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TESTATE ESTATE OF C. O. BOHANAN, deceased.

PHILIPPINE TRUST adjudications: (1) one-half of the residuary estate, to the Farmers and
CO., executor-appellee, vs. MAGDALENA C. BOHANAN, EDWARD C. Merchants National Bank of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. in trust only for
BOHANAN, and MARY LYDIA BOHANAN, oppositors-appellants. the benefit of testator's grandson Edward George Bohanan, which consists of
several mining companies; (2) the other half of the residuary estate to the
Appeal against an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon.
testator's brother, F.L. Bohanan, and his sister, Mrs. M. B. Galbraith, share
Ramon San Jose, presiding, dismissing the objections filed by Magdalena C.
and share alike. This consist in the same amount of cash and of shares of
Bohanan, Mary Bohanan and Edward Bohanan to the project of partition
mining stock similar to those given to testator's grandson; (3) legacies of
submitted by the executor and approving the said project.
P6,000 each to his (testator) son, Edward Gilbert Bohana, and his daughter,
On April 24, 195 0, the Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Rafael Mary Lydia Bohanan, to be paid in three yearly installments; (4) legacies to
Amparo, presiding, admitted to probate a last will and testament of C. O. Clara Daen, in the amount of P10,000.00; Katherine Woodward, P2,000;
Bohanan, executed by him on April 23, 1944 in Manila. In the said order, the Beulah Fox, P4,000; and Elizabeth Hastings, P2,000;
court made the following findings:
It will be seen from the above that out of the total estate (after deducting
According to the evidence of the opponents the testator was born in administration expenses) of P211,639.33 in cash, the testator gave his
Nebraska and therefore a citizen of that state, or at least a citizen of grandson P90,819.67 and one-half of all shares of stock of several mining
California where some of his properties are located. This contention in companies and to his brother and sister the same amount. To his children he
untenable. Notwithstanding the long residence of the decedent in the gave a legacy of only P6,000 each, or a total of P12,000.
Philippines, his stay here was merely temporary, and he continued and
The wife Magadalena C. Bohanan and her two children question the validity
remained to be a citizen of the United States and of the state of his pertinent
of the testamentary provisions disposing of the estate in the manner above
residence to spend the rest of his days in that state. His permanent residence
indicated, claiming that they have been deprived of the legitimate that the
or domicile in the United States depended upon his personal intent or desire,
laws of the form concede to them.
and he selected Nevada as his homicide and therefore at the time of his
death, he was a citizen of that state. Nobody can choose his domicile or The first question refers to the share that the wife of the testator, Magdalena
permanent residence for him. That is his exclusive personal right. C. Bohanan, should be entitled to received. The will has not given her any
share in the estate left by the testator. It is argued that it was error for the
Wherefore, the court finds that the testator C. O. Bohanan was at the time of
trial court to have recognized the Reno divorce secured by the testator from
his death a citizen of the United States and of the State of Nevada and
his Filipino wife Magdalena C. Bohanan, and that said divorce should be
declares that his will and testament, Exhibit A, is fully in accordance with the
declared a nullity in this jurisdiction, citing the case of
laws of the state of Nevada and admits the same to probate. Accordingly, the
Querubin vs.Querubin, 87 Phil., 124, 47 Off. Gaz., (Sup, 12) 315, Cousins
Philippine Trust Company, named as the executor of the will, is hereby
Hiz vs. Fluemer, 55 Phil., 852, Ramirez vs. Gmur, 42 Phil., 855 and
appointed to such executor and upon the filing of a bond in the sum of
Gorayeb vs. Hashim, 50 Phil., 22. The court below refused to recognize the
P10,000.00, let letters testamentary be issued and after taking the prescribed
claim of the widow on the ground that the laws of Nevada, of which the
oath, it may enter upon the execution and performance of its trust. (pp. 26-27,
deceased was a citizen, allow him to dispose of all of his properties without
R.O.A.).
requiring him to leave any portion of his estate to his wife. Section 9905 of
It does not appear that the order granting probate was ever questions on Nevada Compiled Laws of 1925 provides:
appeal. The executor filed a project of partition dated January 24, 1956,
making, in accordance with the provisions of the will, the following
Every person over the age of eighteen years, of sound mind, may, by last to be earned by the national law of the person whose succession is in
will, dispose of all his or her estate, real and personal, the same being question. Says the law on this point:
chargeable with the payment of the testator's debts.
Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of
Besides, the right of the former wife of the testator, Magdalena C. Bohanan, succession as well as to the extent of the successional rights and the intrinsic
to a share in the testator's estafa had already been passed upon adversely validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the
against her in an order dated June 19, 1955, (pp. 155-159, Vol II Records, person whose succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of the
Court of First Instance), which had become final, as Magdalena C. Bohanan property and the country in which it is found. (par. 2, Art. 10, old Civil Code,
does not appear to have appealed therefrom to question its validity. On which is the same as par. 2 Art. 16, new Civil Code.)
December 16, 1953, the said former wife filed a motion to withdraw the sum
of P20,000 from the funds of the estate, chargeable against her share in the In the proceedings for the probate of the will, it was found out and it was
conjugal property, (See pp. 294-297, Vol. I, Record, Court of First Instance), decided that the testator was a citizen of the State of Nevada because he had
and the court in its said error found that there exists no community property selected this as his domicile and his permanent residence. (See Decision
owned by the decedent and his former wife at the time the decree of divorce dated April 24, 1950, supra). So the question at issue is whether the
was issued. As already and Magdalena C. Bohanan may no longer question estementary dispositions, especially hose for the children which are short of
the fact contained therein, i.e. that there was no community property the legitime given them by the Civil Code of the Philippines, are valid. It is
acquired by the testator and Magdalena C. Bohanan during their converture. not disputed that the laws of Nevada allow a testator to dispose of all his
properties by will (Sec. 9905, Complied Nevada Laws of 1925, supra). It does
Moreover, the court below had found that the testator and Magdalena C. not appear that at time of the hearing of the project of partition, the above-
Bohanan were married on January 30, 1909, and that divorce was granted to quoted provision was introduced in evidence, as it was the executor's duly to
him on May 20, 1922; that sometime in 1925, Magdalena C. Bohanan married do. The law of Nevada, being a foreign law can only be proved in our courts
Carl Aaron and this marriage was subsisting at the time of the death of the in the form and manner provided for by our Rules, which are as follows:
testator. Since no right to share in the inheritance in favor of a divorced wife
exists in the State of Nevada and since the court below had already found SEC. 41. Proof of public or official record. An official record or an entry
that there was no conjugal property between the testator and Magdalena C. therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official
Bohanan, the latter can now have no longer claim to pay portion of the estate publication thereof or by a copy tested by the officer having the legal custody
left by the testator. of he record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in
the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. . . . (Rule
The most important issue is the claim of the testator's children, Edward and 123).
Mary Lydia, who had received legacies in the amount of P6,000 each only,
and, therefore, have not been given their shares in the estate which, in We have, however, consulted the records of the case in the court below and
accordance with the laws of the forum, should be two-thirds of the estate left we have found that during the hearing on October 4, 1954 of the motion of
by the testator. Is the failure old the testator to give his children two-thirds of Magdalena C. Bohanan for withdrawal of P20,000 as her share, the foreign
the estate left by him at the time of his death, in accordance with the laws of law, especially Section 9905, Compiled Nevada Laws. was introduced in
the forum valid? evidence by appellant's (herein) counsel as Exhibits "2" (See pp. 77-79, VOL.
II, and t.s.n. pp. 24-44, Records, Court of First Instance). Again said laws
The old Civil Code, which is applicable to this case because the testator died presented by the counsel for the executor and admitted by the Court as
in 1944, expressly provides that successional rights to personal property are Exhibit "B" during the hearing of the case on January 23, 1950 before Judge
Rafael Amparo (se Records, Court of First Instance, Vol. 1).
In addition, the other appellants, children of the testator, do not dispute the
above-quoted provision of the laws of the State of Nevada. Under all the
above circumstances, we are constrained to hold that the pertinent law of
Nevada, especially Section 9905 of the Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925, can
be taken judicial notice of by us, without proof of such law having been
offered at the hearing of the project of partition.

As in accordance with Article 10 of the old Civil Code, the validity of


testamentary dispositions are to be governed by the national law of the
testator, and as it has been decided and it is not disputed that the national
law of the testator is that of the State of Nevada, already indicated above,
which allows a testator to dispose of all his property according to his will, as
in the case at bar, the order of the court approving the project of partition
made in accordance with the testamentary provisions, must be, as it is
hereby affirmed, with costs against appellants.

Paras, Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo and Endencia, JJ., concur.
Barrera, J., concurs in the result.
Fluemer vs. Hix, 54 Phil. 610 , March 17, 1930 [No. 32636. March 17, 1930] APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila. Tuason, J.

In the matter of the Estate of Edward Randolph Hix, deceased. A. W. The facts are stated in the opinion of the court.
FLUEMER, petitioner and appellant, vs. ANNIE COUSINS Hix, oppositor
and appellee. C. A. Sobral for appellant.

1.WlLLS; EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS; CODE OF ClVIL Harvey & O'Brien and Gibbs & McDonough for appellee.
PROCEDURE, SECTION 781, AS AMENDED, APPLIED; RIGHT OF
MALCOLM, J.:
SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR TO APPEAL FROM DlSALLOWANCE OF A
WlLL.The special administrator of an estate is a "person interested in the The special administrator of the estate of Edward Randolph Hix appeals
allowance or disallowance of a will by a Court of First Instance," within the from a decision of Judge of First Instance Tuason denying the probate of the
meaning of section 781, as amended, of the Code of Civil Procedure, and so document alleged to be the last will and testament of the deceased. Appellee
may be permitted to appeal to the Supreme Court from the disallowance of a contends that the appellant as a mere special administrator is not authorized
will. to carry on this appeal. We think, however, that the appellant, who appears
to have been the moving party in these proceedings, was a "person interested
2.ID. ; ID.; CONFLICT OF LAWS; CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE,
in the allowance or disallowance of a will by a Court of First Instance," and
SECTIONS 300 AND 301, APPLIED.The laws of a foreign jurisdiction do
so should be permitted to appeal to the Supreme Court from the
not prove themselves in our courts. The courts of the Philippine Islands are
disallowance of the will (Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 781, as amended;
not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the various States of the
Villanueva vs. De Leon [1925], 47 Phil., 780).
American Union. Such laws must be proved as facts. The requirements of
sections 300 and 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure must be met. It is the theory of the petitioner that the alleged will was executed in Elkins,
West Virginia, on November 3, 1925, by Hix who had his residence in that
3.ID. ; ID.; ID.; CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, SECTION 633, APPLIED.
jurisdiction, and that the laws of West Virginia govern. To this end, there
The due execution of a will alleged to have been executed in another
was submitted a copy of section 3868 of Acts 1882, c. 84 as found in West
jurisdiction must be established. Where the witnesses to the will reside
Virginia Code, Annotated, by Hogg, Charles E., vol. 2, 1914, p. 1690, and as
without the Philippine Islands, it is the duty of the petitioner to prove
certified to by the Director of the National Library. But this was far from a
execution by some other means.
compliance with the law. The laws of a foreign jurisdiction do not prove
4.ID,; ID.; ID.; DOMICILE.Where it is desired to establish the execution of themselves in our courts. The courts of the Philippine Islands are not
a will in another jurisdiction, it is necessary to prove that the testator had his authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the various States of the
domicile in that jurisdiction and not in the Philippine Islands. American Union. Such laws must be proved as facts. (In re Estate of Johnson
[1918], 39 Phil., 156.) Here the requirements of the law were not met. There
5.ID. ; ID. ; ID. ; CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, SECTIONS 637, 638, AND was no showing that the book from which an extract was taken was printed
639, APPLIED.Where it is desired to prove the probate of a will in another or published under the authority of the State of West Virginia, as provided in
jurisdiction and the appointment in that jurisdiction of an administrator for section 300 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Nor was the extract from the law
the estate of the deceased, the moving party must comply with the attested by the certificate of the officer having charge of the original, under
provisions of sections 637, 638, and 639 of the Code of Civil Procedure by the seal of the State of West Virginia, as provided in section 301 of the Code
requesting a hearing on the question of the allowance of a will said to have of Civil Procedure. No evidence Was introduced to show that the extract
been proved and allowed in another jurisdiction.
from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time the alleged will was may be, no attempt has been made to comply with the provisions of sections
executed. 637, 638, and 639 of the Code of Civil Procedure, for no hearing on the
question of the allowance of a will said to have been proved and allowed in
In addition, the due execution of the will was not established. The only West Virginia has been requested. There is no showing that the deceased left
evidence on this point is to be found in the testimony of the petitioner. Aside any property at any place other than the Philippine Islands and no
from this, there was nothing to indicate that the will was acknowledged by contention that he left any in West Virginia.
the testator in the presence of two competent witnesses, or that these
witnesses subscribed the will in the presence of the testator and of each other Reference has been made by the parties to a divorce purported to have been
as the law of West Virginia seems to require. On the supposition that the awarded Edward Randolph Hix from Annie Cousins Hix on October 8, 1925,
witnesses to the will reside without the Philippine Islands, it would then be in the State of West Virginia. The present proceedings do not call for any
the duty of the petitioner to prove execution by some other means (Code of specific pronouncements on the validity or invalidity of this alleged divorce.
Civil Procedure, sec. 633).
For all of the foregoing, the judgment appealed from will be affirmed, with
It was also necessary for the petitioner to prove that the testator had his the costs of this instance against the appellant.
domicile in West Virginia and not in the Philippine Islands. The only
evidence introduced to establish this fact consisted of the recitals in the Villamor, Ostrand, Johns, Romualdez, and Villa-Real, JJ., concur.
alleged will and the testimony of the petitioner. Also in beginning
Judgment affirmed. [Fluemer vs. Hix, 54 Phil. 610(1930)]
administration proceedings originally in the Philippine Islands, the
petitioner violated his own theory by attempting to have the principal
administration in the Philippine Islands.

While the appeal was pending submission in this court, the attorney for the
appellant presented an unverified petition asking the court to accept as part
of the evidence the documents attached to the petition. One of these
documents discloses that a paper writing purporting to be the last will and
testament of Edward Randolph Hix, deceased, was presented for probate on
June 8, 1929, to the clerk of Randolph County, State of West Virginia, in
vacation, and was duly proven by the oaths of Dana Wamsley and Joseph L.
Madden, the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded and
filed. It was shown by another document that, in vacation, on June 8,1929,
the clerk of court of Randolph County, West Virginia, appointed Claude W;
Maxwell as administrator, cum testamento annexo, of the estate of Edward
Randolph Hix, deceased. In this connection, it Duhart Freres y Cie vs. Macias

is to be noted that the application f or the probate of the will in the


Philippines was filed on February 20, 1929, while the proceedings in West
Virginia appear to have been initiated on June 8, 1929. These facts are
strongly indicative of an intention to make the Philippines the principal
administration and West Virginia the ancillary administration. However this