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Wills; Codicil; Institution of Heirs; Substitution of Heirs

(2002) Wills; Formalities (1990)


By virtue of a Codicil appended to his will,
Theodore devised to Divino a tract of (1) If a will is executed by a testator who
sugar land, with the obligation on the part is a Filipino citizen, what law will govern
of Divino or his heirs to deliver to Betina a if the will is executed in the Philippines?
specified volume of sugar per harvest What law will govern if the will is
during Betinas lifetime. It is also stated executed in another country? Explain
in the Codicil that in the event the your answers.
obligation is not fulfilled, Betina should
immediately seize the property from (2) If a will is executed by a foreigner, for
Divino or latters heirs and turn it over to instance, a Japanese, residing in the
Theodores compulsory heirs. Divino Philippines, what law will govern if the
failed to fulfill the obligation under the will is executed in the Philippines? And
Codicil. Betina brings suit against Divino what law will govern if the will is
for the reversion of the tract of land. a) executed in Japan, or some other country,
Distinguish between modal institution and for instance, the U.S.A.? Explain your
substation of heirs. (3%) b) Distinguish answers.
between simple and fideicommissary
substitution of heirs. (2%) c) Does Betina SUGGESTED ANSWER:
have a cause of action against Divino?
Explain (5%) (1) a. If the testator who is a Filipino
SUGGESTED ANSWER: citizen executes his will in the Philippines,
A. A MODAL INSTITUTION is the Philippine law will govern the formalities.
institution of
an heir made for a certain purpose or b. If said Filipino testator executes his
cause (Arts. 871 and 882, NCC). will in another country, the law of the
SUBSTITUTION is the appointment of country where he maybe or Philippine law
another heir so that he may enter into the will govern the formalities. (Article 815,
inheritance in default of the heir Civil Code}
originality instituted. (Art. 857, NCC).
SUGGESTED ANSWER:
B. In a SIMPLE SUBSTITUTION of heirs,
the testator designates one or more (2) a. If the testator is a foreigner residing
persons to substitute the heirs instituted in the Philippines and he executes his will
in case such heir or heirs should die in the Philippines, the law of the country
before him, or should not wish or should of which he is a citizen or Philippine law
be incapacitated to accept the will govern the formalities.
inheritance. In a FIDEICOMMISSARY
SUBSTITUTION, the testator institutes a b. If the testator is a foreigner and
first heir and charges him to preserve and executes his will in a foreign country, the
transmit the whole or part of the law of his place of residence or the law of
inheritance to a second heir. In a simple the country of which he is a citizen or the
substitution, only one heir inherits. In a law of the place of execution, or
fideicommissary substitution, both the Philippine law will govern the formalities
first and second heirs inherit. (Art. 859 (Articles 17. 816. 817. Civil Code).
and 869, NCC)
C. Betina has a cause of action against POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL ANSWERS:
Divino. This is a case of a testamentary a. In the case of a Filipino citizen,
disposition subject to a mode and the will Philippine law shall govern substantive
itself provides for the consequence if the validity whether he executes his will in
mode is not complied with. To enforce the the Philippines or in a foreign country.
mode, the will itself gives Betina the right b. In the case of a foreigner, his national
to compel the return of the property to law shall govern substantive validity
the heirs of Theodore. (Rabadilla v. whether he executes his will in the
Conscoluella, 334 SCRA 522 [2000] GR Philippines or in a foreign country.
113725, 29 June 2000).
Wills; Holographic Wills; Insertions & Cancellations a) Yes, The will is valid. The law does not
(1996) require a witness to actually see the
Vanessa died on April 14, 1980, leaving testator sign the will. It is sufficient if
behind a holographic will which is the witness could have seen the act of
entirely written, dated and signed in her signing had he chosen to do so by casting
own handwriting. However, it contains his eyes to the proper direction.
insertions and cancellations which are not b) Yes, the will is valid. Applying the "test
authenticated by her signature. For this of position", although Comelio did not
reason, the probate of Vanessa's will was actually see Vicente sign the will,
opposed by her relatives who stood to Cornelio was in the proper position to see
inherit by her intestacy. May Vanessa's Vicente sign if Cornelio so wished.
holographic will be probated? Explain. Wills; Joint Wills (2000)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Manuel, a Filipino, and his American wife
Yes, the will as originally written may be Eleanor, executed a Joint Will in Boston,
probated. The insertions and alterations Massachusetts when they were residing
were void since they were not in said city. The law of Massachusetts
authenticated by the full signature of allows the execution of joint wills. Shortly
Vanessa, under Art. 814, NCC. The thereafter, Eleanor died. Can the said Will
original will, however, remains valid be probated in the Philippines for the
because a holographic will is not settlement of her estate? (3%)
invalidated by the unauthenticated CIVIL LAW Answers to the BAR as Arranged by
insertions or alterations (Ajero v. CA, 236 Topics (Year 1990-2006)
SCRA 468]. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Yes, the will may be probated in the
It depends. As a rule, a holographic will is Philippines insofar as the estate of
not adversely affected by Insertions or Eleanor is concerned. While the Civil
cancellations which were not Code prohibits the execution of Joint wills
authenticated by the full signature of the here and abroad, such prohibition applies
testator (Ajero v. CA, 236 SCRA 468). only to Filipinos. Hence, the joint will
However, when the insertion or which is valid where executed is valid in
cancellation amounts to revocation of the the Philippines but only with respect to
will, Art.814 of the NCC does not apply Eleanor. Under Article 819, it is void with
but Art. 830. NCC. Art. 830 of the NCC respect to Manuel whose joint will
does not require the testator to remains void in the Philippines despite
authenticate his cancellation for the being valid where executed.
effectivity of a revocation effected ALTERNATIVE ANSWER:
through such cancellation (Kalaw v. The will cannot be probated in the
Relova, 132 SCRA 237). In the Kalaw case, Philippines, even though valid where
the original holographic will designated executed, because it is prohibited under
only one heir as the only substantial Article 818 of the Civil Code and declared
provision which was altered by void under Article 819, The prohibition
substituting the original heir with another should apply even to the American wife
heir. Hence, if the unauthenticated because the Joint will is offensive to
cancellation amounted to a revocation of public policy. Moreover, it is a single
the will, the will may not be probated juridical act which cannot be valid as to
because it had already been revoked. one testator and void as to the other.
Wills; Holographic Wills; Witnesses (1994) Wills; Probate; Intrinsic Validity (1990)
On his deathbed, Vicente was executing a H died leaving a last will and testament
will. In the room were Carissa, Carmela, wherein it is stated that he was legally
Comelio and Atty. Cimpo, a notary public. married to W by whom he had two
Suddenly, there was a street brawl which legitimate children A and B. H devised to
caught Comelio's attention, prompting his said forced heirs the entire estate
him to look out the window. Cornelio did except the free portion which he gave to
not see Vicente sign a will. Is the will X who was living with him at the time of
valid? his death.
SUGGESTED ANSWERS:
In said will he explained that he had been Wills; Probate; Notarial and Holographic Wills (1997)
estranged from his wife W for more than Johnny, with no known living relatives,
20 years and he has been living with X as executed a notarial will giving all his
man and wife since his separation from estate to his sweetheart. One day, he had
his legitimate family. a serious altercation with his sweetheart.
In the probate proceedings, X asked for A few days later, he was introduced to a
the issuance of letters testamentary in charming lady who later became a dear
accordance with the will wherein she is friend. Soon after, he executed a
named sole executor. This was opposed by holographic will expressly revoking the
W and her children. notarial will and so designating his new
friend as sole heir. One day when he was
(a) Should the will be admitted in said clearing up his desk, Johnny mistakenly
probate proceedings? burned, along with other papers, the only
copy of his holographic will. His business
(b) Is the said devise to X valid? associate, Eduardo knew well the
contents of the will which was shown to
(c) Was it proper for the trial court to him by Johnny the day it was executed. A
consider the intrinsic validity of the few days after the burning incident,
provisions of said will? Explain your Johnny died. Both wills were sought to be
answers, probated in two separate petitions. Will
either or both petitions prosper?
SUGGESTED ANSWER: SUGGESTED ANSWER:
The probate of the notarial will will
(a) Yes, the will may be probated if prosper. The holographic will cannot be
executed according to the formalities admitted to probate because a
prescribed by law. holographic will can only be probated
upon evidence of the will itself unless
(b) The institution giving X the free there is a photographic copy. But since
portion is not valid, because the the holographic will was lost and there
prohibitions under Art. 739 of the Civil was no other copy, it cannot be probated
Code on donations also apply to and therefore the notarial will will be
testamentary dispositions (Article 1028, admitted to probate because there is no
Civil Code), Among donations which are revoking will.
considered void are those made between ADDITIONAL ANSWERS:
persons who were guilty of adultery or In the case of Gan vs. Yap (104 Phil 509),
concubinage at the time of the donation. the execution and the contents of a lost or
destroyed holographic will may not be
(c) As a general rule, the will should be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses
admitted in probate proceedings if all the who have seen or read such will. The will
necessary requirements for its extrinsic itself must be presented otherwise it shall
validity have been met and the court produce no effect. The law regards the
should not consider the intrinsic validity document itself as material proof of
of the provisions of said will. However, authenticity. Moreover, in order that a will
the exception arises when the will in may be revoked by a subsequent will, it is
effect contains only one testamentary necessary that the latter will be valid and
disposition. In effect, the only executed with the formalities required for
testamentary disposition under the will is the making of a will. The latter should
the giving of the free portion to X, since possess all the requisites of a valid will
legitimes are provided by law. Hence, the whether it be ordinary or a holographic
trial court may consider the intrinsic will, and should be probated in order that
validity of the provisions of said will. the revocatory clause thereof may
(Nuguid v. Nuguid, etal.. No. L23445, June produce effect. In the case at bar, since
23, 1966, 17 SCRA; Nepomuceno v. CA, L- the holographic will itself cannot be
62952, presented, it cannot therefore be
probated. Since it cannot be probated, it
9 October 1985. 139 SCRA 206).
cannot revoke the notarial will previously revoked when the testator destroyed it after
written by the decedent. executing the second invalid will.
On the basis of the Rules of Court, Rule (Diaz v. De Leon, 43 Phil 413 [1922]).
76, Sec. 6, provides that no will shall be Wills; Testamentary Disposition (2006)
proved as a lost or destroyed will unless Don died after executing a Last Will and
its provisions are clearly and distinctly Testament leaving his estate valued at
proved by at least two (2) credible P12 Million to his common-law wife
witnesses. Hence, if we abide strictly by Roshelle. He is survived by his brother
the two-witness rule to prove a lost or Ronie and his half-sister Michelle.
destroyed will, the holographic will which (1) Was Don's testamentary disposition of
Johnny allegedly mistakenly burned, his estate in accordance with the law on
succession? Whether you agree or not,
cannot be probated, since there is only
explain your answer. Explain.
one witness, Eduardo, who can be called
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, Don's
to testify as to the existence of the will. If testamentary disposition of his estate is in
the holographic will, which purportedly,
accordance with the law on succession.
revoked the earlier notarial will cannot be Don has no compulsory heirs not having
proved because of the absence of the
ascendants, descendants nor a spouse
required witness, then the petition for the [Art. 887, New Civil Code]. Brothers and
probate of the notarial will should
sisters are not compulsory heirs. Thus, he
prosper. can bequeath his entire estate to anyone
who is not otherwise incapacitated to
Wills; Revocation of Wills; Dependent Relative inherit from him. A common-law wife is
Revocation (2003)
not incapacitated under the law, as Don is
Mr. Reyes executed a will completely
not married to anyone.
valid as to form. A week later, however, he (2) If Don failed to execute a will during
executed another will which expressly his lifetime, as his lawyer, how will you
revoked his first will, which he tore his distribute his estate? Explain. (2.5%)
first will to pieces. Upon the death of Mr. SUGGESTED ANSWER: After paying the legal
Reyes, his second will was presented for obligations of the estate, I will give Ronie,
probate by his heirs, but it was denied as full-blood brother of Don, 2/3 of the net
probate due to formal defects. Assuming estate, twice the share of Michelle, the
that a copy of the first will is available, half-sister who shall receive 1/3. Roshelle
may it now be admitted to probate and will not receive anything as she is not a
given effect? Why? legal heir [Art. 1006 New Civil Code].
SUGGESTED ANSWER: (3) Assuming he died intestate survived by
Yes, the first will may be admitted to his brother Ronie, his half-sister Michelle,
probate and given effect. When the and his legitimate son Jayson, how will
testator tore first will, he was under the you distribute his estate? Explain. (2.5%)
mistaken belief that the second will was SUGGESTED ANSWER: Jayson will be entitled
perfectly valid and he would not have to the entire P12 Million as the brother
destroyed the first will had he known that and sister will be excluded by a legitimate
the second will is not valid. The son of the decedent. This follows the
revocation by destruction therefore is principle of proximity, where "the nearer
dependent on the validity of the second excludes the farther."
will. Since it turned out that the second (4) Assuming further he died intestate,
will was invalid, the tearing of the first survived by his father Juan, his brother
will did not produce the effect of Ronie, his half-sister Michelle, and his
revocation. This is known as the doctrine legitimate son Jayson, how will you
distribute his estate? Explain. (2.5%)
of dependent relative revocation (Molo v.
Molo, 90 Phil 37.) SUGGESTED ANSWER: Jayson will still be
ALTERNATIVE ANSWERS: entitled to the entire P12 Million as the
No, the first will cannot be admitted to father, brother and sister will be
probate. While it is true that the first will Civil Code]. This follows the principle that
was successfully revoked by the second will the descendants exclude the ascendants
because the second will was later denied from inheritance.
probate, the first will was, nevertheless, Wills; Testamentary Intent (1996)
Alfonso, a bachelor without any intestate succession. Manuel claims
descendant or ascendant, wrote a last will otherwise. Who is correct? Explain.
and testament in which he devised." all SUGGESTED ANSWER:
the properties of which I may be Manuel is correct because under Art. 793,
possessed at the time of my death" to his NCC, property acquired after the making
favorite brother Manuel. At the time he of a will shall only pass thereby, as if the
wrote the will, he owned only one parcel testator had possessed it at the time of
of land. But by the time he died, he owned making the will, should it expressly
twenty parcels of land. His other brothers appear by the will that such was his
and sisters insist that his will should pass intention. Since Alfonso's intention to
only the parcel of land he owned at the devise all properties he owned at the time
time it was written, and did not cover his of his death expressly appears on the will,
properties acquired, which should be by then all the 20 parcels of land are
included in the devise.