughters –Buhay and Rosalinda. She died intestate. - Buhay was appointed administratrix and in due time filed an inventory of the estate. This was opposed by Caringal (as guardian of Rosalinda) on the ground that certain properties (7 parcels of coconut land worth 10k) earlier donated by Candelaria to Buhay, and the fruits thereof, had not been included. - Caringal claims that these must be collated. Buhay claims that the decedent prohibited such collation - TC ruled in favor of petitioner. CA reversed. - Articles relied upon: “ART. 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition.” “ART. 1062. Collation shall not take place among compulsory heirs if the donor should have expressly so provided, or if the done should repudiate the inheritance, unless the donation should be reduced as inofficious.” - Pertinent portions of the deed of donation: “IKALAWA. Na alang-alang sa aking pagmamahal, pagtingin at pagsisilbi sa akin ng aking anak na si BUHAY DE ROMA, kasal kay Arabella Castaneda, may karampatang gulang, mamamayang Pilipino at naninirahan at may pahatirang-sulat din dito sa Lunsod ng San Pablo sa pamamagitan ng kasulatang ito ay kusang-loob kong ibinibigay, ipinagkakaloob at inililipat sa nabanggit na BUHAY DE ROMA, sa kanyang mga kahalili at tagapagmana, sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay na di na mababawing muli, ang lahat ng mga lagay ng lupa na sinasabi sa itaas, sa ilalim ng kasunduan na ngayon pa ay siya na ang nagmamay-aring tunay ng mga lupang ito at kanya nang maaring ipalipat ang mga hoja declatoria ng mga lupang ito sa kanyang pangalan, datapwa’t samantalang ako ay nabubuhay, ay ako rin ang makikinabang sa mga mapuputi at mamomosesion sa mga nasabing lupa; “IKATLO. Na pinagtibay ko na ako ay marami pang ibang mga pag-aari sapat pang aking ikabuhay at sa pagbibigay kong ito ay hindi masisira ang legitima ng mga tao na dapat magmana sa akin, sapagkat ang mga lupang sinasabi sa itaas ay bahagui ng aking kabuhayan na ako ay may layang ipamigay kahit na kaninong tao na kung tawagin ay LIbre Dispocision.” ISSUE WON the donated properties are to be collated HELD YES. Ratio Anything less than express prohibition will not suffice under the clear language of Art. 1062. The intention to exempt from collation should be expressed plainly and
SUCCESSION A2010 unequivocally. Reasoning CA was correct in saying that there was no provision prohibiting collation. The phrase “sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay na din a mababawing muli” merely described the donation as irrevocable. From the use of the terms “legitime” and “free portion” in the deed of donation, it may be concluded that it was prepared by a lawyer, and that he understood the legal consequences of the donation being made. It is reasonable to suppose, given the precise language of the document, that he would have included therein an express prohibition to collate if that was the donor’s intention.
LOCSIN v CA 206 SCRA 383 NARVASA; February 19, 1992 FACTS -Mariano Locsin and Catalina Jaucian (Locsin) were a childless married couple. Mariano executed a will. Mariano Locsin executed a Last Will and Testament instituting his wife, Catalina, as the sole and universal heir of all his properties. -They had agreed that their properties,after both of them shall have died should revert to their respective sides of the family, i.e., Mariano's properties would go to his "Locsin relatives" (i.e., brothers and sisters or nephews and nieces), and those of Catalina to her "Jaucian relatives -9 years after Mariano’s death, and 28 years before hers, she started transferring by sale or donation, Mariano’s as well as her properties. -her relatives who already received their hereditary shares, filed a case for recovery of property against the Locsins (who received property during Catalina’s lifetime) alleging that the conveyance was inofficious, without consideration and intended to circumvent the law -TC ordered the reconveyance of property. CA Affirmed ISSUE WON the reconveyance was proper. HELD No -The rights to a person's successionare transmitted from the moment of his death, and do not vest in his heirs until such time. Property which Doña Catalina had transferred or conveyed to other persons during her lifetime no longer formed part of her estate at the time of her death to which her heirs may layclaim. Had she died intestate, only the property that remained in herestate at the time of her death devolved to her legal heirs -even if those transfers were, one and all, treated as donations, the rightarising under certain circumstances to impugn and compel the reduction or revocation of a decedent's gifts inter vivos does not inure to the respondents since neither they nor the donees are compulsory (or forced) heirs -in addition to this, both the TC and CA put much weight on the fact that Doña Catalina was already 90 years old when she died on July 6, 1977. It insinuated that because of her advanced years she may have been imposed upon, or unduly influenced and morally pressured by her husband's nephews and nieces(the petitioners) to transfer to them the properties which she had inherited from Don Mariano's estate. -this is not supported for as early as 28 yrs before her death, she started such dispositions not only to Mariano’s side but also to hers.
XXVI. PARTITION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE ESTATE IBARLE v PO L-5064 TUASON; February 27, 1953 FACTS - This action commenced in the Court of First Instance of Cebu to annul a deed of sale conveying to the defendant, in consideration of P1,700, one undivided half of a parcel of land which previously had been sold, along with the other half, by the same vendor to the plaintiff's grantors. judgment was against the plaintiff. - Catalina Navarro sold the entire parcel of land, which was her and her deceased husband’s conjugal property of the Canoy Spouses who later sold it to Bienvenido Ibarle. Both sales were not registered. Catalina subsequently sold as her children’s guardian, one-half of the same land belonging to the children to Esperanza Po. ISSUE WON the sale to Esperanza Po was valid HELD - The sale to the Canoy spouses was void. Therefore, when Catalina sold the entire parcel to the Canoy spouses, one-half of it already belonged to the seller’s children. No formal or judicial being needed to confirm the children’s title, it follows that the first sell was null and void insofar as it included the children’s share. - On the other hand, the sale to Po having been made by authority of the competent court, was undeniably legal and effective. The fact that it has not been recorded is of no consequence.
ALSUA-BETTS v CA (BUENVIAJE AND ALSUA) 92 SCRA 332 GUERRERO; July 30, 1979 NATURE Appeal by certiorari FACTS - On November 25, 1949, Don Jesus Alsua and his wife, Doña Florentina Rella, both of Ligao, Albay, together with all their living children, Francisca Alsua-Betts, Pablo Alsua, Fernando Alsua thru this judicial guardian Clotilde Samson, and Amparo Alsua de Buenviaje, entered into a duly notarized agreement, Escritura de Particion Extrajudicial , over the then present and existing properties of the spouses Don Jesus and Doña Florentina. - On Jan. 5, 1955, Don Jesus and Doa Florentina, also known as Doña Tinay separately executed their respective holographic wills, the provisions of which were in conformity and in implementation of the extrajudicial partition of Nov. 25, 1949. - On Aug.14, 1956, the spouses Don Jesus and Doña Tinay executed their mutual and reciprocal codicils amending and supplementing their respective holographic wills. On Feb. 19, 1957, their respective holographic wins and the codicils thereto were duly admitted to probate.
SUCCESSION A2010 - Doña Tinay died in October 1959. In early Nov. 1959, Don Jesus cancelled his holographic and instructed his attorney to draft a new will. This subsequent last Will and Testament of Don Jesus executed on Nov. 14, 1959 contained an express revocation of his holographic wig of Jan. 5, 1955 and the codicil of Aug.14, 1956; a statement requiring that all of his properties donated to his children in the Deed of 1949 be collated and taken into account in the partition of his estate; the institution of all his children as devisees and legatees to certain specific properties; a statement bequeathing the rest of his properties and all that may be acquired in the future, before his death, to Pablo and Francesca; and a statement naming Francesca as executrix without bond. - Don Jesus Alsua died in 1964. Petitioner Francisca Alsua Betts, as the executrix named in the will of Nov. 14, 1959, filed a petition for the probate of said new will of Don Jesus Alsua before the CFI Albay and was docketed as. Oppositions thereto were filed by respondents Pablo, Amparo and Fernando. CFI allowed the the probate of the will of Don Jesus Alsua. CA reversed: denied the probate of the will, declared null and void the two sales subject of the complaint and ordered the defendants-petitioners, to pay damages to the plaintiffs-private respondents. Hence, this petition. ISSUE WON CA erred in denying the probate of the will HELD YES - CA erred in denying probate to the will of Don Jesus dated November 14, 1959; it erred in holding that Don Jesus being a party to the extrajudicial partition of 1949 was contractually bound by the provisions thereof and hence could not revoke his participation therein by the simple expedience of making a new will with contrary provisions or dispositions. It is an error because the so-called extrajudicial partition of 1949 is void and inoperative as a partition; neither is it a valid or enforceable contract because it involved future inheritance; it may only be given effect as a donation inter vivos of specific properties to the heirs made by the parents. - Upon careful examination of the provisions of the holographic will and codicil of Doña Tinay, there was no indication whatsoever that Doña Tinay expressly or impliedly instituted both the husband and her children as heirs to her free portion of her share in the conjugal assets. - Respondents insist that Don Jesus was bound by the extrajudicial partition of November 25, 1949 and had in fact conformed to said Partition by making a holographic will and codicil with exactly the same provisions as those of Doña Tinay, which CA sustained. However SC ruled that Don Jesus was not forever bound thereby for his previous holographic will and codicil as such, would remain revokable at his discretion. Art. 828 of the new Civil Code is clear: "A will may be revoked by the testator at any time before his death. Any waiver or restriction of this right is void." There can be no restriction that may be made on his absolute freedom to revoke his holographic will and codicil previously made. This would still hold true even if such previous will had as in the case at bar already been probated - The legitimes of the forced heirs were left unimpaired, as in fact, not one of said forced heirs claimed or intimated otherwise. The properties that were disposed of in the contested will belonged wholly to Don Jesus Alsua's free portion and may be diamond of by him to whomsoever he may choose. - If he now favored Francesca more, as claimed by private respondents, or Pablo as in fact he was, We cannot and may not sit in judgment upon the motives and sentiments of Don Jesus in doing so.
DIMAYUGA v CA
page 66 129 SCRA 110 AQUINO; April 30, 1984
FACTS Genaro Dimayuga is married to Segunda Gayapanao in 1915 acquired a Torrens title for that homestead in 1928. Segunda died intestate in 1940, survived by her son, Manuel, and her husband, Genaro. During their marriage, Genaro had a mistress named Emerenciana Panganiban by whom he begot five children, named Filomeno, Pacita, Adelaida, Remedios and Socorro. A sixth child, Nelia Dimayuga, was born in 1944 or after Segunda's death Emerenciana cultivated a homestead adjoining the thirteen-hectare homestead in question. So, it was not surprising that she became the paramour of Genaro. Genaro, 56, married Emerenciana, 37, on February 26, 1947. That marriage legitimated Nelia, who had been a duly acknowledged natural child, but it did not improve the status of her brother and four sisters who were adulterous or spurious children. On September 16, 1948, or about a month before Genaro's death a "partition of real property" was executed in English. It was duly notarized. It was signed by Genaro, Manuel, Filomeno and Pacita and thumbmarked by Emerenciana, in representation of her minor children Adelaida, Remedios, Socorro and Nelia (Exh. A), though Emerenciana had not been appointed judicial guardian of their property. In that partition, which the petitioners also regard as a donation, Genaro treated the homestead as his sole property and not conjugal, which it actually was. Manuel was even as share five and one-half hectares of the homestead (southern portion adjoining Emerenciana's separate homestead). The six illegitimate children were given seven and seven-tenth hectares (northern portion also adjoining Emerenciana's separate homestead). The partition was not registered. Nineteen years later, or on May 28, 1970, Manuel having been advised that the entire homestead was inherited by him from his parents and freed from his father's moral ascendancy, executed an affidavit of adjudication which he registered. He obtained a Torrens title for the thirteen-hectare homestead. About two months later, the six illegitimate children filed a complaint for the annulment of Manuel's title and for the division of the homestead equally among Genaro's seven children including Manuel. The trial court annulled Manuel's title, decreed that about one-half of the homestead should be divided equally among the six illegitimate children and ordered Manuel to pay them P2,500 as moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees. Manuel appealed to the Court of Appeals which adjudicated to him three-fourth of the homestead and the other one-fourth to Nelia. The six illegitimate children appealed to the SC. ISSUE WON Manuel should be awarded three-fourth of the homestead and only one-fourth to Nelia HELD Yes. No portion of the homestead, a registered land, may be acquired by prescription. "No title to registered land in derogation to that of the registered owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession." Article 1056 of the old Civil Code provides that "if the testator should make a partition of his property by an act inter vivos, or by will, such partition shall stand insofar, as it does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs." Article 1056 was construed to mean that a person who makes an inter vivos partition must first execute a will. If the will is void, the partition is void.
SUCCESSION A2010 With more reason would the partition be void if there was no will. The 1948 partition was not in conformity with law. It assumed that Genaro was the owner of the entire homestead which is wrong. One-half of the homestead, subject to the husband's usufructuary legitime, was inherited in 1940 by Manuel upon the death of his mother who was married to Genaro for twenty-five years. Genaro could dispose by an act inter vivos only one-half of the homestead. In that one-half portion, Manuel and Nelia, as Genaro's legal and forced heirs, had a two-third legitime. In "donating" the said one-half portion to his six illegitimate children, Genaro deprived Manuel of his legitime in his estate or, in effect, made him renounce his future inheritance. The 1951 affidavit cannot be construed as a repudiation of his inheritance in his father's estate because the document does not have that tenor. For this reason, Manuel is not estopped to ignore that partition. The rule in Alforque vs. Veloso, 65 Phil. 272, cited by the petitioners, does not apply to Manuel. The facts in the Alforque case are radically different from the facts of the instant homestead case. The five illegitimate children (the sixth child Nelia was legitimated) have no rights whatsoever to the said homestead. As already said, they were adulterous or spurious children. As such, they are not entitled to successional rights but only to support (Art. 139, old Civil Code) Manuel and Nelia, as Genaro's legal and forced heirs, are entitled to inherit Genaro's one-half portion. It cannot be said that the five adulterous children have no resources whatsoever. Their mother, Emerenciana, has a homestead adjoining Genaro's homestead in question.
MANG-OY v CA 144 SCRA 33 CRUZ; September 12, 1986 NATURE Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 FACTS - Old Man Tumpao had a wife and begot 3 children , the respondents in this case. After his wife's death, he married again. His second wife had 2 children she had adopted accodring to the practice of igorots - On Sept 4, 1937, Old man tumpao executed a "last will and testament". According to such, Bandao Tumpao shall be the one to carry or fulfill the Testament, and shall have the power to see and dispose of the Old Man Tumpao's property. - The will was read to the beneficiaries who were already occupying the lands allotted to them. On Sept 7, 1937, they had an agreement recognizing the will and Bando’s appointment. 2 days later, Old Man Tumpao died. - The parties remained in possession of the lots assigned to them, apparently in obedience to the wish of Old Man Tumpao as expressed in his last will. - However, in 1960, the respondents executed an extrajudicial partition of the lands of Old Man Tumpao. The latter’s title was cancelled and the respondents were given a new one. It is that title which is the being questioned by the petitioners. - The TC ruled for the petitioners. The CA reversed as it said that the will was void since it was not probated. The agreement of partition among the supposed beneficiaries of the will was nullified because it was a partition inter vivos and had not been approved by the Director of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes. ISSUE/S 1. WON the will was valid
HELD 1. NO Ratio The will is not valid since it was not probated. However, the document may be sustained on the basis of Article 1056 of the Civil Code of 1899, which was in force at the time the said document was executed by Old Man Tumpao in 1937. Reasoning - Art. 1056. If the testator should make a partition of his properties by an act inter vivos, or by win, such partition shall stand in so far as it does not prejudice the legitime of the forced heirs - Article 1056 of the Civil Code of 1889 authorizes a testator to partition inter vivos his property, and distribute them among his heirs, and that this partition is not necessarily either a donation nor a testament, but an instrument of a special character, sui generis, which is revocable at any time by the causante during his lifetime, and does not operate as a conveyance of title until his death. It derives its binding force on the heirs from the respect due to the will of the owner of the property, limited only by his creditors and the intangibility of the legitime of the forced heirs - It was sufficient, therefore, that the partition should be in writing. It does not have to be in a public document except to affect third persons (Art. 1280), being valid between the parties who signed it in its present form. - as the trial court put it: The will alone, would be inoperative for the simple reason that it was not probated, However, when the persons who were named therein as heirs and beneficiaries voluntarily agreed in writing to abide by its terms probably to save the expenses of probate. and furthermore, carried out its terms after the death of the testator until now, then it must be held to be binding between them. Said agreement was not a disposal of inheritance by a prospective heir before the death of the testator, but an agreement to carry out the will. It was not contested by the defendants and after the lapse of 25 years their right, if any, to assail it has prescribed under Art. 1144 of the Civil Code. Any formal defect of the deed, was cured by the lapse of time. - The agreement entered into by the parties did not have to be approved by the Director of the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes because the Administrative Code of Mindanao and Sulu was not extended to the Mountain Province. Moreover, the document was not a conveyance of properties or property right. - It remains to state that the property in dispute having been registered in 1917, the presumption is that it was acquired during the second marriage and so cannot be claimed by the respondents as the conjugal property of their mother and Old Man Tumpao. Hence, they are not entitled to retain the entire land as their exclusive inheritance or to collect rentals for the lots occupied by the petitioners
DOROMAL v CA (JAVELLANA) L-36083 BARREDO; September 5, 1975 NATURE Petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA which reversed the decision of CFI of Iloilo, that had in turn dismissed herein private respondent Filomena Javellana's action for redemption of a certain property sold by her co-owners to the Doromals for having been made out of time. FACTS - Lot 3504 of the cadastral survey of Iloilo, situated in the poblacion of La Paz (2.5 ha.), was originally decreed in the name of the late Justice Antonio Horilleno.
SUCCESSION A2010 - Before Antonio died, he executed a last will and testament attesting to the fact that it was a co-ownership between himself and his brothers and sisters, so that the coowners were (besides Justice Horilleno): Luis, Soledad, Fe, Rosita, Carlos and Esperanza. - Since Esperanza had already died, she was succeeded by her only daughter and heir herein plaintiff, Filomena Javellana, in the proportion of 1/7 undivided ownership each. - Even though their right had not yet been annotated in the title, the co-owners (led by Carlos and as to the deceased Antonio, his daughter Mary) sometime in 1967, had wanted to sell their shares, or if Filomena were agreeable, to sell the entire property. - The Doromals (Ramon Sr. and Jr.) were interested in the property. In preparation for the execution of the sale, since the siblings were scattered in various parts of the country, they all executed various powers of attorney in favor of their niece, Mary H. Jimenez. They also caused preparation of a power of attorney of identical tenor for signature by Filomena Javellana. - Through a letter Carlos informed Filomena that the price was P4.00 a square meter, although as early as October 22, 1967, Carlos had received in check as earnest money from defendant Ramon Doromal, Jr., the sum of P5,000.00 and the price therein agreed upon was five (P5.00) pesos a square meter (In November 1967 Carlos told Filomena that P5,000 in earnest money was paid for P6.00 a sq.m). - Filomena did not agree to the sale, and did not sign the power of attorney. The rest of the co-owners went ahead with their sale of their 6/7. Carlos saw to it first that the deed of sale (by their common attorney in fact, Mary H. Jimenez) be signed and ratified in Candon, Ilocos Sur, on January 15, 1968. - Carlos in the same month tried to register the sale, but because the Register of Deeds of Iloilo refused to register right away (since the original registered owner, Justice Antonio Horilleno was already dead) he hired Atty. Arandela to file a petition within the cadastral case, on February 26, 1968, for that purpose. Carlos returned to Luzon, and after compliance with the requisites of publication, hearing and notice, the petition was approved. - April 29, 1968: Carlos, back in Iloilo, went to the Register of Deeds and caused the registration of the order of the cadastral court approving the issuance of a new title in the name of the co-owners, as well as of the deed of sale to the Doromals, as a result of which on that same date, a new title was issued in the name of the Horillenos to 6/7 and plaintiff Filomena Javellana to 1/7. - The next day the Doromals paid Carlos by check, the sum of P97,000.00. Besides this amount paid in check, the Doromals (as evidenced) still paid an additional amount in cash of P18,250.00 since the agreed price was P5.00 a square meter, thus consummating the transaction. - June 10, 1968: Filomena’s lawyer, Atty. Villanueva, went to the Doromals’ residence and presented a letter by Filomena. In it Filomena offered to redeem the 6/7 of the property for the sum of P30,000.00. The Doromals refused. Petitioner’s Claim - As a co-owner she had the right to redeem at the price indicated in the sale. Respondent’s Comments - Filomena had no more right to redeem, and that if ever she should have, that it should be at the true and real price by them paid, namely, the total sum of P115,250.00. ISSUE(S) 1. WON Filomena was still entitled to redeem the property. (YES) 2. The correct amount of redemption. (P30,000)
HELD 1. YES Ratio The notice in writing to be made to other co-owners required by Article 1623 is not only of a perfected sale but of the actual execution and delivery of the deed of sale. It is from that which the 30-day period to redeem should be counted. Reasoning ART. 1623. The right of legal pre-emption or redemption shall not be exercised except within thirty days from the notice in writing by the prospective vendor, or by the vendor, as the case may be. The deed of sale shall not be recorded in the Registry of Property, unless accompanied by an affidavit of the vendor that he has given written notice thereof to all possible redemptioners. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes that of adjoining owners. - The Doromals do not question Filomena’s right to redeem. They contend however that the redemption period has prescribed already. They say that the letters sent by Carlos to Filomena (dated Oct. 22 and Nov. 5, 1967) constituted the notice required by the provision. - However, there is no showing that said letters were in fact received by respondent and when they were actually received. Besides, petitioners do not pinpoint which of these two letters, their dates being more than two months apart, is the required notice. In any event, as found by the CA, neither of said letters referred to a consummated sale. - While the letters relied upon by the Doromals could convey the idea that more or less some kind of consensus had been arrived at among the other Homeowners to sell the property in dispute, it cannot be said definitely that such a sale had even been actually perfected. The fact alone that in the later letter of January 18, 1968 the price indicated was P4.00 per square meter while in that of November 5, 1967, what was stated was P5.00 per square meter negatives the possibility that a "price definite" had already been agreed upon. - Earnest money in this case must be construed in light of the definition under the Old Civil Code—a guarantee that the buyer would not back out—considering that it is not clear that there was already a definite agreement as to the price then and that petitioners were decided to buy 6/7 only of the property should respondent Javellana refuse to agree to part with her 1/7 share. 2. P30,000.00, as indicated in the sale. Ratio The redemption in controversy should be only for the price stipulated in the deed, regardless of what might have been actually paid by petitioners. Reasoning - The trial court found that "the consideration of P30,000 only was placed in the deed of sale to minimize the payment of the registration fees, stamps and sales tax." - With this undisputed fact in mind, it is impossible for the Supreme Court to sanction petitioners' pragmatic but immoral posture. Being patently violative of public policy and injurious to public interest, the seemingly wide practice of understating considerations of transactions for the purpose of evading taxes and fees due to the government must be condemned and all parties guilty thereof must be made to suffer the consequences of their ill-advised agreement to defraud the state. - If it be argued that foregoing solution would mean unjust enrichment for plaintiff, it need only be remembered that plaintiffs right is not contractual, but a mere legal one, the exercise of a right granted by the law, and the law is definite that she can subrogate herself in place of the buyer. - this solution is not unjust because it only binds the parties to make good their solemn representation to possible redemptioners on the price of the sale, to what they
SUCCESSION A2010 had solemnly averred in a public document required by the law to be the only basis for that exercise of redemption.
GABILA v PEREZ 169 SCRA 517 GRIÑO-AQUINO; January 27, 1989 NATURE Appeal from a decision of the CFI Davao dismissing plaintiff-appellant's complaint, which the CA certified to SC because only a question of law is involved. FACTS -Sept 16, 1948: Pablo, Ramon and Mercedes, all surnamed Perez, executed in favor of plaintiff-appellant Carlos Gabila, a Deed of Sale of a parcel of land registered in the name of their deceased father Mariano Perez under TCT No. 899 of the Registry of Deeds of Davao, which they inherited upon his demise. -In the said deed of Sale (Exh. A), the vendors declared themselves the owners of the subject parcel of agricultural land, having inherited the same as the legitimate children of their deceased father. Said instrument contains, among others, the following provision: “It is hereby agreed, covenanted and stipulated by and between the parties hereto that the Vendors will execute immediately an Extra-Judicial Partition of all the properties of their deceased father, and pay the corresponding estate and inheritance taxes so that the above - described title could be cancelled and in its stead a new Transfer Certificate of Title be issued in favor of the Vendee.” -The Deed of Sale was duly signed and ratified before a notary public and possession of the land was immediately delivered to the vendee. The monthly installments of the price of the sale were completely paid in due time. However, the vendors took no steps to comply with their promise to execute an extrajudicial partition of their father's properties so that his title to the land in question can be transferred in their names and from them, to the vendee Gabila. -August 28, 1958: Gabila filed this action praying that the defendants be ordered to execute an extra-judicial partition of all the properties of their deceased father or otherwise settle his estate and pay the corresponding estate and inheritance taxes, and execute the requisite instruments for the registration and transfer of the title to him; and to pay him attorney's fees and expenses of the suit, plus costs. -Perezes’ Answer: that the deed of sale was intended merely to guarantee a loan of P2,500 contracted by one of the defendants; that Mercedes Perez, one of the vendors, was a minor when the deed of sale was made; that the deed of sale was not approved by the Secretary of Agriculture; and, that the consideration of P2,500 was unconscionable. -Gabila’s Reply: that at the time of the execution of the deed of sale, Mercedes Perez stated that she was of age, and plaintiff had no reason to doubt that statement. But, assuming that she was under age at the time, she ratified the sale by her failure to repudiate it in due time; that the allegation that the deed was only a guarantee for a P2,500 loan was not true because a part of the purchase price was paid to the defendants in ten (10) monthly installments; that the price agreed upon in 1948 was fair and reasonable; and, that the approval of the sale by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resource was not necessary. -Despite due notice, neither defendants nor their counsel appeared during the trial. For that reason, RTC allowed the plaintiff to adduce evidence ex parte before a commissioner. -RTC decision, Jan 21, 1961: dismissed the complaint and held that the defendants could not be ordered to execute an extrajudicial partition of all the properties of their
deceased father because the properties to be partitioned are not identified in the complaint, and, the defendants can no longer partition the land described in TCT No. 899, because it has been sold to the plaintiff. The court held that the extrajudicial partition of the property should have been done at the time of the sale, in the same instrument. -Hence this appeal. ISSUE WON the defendants should be ordered to execute an extra-judicial partition of all the properties of their deceased father and execute the requisite instruments for the registration and transfer of the title to plaintiff HELD NO. This action is not one for specific performance of the sale of the property to the appellant, what the plaintiff seeks merely is the transfer of the title of the land in his name. -Gabila, as vendee of the land, has a right to receive, and the Perezes the corresponding obligation to transfer to him, not only the possession and enjoyment of the land but also the certificate of title. The trial court recognized that right of Gabila, but it professed to be helpless to enforce it. In dismissing his complaint and, in effect, denying him a remedy, the trial court forgot a maxim which is as old as the law itself: Ubi jus ibi remedium. Where there is a right, there is a remedy. -The Perezes, as the only legal heirs of their father, the deceased Mariano Perez, became the owners of the property in question upon his demise. The rights to the succession were transmitted to them from the moment of his death (Art. 77, Civil Code). Their sale to Gabila of the property described in TCT No. 899, which they inherited from their father put an end to their co-ownership over it (Art. 1082 Civil Code). Consequently there is no further need for them to partition it, the purpose of partition being to separate, divide, and assign a thing held in common among those to whom it may belong (Art. 1079, Civil Code). The Perezes may no longer partition the land in question because they had already sold it. -In this case, the deed of sale also serves the purpose of an affidavit of adjudication of the lot in question to the Perezes as heirs of the former owner Mariano Perez. Their declaration therein that the registered owner of the land described in TCT No. 899 Mariano Perez, who died on October 11, 1942, is the father of the vendors, that "the vendors inherited said land from their deceased father, being the legitimate children" and that "the Vendors are the owners" of said land is, in effect, an adjudication of the land to themselves. Such adjudication renders the stipulation in the deed of sale that "the Vendors will execute immediately an Extrajudicial Partition of all the properties of their deceased father" superfluous and unnecessary. It may be overlooked or deemed not written at all. All that needs to be done now is to register on the TCT No. 899 of the late Mariano Perez the deed of sale which may also be treated as an affidavit of adjudication of the land to the vendors in order that their father's title may be canceled and a new one can be issued to their vendee, Carlos Gabila.
ALONZO V IAC 150 SCRA 517 CRUZ; May 28, 1987
FACTS - 5 brothers and sisters inherited in equal pro indiviso shares a parcel of land registered in the name of their deceased parents. - March 15, 1963: one of them, Celestino Padua, transferred his undivided share to petitioners by way of absolute sale.
SUCCESSION A2010 - April 22, 1964: Eustaquia Padua, his sister, sold her own share to the same vendees, in an instrument denominated "Con Pacto de Retro Sale." - By virtue of such agreements, the petitioners occupied, after the said sales, an area corresponding to 2/5 of the said lot, representing the portions sold to them. The vendees subsequently enclosed the same with a fence. In 1975, with their consent, their son Eduardo Alonzo and his wife built a semi-concrete house on a part of the enclosed area. - February 25, 1976: Mariano Padua, one of the five coheirs, sought to redeem the area sold to the spouses Alonzo, but his complaint was dismissed when it appeared that he was an American citizen . - May 27, 1977: Tecla Padua, another co-heir, filed her own complaint invoking the same right of redemption claimed by her brother. - The trial court dismiss the complaint on the ground that the right had lapsed21, not having been exercised within thirty days from notice of the sales in 1963 and 1964. Although there was no written notice, it was held that actual knowledge of the sales by the co-heirs satisfied the requirement of the law. ISSUES 1. WON the notice required in Article 1088 is written notice. 2. WON the right of redemption in this case had lapsed in spite of the absence of written notice. HELD 1. YES. - In reversing the trial court, the respondent court declared that the notice required by the said article was written notice and citing the De Conejero v. Court of Appeals applied by the trial court, the respondent court held that that decision, interpreting a like rule in Article 1623, stressed the need for written notice although no particular form was required. - Butte v. Uy: emphasized that the written notice should be given by the vendor and not the vendees, conformably to a similar requirement under Article 1623.22 2. YES. The Court in this case made an exception to the rule established in the cases of De Conejero and Butte. - The Court held that the petition appears to be an illustration of the Holmes dictum that "hard cases make bad laws" as the petitioners obviously cannot argue against the fact that there was really no written notice given by the vendors to their co-heirs. Strictly applied and interpreted, Article 1088 can lead to only one conclusion, to wit, that in view of such deficiency, the 30 day period for redemption had not begun to run, much less expired in 1977. 21
Art. 1088. Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the coheirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale, provided they do so within the period of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor.
Art. 1623. The right of legal pre-emption or redemption shall not be exercised except within thirty days from the notice in writing by the prospective vendor, or by the vendors, as the case may be. The deed of sale shall not be recorded in the Registry of Property, unless accompanied by an affidavit of the vendor that he has given written notice thereof to all possible redemptioners. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes that of the adjoining owners.
- It stated that judges are not automatons. They must not unfeelingly apply the law as it is worded, yielding like robots to the literal command without regard to its cause and consequence. While the Court may not read into the law a purpose that is not there, it nevertheless has the right to read out of it the reason for its enactment. In doing so, it defers not to "the letter that killeth" but to "the spirit that vivifieth," to give effect to the law maker's will. - In requiring written notice, Article 1088 seeks to ensure that the redemptioner is properly notified of the sale and to indicate the date of such notice as the starting time of the 30-day period of redemption. Considering the shortness of the period, it is really necessary, as a general rule, to pinpoint the precise date it is supposed to begin, to obviate any problem of alleged delays, sometimes consisting of only a day or two. - The instant case presents no such problem because the right of redemption was invoked not days but years after the sales were made in 1963 and 1964. The complaint was filed by Tecla Padua in 1977, 13 years after the first sale and 14 years after the second sale. The delay invoked by the petitioners extends to more than a decade, assuming of course that there was a valid notice that tolled the running of the period of redemption. - The Court ruled that in the face of the established facts, it cannot accept the private respondents' pretense that they were unaware of the sales made by their brother and sister in 1963 and 1964. By requiring written proof of such notice, it would be closing its eyes to the obvious truth in favor of their palpably false claim of ignorance, thus exalting the letter of the law over its purpose. The purpose is clear enough: to make sure that the redemptioners are duly notified. The Court was satisfied that in this case the other brothers and sisters were actually informed, although not in writing, of the sales made in 1963 and 1964, and that such notice was sufficient. - While the Court did not declare that the period of redemption started from the dates of such sales in 1963 and 1964, it did say that sometime between those years and 1976, when the first complaint for redemption was filed, the other co-heirs were actually informed of the sale and that thereafter the 30-day period started running and ultimately expired. This could have happened any time during the interval of thirteen years, when none of the co-heirs made a move to redeem the properties sold. By 1977, in other words, when Tecla Padua filed her complaint, the right of redemption had already been extinguished because the period for its exercise had already expired. - While the general rule is, that to charge a party with laches in the assertion of an alleged right it is essential that he should have knowledge of the facts upon which he bases his claim, yet if the circumstances were such as should have induced inquiry, and the means of ascertaining the truth were readily available upon inquiry, but the party neglects to make it, he will be chargeable with laches, the same as if he had known the facts. - It was the perfectly natural thing for the co-heirs to wonder why the spouses Alonzo, who were not among them, should enclose a portion of the inherited lot and build thereon a house of strong materials. This definitely was not the act of a temporary possessor or a mere mortgagee. This certainly looked like an act of ownership. Yet, given this unseemly situation, none of the co-heirs saw fit to object or at least inquire, to ascertain the facts, which were readily available. It took all of thirteen years before one of them chose to claim the right of redemption, but then it was already too late. - The Court stated that in arriving at the abovementioned conclusion, it is deviating from the strict letter of the law, which the respondent court understandably applied pursuant to existing jurisprudence. The said court acted properly as it had no competence to reverse the doctrines laid down by this Court in the above-cited cases. The Court clearly stressed that it was not abandoning the De Conejero and Butte
SUCCESSION A2010 doctrines. All it did was simply adopting an exception to the general rule, in view of the peculiar circumstances of this case. -The co-heirs in this case were undeniably informed of the sales although no notice in writing was given them. And there is no doubt either that the 30-day period began and ended during the 14 years between the sales in question and the filing of the complaint for redemption in 1977, without the co-heirs exercising their right of redemption. These are the justifications for this exception.
CHAVEZ v IAC 191 SCRA 211 Griño-Aquino; November 8. 1990 NATURE This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court which (1) annulled the sale made by Manuela Buenavista of her property in favor of the spouses Raquel Chavez and Gerardo Gimenez and the subsequent sale by said spouses of the same property to Pepito Ferrer, and (2) declared that the earlier deeds of sale signed by Manuela and her children constituted a valid partition of the land, subject to her lifetime usufruct. FACTS The land in question is the paraphernal property of Petitioner Manuel Buenavista who had six (6) children, named Antonio, Rosario, Concepcion, Raquel, Presentacion and Floserpina. The first three were the plaintiffs and the last three, with their mother, were the defendants in Civil Case No. 1934. Presentacion Chavez, with the conformity of her mother, Manuela Buenavista, executed a deed of sale whereby she sold her 1/6 undivided share of the land in question to her sister, Concepcion Chavez, for P 450. Two years later, on May 2, 1960, Floserpina Chavez, with the conformity of her mother, also sold her 1/6 undivided share of the same land to her sister, Concepcion, for the same price of P450. Raquel, with the conformity of her mother, likewise sold her undivided 1/6 share of the same property to Concepcion Chavez for P600. Having acquired the shares of Presentacion, Floserpina and Raquel, Concepcion thereby became the owner of a total undivided 4/6 share of the land in question with Antonio and Rosario as owners of the remaining 2/6 shares. In all the documents, there was a stipulation that the owner, Manuela Buenavista, had assigned or distributed to her children, in equal pro-indiviso shares, her paraphernal property situated at Sitio Langas, Barrio Calangcawan Norte, Vinzons, Camarines Norte, with an area of 4.1163 hectares more or less under Tax Declaration No. 9303 and assessed at P1,630.00. The owner, however, reserved for herself the possession of the land and the enjoyment of the fruits during her lifetime. Despite the transfers or assignments her children had executed with her conformity ten years earlier, Manuela Buenavista, signed a "Bilihang Patuluyan ng Lupa" of the entire property in favor of her daughter, Raquel Chavez, and her husband, Gerardo Jimenez. Antonio, Rosario and Concepcion filed Civil Case No. 1934 against their mother Manuela and their sister Raquel. Thereupon, Manuela sold the entire property to Pepito Ferrer with right to repurchase. Ferrer was later sued as an additional defendant in Civil Case No. 1934. Judgment was rendered by the trial court dismissing the complaint, dissolving the preliminary injunction it had previously issued, and ordering the plaintiffs to pay the costs. The court did not award damages. Court of Appeals reversed the trial court declaring the deeds of sale in favor of Raquel Chavez and Gerardo Jimenez and the sale in favor of defendant-appellee Pepito Ferrer as null and void ab initio, and declaring further that the documents are evidence of a valid
partition of the land in question by and between Manuela Buenavista and her children, subject to her right of usufruct during her lifetime. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied. ISSUE WON the IAC erred in declaring valid the deeds of sale as a partition by an act inter vivos considering that examining the said exhibits will reveal that it is not a testament amounting to a will of Manuela Buenavista HELD NO RATIO Article 1080 of the New Civil Code allows a person to make a partition of his estate either by an act inter vivos or by will and such partition shall be respected insofar as it does not prejudice the legitimate of the compulsory heirs. While the law prohibits contracts upon future inheritance, the partition by the parent, as provided in Art. 1080, is a case expressly authorized by law (Art. 1347, par. 2, Civil Code). Art. 1080 of the Civil Code clearly gives a person two options in making a partition of his estate; either by an act inter vivos or by WILL. When a person makes a partition by will, it is imperative that such partition must be executed in accordance with the provisions of the law on wills; however, when a person makes the partition of his estate by an act inter vivos, such partition may even be oral or written, and need not be in the form of a will, provided that the partition does not prejudice the legitime of compulsory heirs. In numerous cases it has been held or stated that parol partitions may be sustained on the ground of estoppel of the parties to assert the rights of a tenant in common as to parts of land divided by parol partition as to which possession in severalty was taken and acts of individual ownership were exercised. And a court of equity will recognize the agreement and decree it to be valid and effectual for the purpose of concluding the right of the parties as between each other to hold their respective parts in severalty. A parol partition may also be sustained on the ground that the parties thereto have acquiesced in and ratified the partition by taking possession in severalty, exercising acts of ownership with respect thereto, or otherwise recognizing the existence of the partition. REASONING In the instant case, the respondent appellate court declared the Deeds of Sale executed by Presentacion, Floserfina and Raquel, all surnamed Chavez in favor of Concepcion Chavez as evidence of a valid partition of the land in question by and between Manuela Buenavista and her children as she not only gave her authority thereto but also signed the sales. The Deeds of Sale are not contracts entered into with respect to feature inheritance but a contract perfected and consummated during the lifetime of Manuela Buenavista who signed the same and gave her consent thereto. Such partition inter vivos, executed by the property owner herself, is valid. .... As the defendants freely participated in the partition, they are now estopped from denying and repudiating the consequences of their own voluntary acts. It is a general principle of law that no one may be permitted to disavow and go back upon his own acts, or to proceed contrary thereto. (Joaquin vs. Mitsumine 34 Phil. 858.)
BAUTISTA v GRIÑO-AQUINO 166 SCRA 760 GANCAYCO; October 28, 1988 FACTS
Petitioners instituted an action in the Court of First Instance of Rizal to declare the deed of extrajudicial partition, deed of absolute sale, Transfer Certificates Title Nos. 14182, 14186 and 15665 all of Registry of Deeds of Pasay City and Tax Declaration No. 5147, null and void. Based on the parties stipulation of facts: The land in question was registered in the name of petitioner Manuel Bautista under TCT No. 2210, and the latter inherited this land from his father, Mariano Bautista. On Dec. 22, 1966, a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition was executed. Private respondents were signatories to the deed, and the signature of petitioner Manuel Bautista was supposed to appear in that document, although petitioner Manuel Bautista denied having signed that Extrajudicial Partition. Upon registration of the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, T.C.T. No. 2210 was cancelled and in lieu thereof, T.C.T.T. 14182 was issued. The private respondents, with the exception of Manolito Bautista, executed a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of Manolito Bautista of that property. Upon registration of the Deed of Sale, T.C.T. T-14182 was cancelled and in lieu thereof, T.C.T. No. T-14186 was issued to Manolito Bautista. On August 7, 1969, Manolito Bautista executed a Deed of Sale in favor of the other private respondents and upon registration of said Deed of Sale, T. C.T. Nos. T-1 5665, T-15666, T-15667, T-15668, T-15669, T- 15670, T-15671, were issued to private respondents. Petitioner Manuel Bautista married his second wife Emiliana Tamayo. Manuel Bautista and his second wife, Emiliana Tamayo, had only a child, Evangeline Bautista, born on April 29,1949. the property in question was the subject matter of extrajudicial partition of property on December 22,1966, among the heirs of the late Juliana Nojadera, the first wife of Manuel Bautista. Manuel Bautista denied participation in the Extrajudicial Partition of Property. On August 1, 1974, all the parties agreed to submit to the NBI the questioned signature of Manuel Bautista. The NBI concluded that the questioned document was authentic. The trial court dismissed the complaint with costs against plaintiffs. CA affirmed
knew Evangeline Bautista who is their half-sister to be a compulsory heir. The court finds that her preterition was attended with bad faith hence the said partition must be rescinded. The Court observes that after the execution of said extrajudicial partition and issuance of the title in their names, private respondents except Manolito Bautista in turn executed a deed of absolute sale of the property in favor of the latter in whose name the title was also issued. And yet soon thereafter another deed of sale was executed this time by Manolito Bautista selling back the same property to private respondents in whose names the respective titles were thus subsequently issued. This series of transactions between and among private respondents is an indication of a clever scheme to place the property beyond the reach of those lawfully entitled thereto. Moreover, such extrajudicial partition cannot constitute a partition of the property during the lifetime of its owner, Manuel Bautista. Partition of future inheritance is prohibited by law. 3 As said Extrajudicial Partition dated December 22, 1966, of property belonging exclusively to petitioner Manuel Bautista, is null and void ab initio it follows that all subsequent transactions involving the same property between and among the private respondents are also null and void. Prescription cannot be invoked in this case as the petitioners' right to sue their co-owners for partition of the property is imprescriptible. 4 And even assuming that the present action may prescribe as ruled by the respondent court, petitioners Emiliana Bautista and Evangeline Bautista who are not parties to the said instrument asserted that they discovered the same only soon before they filed the complaint in court. Certainly the action has not prescribed.
ISSUE WON the property of the surviving husband be the subject of an extrajudicial partition of the estate of the deceased wife
NATURE Petition for certiorari and mandamus.
HELD NO RATIO Under Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court an extrajudicial settlement of the Estate applies only to the estate left by the decedent who died without a will, and with no creditors, and the heirs are all of age or the minors are represented by their judicial or legal representatives. If the property does not belong to the estate of the decedent certainly it cannot be the subject matter of an extrajudicial partition. As the subject property does not belong to the estate of Juliana Nojadera, the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, is void ab initio being contrary to law. To include in an extrajudicial partition property which does not pertain to the estate of the deceased would be to deprive the lawful owner thereof of his property without due process of law. Only property of the estate of the decedent which is transmitted by succession can be the lawful subject matter of an extrajudicial partition. In this case, the said partition obviously prejudices the right of Manuel Bautista as exclusive owner of the property. The said partition also effectively resulted in the preterition of the right of Evangeline Bautista as a compulsory heir of Manuel Bautista, daughter of the latter by his second marriage. It is difficult to believe that Manuel Bautista would wittingly overlook and ignore the right of her daughter Evangeline to share in the said property. It is not surprising that he denied signing the said document. Moreover, private respondents
GUILAS v JUDGE L-026695 MAKASIAR; January 31,1972
FACTS -Jacinta Limson de Lopez, of Guagua, Pampanga was married to Alejandro Lopez y Siongco. They had no children. On April 28, 1936, Jacinta executed a will instituting her husband Alejandro as her sole heir and executor. -In a Resolution dated October 26, herein petitioner Juanita Lopez, then single and now married to Federico Guilas, was declared legally adopted daughter and legal heir of the spouses Jacinta and Alejandro. After adopting legally herein petitioner Juanita Lopez, the testatrix Doña Jacinta did not execute another will or codicil so as to include Juanita Lopez as one of her heirs. The aforementioned will was admitted to probate and the surviving husband, Alejandro Lopez y Siongco, was appointed executor without bond by the Court of First Instance of Pampanga - Nevertheless, in a project of partition dated March 19, 1960 executed by both Alejandro Lopez and Juanita Lopez Guilas, the right of Juanita Lopez to inherit from Jacinta was recognized and lots belonging to Jacinta's paraphernal property, both situated in Bacolor Pampanga, (two lots then assessed respectively at P3,070.00 and P5,800.00) were adjudicated to Juanita Lopez-Guilas as her share free from all liens, encumbrances and charges, with the executor Alejandro Lopez, binding himself to free the said two parcels from such liens, encumbrances and charges. The rest of the estate of the deceased consisting of 28 other parcels of lands with a total assessed valuation of P69,020.00, as well as personal properties including a 1953 Buick car valued at P2,500.00 were allotted to Don Alejandro who assumed all the mortgage
SUCCESSION A2010 liens on the estate. In an order dated April 23, 1960, the lower court approved the said project of partition. On April 10, 1964, herein petitioner Juanita Lopez-Guilas filed a separate ordinary action to set aside and annul the project of partition, in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga, on the ground of lesion, perpetration and fraud, and pray further that Alejandro Lopez be ordered to submit a statement of accounts of all the crops and to deliver immediately to Juanita lots nos. 3368 and 3441 of the Bacolor Cadastre, which were allocated to her under the project of partition. Meanwhile, in Testate Proceedings No. 1426, Juanita filed a petition dated July 20, 1964 praying that Alejandro Lopez be directed to deliver to her the actual possession of said lots nos. 3368 and 3441 as well as the 1,216 caverns of palay that he collected from the ten (10) tenants or lessees of the said two lots. In his opposition to the said petition, Alejandro Lopez claims that, by virtue of the order dated April 23, 1960 which approved the project of partition submitted by both Alejandro and Juanita, and the order of December 15, 1960 which "ordered closed and terminated the present case", the testate proceedings had already been closed and terminated; and that he ceased as a consequence to be the executor of the estate of the deceased; and that Juanita Lopez is guilty of laches and negligence in filing the petition of the delivery of her share 4 years after such closure of the estate, when she could have filed a petition for relief of judgment within sixty (60) days from December 15, 1960 under Rule 38 of the old Rules of Court. In her reply to said opposition, Juanita contends that the actual delivery and distribution of the hereditary shares to the heirs, and not the order of the court declaring as closed and terminated the proceedings, determines the termination of the probate proceedings (citing Intestate estate of the deceased Mercedes Cano, Timbol vs. Cano, where it was ruled that "the probate court loses jurisdiction of an estate under administration only after the payment of all the taxes, and after the remaining estate is delivered to the heirs entitled to receive the same"); that the executor Alejandro is estopped from opposing her petition because he was the one who prepared, filed and secured court approval of, the aforesaid project of partition, which she seeks to be implemented; that she is not guilty of laches, because when she filed on July 20, 1964, her petition for he delivery of her share allocated to her under the project of partition, less than 3 years had elapsed from August 28, 1961 when the amended project of partition was approved, which is within the 5-year period for the execution of judgment by motion. In its order dated October 2, 1964, the lower court after a "pre-trial" stated that because the civil action for the annulment of the project of partition was filed on April 13, 1964, before the filing on July 2, 1964 of the petition for delivery of the shares of Juanita Lopez, "the parties have agreed to suspend action or resolution upon the said petition for the delivery of shares until; after the civil action aforementioned has been finally settled and decided", and forthwith set the civil action for annulment for trial on November 25, and December 2, 1964 On June 11, 1965, Juanita filed an amended complaint in Civil Case 2539 (pp. 78-110, rec.), where she acknowledges the partial legality and validity of the project of partition insofar as the allocation in her favor of the Lots Nos. 3368 and 3441, the delivery of which she is seeking. In her motion dated November 17, 1965, Juanita sought the setting aside of the order dated October 2, 1964 on the ground that while the said order considered her action for annulment of the project of partition as a prejudicial question, her filing an amended complaint on June 11, 1965 in the civil case wherein she admitted the partial legality and validity of the project of partition with respect to the adjudication to her of the two lots as her share, rendered said civil case No. 2539 no longer a prejudicial question to her petition of July 20, 1964 for the delivery of her share
ISSUE WON the probate court loses jurisdiction over the probate proceedings upon the order of such court terminating such case. HELD No RATIO The probate court loses jurisdiction of an estate under administration only after the payment of all the debts and the remaining estate delivered to the heirs entitled to receive the same. The finality of the approval of the project of partition by itself alone does not terminate the probate proceeding. As long as the order of the distribution of the estate has not been complied with, the probate proceedings cannot be deemed closed and terminated; because a judicial partition is not final and conclusive and does not prevent the heir from bringing an action to obtain his share, provided the prescriptive period therefor has not elapsed. The better practice, however, for the heir who has not received his share, is to demand his share through a proper motion in the same probate or administration proceedings, or for re-opening of the probate or administrative proceedings if it had already been closed, and not through an independent action, which would be tried by another court or Judge which may thus reverse a decision or order of the probate on intestate court already final and executed and re-shuffle properties long ago distributed and disposed of REASONING Section 1 of Rule 90 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964 as worded, which secures for the heirs or legatees the right to "demand and recover their respective shares from the executor or administrator, or any other person having the same in his possession", re-states the aforecited doctrines. The case of Austria vs. Heirs of Ventenilla (99 Phil. 1068) does not control the present controversy; because the motion filed therein for the removal of the administratrix and the appointment of a new administrator in her place was rejected by the court on the ground of laches as it was filed after the lapse of about 38 years from October 5, 1910 when the court issued an order settling and deciding the issues raised by the motion (L-10018, September 19, 1956, 99 Phil., 1069-1070). In the case at bar, the motion filed by petitioner for the delivery of her share was filed on July 20, 1964, which is just more than 3 years from August 28, 1961 when the amended project of partition was approve and within 5 years from April 23, 1960 when the original project of partition was approved. Clearly, her right to claim the two lots allocated to her under the project of partition had not yet expired. And in the light of Section 1 of Rule 90 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964 and the jurisprudence above cited, the order dated December 15, 1960 of the probate court closing and terminating the probate case did not legally terminate the testate proceedings, for her share under the project of partition has not been delivered to her. While it is true that the order dated October 2, 1964 by agreement of the parties suspended resolution of her petition for the delivery of her shares until after the decision in the civil action for the annulment of the project of partition (Civil Case 2539) she filed on April 10, 1964; the said order lost its validity and efficacy when the herein petitioner filed on June 11, 1965 an amended complaint in said Civil Case 2539 wherein she recognized the partial legality and validity of the said project of partition insofar as the allocation in her favor of lots Nos. 3368 and 3441 in the delivery of which she has been insisting all along