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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS Case Doctrines

A. SETTLEMENT OF ESTATE
Valarao v Pascual
392 SCRA 695
Settlement of Estates; Administrators. Needless to state, the special administratrix
appointed by the probate court must be constantly aware that she is not a representative
nor the agent of the parties suggesting the appointment but the administrator in charge of
the estate and in fact an officer of the court. As an officer of the court, she is subject to the
supervision and control of the probate court and is expected to work for the best interests of
the entire estate, especially its smooth administration and earliest settlement. Whatever
differences that may exist between the heirs shall be ironed out fairly and objectively for the
attainment of that end.
Unionbank v Santibaez
452 SCRA 228
Settlement of Estate; Jurisdictions. Well-settled is the rule that a probate court has the
jurisdiction to determine all the properties of the deceased, to determine whether they
should or should not be included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered.
Well-settled is the rule that a probate court has the jurisdiction to determine all the
properties of the deceased, to determine whether they should or should not be included in
the inventory or list of properties to be administered. The said court is primarily concerned
with the administration, liquidation and distribution of the estate.
Wills; Partition. In our jurisdiction, the rule is that there can be no valid partition among
the heirs until after the will has been probated: In testate succession, there can be no valid
partition among the heirs until after the will has been probated. The law enjoins the probate
of a will and the public requires it, because unless a will is probated and notice thereof given
to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered
nugatory. The authentication of a will decides no other question than such as touch upon the
capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requirements or solemnities which
the law prescribes for the validity of a will.
Every act intended to put an end to indivision among co-heirs and legatees or devisees is
deemed to be a partition although it should purport to be a sale, an exchange, a
compromise or any other transaction.
Jamero v Nelicor
459 SCRA 113
Settlement of Estates; Probate Proceedings; Administrators. As to the second issue,
suffice it to be stated that indeed, the appointment of a special administrator is
interlocutory, discretionary on the part of the RTC and non-appealable. However, it may be
subject of certiorari if it can be shown that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion or
lack of or in excess of jurisdiction. As the Court held in Pefianco vs. Moral, even as the trial
courts order may merely be interlocutory and non-appealable, certiorari is the proper
remedy to annul the same when it is rendered with grave abuse of discretion.