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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS Case Digests RULE 73

RULE 73

SANDOVAL v. SANTIAGO (83 Phil 784)

VDA DE MANZANERO v. CFI of BATANGAS (61 Phil 850) FACTS:

1. Esteban Manzanero (“Esteban”) died in the provincial hospital of Albay.

2. His brother, Fortunato filed a sworn application with CFI of Batangas (“CFI”) praying for a summary settlement of Esteban’s estate. He likewise alleged that Esteban had no property except a life insurance policy worth PhP5,000 and that Esteban was indebted to him for PhP500. More importantly, he alleged that Esteban had legal residence in Batangas.

3. CFI issued an order for hearing and directed that notice be published in a newspaper in Batangas.

4. Petitioner (wife of Esteban) did not appear at the scheduled hearing. Nevertheless, the judge ruled that Esteban was a resident of Batangas, and that his property (insurance policy worth PhP5,000) be distributed after payment of PhP500 to Fortunato.

5. Thus, Filipinas Assurance Company was directed to pay the heirs of Esteban, the proceeds of his insurance policy. Net proceeds of the insurance policy were sent to the heirs, pursuant to the order.

6. Petitioner prayed that the money be returned and delivered to her.

ISSUE: Whether questions of jurisdiction by reason of residence may be raised by means of certiorari

RULING: (Not for this case.)

1. Under Section 603 of the Code of Civil Procedure, “the jurisdiction assumed by CFI for settlement of the estate, so far as it depends on the place of residence of

the person or location of his estate, shall not be contested in a suit or proceeding, except in an appeal from that court, in the original case, or when the want of jurisdiction appears on the record.”

2. The want of jurisdiction, in this case, does not clearly appear from the pleadings and records of the CFI.

3. The communication of the municipal treasurer of Albay stating that Esteban was a registered voter therein, and that he resided there before his death, does not form part of the record of the CFI.

4. Since lack of jurisdiction does not appear from the records, certiorari does not lie.

5. Under the law, petitioner has a plain, speedy and adequate remedy for the enforcement of her rights.

BENEDICTO v. JAVELLANA (10 Phil 197) Facts:

of her rights. BENEDICTO v. JAVELLANA (10 Phil 197) Facts: MAXIMO Jalandoni- testator; will provides: Hacienda

MAXIMO Jalandoni- testator; will provides:

Hacienda Lantad- divided, ½ to Maximo and other ½ to sisters. On the entire estate, an obligation was imposed that all debts shall be paid, provided that ½ of the products which each parcel may yield shall be devoted to the payment of debts and should the ½ be insufficient, 2/3 or total amount shall be applied; in

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case of balance of such products, it shall remain with the administrator for settlement of other charges.

MAXIMINO- petitioned the administrator Javellana that he be directed to pay MAXIMINO a sum in lieu of land donated to him; products of the land had already been applied to payment debts and liabilities Issue: W/N MAXIMINO is entitled to payment in lieu of land donated? Held:with the administrator for settlement of other charges. The will of MAXIMO must be complied with.

The will of MAXIMO must be complied with. All those who are benefited have not received from the testator a universal succession to his estate but merely as legatees without right to receive their share of the property of the deceased until after his debts have been paid.is entitled to payment in lieu of land donated? Held: Any challenge to the validity of

Any challenge to the validity of a will, any objection to the authentication and every demand or claim which any heir, legatee or party in interest in a testate or intestate succession may make, must be acted upon and decided within same special proceedings, not in a separate action.of the deceased until after his debts have been paid. CASIANO v. MALOTO (70 SCRA 232)

CASIANO v. MALOTO (70 SCRA 232) Facts:

- Adriana Maloto Died in Iloilo City on 10/20/63 her place of Residence, and her niece and nephews (Aldina, Constancio, Panfilo, and Felino) commenced intestate proceedings believing their aunt died intestate.

- The niece and nephews executed an extra-judicial partition of Adriana’s estate which was approved by the court on 3/21/64, and each got ¼ share each

- On 4/1/67 a document dated 1/3/40 surfaced purporting to be Adriana’s Will, which shows that the niece and nephews still as heirs, but with Aldina and Constancio getting a bigger share (w/ Asiso de Molo, Catholic Church of Molo, and Purificacion Miraflor as devisees/legatees)

- Aldina and Constancio (together w/ the other devisees/legatees of the Will) filed an MR to the previous special proceedings No. 1736 for annulment of such proceedings and allowance of the Will, this of course was opposed by the other 2 nephews Panfilo and Felino

- The court denied the MR for being filed out of time, and the petitioners (Adriana, Constancio etc.) filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus which was likewise denied by the SC because the more appropriate remedy is to initiate separate proceedings for the probate of the alleged will in question

- Thus, the petitioners filed for the probate of the will, now special proceedings No. 2176, and the oppositors contested claiming the testatrix had revoked and

and

intestate

proceedings constitute res judicata. The Probate Court dismissed the proceedings on the ground of res judicata, and the finding of the court in the previous special proceeding No. 1736 that the will had been destroyed and revoked.

destroyed

the

will,

the

previous

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Issue:

Bernardo then filed a project of partition in accordance with the will of Eusebio which however was opposed by Hermogena’s relatives. They submitted their own project of partition claiming that ½ of the properties mentioned in the will of Eusebio on the theory that the properties belonged not to Eusebio but to the conjugal partnership of the spouses. This was questioned by Bernardo claiming that the properties belonged exclusively to Eusebio and not to the conjugal partnership because Hermogena donated to Eusebio her half share of such partnership.

Whether the court in intestate, special proceeding No. 1736 had jurisdiction to rule on the discovered will? Whether the finding that the will was revoked and destroyed in special proceeding No. 1736 constitutes res judicata in special proceeding No. 2176?

Held:

No to Both.

This Petition is meritorious. The motion to reopen proceedings was filed out of time, and it is not proper to make a finding in an intestate estate proceeding that the discovered will had been revoked, it had no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for probate of the alleged will. Thus, the finding in special proceeding No. 1736 is not a bar to the present petition, and the lower court is directed to proceed to hear the petition in special proceeding No. 2176

The probate court then issued an order declaring the donation void as it is prohibited by law and disapproved both projects of partition, ordering the executor to file another dividing the property of Eusebio according to the will noting that such properties were conjugal properties of the deceased spouses.

Issue:

Whether the probate court erred in applying the exception to

the general rule that it has no power to adjudicate title in a probate proceedings?

CUIZON v. RAMOLETE (129 SCRA 495)

 

BERNARDO v. CA (7 SCRA 367) Facts:

Held: NO

Eusebio Capili died before her wife Hermogena Reyes. Eusebio’s will was admitted to probate wherein he left his properties to his wife and cousins. Hermogena Reyes then during the pendency of the probate proceedings died intestate, thus she was substituted by her collateral relatives as petitioned by Bernardo, the executor of Eusebio’s estate

Ratio:

The Court consistently held that as a general rule, question as to title of property cannot be passed upon on testate or intestate proceedings, except when one of the parties prays merely for the inclusion or exclusion from the inventory of the property, in which case the probate court may pass provisionally upon the question without prejudice to its final

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determination in a separate action. It has also been held that when the parties interested are all heirs of the deceased, it is optional to them to submit to the probate court a question as to title to property, and when so submitted said probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon. Provided that interests of third persons are not prejudiced.

In this case the matter in controversy is the question of ownership of certain properties involved whether they belong to the conjugal partnerships or to the husband exclusively. This is a matter properly within the jurisdiction of the probate court which necessarily has to liquidate the conjugal partnership in order to determine the state of the decedent which is to be distributed among the heirs including of course the widow represented by her collateral relatives upon petition of the executor himself and who have appeared voluntarily. There are no third parties whose rights may be affected. Therefore the claim being asserted is one belonging to an heir to the testator, and, consequently it complies with the requirement of the exception that the parties interested are all heirs claiming title under the testator.

URIARTE v. CFI NEGROS OCCIDENTAL (33 SCRA 252) Facts:

Don Juan Uriarte y Goite died. Vicente Uriarte filed with the CFI of Negros Occidental a petition for the settlement of the estate of the late Don Juan (Special Proceeding No. 6344) alleging that, as a natural son of the latter, he was his sole heir, and that, during the lifetime of said decedent, Vicente had instituted a civil case in the same Court for his compulsory acknowledgment as such natural son.

Higinio Uriarte, nephew of the deceased, filed an opposition to the petition alleging that Don Juan had executed a Will in Spain. He further questioned Vicente's capacity and interest to commence the intestate proceeding. Juan Uriarte Zamacona, the other private respondent, commenced Special Proceeding No. 51396 in the CFI of Manila for the probate of a document alleged to be the last will of the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite, and on the same date he filed in Special Proceeding No. 6344 of the Negros Court a motion to dismiss the same on the following grounds: (1) that, as the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite had left a last will, there was no legal basis to proceed with said intestate proceedings, and (2) that Vicente Uriarte had no legal personality and interest to initiate said intestate proceedings, he not being an acknowledged natural son of the decedent.

Vicente Uriarte opposed the aforesaid motion to dismiss contending that, as the Negros Court was first to take cognizance of the settlement of the estate of the deceased Juan Uriarte y Goite, it had acquired exclusive jurisdiction over same pursuant to Rule 75, Section 1 of the Rules of Court. The Negros Court sustained Juan Uriarte Zamacona's motion to dismiss and dismissed the Special Proceeding No. 6344 pending before it.

Vicente Uriarte filed an Omnibus Motion in Special Proceeding No. 51396 pending in the Manila Court, asking for leave to intervene therein; for the dismissal of the petition and the annulment of the proceedings had in said special proceeding. This motion was denied by said court.

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Held:

1. Whether or not the Negros Court erred in dismissing Special Proceeding No. 6344 - NO

While the jurisdiction of Courts of First Instance over "all matters of probate" is beyond question, the matter of venue, or the particular Court of First Instance where the special proceeding should be commenced, is regulated by Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court, which provides that the estate of a decedent inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death, whether a citizen or an alien, shall be in the court of first instance in the province in which he resided at the time of his death, and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, the court of first instance of any province in which he had estate. Accordingly, when the estate to be settled is that of a non- resident alien (like the deceased) the Courts of First Instance in provinces where the deceased left any property have concurrent jurisdiction to take cognizance of the proper special proceeding for the settlement of his estate. In the case before Us, these Courts of First Instance are the Negros and the Manila Courts - province and city where the deceased left considerable properties.

In accordance with settled jurisprudence in this jurisdiction, testate proceedings, for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person take precedence over intestate proceedings for the same purpose. Thus it has been held repeatedly that, if in the course of intestate proceedings pending before a court of first instance it is found it that the decedent had left a last

will, proceedings for the probate of the latter should replace the intestate proceedings even if at that stage an administrator had already been appointed, the latter being required to render final account and turn over the estate in his possession to the executor subsequently appointed. This, however, is understood to be without prejudice that should the alleged last will be rejected or is disapproved, the proceeding shall continue as an intestacy. As already adverted to, this is a clear indication that proceedings for the probate of a will enjoy priority over intestate proceedings.

2. Whether the Manila Court erred in not dismissing Special Proceeding No. 51396 notwithstanding prior filing of Special Proceeding No. 6344 in the Negros Court - NO

Wrong venue is merely a waiveable procedural defect, and, in the light of the circumstances obtaining in the instant case, Vicente Uriarte has waived the right to raise such objection or is precluded from doing so by laches.

Vicente Uriarte knew of the existence of a will executed by Don Juan since 1961 when Higinio Uriarte filed his opposition to the initial petition filed in Special Proceeding No. 6344;

Vicente Uriarte likewise was served with notice of the existence (presence) of the alleged last will in the Philippines and of the filing of the petition for its probate with the Manila Court since 1962 when Juan Uriarte Zamacona filed a motion for the dismissal of Special Proceeding No. 6344.

All these notwithstanding, it was only in1963 that he filed with the Manila Court in Special Proceeding No.

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51396 an Omnibus motion asking for leave to intervene and for the dismissal and annulment of all the proceedings had therein up to that date.

To allow him now to assail the exercise of jurisdiction over the probate of the will by the Manila Court and the validity of all the proceedings had in Special Proceeding No. 51396 would put a premium on his negligence. This Court is not inclined to annul proceedings regularly had in a lower court even if the latter was not the proper venue therefor, if the net result would be to have the same proceedings repeated in some other court of similar jurisdiction; more so in a case like the present where the objection against said proceedings is raised too late.

Vicente Uriarte is entitled to prosecute Civil Case No. 6142 until it is finally determined, or intervene in Special Proceeding No. 51396 of the Manila Court, if it is still open, or to ask for its reopening if it has already been closed, so as to be able to submit for determination the question of his acknowledgment as natural child of the deceased testator, said court having, in its capacity as a probate court, jurisdiction to declare who are the heirs of the deceased testator and whether or not a particular party is or should be declared his acknowledged natural child.

PCIB v. ESCOLIN (56 SCRA 266) FACTS:

- CHARLES Hodges and LINNIE Hodges were spouses. - Both executed similar wills, whereas the decedent’s entire estate shall go to the surviving spouse and that spouse may do

whatever s/he pleases, with the condition that when the

surviving spouse likewise passes away, the residual estate shall pass on to the surviving brothers/sisters of the (first) decedent [and if brother or sister dies, the corresponding heirs shall represent, etc.]

- LINNIE Hodges died ahead of CHARLES. CHARLES was the

named administrator in LINNIE’s will. - As administrator, CHARLES was allowed by the probate court to do several acts of administration, including continuing the

business run by CHARLES and LINNIE.

- CHARLES made annual reports to the probate court and at

some point he allegedly renounced all the inheritance he got from LINNIE *in favor of LINNIE’s siblings+.

- Shortly after this alleged renunciation, on December 25,

1962, CHARLES died.

- CHARLES died without having ever liquidated or closed or

distributed LINNIE’s estate. - Upon CHARLES’ death, AVELINA Magno was named administratrix of LINNIE’s estate and as Special Administratrix of CHARLES’ estate. Nothing else happened in LINNIE’s estate henceforth. (AVELINA was assigned because she was the one

employee closest to the spouses and she had been with them for more than a decade.)

- AVELINA carried on acts of administration in both estates

until she was joined by CHARLES’ brother, JOE Hodgens, as co-

administrator in CHARLES’ estate.

- AVELINA and JOE were subsequently replaced by several

other individuals until only PCIB was appointed sole administrator (there were no records of why the changes took

place and why PCIB ended up the sole admin)

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- Both proceedings in LINNIE’s and CHARLES’ estates proceeded independent of each other AVELINA acting as admin for LINNIE’s estate and PCIB for CHARLES’.

- Both administrators hired lawyers and eventually had to pay

substantial amounts out of the estate. Both proceedings went on independently until such time that conflicts arose between administrators with respect to safekeeping the properties, liquidating the estate, etc.

- The instant petition for certiorari and prohibition was filed by

PCIB against the court which handled both estate proceedings. The judge (ESCOLIN) kept approving motions apparently from both estates, which led to confusing or even conflicting issues.

ISSUE: (1) Whether there exists, still, LINNIE’s estate (on the theory that her estate is practically closed since she bequeathed everything to her husband)? (2) If so, how much does she still have that would go to her siblings? Are the siblings entitled to anything (on the theory that the will contained substitutions)?

RULING:

(1) Yes, LINNIE’s estate still exists and the proceedings therefor have not closed. While it is true that LINNIE adjudicated her entire estate to CHARLES, she still had her own estate for which the proceedings in which AVELINA is administratrix could proceed. LINNIE’s estate consists of those properties which are her part in the conjugal partnership. However, given the murky factual circumstances, the Court cannot make a final determination which of the properties in the conjugal partnership belong to LINNIE’s estate.

(2) LINNIE’s siblings (or representatives) are entitled to LINNIE’s estate which should not be less than one-fourth of the community estate at the time of her death, minus whatever CHARLES may have gratuitously disposed of during his administration and as sole heir. If CHARLES sold the properties for consideration, such consideration shall continue to form part of LINNIE’s estate. With regard to the alleged substitutions, there was no legal substitution to begin with. CHARLES being named by LINNIE as her sole heir (they had no other heirs), albeit subject to the condition that LINNIE’s relatives would inherit whatever is left, but CHARLES not having to preserve anything for the subsequent heirs this setup is not the substitution contemplated under the Civil Code. Neither is this prohibited by law.

The Supreme Court stated that two hanging issues are better left to the trial court since these are issues of fact: (a) whether CHARLES indeed renounced LINNIE’s inheritance and (b) whether there is a conflict of applicable laws (laws of the Philippines and that of Texas, where the couple has properties), applying the renvoi doctrine and Art. 16 of the Civil Code.

For the meantime, the Supreme Court advised both the administrators to act in conjunction with the other and never proceed with one estate independently.

DEL ROSARIO v. DEL ROSARIO (67 Phil 652) FACTS:

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- RAMON del Rosario (husband) died in 1895 and

FLORENCIA Arcega (wife) in 1933.

- RAMON died intestate and FLORENCIA administered the conjugal properties.

- FLORENCIA acquired other properties using the fruits of the conjugal ones.

- After RAMON died, his intestate was not commenced

and the conjugal properties were not liquidated until

FLORENCIA died, after which the latter's testamentary proceedings were initiated and are now in progress.

- The heirs of both spouses brought this action to

recover their share not only in the conjugal properties

left by RAMON but also in those acquired by FLORENCIA with the products of said properties.

- A demurrer (by other heirs) was interposed to the

complaint on the ground that there is another action pending between the same parties and for the same cause of action; that there is a defect of party plaintiffs and party defendants, and that the complaint does not allege facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action.

- The (probate) court sustained this demurrer and

dismissed the case. From this resolution an appeal was taken.

ISSUE: Whether granting the demurrer was proper.

RULING:

Yes. The appealed judgment is affirmed.

Whatever law might be applicable the intestate of RAMON del Rosario not having been commenced upon his death in 1895 until his widow FLORENCIA Arcega also died in 1933, and the testamentary proceedings of FLORENCIA Arcega having been subsequently initiated, wherein, among other things, the liquidation of her conjugal properties with the deceased RAMON del Rosario should be made the pendency of these testamentary proceedings of the deceased wife excludes any other proceeding aimed at the same purpose (Zaide vs. Concepcion and Quintana, 32 Phil., 403). At any rate, the plaintiffs have a right to intervene in these proceedings as parties interested in the liquidation and partition of the conjugal properties of the deceased spouses.

DOLAR v. ROMAN CATHOLIC (68 Phil 727) FACTS:

1. The deceased had two wives. He had 5 children from his first marriage, and another 4 children from the second.

2. He left a will, setting out his properties and distributing the same to wife #2 and his children by both marriages. He also left a legacy of PhP8,000 to be spent for the altar of the church in Dumangas, ordering that the sum be taken from the fruits of all the properties before partition.

3. Wife #2 was appointed administratix. She filed a project of partition which was not approved because of opposition of certain heirs. Another project of partition was filed which was also not approved because of the opposition of the Bishop of Jaro, who represented the Church of Dumangas. It should be

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noted that the second project of partition was not concurred in by the heirs of the first marriage.

4. In disapproving the 2 nd project of partition, the court ordered Wife #2 to take immediate possession of all the properties and pay from the proceeds thereof, the legacy of PhP8,000. Wife #2 and the heirs (by the 2 nd marriage) appealed the disapproval of the project of partition.

ISSUE: Distribution of the estate

RULING:

1. Unless wife #2 and the heirs by both marriages, as well as the Bishop of Jaro and other creditors of the estate, come to an agreement, the partition should be made

with the intervention of all the interested parties according to law.

2. Thus

a. All debts and administration expenses shall first be paid

b. Conjugal properties of 1 st marriage must be liquidated to determine the shares of the children (as heir of wife #1) and the deceased.

c. Conjugal properties of 2 nd marriage must also be liquidated to determine the share of wife #2 and that of the deceased.

d. Properties corresponding to the deceased (from process (b) and (c)) constitute his estate.

e. Estate shall be partitioned among the ff heirs

i. Children by 1 st and 2 nd marriage

ii. Wife #2

f. As there are forced heirs (yeah!), the legacy should be taken from the free portion only (remaining 1/3). The heirs may deliver to the legatee (Bishop of Jaro) properties equivalent to the 1/3 free portion since the legacy is by way of usufruct.

g. The fruits of the property already received or to be received shall answer for the legacy with respect to 1/3 portion only. The remaining 2/3 shall accrue to the heirs.

h. The legal usufruct of wife #2 shall be taken

from the “third available for betterment”.

3. After partition, the properties corresponding to the heirs as legitime shall be delivered.

4. As to the free third, it shall belong to all the forced

heirs in equal parts, subject to the legacy as to its fruits.

ALFONSO v. NATIVIDAD (6 Phil 240) Facts:

as to its fruits. ALFONSO v. NATIVIDAD (6 Phil 240) Facts: Alfonso: administrator of the estate

Alfonso: administrator of the estate of Pedro ANGELES; sued NATIVIDAD and FLORES for the recovery of 2 separate parcels of land NATIVIDAD land:

- ANGELES and wife obtained a loan from NATIVIDAD and as security pledged the title deed. Upon death of ANGELES and subsequently the wife, NATIVIDAD waited for heirs to appear and pay the debt.

- Claims that the property belonged wife

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FLORES land:

- Land belonged to conjugal partnership. Land was sold to Alejandro with right to repurchase. ANGELES failed to exercise right of repurchase. After his death, wife (TOMASA) repurchased land and sold to FLORES. Issue: W/N Alfonso is entitled to maintain the action for the recovery of the lands? Held:

FLORES land: the repurchase of land by TOMASA gave her the sole ownership; heirs of husband acquired no rights by her repurchase.to maintain the action for the recovery of the lands? Held: NATIVIDAD land: in the absence

NATIVIDAD land: in the absence of proof that money with which land was bought belonged to the wife, declared to be conjugal property. conjugal property.

o

Conjugal partnership dissolved by the death of the husband. As to settlement of partnership affairs: debts and obligations of the partnership affairs shall be discharged, then ½ of the net proceeds be considered as the exclusive property of the deceased spouse. It is necessary to that the executor or administrator appointed is the one entitled to the custody of the property while settlement is being made

o

No lien in favor of NATIVIDAD over the land nor entitle him to retain it until his debt was paidall other property of the partnership will be held for payment of debts.

CRUZ v. DE JESUS (52 Phil 870) Facts:

- This is an appeal made by the petitioners (including the surviving husband) in which the court denied their complaint to liquidate and partition the property left by the deceased Juliana Nabong

- The petitioners claim that Juliana Nabong left no debts, and partition is asked for in the regular court

- This court ruled that the proper action for property belonging to the conjugal partnership (especially since the surviving spouse is a party) should be in an intestate/testate proceeding for the settlement of the deceased’s estate

Issue:

Whether or not an action lies for the liquidation and partition of the property of a conjugal partnership dissolved by the death of the wife, said property having been in the possession of the surviving spouse for many years, without his having made any inventory thereof, nor liquidated and partitioned it, and it not appearing that there is any debt to pay?

Held:

Yes, an action lies for liquidation and partition.

Sec 685 of Act No. 190 established two methods of liquidating the property of a conjugal partnership, if the marriage is dissolved by the death of one of the spouses:

a) by testate/intestate proceedings

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b) by ordinary proceeding for liquidation and partition

When the marriage is dissolved by death of the wife, the husband’s power of management ceases and is shifted to the administrator in the testate/intestate proceedings to the end

that there are any debts to be paid. If there are no debts, as in

in

this

case

the

liquidation

and

partition

may

be

made

ordinary proceedings for that purpose.

well as her participation in the conjugal partnership with him. The sisters then after partitioned the properties, this was also thumbmarked by their stepmother Macaria.

he Court then concluded that the three documents were valid and binding and that as a consequence the Calimon sisters are entitled to continue possessing the land and properties assigned to them.

DE LA RAMA v. DE LA RAMA (7 Phil 745)

 

Issue:

VILLACORTE v. MARIANO (89 Phil 160) Facts:

Whether the lower court erred in finding that the properties belong to the sisters without previously requiring an inventory and liquidation of the conjugal properties of the deceased Leon and Macaria.

Held: NO

Leon Calimon married thrice. With his first wife Adriana Carpio he had three children Canuta, Tranquilina, Maria and Enriqueta. He then married Venacia Inducil who has a child by previous marriage, Tiburcio Villacorta. Venancia and Leon did

Ratio:

not have any children. Leon thenafter married Macaria Mariano, they did not have any children as well.

Petitioners here are the widow and daughter of Tiburcio seeking to recover 38 parcels of land from Canuta and her sisters and Macaria Mariano. Mariano in her answer claimed that the lots were owned exclusively by Leon Calimon but later on filed another answer asserting that all the realities has been acquired during her coverture with Leon and she also filed a cross claim against Canuta and her sisters demanding the recognition of her rights as surviving spouse. She claimed that through deceit, the sisters made her sign three documents assigning to her a riceland, a fishpond and 2,400 and renouncing her interest and rights in the estate of Leon as

It was unnecessary to prepare the inventory and make the liquidation because the parties interested the widow and the children, already reached a compromise. Macaria cannot get away from her commitment and claim that she did not know the contents of the documents she signed. The said documents are valid and binding, and it was shown that only when there was delay in the delivery of one of the properties assigned to her did she question the validity of the documents.

CALMA v. TANEDO (68 Phil 594) Facts:

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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS Case Digests RULE 73

The spouses Eulalio Calma and Fausta Macasaquit were the owners of a certain property. They were indebted to Esperanza Tañedo, and these debts were chargeable against the conjugal property. Fausta Macasaquit died leaving a will wherein she appointed her daughter, Maria Calma, as administratrix of her properties.

In the probate proceedings in the CFI of Tarlac, Maria Calma was appointed judicial administratrix of the properties of the deceased. While these probate proceedings were pending, Esperanza Tanedo filed a suit for collection against Eulalio Calma. The CFI of Tarlac rendered judgment for the payment of this sum. In the execution of this judgment, despite the third party claim filed by Fausta Macasaquit, the conjugal property was sold by the sheriff. Maria Calma, as administratrix of the estate of Fausta Macasaquit, brought an action to ask that the sale made by the sheriff of the property be annulled and that the estate of Fausta Macasaquit be declared the sole and absolute owner thereof.

Held:

The sale of the property made by the sheriff in execution of the judgment rendered against Eulalio Calma for the collection of the indebtedness chargeable against the conjugal property, is void and said property should be deemed subject to the testamentary proceedings of the deceased Fausta Macasaquit.

The probate proceedings were instituted in accordance with Act No. 3176:

SEC. 685. When the marriage is dissolved by the death of the husband or wife, the community property shall be

inventoried, administered, and liquidated, and the debts thereof shall be paid, in the testamentary or intestate proceedings of the deceased spouse, in accordance with the provisions of this Code relative to the administration and liquidation and partition proceeding, unless the parties, being all of age and legally capacitated, avail themselves of the right granted to them by this Code of proceeding to an extrajudicial partition and liquidation of said property.

In case it is necessary to sell any portion of said community property in order to pay the outstanding debts and obligations of the same, such sale shall be made in the manner and with the formalities established by this Code for the sale of the property of deceased persons. Any sale, transfer, alienation or disposition of said property effected without said formalities shall be null and void, except as regards the portion that belonged to the vendor at the time the liquidation and partition was made.

The testamentary proceedings of Fausta Macasaquit having been instituted, the liquidation and partition of the conjugal property by reason of her marriage to Eulalio Calma should be made in these proceedings, to the exclusion of any other proceeding for the same purpose.

When the marriage is dissolved by the death of the wife, the legal power of management of the husband ceases, passing to the administrator appointed by the court in the testate or intestate proceedings instituted to that end if there be any debts to be paid. Thus, Eulalio Calma having ceased as legal administrator of the conjugal property had with his wife

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Fausta Macasaquit, no complaint can be brought against him for the recovery of an indebtedness chargeable against said conjugal property, and that the action should be instituted in the testamentary proceedings of the deceased Fausta Macasaquit in the manner provided by law, by filing it first with the committee on claims.

OCAMPO v. POTENCIANO (89 Phil 160) FACTS:

1) Edilberto Ocampo, husband of Paz Yatco (plaintiff Ocampo), executed a deed of sale w/ pacto de retro on a town lot w/ house in favor of Conrado Potenciano (defendant) and his wife. Edilberto also made a document where vendees where leasing to him house and lot during the redemption period.

2) House and lot conjugal property in reality, even if reg in husband's name only

3) One year repurchase period was "extendible to another year" but extensions were granted. Period lapsed w/o repurchase so defendant Potenciano consolidated title w/ RD of Laguna.

4) Potenciano gave plaintiff Paz Ocampo option to repurchase property w/in 5 years + 5 yr lease. Paz sought to exercise option by tendering payment to Potenciano but tender was rejected. Paz deposited money in court and brought action as administratrix of husband's estate to have property reinstated to them.

5) Potenciano's children, Victor and Lourdes, intervened by filing cross-complaint alleging that option to purchase null and void as to share of their dead mom because they inherited her share and as to their dad, Victor and Lourdes were exercising right of redemption as co-owners of property.

6) Paz amended complaint:

a) pacto de retro sale was really a mortgage

b) option agreement was really extension of the mortgage

c) valid tender of payment w/in the period

7) CFI gave judgment in favor of Paz and kids (sub after her death). CA found that pacto de retro sale was really a mortgage so Potencianos had no right to consolidate title over the property. However, CA said that mortgage novated by option agreement for the repurchase of mortgaged property. Potenciano siblings argue that this was error because Potenciano dad had no authority to enter into agreement after wife's death. SC agrees.

ISSUE: W/n CA erred in supposing that surviving spouse had such authority as de facto administrator of conjugal estate?

HELD: YES, CA erred, Potenciano dad no authority to enter into option ag'mt.

rule that, upon the

dissolution of the marriage by the death of the wife, the

husband must liquidate the partnership affairs, are now

1) The decisions laying

down

the

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obsolete. PRESENT RULE: when the marriage is dissolved by death of either husband or wife, the partnership affairs must be liquidate in the testate or intestate proceedings of the deceased spouse (Rule 75, Sec. 2)

2) Option agreement was nothing more than mere extension of time for payment of mortgage debt since the real transaction was the equitable mortgage

3) Tender and consignation of Paz must be held to produce their legal effect, to relieve debtor from liability.

4) Thus, Victor and Lourdes (appellant children) Potenciano acquired nothing because ownership of property never passed to their parents

PRADO v. NATIVIDAD (47 Phil 776)

DE LA RAMA v. DE LA RAMA (25 Phil 437) Facts:

The plaintiff Agueda charged her husband with adultery and prayed for a divorce, alimony pendente lite and division of the conjugal partnership.

Defendant Esteban denied the charge of adultery and countered by charging his wife with adultery as well.

Judgment was rendered in favor of Agueda granting her the sum of P81,042.76 as her share in the conjugal share.

Upon appeal to SC of the Phils, the decision was overturned based on the reasoning that the evidence showed both spouses were guilty of adultery and therefore divorce was not available to either party.

Appeal to the SC of US resulted in upholding the decision of the lower court as to granting the divorce prayed for by the plaintiff. However, as to the other issues (alimony, share in the conjugal partnership) the case was remanded back to the SC of the Phils for further proceeding.

Plaintiff insists that SC of the Phils should merely affirm the judgment of CFI as per SC of US judgment.

Defendant on the other hand states that error was incurred in fixing the amount of the half of said alleged conjugal property at P81,042.75, without having examined the necessary antecedents and data

Held:

SC of US merely decided on the issue of adultery and did not touch on the issue regarding division of the conjugal partnership. It remanded the case to SC of Phils precisely to decide on the issues it did not address.

CFI erred in fixing the amount at P81,042.75.

Article 1418 provides, except in certain cases, an inventory shall at once be made.

We have held in the case of Alfonso vs. Natividad that when the partnership is dissolved by the death of the husband this inventory must be made in the proceedings for the settlement of his estate.

In the case of Prado vs. Lagera we ruled that the inventory thus formed must include the bienes parafernales of the wife.

It is very evident from the provisions of the Civil Code that the inventory includes the capital of the husband, the dowry of the wife, the bienes parafernales of the

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wife, and all the property acquired by the partnership during its existence.

After this inventory has been made it is provided by article 1421 that there shall be first paid the dowry of the wife, in the second place the bienes parafernales of the wife, in the third place the debts and obligations of the conjugal partnership, and in the fourth place the capital of the husband

Conjugal property which is to be divided when the partnership is dissolved is determined not with reference to the income or profits which may have been received during the partnership by the spouses, but rather by the amount of the actual property possessed by them at such dissolution after making the deductions and payments aforesaid. This is positively provided by article 1424.

An examination of the decision of the Court of First Instance shows that no attempt was made to comply with any one of these statutory provision. (No inventory, no paying of the wife’s bienes parafernales, etc.) and their decision was based on the profits made by conjugal partnership after its formation.

The theory of the Civil Code is that the conjugal property is the actual property which is left at the dissolution of the partnership. It can, therefore, never be determined by adding up the profits, which had been made each year during its existence, and then saying that result is the conjugal property. The case is remanded to the court below for the purpose of liquidating the conjugal partnership

FULGENCIO v. GATCHALIAN (21 Phil 252) Facts:

Plaintiff Josefa Fulgencio was the administratrix of the intestate estate of Dionisio Fulgencio (deceased). Defendant Gatchalian was the second wife of deceased. Gatchalian and the other defendants had control of the properties of the deceased and were sued by Fulgencio in order to be compelled delivery of the said properties to the latter (Fulgencio, who was the administratrix). Fernando Fulgencio, legitimate son of the deceased by the latter’s first marriage, intervened in the suit in order to protect his rights in the estate of the deceased. Gatchalian claimed that she should not be compelled to deliver the entirety of the properties demanded because some of it were her own and not part of the conjugal partnership. Note that there was an agreement between the parties conceding that certain properties (drygoods store, bakery, cigar and cigarette stand, bazaar) were paraphernal properties of the deceased.

Issue:

Whether Gatchalian could be compelled to deliver all the properties demanded from her.

Held:

YES. Article 1407 of the Civil Code provides: “All the property of the marriage shall be considered as partnership property until it is proven that it belongs exclusively to the husband or to the wife.”

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If it be not proven conclusively that the property claimed by

the administratrix is paraphernalia and belongs exclusively to the defendant Benita Gatchalian, it must be deemed to be conjugal partnership property, liable for the debts of the conjugal partnership, and therefore, by virtue of the preinserted agreement, the administratrix has a right to be placed in possession of the same for the purpose of its inventory in the special proceedings, without prejudice to the rights of the widow Benita Gatchalian in relation to her own

property or to that of the nature of paraphernalia, for, once the inventory of the property of the intestate estate has been made, the latter will have the same opportunity to claim the exclusion of the property belonging to her exclusively and that

of the nature of paraphernalia.

LUKBAN v. REPUBLIC (98 Phil 574) Facts: Petitioner Lourdes G. Lukban contracted marriage with Francisco Chuidian on Dec. 10, 1933. On dec. 27 of the same year, Francisco left Lourdes after a violent quarreland since then he has not been heard from despite diligent search made by her. She believes that he is already dead for he has been absent for more than 20 years and because she intends to marry again, she desires that her civil status be defined in order that she be relieved of any liability under the law.

A petition was filed in the Court of first instance of Rizal for a

declaration that petitioner Lourdes is the widow of her husband Francisco who is presumed to be dead and has no legal impediment to contract a subsequent marriage.

Issue: Whether or not the petition filed be Petitioner Lourdes has merit.

Held: No. A petition for judicial declaration that petitioner’s husband is presumed to be dead cannot be entertained because it is not authorized by law, and if such declaration cannot be made in a special proceeding, much less can the court determine the status of petitioner as a widow since this matter must of necessity depend upon the fact of death of the husband. This the court can declare upon proper evidence, but not to decree that he is presumed to be dead. The philosophy behind this ruling of the Court is that “judicial pronouncement to that effect, even if final and executor, would still be prima facie presumption only. It is still disputable. It is for that reason that it cannot be the subject of judicial pronouncement or declaration, if it is the only question or matter involved in a case, or upon which a competent court has to pass. It is therefore clear that a judicial declaration that a person presumptively dead, because he had been unheard from in seven years, being a presumption juris tantum only, subject to contrary proof, cannot reach the stage of finality or become final. Regarding Petitioner’s reliance on the Hagans vs. Wislizenus, alleging that the remedy she is seeking for can be granted in the present proceedingwhile it is true that a special proceeding is an application or proceeding to establish the status, right of a party or a particular fact, that remedy can be invoked if the purpose is to seek the declaration of death of the husband, and not, as in the present case, to establish a presumption of death. If it can be satisfactorily proven that the husband is dead, the court would not certainly deny a declaration to that effect.

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RULE 74

UTULO v. VDA DE GARCIA (66 Phil 302)

Facts:

Juan Garcia Sanchez died intestate leaving his spouse Leona and 3 children Juan, Patrocinio and Luz

During the pendency of the administration proceedings of the father’s estate, Luz died w/o any legitimate descendants; her only forced heirs were her mother and husband Pablo Utulo

The only property Luz left was her share in her father’s estate

Pablo Utulo commenced the judicial administration of Luz’s estate; he asked the court to be the administrator

Leona opposed saying that since the deceased left no indebtedness, there was no occasion for judicial administration; and if there is, she had better right

Pablo claims that it was necessary for him to be named the administrator so that he may have legal capacity to appear in the intestate proceedings of Juan

Pablo was named administrator; Leona’s appeal was granted; thus the petition

Issue:

Leona’s appeal was granted; thus the petition Issue: whether there administrator was a need for appointment

whether

there

administrator

was

a

need

for

appointment

of

Held: There was no need for appointment of administrator

As a general rule, when a person dies and fails to leave a will or he had left one but failed to name an executor, the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator

Exceptions: (1) when all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts due from the estate of the deceased, the heirs may agree in writing to partition of the property without instituting the judicial administration; (2) where the property left does not exceed P6,000, summary partition may be had without instituting the judicial administration and the appointment of an administrator

In these instances, the heirs are not bound to submit the property to judicial administration or to apply for the appointment of an administrator in court it is costly, superfluous, and unnecessary since the heirs own the property from the moment of death of the decedent

Pablo’s appointment as administrator was not necessary in order that he may have standing in the proceedings of Juan’s estate; he could appear by right of representation

HERNANDEZ v. ANDAL (78 Phil 196) Facts:

-PF (Cresencia Hernandez), intervenors (Maria and Aquilina Hernandez) and Pedro and Basilia Hernandez who are not

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parties here, are brother and sisters. They acquired in common from their father a parcel of land. -Intervenors sold 1800 sq. m. of this parcel to DF Zacarias Andal and his wife for P860. This portion purports to be the combined share of the intervenors in the larger parcel pursuant to an alleged verbal partition among the siblings. -After the sale, PF attempted to repurchase the land sold to Andal offering P150 which she said was the amount DF had paid for intervenors’ shares, but it is alleged that DF refused. -PF filed a supplemental complaint wherein she announced in open court that she was willing to repurchase said property for P860 plus expenses. -However, on a certain date, DF executed a deed of sale for P970 in favor of intervenors. -In trial, when asked whether the land described in PF’s complaint was the object of partition among the co-owners, PF’s counsel objected on the ground that the best evidence was the document of partition itself, asserting that under ROC, agreement affecting real estate may not be proved except by means of writing subscribed by the person against whom the proof is offered. -Court ruled that under Rules 73 and 123 of the ROC (statute of frauds) and art. 1243 of Civil Code, parol evidence of partition was inadmissible. It declared that the resale of the land by DF to intervenors were illegal and in bad faith. To this, DF and intervenors appealed.

Issues:

[1.]W/N lower court erred in refusing to admit oral evidence for proving a contract of partition among the heirs on the ground that it was not admissible.

[2.]W/N appeal should be dismissed since the findings and conclusions in the appealed decision were not assigned as errors.

Held:

[1.] Yes. There is a conflict of authority as to whether an agreement of partition is such a contract as is required to be in writing under the statute of frauds. The reason for the rule that excludes partition from the operation of the SOF is that partition is not a conveyance but simply a separation and designation of that part of the land which belongs to each tenant in common. -the law has been uniformly interpreted to be applicable to executory and not to completed or executed contracts. Performance of the contract takes it out of the operation of the statute. SOF does not declare the contracts therein enumerated void and of no legal effect but only makes ineffective the action for specific performance. -On gen. principle, courts of equity have enforced oral partition when it has been completely or partly performed. -Sec. 1 of Rule 74 contains no express or clear declaration that the public instrument therein required is to be constitutive of a contract of partition or an inherent element of its effectiveness as between the parties. The requirement that a partition be put in a public document and registered has for its purpose the protection of the creditors and the heirs themselves against tardy claims. Hence, the intrinsic validity of the partition not executed with the prescribed formalities is not affected when there are no creditors or the rights of the creditors are not affected, as in this case.

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[2.] No. An unassigned error closely related to an error properly assigned, or upon which the determination of the question raised by the error properly assigned is dependent, will be considered by the appellate court notwithstanding the failure to assign it as error. -in this case, the evidence on parol partition tendered by DF and intervenors was ruled out and the complain of this exclusion as error. In this manner, the assignment of error squarely meets and attacks the opinion and judgment of the trial court. An analysis of the case will show that on the validity of the alleged partition hangs the result of the entire litigation and on the validity depends in turn the competence of the excluded evidence.

TORRES v. TORRES (10 SCRA 185) FACTS:

- PAZ E. Siguion Torres died intestate on December 18,

1959.

- ALBERTO S. Torres (petitioner), claiming to be one of the four legitimate children of Paz, petitioned to be administrator of the properties left by the decedent (aggregate value of about

P300,000.00). He also claimed he was not aware of any debt left by the decedent.

- ALBERTO’S petition was opposed by CONCHITA Torres, one

of the heirs, on the ground that on January 27, 1960, the heirs

of the deceased (including petitioner) had already entered into an extrajudicial partition and settlement of the estate, pursuant to Sec. 1 of Rule 74. - The extrajudicial deed of partition of the estate contains the following provisions:

“1. That they (ALBERTO, ANGEL, EDUARDO and CONCHITA, all surnamed Torres) are

the only legitimate children who survive the deceased Paz Siguion Vda. de Torres;

x x x

x x x

x x x

“3. That the said decedent died without leaving any will and her only surviving heirs are the aforementioned parties who are her legitimate children;

“4. That the deceased left no debts;

x x x

x x x

x x x

“6. That pursuant to Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court and in view of the difficulty of making a physical division of the above properties, the parties have agreed to settle the aforementioned estate by continuing the co-ownership on all the above properties in the following proportion:

ALBERTO Torres ¼ undivided interest ANGEL Torres ¼ undivided interest EDUARDO Torres ¼ undivided interest CONCHITA Torres ¼ undivided interest” (Emphasis supplied.) - ALBERTO, while admitting that such extrajudicial partition was signed by the heirs, contended that attempts at the actual designation of their respective shares had failed thus needing the court's intervention. He also claimed that some properties of considerable value were not included in said extrajudicial partition. In another pleading, he claimed that the decedent had an outstanding debt of P50,000.

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- On July 21, 1961, the court, finding that an extrajudicial settlement had already been entered into by the heirs, dismissed ALBERTO’S petition.

ISSUE:

Whether administration or a special proceeding for the settlement of the estate is necessary.

RULING: No. The claim of the decedent’s debts is unsubstantiated. ALBERTO did not specify from whom and in what manner the said debt was contracted. The bare allegation that "the estate has an existing debt of P50,000.00 from third persons" cannot be considered as concise statement to constitute a cause of action.

If other properties are not included in the deed of extrajudicial partition in the possession of one of the heirs, the questions such as the titles and their partition if proven to belong to the intestate can be properly and expeditiously litigated in an ordinary action of partition and not in an administration proceeding. Thus, where the decedent left no debts and heirs or legatees are all of age, as in this case, there is no necessity for the institution of special proceedings and the appointment of an administrator for the settlement of the estate, because the same can be effected either extra-judicially or through an ordinary action for partition. If there is an actual necessity for court intervention in view of the heirs' failure to reach an agreement as to how the estate would be divided physically, the heirs still have the remedy of an ordinary action for partition under Rule 74.

ARCILLAS v. MONTEJO (26 SCRA 197) FACTS:

1. 2 petitions were filed in relation to the LOT owned by the decedent Arcillas.

2. Petition #1 was filed by Geronimo (one of the heirs) in order to cancel the TCT covering said LOT and the issuance of a new TCT in the names of the heirs in the corresponding portions alleged in the petition. This petition was based on a claim that several other heirs executed separate sales of their respective shares and participation in said LOT to Vicente (one of the private respondents).

3. Petition #2 was filed by the other children of the deceased praying for issuance of letters of administration in favor of PETITIONER preparatory to the final settlement of the deceased’s estate.

4. PETITIONER opposed Petition #1 inasmuch as the subject matter thereof was included in the estate of the deceased for which a petition for administration was awaiting resolution (Petition #2).

5. Geronimo, on the other hand, opposed Petition #2 arguing that inasmuch as the LOT was the only property of the deceased, and that the deceased left no debts, the petition for administration was improper.

6. Court denied Petition #2 and instead, gave due course to Petition #1.

7. PETITIONER filed for certiorari with mandamus and preliminary injunction.

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ISSUES:

1. Whether the administration proceedings (Petition #2), upon the averment that the estate left no debts and all the heirs are of age, was properly dismissed

2. Whether the cadastral action (Petition #1) was the more proper proceeding under the circumstances

RULING: The Special Proceeding (Petition #2) should be reinstated.

1. No. Section 1, Rule 74 provides that if the decedent left no will and no debts and the heirs and legatees are all of age, the parties may, without securing letters of administration, divide the estate among themselves by means of a public instrument filed in the Register of Deeds. In case of disagreement, they may do so in an

ordinary action of partition.

The aforementioned rule is not mandatory or compulsory, as may be seen from the use of the word “may”. Thus, the rule does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration proceedings despite the fact that the estate left no debts and that all the heirs are of legal age.

2. No. Petition #2 was premised on Section 112 of Act 496, which authorizes a person in interest to ask the court for any erasure, alteration, or amendment of a certificate of title “upon the ground that registered interests of any description, whether vested, contingent, expectant or inchoate have terminated and ceased”.

However, said relief can only be granted if

a. There is unanimity among the parties, or

b. There is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of any interested party

Absent the foregoing, the case becomes controversial and should be threshed out in an ordinary case or in the case where the incident properly belongs.

ERMAC v. MEDELO (64 SCRA 359) Facts:

Spouses Ermac and Mariquit both died leaving a parcel of land as the only property to be inherited by heirs MEDELO: grandson filed petition for summary settlement of the estate. ERMAC: moved for reconsideration of the order of settlement claiming the land as belonging to him and his wife. Issue: W/N the approval of the project of partition was valid despite the claim of ERMAC in a separate civil action? Held:

The policy of the law is to terminate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the deceased persons with the least loss of time.

o Small estates: summary procedure dispensing with appointment of administrator

procedure dispensing with appointment of administrator G EOFF -D AVS -W ENG -J AM -L YRA
procedure dispensing with appointment of administrator G EOFF -D AVS -W ENG -J AM -L YRA
procedure dispensing with appointment of administrator G EOFF -D AVS -W ENG -J AM -L YRA
procedure dispensing with appointment of administrator G EOFF -D AVS -W ENG -J AM -L YRA

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Page B- 6 SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS Case Digests RULE 74 Not proper to delay the summary settlement

Not proper to delay the summary settlement of a deceased person just because an heir or a third person claims that certain properties do not belong to the estate; properly ventilated in an independent action and probate court should proceed to the distribution of the estate (subject to the results of suit). Appropriate step: proper annotation of lis pendens

CARREON v. AGCAOILI (1 SCRA 521) Facts:

- During the marriage of Bonifacio Carreon and Celerina Dauag the registered land subject of this case was acquired. After the death of Carreon, his widow Celerina executed an affidavit adjudicating to herself alone the said land

- She declared she was the only heiress of her husband. The OCT was cancelled and a TCT was issued in her name.

- There was however annotated on her certificate a lien to the effect that her title was subject to Section 4 of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court (if within 2 years an heir deprived of his share in the estate reappears such heir may compel settlement)

- Celerina mortgaged the property for 1,200 to PNB, when her loan was due she sold the property for 3,000 to Agcaoili, thus the mortgage was paid and the land transferred to herein respondent

- the children of Celerina with the deceased husband filed a complaint against the spouses Agcaoili seeking to have the deed of sale executed by their mother

declared as one of mortgage and to recover one half pro-indiviso of the land described in the complaint, they claimed that Agcaoili was in bad faith knowing that Celerina was not the only heir of her husband, and thus he was holding the land in trust for them

- Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment upon the plea that the main averments of the complaint even if admitted do not constitute a cause of action and supported their plea with certain documentary evidence. The court ruled in favor of Agcaoili stating the petitioners averments had no basis

Issue: Was Agcaoili a buyer in bad faith? Using Sec 4 Rule 74, do the petitioners have a lien on the title?

Held: No to Both Agcaoili is not expected to know Celerina’s relatives even if he is a townmate. There is no clear proof he knew of the existence of petitioners.

The lien petitioners speak of is effective only for a period of two years. From September 28, 1946, when a TCT was issued to Celerina, to September 8, 1949 when the deed of sale in favor of Agcaoili was issued and registered, more than two years had elapsed The right to have such lien cancelled became vested on appellee Agcaoili and that the same had become functus oficio.

Also, there being no fraud in the transaction on the part of Agcaoili, nor proof that he knew of any legal infirmity in the

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title of his vendor, he is not deemed to be holding the land in trust for the children of Celerina Dauag

and their are no debts due from the intestate estate, or all the debts have been paid by the heirs, the heirs

SEC. 597. In such case distributees liable for debts. But

McMICKING v. SY CONBIENG (21 Phil 211) FACTS:

 

may, by a family council as shown under Spanish law, or by agreement between themselves, duly executed in writing, apportion and divide the estate among

When Margarita JOSE died, his estate was administered by PALANCA with Dy CUNYAO and Mariano Lao SEMPCO as sureties. - When Mariano LAO SEMPCO died, his estate was administered by Doroteo VELASCO, and Mariano VELASCO and BARRETO were the sureties.

-

themselves, as they may see fit, without proceedings in court.

if it shall appear, at any time within two years after such settlement and distribution of the estate, that

-

When BARRETO died SY CONBIENG administered his estate.

there are debts outstanding against the estate which

Along the way PALANCA absconded with about 4/5 of JOSE’s estate.

-

have not been paid, any creditor may compel the settlement of the estate in the courts in the manner

-

The court then appointed MCMICKING who then tried to

hereinafter provided, unless his debt shall be paid,

claim on the surety LAO SEMPCO. - But since LAO SEMPCO’s estate cannot pay, MCMICKING brought an action to claim against LAO SEMPCO’s surety BARRETO (whose estate is administered by SY CONBIENG).

with interest; and the administrator appointed by the court may recover the assets of the estate from those who have received them, for the purpose of paying the debts; and the real estate belonging to the deceased

Trial court ruled in favor of SY CONBIENG and dismissed MCMICKING’s claim. Hence this appeal.

-

shall remain charged with the liability to creditors for the full period of two years after such distribution, notwithstanding any transfers thereof that may have

ISSUE:

Whether

MCMICKING

can

claim

from

BARRETO’s

been made.

estate.

HELD: No. The court based its ruling on these:

SEC. 596. Settlement of intestate estates, without legal proceedings, in certain cases. Whatever all the heirs of a deceased person are of lawful age and legal capacity,

We are of the opinion that the judgment must be affirmed. We base our affirmance upon the ground that Doroteo Velasco, for whom the deceased Pio de la Guardia Barretto was surety, would not have been liable himself had this action been commenced against him. If the principal is not liable upon the obligation, the surety cannot be.

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- For the court ruled that VELASCO having performed his

original obligation partitioning the estate was from that point

on free from liability; and so it follows that his sureties were also free.

- And that any new claim arising within the two years

necessitates the appointment of a new administrator and new sureties. For the original sureties secured only one obligation and not two. - The court then explained that MCMICKING seemed to argue

that if the estate has any outstanding debts after partition that the partition itself is invalid. It is not so.

In answer the court explained:

as already seen, in order that it be a reason for such appointment and administration, the claim must be presented within two years [it was presented in 5] from the date of the partition and distribution. Summarizing, we have seen that lack of opportunity, either by want of notice or otherwise, and the consequent failure to present a claim before partition, is, under the sections we are discussing, of no consequence whatever in so far as the validity of the partition is concerned. We have also seen that the fact that there were debts outstanding and unpaid at the time the partition took place is of no importance so far as the validity of the partition is concerned, leaving out account the question of fraud to which we have already adverted and left undecided. We have also seen that the fact such claim exists and is valid and subsistent against the estate is of no consequence whatever with respect to the right of its holder to require an

administration of the estate unless such claim is discovered and presented within two years. The fact that the claim in the case at bar was, during a certain period, a contingent one is of no importance. The sections under discussion make no distinction between claims. The creditor himself is not without duties. In the case at bar it was five years after the petition before the alleged creditor made any attempt whatsoever to "discover" or present his claim. He knew of the death of OCAMPO very soon after it occurred. He knew that it was among the possibilities that OCAMPO'S estate might be called upon to respond for the failure of PALANCA to perform his duty as administrator. It was his duty to see to it that he would be protected in that event. Nevertheless he permitted the estate of OCAMPO to be partitioned and distributed without protest and without the presentation of his contingent claim, and sat quiet and passive for nearly five years thereafter knowing that it was very probable that the property of the estate was being consumed, incumbered, and transferred by the persons among whom it had been distributed.

PERIERA v. CA (174 SCRA 154) Facts:

Andres Periera died intestate, with no debts. He was survived be his wife of 10 months Victoria Periera who is a nurse in London and his sister Rita Nagac. Rita instituted as special proceeding for the issuance of letters if administration in her favor pertaining to the estate of the deceased which is said to include his death benefits from PAL, bank accounts in PNB and PCIB and a 300 sq mt land in Las Pinas. Victoria filled a motion to dismiss the petition alleging that there is no estate of the

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deceased for purposes of administration or that if there is an estate letters of administration be issued in her favor as surviving spouse. The trial court appointed Rita as administrator which Victoria is now questioning.

It has been repeatedly held that when a person dies without leaving pending obligations to be paid, his heirs, whether of age of not, are not bound to submit the property to a judicial administration, which is always long and costly, or to apply for

Issue:

the appointment of an administrator by the Court. It has been uniformly held that in such case the judicial administration

Whether a judicial administration proceeding is necessary where there are no debts left by the decedent as in this case?

and the appointment of an administrator are superfluous and unnecessary proceedings.

Held: NO

In this case, the only two surviving heirs are the spouse and

JEREZ v. NIETES (30 SCRA 905)

In 1960 Nicolas Jalandoni died. A special proceeding for the

Lucilo Jalandoni, alleging that he is an acknowledged natural

Ratio:

sister who are both or age. They admit that there are no debts. The estate is also not substantial. What is apparent is

As a general rule, when a person dies leaving property, the same should be judicially administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator, in the order established in Sec 6, Rule 78 in case the deceased left no will or in case he left one should he failed to name an executor. An exemption to this rule is established in Section 1 of Rule 74, when all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts

due from the estate, they may agree in writing to partition the property without instituting the judicial administration or applying for appointment of an administrator.

Section 1 of Rule 74 however does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligations, if they do not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action for partition. Where partition is possible, either in or out of court, the estate should not be burdened with an administration proceeding without good and compelling reasons.

that these two heirs are not in good terms and that Rita wants to administer the estate because she wants to take possession of the properties, this is not a compelling reason which will necessitate a judicial administration of the estate of the deceased.

Facts:

settlement of his estate was filed before the CFI of Iloilo, and his widow, Lucrecia Jerez, was appointed as administratrix. In 1966, a project of partition and final accounting was submitted, and the respondent Judge Nietes approved the same.

child of the late Nicolas Jalandoni, and Victoria Jalandoni de Gorriceta, alleging that she is an illegitimate daughter, sought to be allowed to intervene on the ground that they were

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preterited in the project of partition which they would have respondent Judge reject for being contrary to law. Judge Nietes allowed intervention and reopened the proceedings to permit the movants "to present whatever evidence they may have to show their right to participate in the estate of the deceased." The widow and legitimate children of Nicolas Jalandoni filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA, which denied such petition to annul and set aside the order of respondent Judge.

Held:

Judge Nietes is directed to require private respondents Lucilo Jalandoni and Victoria Jalandoni de Gorriceta to present evidence to justify their right to intervene in Special Proceeding No. 1562 re Intestate Estate of Nicolas H. Jalandoni pending before such sala.

Doctrine of liberality as to pleas for intervention: rather than require any party who can allege a grievance that his interest was not recognized in a testate or intestate proceeding to file

a separate and independent action, he may within the

reglementary period secure the relief that is his due by a reopening of the case even after a project of partition and final accounting had been approved.

Although the recognition of their right to intervene appeared

to be tentative and conditional, it cannot be denied that they

were given a standing sufficient to set aside the project of partition. However, the verified motion on the part of private respondents (Lucilo and Victoria) did not suffice to call into play the power of respondent Judge to allow intervention.

There must be proof beyond allegations in such motion to show the interest of the private movants. In the absence thereof, the action taken by respondent Judge could be considered premature. "No one may quibble over the existence of the court's discretion on whether to admit or reject intervention. But such discretion is not unlimited."

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RULES 75 76

FERNANDEZ v. DIMAGIBA (21 SCRA 428) FACTS:

1) Ismaela Dimagiba (respondent) submitted petition for probate of purported will of Benedicta delos Reyes as the sole heir of deceased. Later, heirs Dionisio Fernandez, et. al. (oppositors) filed opposition to the probate on grounds of forgery, vices of consent, laches, and revocation of the will on deeds of sale. 2) CFI found will genuine and properly executed but deferred resolution on estoppel and revocation grounds until intrinsic validity will be passed upon. Oppositors insisted that estoppel and revocation issues be considered but CFI overruled claim until opportune time. Later, CFI ruled that Benedicta’s will was unrevoked by deeds of sale. 3) CA admitted will to probate and upheld finality for lack of opportune appeal, that it was appealable independently of issue of revocation, affirmed CFI.

ISSUES:

1) W/n decree of CFI allowing probate had become final for lack of appeal? 2) W/n order overruling estoppel had become final? 3) w/n Benedicta’s will had been impliedly revoked by her deeds of sale?

HELD:

1) YES, CA correct, CFI decree allowing probate is final. Finality of probate decree: A probate decree finally and definitively settles all questions concerning capacity of the

testator and proper execution and witnessing of his last will and testament, irrespective of whether its provisions are valid and unenforceable or otherwise. As such, the probate order is final and appealable, and it is so recognized by express provisions of Sec. 1 of Rule 109 (see enumeration of 6 instances when appeal may be taken in specpro) 2) YES, CA correct, order overruling estoppel final. Estoppel cannot be raised in probate proceedings: The presentation and probate of a will are requirements of public policy, being primarily designed to protect the testator’s expressed wishes , w/c are entitled to respect as a consequence of the decedent’s ownership and right of dispossession within legal limits. It would be a non sequitur to allow public policy to be evaded on the pretext of estoppel. W/n the order overruling the allegation of estoppel is still appealable or not , the defense is patently meritorious. 3) NO, revocation of will doubtful; CA correct, existence of any change from original intent of testatrix Benedicta is rendered doubtful by the circumstance that subsequent alienations made in favor of legatee Dimagiba and she paid “no consideration whatsoever,” making it more doubtful that in conveying property to legatee, testatrix Benedicta merely intended to comply in advance with her testament, rather than a departure therefrom.

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MERCADO v. SANTOS (66 SCRA 215) FACTS:

Mercado filed in CFI Pampanga a petition for probate of will of deceased wife Ines Basa. Without any opposition and upon testimony of witness Gabino (attesting witness), admitted to probate. THREE YEARS LATER, five invtervenors moved ex parte to reopen the probate alleging lack of jurisdiction. DENIED because of ex parte. Second filing of the motion to open the proceeding, again denied. SIXTEEN MONTHS AFTER THE PROBATE OF THE WILL, intervenor Basa de Leon filed with Justice of Peace of San Fernando, Pampanga a complaint against Mercado for falsification or forgery of the will. Mercado was arrested. Complainant withdrew complaint. THREE MONTHS later, same intervenor charged Mercado for same offense in Mexico, Pampanga. The complaint was dismissed after investigation, at the instance of complainant due to his poor health. NINE MONTHS later, same charge against same person. This time filed by fiscal of Pampanga in Justice of Peace Court of Mexico. Case dismissed after investigation because will was already probated. Provincial Fiscal moved in CFI Pampanga for reinvestigation. CFI Granted. FOURTH TIME, Mercado was arrested. Mercado filed a demurrer on ground of probate. Overruled. Case proceeded to trial. He filed with CA an injunction. CA issued injunction.

ISSUES:

1. Whether the probate of petitioner’s deceased wife’s will is a bar to prosecution of forgery. YES. 2. Whether petitioner was denied constitutional right to speedy trial. YES.

HELD:

Several foreign decisions were cited. Can go either way. Others saying that can be impugned on ground of fraud. Sec. 306 of Code of Civil Procedure said that in an action or special proceeding, the judgment or order is conclusive upon the title of the thing, the will or administration or condition or relation of the person provided that only be a prima facie evidence of the death of the testator… conclusive as to its DUE EXECUTION (Sec. 625). Sec. 625 was taken almost bodily from Statutes of Vermont. Conclusive as to its due execution against the whole world (in rem), reason why publication is a prerequisite. Conclusive presumption that judgment or order of a court when declared by this Code of Civil Procedure are conclusive. State v. McGlynn (U.S. case). Although in said case the information was filed by the State to set aside the probate on forgery, we do not see difference in principle. ONLY A SUBTLE DISTINCTION between setting aside a probate decree and declaring probated will to be forgery. You would still disturb the decree.

No fixed standard and conflict of authorities so the Court chose the most consistent with statutory law. Here, forgery is discovered after probate and prosecution before the prescription. Code provides an adequate remedy to any party adversely affected by probate application for relief within reasonable time but no case exceeding SIX MONTHS after court judgment.

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Criminal action will not lie against forger of a will which

had

been

jurisdiction.

admitted

to

probate

by

a

court

of

competent

resolution of the court. Any inquiry into the intrinsic validity or efficacy of the provisions of the will or the legality of any devise or legacy is premature (Nuguid vs. Nuguid)

SUMILANG v. RAMAGOSA (21 SCRA 1369)

To establish conclusively as against everyone and once for

Facts:

all, the facts that a will was executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to

 

Mariano Sumilang filed for the probate of alleged last will and testament of Hilarion Ramagosa.

make a will, is the only purpose of the proceedings

for

The petition was opposed by two sets of oppositors, appellants herein, who questioned the due execution of the document.

the probate of a will. The judgment in such proceedings determines and can determine nothing more. (Alemany, et al. vs. CFI of Manila)

After petitioner presented evidence and rested his case, oppositors moved for the dismissal of the petition on the ground that decedent revoked his will by implication of

True or not, the alleged sale is no ground for the dismissal of the petition for probate. Probate is one thing the

law six years before his death by selling the parcels of land described therein to his brother.

On the other hand, petitioner moved to strike out oppositors pleadings on the ground that the oppositors have no interest in the probate of the will as they have no relationship with the decedent within the fifth degree.

validity of the testamentary provisions is another.iThe first decides the execution of the document and the

testamentary capacity of the testator; the second relates to descent and distribution

The revocation invoked by the oppositors-appellants is not an express one, but merely implied from subsequent acts of the testatrix allegedly evidencing an abandonment of

The lower court ruled in favor of the petitioner stating that the allegations of the oppositors goes to the very intrinsic value of the will and since the oppositors have no standing to oppose the probate of the will as they are strangers, their pleadings are ordered stricken out from the record.

the original intention to bequeath or devise the properties concerned. As such, the revocation would not affect the will itself, but merely the particular devise or legacy.

Held:

The petition below being for the probate of a will, the court's area of inquiry is limited to the extrinsic validity thereof. The testator's testamentary capacity and the compliance with the formal requisites or solemnities prescribed by law are the only questions presented for the

BALANAY v. MARTINEZ (64 SCRA 452) Facts:

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Testator Leodegaria Julian (Julian) died at the age of 67. She was survived by her husband and six children. In her will, she stated

Issue:

that:

1.

Whether it was correct to pass upon the intrinsic validity

(a)

That she was the owner of the “southern half” of 9

of the will before ruling on its allowance or formal validity.

conjugal lots;

2.

Whether the probate court was correct in declaring that

(b)

That she was the absolute owner of 2 parcels of land which she inherited from her father;

the will was void and in converting the testate proceeding into an intestate proceeding.

(c)

That it was her desire that her properties should not be divided among her heirs during her husband’s lifetime and

3.

Whether it was correct to issue notice to creditors without first appointing an executor or regular administrator.

that their legitimes should be satisfied out of the fruits of her properties.

Held:

(d)

That after her husband’s death, that her paraphernal and

1.

YES. The probate court acted correctly in passing upon the

all conjugal lands be divided in the manner set forth in the will. In effect, Julian disposed of in her will her husband’s conjugal

will’s intrinsic validity even before its formal validity has been established. The probate of a will might become an idle ceremony if on its face it appears to be intrinsically

assets.

void. Where practical considerations demand that the

Her son, Felix Balanay, Jr. (Balanay Jr.) filed a petition for probate of the will. This was opposed by his father (Balanay Sr.) and

The probate of the will was further opposed by Atty. Montaña

2.

intrinsic validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the issue.

Avelina Antonio on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, and preterition. Balanay Sr. later withdrew this opposition through a “Conformation of Division and Renunciation of Hereditary Rights” wherein he “waived and renounced” his hereditary rights in her estate in favor of their six children.

(who purported to be a lawyer of Balanay Jr) and two others, saying that the will was void because it effected a compromise on future legitimes and that no notice to creditors were issued. The probate court listened to them and converted the testate proceeding into an intestate proceeding.

NO. The will should have been upheld, considering that its alleged defects have been cured by the husband’s conformity. The husband’s conformity had the effect of validating the will, without prejudice to the rights of creditors and legitimes of compulsory heirs. The rule is that the invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will does not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions if the first invalid disposition had not been made. An interpretation that will render a testamentary disposition operative takes precedence over a construction that will nullify a provision of the will.

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Thus, with respect to provision (a) above, the illegal declaration does not nullify the will. It may be disregarded. As to provision (c), it would at most be effective only from the date of her death unless there are compelling reasons for terminating the co-ownership.

3. NO. A notice of creditors is not in order if only a special administrator has been appointed. It is the executor or regular administrator who is supposed to oppose the claims against the estate and to pay such claims when duly allowed.

PASTOR v. CA (122 SCRA 885)

Facts: the deceased Alvaro Pastor Sr. Was survived by his wife, two legitimate children, Pastor Jr. and Sofia and an illegitimate child, Quemada. Quemada filed a petition for the probate of the alleged will of the deceased. The will contained only 1 testamentary disposition, which was a legacy in favor of Quemada consisting of 30% of the $2% share of Pastor Sr. In the operation of Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corp. Of some mining claims. Quemada was appointed special administrator. As such, Quemada filed an action for reconveyance against Pastor Jr. and his wife, regarding some roperties allegedly forming part of Pastor Sr.’s estate, including the property subject of the legacy. Pastor Jr. and his wife files their opposition to the petition for probate and the order appointing Quemada as special administrator. However, the probate court admitted the will to probate in 1972. In 1980, the probate court set a hearing on the intrinsic validity of the will and required the parties to submit their position papers as to how the inheritance would be divided.

While the action for reconveyance was still pending, the probate court issed an order of executionand garnishment on August 20 1980, resolving the issue of ownership of the royalties payable to Atlas and granting the legacy to Quemada. The probate court issued an order on Nov. 1980 declaring that the probate order of 1972 indeed resolved the issue of ownership and the intrinsic validity of the will.

Issue: whether or not the probate order resolved with finality the questions of ownership and intrinsic validity as stated in the Nov. 1980 order

Held: No. In a special proceeding for the probate of a will, the issue is restricted to the extrinsic validity of the will, that is whether the testator, being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities required 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 only provisional and not conclusive, and is subject to the final decision in a separate action to resolve title. Without a final authoritative adjudication of the issue as to what properties compose the estate of Pastor Sr. In the face of conflicting claims involving properties not in the name of the testator and in the absence of a resolution as to the intrinsic validity of the will, there was no basis for the probate court to hold that the 1972 probate order that Quemada is entitled to payment of the questioned legacy.

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US v. CHIU GUIMCO (36 Phil 917)

Facts:

Joaquin Cruz (aka Piaua) lived as a Chinese merchant in the municipality of Gingoog , MisamisRULES 75 to 77 US v. CHIU GUIMCO (36 Phil 917) Facts: In 1898, he visited

In 1898, he visited China wherein he was married to a Chinese woman Uy Cuan and had one childa Chinese merchant in the municipality of Gingoog , Misamis In 1902, after his return from

In 1902, after his return from China , he was married to a Filipino Maria Villafrancahe was married to a Chinese woman Uy Cuan and had one child In 1910, Joaquin

In 1910, Joaquin again visited China , leaving his brother, defendant Chiu Guimco, in charge of his property and his business; he died during this visit to Chinafrom China , he was married to a Filipino Maria Villafranca Apparently, before he left for

Apparently, before he left for China , he executed a will before Anastacio Servillon, a notary public, in which Chiu Guimco and Co-Iden were named executorsand his business; he died during this visit to China The executors filed a petition for

The executors filed a petition for the probate of the will. However, the will itself was not produced and nothing further was done in the matter of the probatein which Chiu Guimco and Co-Iden were named executors Chiu Guimco entered into an agreement with

Chiu Guimco entered into an agreement with Maria whereby in consideration of the conveyance of a certain property she relinquished in favor of other persons interested in the estate all her other claimsand nothing further was done in the matter of the probate In 1914, Uy Cuan came

In 1914, Uy Cuan came to the Philippines for the settlement of Joaquin’s estate; it was agreed that Uy Cuan and her child were to settlement of Joaquin’s estate; it was agreed that Uy Cuan and her child were to receive 40 percent of the estate, 40 to Chiu Guimco and 40 to another brother in China named Chiu Tamco

They also entered into a contract wherein Chiu Guimco shall pay P350 per quarter for the rental of Uy Cuan’s interest in the real shall pay P350 per quarter for the rental of Uy Cuan’s interest in the real estate of Joaquin

In 1915, Ramon Contreras, acting on behalf of Uy Cuan and her child, made inquiries and urged Chiu Guimco to produce the willof Uy Cuan’s interest in the real estate of Joaquin When he refused to do so,

When he refused to do so, a criminal complaint against him, was filed under section 628 of the Code of Civil Proceduremade inquiries and urged Chiu Guimco to produce the will The court found him guilty and

The court found him guilty and sentenced him to pay a fine and imprisonment until he delivers the willwas filed under section 628 of the Code of Civil Procedure Issue: whether the judge had

Issue:

whether the judge had jurisdiction to impose the sentence of imprisonment on the accuseda fine and imprisonment until he delivers the will Issue: Held: Judge had NO jurisdiction 629

Held: Judge had NO jurisdiction

629 can only be applied when a court is acting in the exercise of its jurisdiction over the administration of the estates of deceased personsimprisonment on the accused Held: Judge had NO jurisdiction Where administration proceedings are not already pending,

Where administration proceedings are not already pending, the court, before taking action under 629, should require that there be before it some petition, information, or affidavit of such character as to make action by the court under 629 appropriateover the administration of the estates of deceased persons Furthermore, it is not permissible in a

Furthermore, it is not permissible in a prosecution under 628 to superimpose upon the penalty of fine therein prescribed the additional penalty of imprisonment prescribed in 629as to make action by the court under 629 appropriate And, the order for the accused

And, the order for the accused to produce the will is an infringement of the right against self-incrimination – the mere production of the will by him would be conclusive the mere production of the will by him would be conclusive

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that he had possession of it as charged in the criminal complaint

RODRIGUEZ v. BORJA (17 SCRA 418) Facts:

-Fr. Celestino Rodriguez died on Feb. 12, 1963. On March 4, 1963, Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan (respondents) delivered to the Clerk of Court of Bulacan a purported last will and testatment of Fr. Rodriguez. On March 9, 1963, Maria Rodriguez and Angela Rodriquez (petitioners), through counsel filed a petition for leave of court to allow them to examine the alleged will. On March 11, 1963, before the Court could act on the petition, the same was withdrawn. On March 12, 1963, petitioners filed before the CIF of Rizal a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of Fr. Rodriguez. On same day, (March 12), defendants filed a petition for the probation of the will delivered by them on March 4. -petitioners contend that the intestate proceedings in the CIF of Rizal was filed at 8:00AM on March 12, while the petition for probate in the CIF of Bulacan at 11AM, so the latter Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for probate. -defendants contend that CIF of Bulacan acquired jurisdiction over the case upon delivery of the will, hence the case in this court has precedence over petitioners’. -CIF of Bulacan denied MD of petitioners. MR denied.

Issue: Which court has jurisdiction? CIF of Bulacan

Held:

-The jurisdiction of the CIF of Bulacan became vested upon the delivery of the will of the Fr. Rodriquez on March 4 even if no

petition for its allowance was filed yet because upon the will being deposited, the court could, motu proprio have taken steps to fix the time and place for proving the will, and issued the corresponding notices to what is prescribed by Sec. 3, Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court, to wit: “When a will is deliver to, or a petition for the allowance of a will is filed in, the Court having jurisdiction, such Court shall fix a time and place for proving the will xxx and shall cause notice of such time and place to be published xxx” -where the petition for probate is made after the deposit of the will, the petition is deemed to relate back to the time when the will was delivered. Since the will was delivered to the court of Bulacan on March 4 while petitioners initiated intestate proceedings in court of Rizal only on March 12, the precedence and exclusive jurisdiction of the Bulacan court is incontestable -As to petitioners objection that the Bulacan court did not have jurisdiction because the decedent was domiciled in Rizal, court ruled that the power to settle the decedent;s estates is conferred by law upon all CIFs, and the domicile of the testator only affects the venue but not the jurisdiction of the court. -Furthermore, the estate proceedings having been initiated in Bulacan court ahead of any other, that court is entitled to assume jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts, even if it were a case of wron venue by express provisions of Rule 73. -Court also held that petitioners, in commencing intestate proceedings in Rizal, were in bad faith, patently done to divest the Bulacan court of the precedence awarded it by the Rules. -Lastly, intestate succession is only subsidiary or subordinate to testate, since intestacy only takes place in the absence of a valid and operative will (Art. 960 of Civil Code).

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TEOTICO v. DEL VAL (13 SCRA 406) FACTS:

- MARIA Mortera y Balsalobre Vda. de Aguirre died on July

14, 1955 in the City of Manila leaving properties worth

P600,000.00.

- She left a will written in Spanish which she executed at

her residence.

- She affixed her signature at the bottom of the will and on

the left margin of each and every page thereof in the presence of Pilar Borja, Pilar C. Sanchez, and Modesto Formilleza, who in turn affixed their signatures below the attestation clause and on the left margin of each and every page of the will in the presence of the testatrix and of each other. - Said will was acknowledged before Notary Public

Niceforo S. Agaton by the testatrix and her witnesses.

- In said will the testatrix stated that she was possessed of

the full use of her mental faculties; that she was free from illegal pressure or influence of any kind from the beneficiaries of the will and from any influence of fear or threat; that she freely and spontaneously executed said

will and that she had neither ascendants nor descendants

of any kind such that she could freely dispose of all her estate.

- MARIA left P20,000.00 to RENE A. Teotico, husband of

her niece JOSEFINA Mortera.

- JOSEFINA was also instituted as the sole and universal

heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed of in the will.

- On July 17, 1955, VICENTE B. Teotico filed a petition for

the probate of the will before the Court of First Instance of

Manila. Hearing was set after publication and notice were made. - ANA del Val Chan claiming to be an adopted child of FRANCISCA Mortera (deceased sister of MARIA) as well as an acknowledged natural child of JOSE Mortera (deceased brother of the MARIA) filed an opposition to the probate of the will alleging that: (1) said will was not executed as required by law; (2) the testatrix was physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the

time of its execution; (3) the will was executed under duress, threat or influence of fear; and that (4) the will is inoperative as to the share of RENE Teotico because the latter was the physician who took care of the testatrix during her last illness.

- VICENTE B. Teotico filed a motion to dismiss the

opposition alleging that the oppositor had no legal personality to intervene.

- The probate court, after due hearing, allowed the

oppositor to intervene as an adopted child of FRANCISCA Mortera.

- After the parties had presented their evidence, the

probate court rendered its decision admitting the will to probate but declaring the disposition made in favor of 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.

ISSUES:

(1) Has oppositor ANA del Val Chan the right to intervene in this proceeding? (2) Has the will in question been duly admitted to probate?

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(3) Did the probate court commit an error in passing on the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will and in determining who should inherit the portion to be vacated by the nullification of the legacy made in favor of Dr. RENE Teotico?

RULING:

With the exception of that portion of the decision which declares that the will in question has been duly executed and admitted the same to probate, the rest of the decision is set aside. This case is ordered remanded to the court a quo for further proceedings.

(1) No, the oppositor has no right to intervene. It is a well-settled rule that 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 has been defined as one who would be benefited by the estate such as an heir or one who has a claim against the estate like a creditor. And it is well settled in this jurisdiction that in civil actions as well as special proceedings, the interest required in order that a person may be a party thereto must be material and direct, and not merely indirect or contingent. Under the terms of the will, oppositor ANA del Val Chua has no right to intervene because she has no interest in the estate either as heir, executor, or administrator. She is also not a legal heir because her adoption only created a

relationship between her and her adoptive parents. She does not have a relationship with the decedent.

(2) Yes the will has been duly admitted to probate. All three instrumental witnesses testified, among other things, that it was the testatrix herself who asked that they act as witnesses to the will and that it was the testatrix who first signed the will and they signed successively in the presence of each other and of the testatrix. This evidence which has not been successfully refuted proves conclusively that the will was duly executed because it was signed by the testatrix and her instrumental witnesses and the notary public in the manner provided for by law. The claim that the will was procured by improper pressure and influence is also belied by the evidence. The mere claim that JOSEFINA Mortera and her husband RENE Teotico had the opportunity to exert pressure on the testatrix simply because she lived in their house several years prior to the execution of the will and that she was old and suffering from hypertension in that she was virtually isolated from her friends for several years prior to her death is insufficient to disprove what the instrumental witnesses had testified that the testatrix freely and voluntarily and with full consciousness of the solemnity of the occasion executed the will under consideration. The exercise of improper pressure and undue influence must be supported by substantial evidence and must be of a kind that would overpower and subjugate the mind of the testatrix as to destroy her free agency and make her express the will of another rather than her own. The

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burden is on the person challenging the will that such influence was exerted at the time of its execution, a matter which here was not done, for the evidence presented not only is insufficient but was disproved by the testimony of the instrumental witnesses.

(3) The pronouncement made by the court a quo declaring invalid the legacy made to Dr. RENE Teotico in the will must be set aside as having been made in excess of its jurisdiction. The Opposition to the intrinsic validity or legality of the provisions of the will cannot be entertained in a probate proceeding because its only purpose is merely to determine if the will has been executed in accordance with the requirements of the law. The authentication of a will decides no other questions than such as touch upon the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of wills. It does not determine nor even by implication prejudge the validity or efficiency of the provisions, these may be impugned as being vicious or null, notwithstanding its authentication. The questions relating to these points remain entirely unaffected, and may be raised even after the will has been authenticated. Another reason why said pronouncement should be set aside is that the legatee was not given an opportunity to defend the validity of the legacy for he was not allowed to intervene in this proceeding. As a corollary, the other pronouncements touching on the disposition of

the estate in favor of some relatives of the deceased should also be set aside for the same reason.

FERNANDO v. CRISOSTOMO (90 SCRA 585) FACTS:

1. Hermogenes Fernando (“GUARDIAN”) was appointed as guardian of Crisostomo and his minor children.

2. When Crisostomo died, GUARDIAN filed a motion for the approval of an extrajudicial settlement of the minor children’s parents (Crisostomo and his wife, who also died).

3. The court denied the motion and the extrajudicial settlement was declared null and void. (ORDER 1)

4. Germano Crisostomo (brother of deceased and one of the private respondents) filed a petition to open the instate proceedings of the deceased spouses and the appointment of himself and his sister as co-administrators of the estate.

5. GUARDIAN (ever bibo!) opposed and moved for the dismissal of the instate proceedings, arguing that the properties left by the deceased spouses were already in his possession as guardian. The court denied his motion to dismiss. (ORDER 2)

6. Germano Crisostomo and his sister were appointed co- administrators of the estate of the deceased spouses.

7. GUARIAN appealed from ORDER 1 and ORDER 2.

ISSUES:

1. Whether the court should have denied the petition for the opening of the intestate proceedings (or dismissed the same upon motion of GUARDIAN)

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2. Whether the project of partition submitted by GUARDIAN should have been approved

RULING:

1. The Court had actually issued several resolutions which

constitute res judicata with regard to the present appeal, to wit -

a. The judge acted within his jurisdiction in appointing petitioners (Germano and sister) as administrators, inasmuch as said petitioners have interest, as next of kin, to petition for letters of administration. The guardian of the minor children of the deceased is not, as such, administrator of the estate of the deceased until and after said estate has been acquired by or adjudicated to the minors by proper proceedings. b. The jurisdictional facts are the death of the decedent, his residence at the time of his death in the province where probate court is sitting, or if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, his having left his estate in such province. The name and competency of the person(s) for whom letters of administration are prayed is not a jurisdictional fact. The guardian of the minors has no right to administer the properties of the deceased until said properties have been adjudicated or awarded to them either by extrajudicial or judicial partition. Since no partition has yet been made, the properties of the deceased have never been placed under the administration of the guardian of his minor children.

2. There is no error in the appointment of German Crisostomo and his sister as co-administrators, no evidence having been presented by the GUARDIAN why they should not be appointed, either on account of their incompetency or lack of moral qualifications. 3. The claim of GUARDIAN, by virtue of the previous resolutions of the court, that the instate proceedings should be dismissed, has to be denied.

ARAUJO v. CELIS (6 Phil 459) Facts:

ROSARIO: inherited hacienda Pangpang and other property from her mother; subsequently married Jose; died leaving

ROSARIO: inherited hacienda Pangpang and other property from her mother; subsequently married Jose; died leaving no descendants or ascendants but only collateral relatives

CELIS: father-in-law of ROSARIO; in possession of property claiming that ROSARIO bequeathed all her property

CELIS: father-in-law of ROSARIO; in possession of property claiming that ROSARIO bequeathed all her property to husband and he died without a will so CELIS succeeded to all his property, lawfully acquiring that the belonged to ROSARIO

Presented parol evidence claiming that the original had been lost ARAUJO: claiming as heirs Issue: W/N ROSARIO executed a valid will entitling CELIS to the land? Held:

Witness Delgado: an action was brought against her by Jose Araujo involving the hacienda and as solicitor there came into possession a copy of the will duly recorded and

o

came into possession a copy of the will duly recorded and o G EOFF -D AVS
came into possession a copy of the will duly recorded and o G EOFF -D AVS

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Page C- 12 SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS Case Digests RULES 75 to 77 probated; never saw the original

probated; never saw the original because it was retained by the notary; signed by two witnesses only; loss due to burning of the papers and archives of the court of Pototan by insurgents

o Will signed by two witnesses could not be valid under the law in force at the time and could not have been probated and recorded Testimony was absolutely insufficient to establish satisfactory manner of loss of alleged will and the court should not have allowed secondary evidence introduced as to the contents of the will.

LIM BILLIAN v. SUNTAY (63 Phil 793) Facts:

- On May 14, 1934, Jose B. Suntay died in the City of Amoy, China. He married twice, the first time to Manuela T. Cruz with whom he had several children (including Apolonio, Respondent herein) and the second time to Maria Natividad Lim Billian with whom he had a son.

- Apolonio Suntay, eldest son of the deceased by his first marriage, filed for intestate proceedings

- Later, and in the same court, Maria Lim Billian (Petitioner & 2 nd wife) also instituted the present proceedings for the probate of a will allegedly left by the deceased.

- Lim Billian claimed that before the deceased died in China he left with her a sealed envelope (Exhibit A) containing his will and, also another document (Exhibit B of the petitioner) said to be a true copy of the original contained in the envelope.

- The will was executed in the Philippines, with Messrs. Go Toh, Alberto Barretto and Manuel Lopez as attesting witnesses.

- On August 25, 1934, Go Toh, as attorney-in-fact of the petitioner, arrived in the Philippines with the will in the envelope and its copy Exhibit B.

- While Go Toh was showing this envelope to Apolonio Suntay and Angel Suntay, children by first marriage of the deceased, they snatched and opened it, after getting its contents and throwing away the envelope, they fled. Respondents deny that they have the will.

Issue:

Whether or not the probated?

Held:

Yes to both

alleged will was lost? And if

can

still be

The evidence is sufficient to establish the loss of the document contained in the envelope. Respondents’' answer admits that, according to Barretto (attesting witness) he prepared a will of the deceased to which he later became a witness together with Go Toh and Manuel Lopez, and that this will was placed in an envelope which was signed by the deceased and by the instrumental witnesses. (Also Go Toh and Lopez corroborated the statement that the brothers Suntay took the contents of the envelope, and the brothers did not adduce evidence to the contrary)

In court there was presented and attached to the case an open and empty envelope signed by Jose B. Suntay, Alberto Barretto,

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Go Toh and Manuel Lopez. It is undeniable that this envelope Exhibit A is the same one that contained the will executed by the deceased and drafted by Barretto.

The loss of the will justifies the presentation of secondary evidence of its contents and of whether it was executed with all the essential and necessary legal formalities.

BASA v. MERCADO (61 Phil 632) FACTS:

- The estate of Ines Basa was allowed in probate by court, and

eventually adjudicated it in favor of the administrator who was

also the sole heir.

- The petitioner contests the jurisdiction of the probate court

alleging that there was failure to comply with the notice requirements in Sec. 630. - “Sec. 630. Court to appoint hearing on will. When a will is delivered to a court having jurisdiction of the same, the court shall appoint a time and place when all concerned may appear to contest the allowance of the will, and shall cause public notice thereof to be given by publication in such newspaper or

newspapers as the court directs of general circulation in the province, three weeks successively, previous to the time appointed, and no will shall be allowed until such notice has been given. At the hearing all testimony shall be taken under oath, reduced to writing and signed by the witnesses.”

HELD: Yes, it had.

It will be noted that in the above cited case the last of the three publications was on December 18, 1919, and the hearing on the administrator’s final account was set for December 19 of that year, only 15 days after the date of the first publication.

In view of the foregoing, it is held that the language used in Sec. 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure does not mean that the notice, referred to therein, should be published for three full weeks before the date set for the hearing on the will. In other words, the first publication of the notice need not be made 21 days before the day appointed for the hearing.

DE ARANZ v. GALING (161 SCRA 628) Facts:

Joaquin R-Infante filed with the RTC of Pasig a petition for probate and allowance of the last will and testament of Monserrat R- Infante y G-Pola. The petition specified the names and addresses of the petitioners as lagatees and devisees. The probate court then issued an order setting the petition for hearing. This order was published in “Nueva Era” a newspaper of general circulation once a week for three consecutive weeks. Joaquin was then allowed to present evidence ex-parte and was appointed executor.

They allege that notice was only published for the first two weeks and the hearing conducted on the third.

-

The petitioners filed an MR alleging that as named legatees no notices were sent to them as required by Section 4 of Rule 76 and they prayed that they be given time to file their opposition. This

ISSUE:

Whether

the

probate

court

had

jurisdiction

over

the

was denied.

estate.

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Issue:

Whether or not the requirement under Section 4, Rule 76 is mandatory and the omission constitutes a reversible error for being constitutive of grave abuse of discretion?

Held: YES

Ratio:

It is clear for the Rule that notice in time and place of the hearing

for the allowance of a will shall be forwarded to the designated, or other known heirs, legatees and devisees residing in the Philippines at their places of residence, if such place of residence be known.

In this case, there is no question that the places of residence of the petitioners are known to the probate court. The requirement of the law for the allowance of the will was not satisfied by mere

publication of the notice of hearing for three consecutive weeks in

a newspaper of general circulation.

IN RE: ESTATE OF JOHNSON (39 Phil 156) Facts:

Emil H. Johnson was born in Sweden in 1877; in 1893, he emigrated to the United States and lived in Chicago, Illinois. In 1898, at Chicago, he married Rosalie Ackeson, and immediately afterwards left for the Philippine Islands as a US Army soldier. A daughter, Ebba Ingeborg, was born a few months after their marriage. After Johnson was discharged as a soldier from the service of the United States he continued to live in the Philippines. In 1902, Rosalie Johnson was granted a decree of divorce on the ground of desertion. In 1903, Emil Johnson procured a certificate

of naturalization at Chicago, after which he visited family in Sweden. When this visit was concluded, the deceased returned to Manila. In Manila he had 3 children with Alejandra Ibañez:

Mercedes, Encarnacion, and Victor. Emil Johnson also had 2 children with Simeona Ibañez: Eleonor and Alberto.

He died in Manila, leaving a holographic will. This will, signed by himself and 2 witnesses only, instead of the 3 required witnesses, was not executed in conformity with Philippine law. A petition was presented in the CFI of Manila for the probate of this will, on the ground that Johnson was at the time of his death a citizen of the State of Illinois, United States of America; that the will was duly executed in accordance with the laws of that State; and hence could properly be probated here.

The hearing on said application was set, and three weeks publication of notice was ordered. In the hearing, witnesses were examined relative to the execution of the will; and thereafter the document was declared to be legal and was admitted to probate. Victor Johnson was appointed sole administrator of the estate.

The will gives to his brother Victor shares of the corporate stock in the Johnson-Pickett Rope Company; to his father and mother, P20,000; to his daughter Ebba Ingeborg, P5,000; to Alejandra Ibañez, P75 per month, if she remains single; to Simeona Ibañez, P65 per month, if she remains single. The rest of the property is left to the testator's five children - Mercedes, Encarnacion, Victor, Eleonor and Alberto.

About three months after the will had been probated, the attorneys for Ebba Ingeborg Johnson entered an appearance in

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her behalf and noted an exception to the other admitting the will to probate. On October 31, 1916, the same attorneys moved the court to vacate the order of March 16 and also various other orders in the case.

Held:

1. Whether the court had jurisdiction YES

The proceedings for the probate of the will were regular and that the publication was sufficient to give the court jurisdiction to entertain the proceeding and to allow the will to be probated.

"The proceeding as to the probate of a will is essentially one in rem, and in the very nature of things the state is allowed a wide latitude in determining the character of the constructive notice to be given to the world in a proceeding where it has absolute possession of the res. It would be an exceptional case where a court would declare a statute void, as depriving a party of his property without due process of law, the proceeding being strictly in rem, and the res within the state, upon the ground that the constructive notice prescribed by the statute was unreasonably short." (Citing In re Davis)

2. Whether the order of probate can be set aside in this proceeding on the other ground stated in the petition, namely, that the testator was not a resident of the State of Illinois and that the will was not made in conformity with the laws of that State. - NO

The CFI found that the testator was a citizen of the State of Illinois and that the will was executed in conformity with the laws of that State, the will was necessarily and properly admitted to probate.

Section 636 of the Code of Civil Procedure:

Will made here by alien. A will made within the Philippine Islands by a citizen or subject of another state or country, which is executed in accordance with the law of the state or country of which he is a citizen or subject, and which might be proved and allowed by the law of his own state or country, may be proved, allowed, and recorded in the Philippine Islands, and shall have the same effect as if executed according to the laws of these Islands.

3. Whether the will should not have been probated because it was void NO (will was validly probated)

The probate of the will does not affect the intrinsic validity of its provisions, the decree of probate being conclusive only as regards the due execution of the will.

If, therefore, upon the distribution of this estate, it should appear that any legacy given by the will or other disposition made therein is contrary to the law applicable in such case, the will must necessarily yield upon that point and the law must prevail. The intrinsic validity of the provisions of this will must be determined by the law of Illinois and not, as the appellant apparently assumes, by the general provisions here applicable in such matters; for in the second paragraph of article 10 of the Civil Code it is declared that "legal and testamentary successions, with regard to the order of succession, as well as to the amount of the successional rights

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and to the intrinsic validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the laws of the nation of the person whose succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of the property and the country where it may be situate."

ABUT v. ABUT (45 SCRA 326) FACTS:

1) Generoso Abut (petitioner), child of deceased Cipriano from 2 nd marriage, executor in deceased’s alleged will, filed a petition for approval of will and letters testamentary. Court set hearing. 2) Opposition was filed by Felipe Abut (oppositors) and other children from 1 st marriage . Generoso Abut died before Court could start formal hearing so Gavina Abut (sister) asked Court to substitute her. 3) Court dismissed Generoso’s petition w/o prejudice to filing another pursuant to Rules of Court.

ISSUE: w/n the probate court correctly dismissed the petition simply because the original petitioner (executor Generoso) died before the petition could be heard and/or terminated (did death of Generoso divest the court of jurisdiction on the theory that amended petition of substitute sister required new publication)?

HELD: NO, probate court incorrect in dismissing petition. 1) When court vested w/ jurisdiction: The jurisdiction of the court became vested upon the filing of the original petition and upon compliance with Secs. 3 and 4 of Rule 76 of Rules of Court 2) Jurisdiction of the court continues until termination of the case and remains unaffected by subsequent events. Parties who could have come in and opposed the original petition as what Felipe, et. al. did, could still come in and oppose, having already been

notified of the pendency of proceeding by the publication of the notice. 3) Jurisdiction over persons interested, how acquired: A proceeding for the probate of a will is one in rem, such that with the corresponding publication of the petition the court’s jurisdiction extends to all persons interested in said will or in the settlement of the estate of the deceased. All that sec. 4 of Rule 76 provides is that those heirs (additional heirs names in the amended petition but not included in the original petition) be notified of the hearing for the probate of the will, either mail or personally. 4) Effect of absence of notice to individual heirs: Service of notice on individual heirs or legatees or devisees is a matter of procedural convenience, not jurisdictional requisite. So much so that even if the names of some legatees or heirs had been omitted from the petition for allowance of the will and therefore were not advised -- the decree allowing the will does not ipso facto become void for want of jurisdiction

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RODELAS v. ARANZA (119 SCRA 16) FACTS:

Rodelas filed a petition with CFI Rizal for probate of holographic will of Bonilla and issuance of letter of administration to her. It was opposed by the appellees on grounds that stopped from claiming deceased left a will after failing to produce will within 20 days as required by RULE 75, alleged copy does not contain a disposition and not a will, only a copy of the holographic will (using Gan v. Yap), deceased left no will. Petition to dismiss saying that the will was proved using secondary evidence unlike ordinary will. MTD denied.

ISSUE: Whether a holographic will which was lost or cannot be found cannot be found can be proved by means of a photostatic copy. YES.

HELD: If the holographic will has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is available, the will cannot be probated because the only and best evidence is the handwriting of the testator in the said will. Comparison is necessary. But a photostatic copy or Xerox may be allowed because comparison can be made with the standard writings of decedent. Footnote 8 of Gan v. Yap says “perhaps it may proved by a photographic or photostatic copy…” Order of the lower court (dismissing order) was set aside.

GAN v. YAP (104 Phil 509) Facts:

Fausto Gan initiated probate proceedings on the holographic will of Felicidad Yap.

Idelfonso Yap, husband of decedent opposed the proceedings on the ground that his wife never executed a will.

The holographic will was never presented in court. Instead a description of its contents was testified by the decedent’s niece along with the following narration:

o

Felicidad confided in her cousin Vicente that she desired to make a will without the knowledge of her husband. Upon consultation with a law student, Felicidad found out that it could be done by without any witness, provided the document was entirely in her handwriting, signed and dated by her. So Felicidad made a holographic will in the presence of her niece, Felina Esguerra. Felicidad let Primitivo Reyes, Rosario Gan Jimenez and Socorro Olarte to read her will.

o

When Felicidad was confined in the hospital for her last illness, she entrusted the said will, which was contained in a purse, to Felina Esguerra. But a few hours later, the Felicidad’s husband, asked Felina for the purse: and being afraid of him by reason of his well-known violent temper, she delivered it to him. Thereafter, in the same day, Ildefonso Yap returned the purse to Felina, only to demand it the next day shortly before the death of Felicidad. Again, Felina handed it to him but not before she

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had taken the purse to the toilet, opened it and

read the will for the last time.

The trial judge refused to credit the petitioner's evidence as to the existence of a holographic will on the following grounds: (these grounds were upheld by the SC upon appeal)

Issue: May a holographic will be probated upon the testimony of witnesses who have allegedly seen it and who declare that it was in the handwriting of the testator?

Held: No!

o

if according to his evidence, the decedent wanted to keep her will a secret, so that her husband would not know it, it is strange she executed it in the presence of Felina Esguerra, knowing as she did that witnesses were unnecessary

The Rules of Court (1940) allow proof (and probate) of a lost or destroyed will by secondary evidence the testimony of witnesses, in lieu of the original document. Yet such Rules could not have contemplated holographic wills which could not then be validly made here.

o

in the absence of a showing that Felina was a confidant of the decedent it is hard to believe that the latter would have allowed the former to see and read the will several times;

Holographic will is usually done by the testator and by himself alone, to prevent others from knowing either its execution or its contents, the above article 692 could not have the idea of simply permitting such relatives to state

the courts will not distribute the property of the deceased

we reach the conclusion that the execution and the

o

it is improbable that the decedent would have

whether they know of the will, but whether in the face of

o

permitted Primitivo Reyes, Rosario Gan Jimenez and Socorro Olarte to read her will, when she precisely wanted its contents to remain a secret during her lifetime;

the document itself they think the testator wrote it. Obviously, this they can't do unless the will itself is presented to the Court and to them.

in accordance with his holographic will, unless they are

o

it is also improbable that her purpose being to conceal the will from her husband she would carry it around, even to the hospital, in her purse which could for one reason or another be opened by her husband;

shown his handwriting and signature.

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.

if it is true that the husband demanded the purse from Felina in the U.S.T. Hospital and that the will was there, it is hard to believe that he returned it without destroying the will, the theory of the petitioner being precisely that the will was executed behind his back for fear he will destroy it.

In fine, even if oral testimony were admissible to establish and probate a lost holographic will, we think the evidence submitted by herein petitioner is so tainted with improbabilities and inconsistencies that it fails to measure

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up to that "clear and distinct" proof required by Rule 77, sec. 6

Why may ordinary wills be proved by testimonial evidence unlike holographic wills?

Ordinary Wills

Holographic Wills

 

The gurantee of aunthencity is

The only

guarantee of

the

testimony

of

the

authenticity is the handwriting

subscribing

or

instrumental

itself

witnesses

if the ordinary will is lost, the subscribing witnesses are available to authenticate

The loss of the holographic will entails the loss of the only medium of proof

it is quite hard to convince three witnesses (four with the notary) deliberately to lie. And then their lies could be checked and exposed

if oral testimony

were

admissible only one man could

engineer the fraud this way

 

in the case of a lost will, the three subscribing witnesses would be testifying to a fact which they saw, namely the act of the testator of subscribing the will;

the witnesses would testify as

to

their

opinion

of

the

handwriting

which

they

allegedly saw, an opinion which can not be tested in court, nor

directly

contradicted

by

the

 

oppositors, because

the

handwriting

itself

is

not

at

hand.

GAGO v. MAMUYAC (49 Phil 902) Facts:

Action to obtain probation of the will of Miguel Mamuyac. Francisco Gago presented a petition for the probate of the will (dated 1918) of Miguel Mamuyac. This petition was denied on the ground that the deceased executed a second will (dated 1919). The petition for probation of the second will was disallowed on the ground that the same had been cancelled and revoked in the year 1920. It was also proven that the said second will presented to the court for probate was a mere carbon copy of its original which remained in the possession of the testator, who revoked it before his death. There were also testimonies and other evidence to establish that Mamuyac executed another will in 1920 (purportedly a third will).

Issue:

Whether the second will can be denied probate on the ground that it has been revoked and cancelled.

Held:

YES. The law does not require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation of a will to be preserved. It therefore becomes difficult at times to prove the revocation or cancellation of wills. The fact that such cancellation or revocation has taken place must either remain unproved of 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

GEOFF-DAVS-WENG-JAM-LYRA-WILLGAN-JENN-JONEP-CHAR-DARWIN-KAY-KIT S-ELAINE-TOM