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CASE

DIGESTS
on
SUCCESSION


Submitted By:
Nicdao, Hezekiah D.

Submitted To:
Atty. Mercy Diane D. Akia






92 SCRA 332 July 30, 1979
Francisca Alsua-Betts, Joseph O. Betts, Jose Madareta, Esteban P. Ramirez, And The
Register Of Deeds For Albay Province, Petitioners
v.
Court Of Appeals, Amparo Alsua Buenviaje, Fernando Buenviaje, Fernando Alsua,
Represented By His Guardian, Clotilde S. Alsua And Pablo Alsua, Respondents

FACTS: A notarized Escritura de Particion Extrajudicial was entered on the properties
of spouses of Don Jesus Alsua, wife Doa Florentina, and all their remaining four (4)
living children, on November 25, 1949. On January 5, 1956, both of the spouses made
their holographic wills with the provisions conforming to the implementation of the
extrajudicial partition. Codicils amending and supplementing the spouses respective
holographic wills on 1956 and eventually admitted to probate. Don Jesus became
executor on the death of Doa Florentina and cancelled his previous holographic will,
appointed daughter Francisca as executrix, and collated the properties to be donated to
his four children. At the death of their father, Francisca filed a petition of probate of the
1959 will and was opposed by brother respondents.

ISSUE: Is the probate of the will acceptable?

HELD: Yes. The 1959 will amended the 1949 settlement and rendered latter as void. "A
will may be revoked by the testator at any time before his death. (Art. 828, Civil Code)
When it will not prejudice any heirs, he is not forced to follow any only one will.

G.R. No. L-8437 November 28, 1956
Estate Of K. H. Hemady, Petitioner
v.
Luzon Surety Co., Inc., Respondent

FACTS: The estate of the deceased K. H. Hemady, a surety solidary guarantor, had a
claim filed by The Luzon Surety Co. on 20 different indemnity agreements or counter-
bonds with different principals. A contingent claim, in the form of an allowance on the
all the bonds values and attached unpaid premiums and documentary stamps with 12%
interest. The claims of Luzon Surety were dismissed by the lower court before an answer
was given.

ISSUE: Are the obligations transmittable to Hemadys heirs upon his death?

HELD: Successors acquire a decedents contractual rights and obligations, and that the
decedents liability, as a solidary guarantor, is not extinguishable by death. The contract
that the latter entered gives rise to claims by Luzon Surety Co. against his estate for
reimbursement.

G.R. No. L-41715 June 18, 1976

Rosalio Bonilla (A Minor) Salvacion Bonilla (A Minor) And Ponciano Bonilla (Their
Father) Who Represents The Minors, Petitioners
v.
Leon Barcena, Maxima Arias Ballena, Esperanza Barcena, Manuel Barcena, Agustina
Neri, Widow Of Julian Tamayo And Hon. Leopoldo Gironella Of The Court Of First
Instance Of Abra, Respondents

FACTS: A civil action in the Court of First Instance of Abra to quiet title over certain
parcels of land located in Abra was filed by Fortunata Barcena, wife of Ponciano Bonilla
and mother of minors Rosalio and Salvacion Bonilla in 1975. Defendants, the same year
filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, due to Fortunatas death (a dead person has no
legal capacity to sue and cannot be a real party in interest). The motion to dismiss was
accepted, despite a request for substitution by her minor children and her husband due
to Fortunatas death.

ISSUE: Are the heirs able to substitute a person who died during the pendency of
litigation?

HELD: Yes. Heirs can substitute decedent in pursuing the case up to its completion.
The court acquired jurisdiction over Fortunata when she filed the case, primarily about
property rights (which survives beyond death) and was still alive. "After a party dies and
the claim is not thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon proper notice, the legal
representative of the deceased to appear and be substituted for the deceased, within
such time as may be granted ... " (Rule 3, Section 17, Rules of Court). The lower Court
should force the appearance of substitute legal representative.
A.M. No. 2026-CFI December 19, 1981
Nenita De Vera Suroza, Petitioner
v.
Judge Reynaldo P. Honrado Of The Court Of First Instance Of Rizal, Pasig Branch 25
And Evangeline S. Yuipco, Deputy Clerk Of Court, Respondents

FACTS: Childless couple Mauro Suroza married Marcelina Salvador adopted Agapito,
who used the surname Suroza and who considered them as his parents. Lilia became the
child of Agapito and wife Nenita. Nenita was appointed as Agapitos guardian when
latter became disabled. Trying to be his guardian, girlfriend Arsenia de la Cruz, alleged
that Nenita was unfaithful and was living separately from Agapito, but was dismissed.
Then, spouses Antonio Sy and Hermogena Talan begot a child named Marilyn Sy, who,
when a few days old, was entrusted to Arsenia, and later delivered to Marcelina who
brought her up as a supposed daughter of Agapito, used the surname Suroza, and as her
An alleged notarial will was executed in English by Marcelina, though she was illiterate.
Marina Paje, executrix in Marcelinas will, filed a petition for the probate. Though
Nenita alleged that Marina is a stranger to the will, Judge Honrado still issued that
Nenita and other occupants of the testators house be ejected and place Marina in
possession thereof.

ISSUE
1. Is judge responsible for its negligence in handling a case?
2. Is a will valid when the language used to prepare it is just translated?

HELD
1. Yes. A miscarriage of justice resulted because the decedent's legal heirs should
have inherited the decedent's estate and not the instituted heiress in the void will.
The judge is criminally liable. (Art. 204-206, Revised Penal Code)
No. Every will must be executed in a language or dialect known to the testator. (Article
804, Civil Code). The language is not known to the testatrix.
G.R. No. L-1787 August 27, 1948
Testacy Of Sixto Lopez. Jose S. Lopez, Petitioner
V.
Agustin Liboro, Oppositor

FACTS: Don Sixto Lopezs last will and testament was allegedly not executed in all
particulars as required by law (the two-page will is not numbered and only affixed his
thumbmark, and not signed it. Lopez should have directed another person to sign if
Lopez suffered from partial paralysis), according to Liboro.

ISSUE
1. Is the will in correct form though the pages are unnumbered?
2. Is the will in correct form though he only affixed his thumbmark?

HELD
1. Yes. Omission of the number in the firstpage is still identified in the context of
the second page. To guard against fraud and substitution is the purpose of the
law in prescribing the paging of wills.
2. Yes. No form is specified in signing as long as the requirement of putting a
signature is satisfied in order to authenticate his will. The testator can freely
choose what mark he would use.
G.R. No. L-13431 November 12, 1919
In Re Will Of Ana Abangan. Gertrudis Abangan, Appellee
Anastacia Abangan, Et Al., Appelants

FACTS: Court admitted to probate Ana Abangan's two page will. Appellants allege
several omissions are defects in will: No page numbers were included. The first page
contained, the signature of Martin Montalban and three witnesses appear, while the
second page contains only the attestation clause duly signed at the bottom by the
witnesses and no signature by the testatrix or the witnesses was placed on the left
margin of the will; neither were there.

ISSUE: Is the will invalid due to the lack of signature and page numbers?

HELD: No. When all the dispositive parts of a will signed at the bottom by the testator
and three witnesses are written on one sheet only, the object of the statute cannot be
hidden and would be completely purposeless. (Act No. 2045)
G.R. No. 103554 May 28, 1993
Teodoro Caneda, Lorenza Caneda, Teresa Caneda, Juan Caballero, Aurea Caballero,
Oscar Larosa, Helen Caballero, Santos Caballero, Pablo Caballero, Victor Raga, Mauricia
Raga, Quirica Raga, Ruperto Abapo, Represented Herein By His Attorney-In-Fact,
Armsticia * Abapo Velano, And Conseso Caneda, Represented Herein By His Heirs,
Jesus Caneda, Natividad Caneda And Arturo Caneda, Petitioners
v.
Hon. Court Of Appeals And William Cabrera, As Special Administrator Of The Estate Of
Mateo Caballero, Respondents

FACTS: Mateo Caballero, a widower without any children executed a last will and
testament was leaving real and personal properties by way of legacies and devises.
Before his petition seeking the probate could be heard, he already passed away. Benoni
Cabrera, one of the legatees, and eventually replaced by William Cabrera, then sought
his appointment as special administrator of the testators estate and petitioners
instituted a second petition opposed the probate of the Testator's will and the
appointment of a special administrator for his estate. Petitioners allege that Mateo is
already in a poor state of health and is not able to execute will and also they contest the
genuineness of the testators signature. Will in question was declared the last will due to
the testimony of the attesting witnesses, Labuca, and the notary public.

ISSUE: Is the will invalidated by the omission of the attestation clause?

HELD: Yes. It is a fatal defect or imperfection and leads to its disallowance. Because it
would lack the evidence that witnesses signed document in presence of testator. Only
intrinsic evidence supplied by the will itself will only cure the defect.

G.R. No. L-40207 September 28, 1984
Rosa K. Kalaw, Petitioner
v.
Hon. Judge Benjamin Relova, Presiding Judge Of The Cfi Of Batangas, Branch Vi, Lipa
City, And Gregorio K. Kalaw, Respondents

FACTS
Natividad K. Kalaw executed a holographic will and contains alterations and
insertions which are not authenticated with her signature. Rosas name, the decedents
sister, was changed to her brother, Gregorio as Natividads sole heir and administrator,
was crossed out and. Hence, the will was denied to probate by the trial court.

ISSUE
1. Is the will valid?

HELD
1. No. The Court cannot probate for the alteration is not authenticated, which
requires the full signature of the testator. The holographic will contains only the
substitution of original heir with another one. This is an exemption to a general
rule.
GAN V. YAP
PETITIONER: TESTATE ESTATE OF FELICIDAD ESGUERRA ALTO-YAP deceased.
FAUSTO E. GAN
OPPOSITOR: ILDEFONSO YAP
G.R. No. L-12190 August 30, 1958

FACTS
On November 20, 1951, Felicidad Esguerra Alto Yap died of heart failure in the
University of Santo Tomas Hospital. On March 17, 1952, Fausto E. Gan initiated the
proceedings in the Manila court of first instance with a petition for the probate of a
holographic will allegedly executed by the deceased. But the surviving husband,
Ildefonso Yap, opposed the petition saying that his wife never left nor executed any will.
The court dismissed the probate for the petitioners cannot show the holographic will
which they claim executed by Felicidad Esguerra. Sometime in 1950 after her last trip
abroad, Felicidad Esguerra mentioned to her first cousin, Vicente Esguerra, her desire to
make a will. She also stated that she wanted to keep the will a secret from his husband
for, if her husband knew it, it would be useless. Vicente then consulted Fausto E. Gan,
Felicidads nephew, and the latter affirmed that such will would be possible if it was
made entirely in her handwriting, signed and dated by her. When she was confined at
the U.S.T. Hospital, she entrusted her purse to Felina Esguerra. It contains her duly
executed holographic will. The purse, when she died at the hospital, was asked a couple
of times by her husband. If she really intended it to be a secret, she would not carry it to
the hospital, nor put it in her purse for safe-keeping. In the face of these improbabilities,
the trial judge had to accept the oppositor's evidence that Felicidad did not and could
not have executed such holographic will.

ISSUE
1. Can a lost holographic will be validly accepted for probate?

HELD
1. No because the execution and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will
may not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/ or read
such will. Since the will is not presented at Court, there are no means of assessing
its authenticity. At the same time, the only guaranty of authenticity the
testators handwriting has already disappeared. Therefore, the rejection of
alleged will must be sustained.

RODELAS V. ARANZA
PETITIONER: IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION TO APPROVE THE WILL OF
RICARDO B. BONILLA deceased, MARCELA RODELAS
OPPOSITORS: AMPARO ARANZA, ET AL.
INTERVENOR: ATTY. LORENZO SUMULONG
119 SCRA 16/ G.R. No. L-58509 December 7, 1982

FACTS
On January 11, 1997 Marcela Rodelas filed a petition for probate on the
holographic will of Ricardo B. Bonilla and the issuance of letters testamentary in her
favor. The appellees opposed the petition because the said holographic will is just a
photostatic copy, and not the original, authentic document personally written by the
deceased, which was already lost. Such copy will not take the place of the original
document, and should not be admitted as the material proof of authenticity.

ISSUE
1. Can a photostatic copy of the holographic will be probated in case the original
document was lost or is not found?

HELD
1. Yes, if there are other written documents showing, or witnesses attesting that the
handwriting indeed belongs to the testator. A photostatic copy or xerox copy of
the holographic will may be allowed because comparison can be made with the
standard writings of the testator. Evidently, the ph copy of the lost or destroyed
holographic will may be admitted because then the authenticity of the
handwriting of the deceased can be determined by the probate court.
CODOY V. CALUGAY
PETITIONERS: EUGENIA RAMONAL CODOY, and MANUEL RAMONAL
RESPONDENTS: EVANGELINE R. CALUGAY, JOSEPHINE SALCEDO, and
EUFEMIA PATIGAS
312 SCRA 333/ G.R. No. 123486. August 12, 1999

FACTS
On January 16, 1990 Matilde Seo Vda. de Ramonal died, and the devisees and
legitees of his holographic will, namely Evangeline Calugay, Josephine Salcedo and
Eufemia Patigas, executed a petition for probate. In the petition, respondents claimed
that the deceased was of sound and disposing mind when she executed the will on
August 30, 1978, and that there was no fraud, undue influence, or duress employed in
the person of the testator, and the will was written voluntarily. But on June 28, 1990,
petitioners filed an opposition

to the petition for probate contesting the wills genuity.
They alleged that the holographic will was a forgery and that the same is even illegible.
Petitioners argued that the repeated dates appearing on the will after every disposition
are out of the ordinary. If the deceased was the one who executed the will, and was not
forced, the dates and the signature should appear at the bottom after the dispositions, as
regularly done and not after every disposition. And assuming that the holographic will is
in the handwriting of the deceased, it was procured by undue and improper pressure
and influence on the part of the beneficiaries, or through fraud and trickery.
Respondents then brought 6 witnesses before the Court to ascertain that the signature
indicated in the will is indeed the handwriting of the deceased. In the end, - Codoy
and Ramonals demurrer to evidence was granted by the lower court, but the Court of
Appeals reversed the decision and granted the probate.

ISSUE
1. Is the three witnesses in the provision of Article 811 mandatory?
2. Did the witnesses testimony satisfy the question of authenticity of the deceaseds
holographic will?

HELD
1. Yes. According to paragraph 1 of Article 811, If the will is contested, at least three
of such witnesses shall be required. The word shall is imperative obligation and
is inconsistent with the idea of discretion and that the presumption is that the
word shall, when used in a statute, is mandatory.
2. No. None of them were present during the actual signing of the deceased. So, not
one of them can validly declare that the signature belongs to Matilde Seo Vda.
de Ramonal. Whats more suspicious is the fact that the deceaseds signature
contains different strokes when they were compared with the other documents.
The idea that undue influence arises, which the witnesses themselves are
incompetent to answer.
GAGO V. MAMUYAC
PETITIONER: Estate of Miguel Mamuyac, deceased. FRANCISCO GAGO
OPPOSITORS: CORNELIO MAMUYAC, AMBROSIO LARIOSA, FELICIANA
BAUZON, and CATALINA MAMUYAC
G.R. No. L-26317 January 29, 1927

FACTS
July 27, 1918 Miguel Mamuyac executed a last will and testament, and on
January 2, 1922, he already passed away. On the same month and year, Francisco Gago
executed a probation for that will. Said probation was opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac,
Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina Mamuyac. The petitions were
dismissed by Honorable C. M. Villareal on the ground that there was a new will and
testament executed by the deceased on April 16, 1919. The 1919 will was again opposed
on the ground that it was just a mere copy, it was cancelled and revoked by Mamuyac
himself, and it was not his last will and testament. The 1919 will was again denied for
probation for the same had been cancelled and revoked in the year 1920. - According to
the witnesses, the original of the said will was in the possession of Mamuyac before his
death who revoked the same.

ISSUE
1. Was the will presented for probate cancelled by the testator himself?

HELD
1. Yes. it may be stated that there is positive proof, not denied, which was accepted
by the lower court, that will in question had been cancelled in 1920. The fact that
such cancellation or revocation has taken place must either remain unproved of
be inferred from evidence s 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.
MALOTO V. CA
PETITIONERS: TESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE ADRIANA MALOTO, ALDINA
MALOTO CASIANO, CONSTANCIO MALOTO, PURIFICACION MIRAFLOR, ROMAN
CATHOLIC CHURCH OF MOLO, AND ASILO DE MOLO
RESPONDENTS: COURT OF APPEALS, PANFILO MALOTO AND FELINO MALOTO
G.R. No. 76464 February 29, 1988

FACTS
On October 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. Since the petitioners know that
the deceased executed no will, theyve applied for an inestate proceeding for their aunts
estate. On February 1, 1964, the petitioners agreed that they execute an agreement of
extrajudicial settlement of Adrianas estate; each of which will get four (4) equal parts.
Three years later Atty. Palma, discovers a document which appears to be Adrianas last
will and testament. In that will, the shares of Aldina and Constancio are bequeathed
much bigger and more valuable shares than those of Panfilo and Felino. The devisees
and legatees named in the will filed a motion for reconsideration and annulment of the
proceedings therein and for the allowance of the will. But the Court denied their
petition.

ISSUE
1. Was the will revoked by Adriana?

HELD
1. No. The physical act of destruction of a will, like burning in this case, does not 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.
In this case, Guadalupe and Eladios testimonies appear "inconclusive because it
is a double hearsay.
MOLO V. MOLO
PETITIONER: Testate Estate of the Deceased MARIANO MOLO Y LEGASPI. JUANA
JUAN VDA. DE MOLO
OPPOSITORS: LUZ, GLICERIA and CORNELIO MOLO
G.R. No. L-2538 September 21, 1951

FACTS
On January 24, 1941, Mariano Molo y Legaspi died without designating any
forced heir either in the ascending or descending line. He was survived 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. He left
two wills. One was executed on August 17, 1918, and the other on June 20, 1939, which
contains a revocation clause. On February 7, 1941, Juana Juan Vda. de Molo filed a
petition for probation of the will executed by the deceased on June 20, 1939. There
being no opposition, the will was probated. When the oppositors filed 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. The widow just filed a petition for probation
on the 1918 will due to the disallowance in the 1939 will. 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
1. Will a will be revoked if the latter will did not comply with the conformities
required by the law?

HELD
1. No. In this case, we should take into consideration the Doctrine of Dependent
Relative Revocation, that is, the failure of a new testamentary disposition upon
whose validity the revocation depends, is equivalent to the non-fulfilment of the
suspensive conditions, and hence prevents the revocation of the original will. 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.
DIAZ V. DE LEON
PETITIONER: In the mater of the estate of Jesus de Leon. IGNACIA DIAZ
OPPONENT: ANA DE LEON
G.R. No. 17714 May 31, 1922

FACTS
Jesus de Leon, after executing the first will, asked that the said will be returned to
him. For some reasons, he was anxious to withdraw or change the provisions he had
made in his first will. Such fact was disclosed by the testator's own statements to the
witnesses Canto and the Mother Superior of the Hospital where he was confined. When
the original will was returned to the testator, he ordered his servant to tear the
document. This act was done in the presence of his servant and a nurse.

ISSUE
1. Was the will executed by Jesus De Leon revoked by him?

HELD
1. Yes. The original will was already destroyed with animo revocandi. The act of
tearing the document was expressly ordered by the testator. The decedents
intention of revoking the will was even disclosed to third persons. Hence, it can
be proven that he, himself revoked the first will.