You are on page 1of 4

LOURDES L. DOROTHEO v. COURT OF APPEALS, NILDA D.

QUINTANA, for Herself


and as Attorney-in-Fact of VICENTE DOROTHEO and JOSE DOROTHEO

Private respondents were the legitimate children of Alejandro Dorotheo and


Aniceta Reyes. The latter died in 1969 without her estate being
settled. Alejandro died thereafter. Sometime in 1977, after Alejandros death,
petitioner, who claims to have taken care of Alejandro before he died, filed a
special proceeding for the probate of the latters last will and testament. In 1981,
the court issued an order admitting Alejandros will to probate. Private
respondents did not appeal from said order. In 1983, they filed a Motion To
Declare The Will Intrinsically Void. The trial court granted the motion:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, Order is hereby issued declaring Lourdes
Legaspi not the wife of the late Alejandro Dorotheo, the provisions of the last will
and testament of Alejandro Dorotheo as intrinsically void, and declaring the
oppositors Vicente Dorotheo, Jose Dorotheo and Nilda Dorotheo Quintana as
the only heirs of the late spouses Alejandro Dorotheo and Aniceta Reyes, whose
respective estates shall be liquidated and distributed according to the laws on
intestacy upon payment of estate and other taxes due to the government.

Petitioner moved for reconsideration arguing that she is entitled to some


compensation since she took care of Alejandro prior to his death although she
admitted that they were not married to each other.

Upon denial of her motion for reconsideration, petitioner appealed to the Court
of Appeals, but the same was dismissed for failure to file appellants brief within
the extended period granted.[2] This dismissal became final and executory on
February 3, 1989 and a corresponding entry of judgment was forthwith issued by
the Court of Appeals on May 16, 1989.

ISSUE: May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared
intrinsically void in an order that has become final and executor still be given
effect?

HELD:

It should be noted that probate proceedings deals generally with the extrinsic
validity of the will sought to be probated,[7] particularly on three aspects:

whether the will submitted is indeed, the decedents last will and testament;

compliance with the prescribed formalities for the execution of wills;

the testamentary capacity of the testator;[8]

and the due execution of the last will and testament.[9]

Under the Civil Code, due execution includes a determination of whether the
testator was of sound and disposing mind at the time of its execution, that he
had freely executed the will and was not acting under duress, fraud, menace or
undue influence and that the will is genuine and not a forgery,[10] that he was of
the proper testamentary age and that he is a person not expressly prohibited by
law from making a will.

The intrinsic validity is another matter and questions regarding the same may still
be raised even after the will has been authenticated.[12] Thus, it does not
necessarily follow that an extrinsically valid last will and testament is always
intrinsically valid. Even if the will was validly executed, if the testator provides for
dispositions that deprives or impairs the lawful heirs of their legitime or rightful
inheritance according to the laws on succession,[13] the unlawful
provisions/dispositions thereof cannot be given effect. This is specially so when
the courts had already determined in a final and executory decision that the will
is intrinsically void. Such determination having attained that character of finality
is binding on this Court which will no longer be disturbed.

Not that this Court finds the will to be intrinsically valid, but that a final and
executory decision of which the party had the opportunity to challenge before
the higher tribunals must stand and should no longer be reevaluated. Failure to
avail of the remedies provided by law constitutes waiver.

*** Article 960 of the Civil Code, on the law of successional rights that testacy is
preferred to intestacy.

No intestate distribution of the estate can be done until and unless the will had
failed to pass both its extrinsic and intrinsic validity. If the will is extrinsically void,
the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the intrinsic validity thereof. If it is
extrinsically valid, the next test is to determine its intrinsic validity that is whether
the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of succession. In this
case, the court had ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the
intrinsic provisions thereof were void. Thus, the rules of intestacy apply as
correctly held by the trial court.
Francisco v. Francisco

Respondent Aida Francisco-Alfonso (hereafter Aida) is the only daughter of


spouses Gregorio Francisco and Cirila de la Cruz, who are now both deceased.

Petitioners, on the other hand, are daughters of the late Gregorio Francisco with
his common law wife Julia Mendoza, with whom he begot seven (7) children.

Gregorio Francisco owned two parcels of residential land situated in Bulacan.


When Gregorio was confined in a hospital in 1990, he confided to his daughter
Aida that the certificate of title of his property were in the possession of Regina
Francisco and Zenaida Pascual.

When Gregorio died. Aida inquired about the certificate of title from her half
sisters and they informed her that Gregorio had sold the land to them in 1983 as
executed by a Kasulatan. After verification, Aida learned that there was
indeed a deed of absolute sale in favor of petitioners.

In 1991, Aida filed with the Regional Trial Court, Bulacan, a complaint against
petitioners for annulment of sale with damages. In their joint answer, petitioners
denied the alleged forgery or simulation of the Deed of Sale. The trial court
rendered a decision dismissing the complaint while upon appeal the Court of
Appeals reversed the decision of the lower court.Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether the kasulatan is valid

HELD: No.

First: The kasulatan was simulated. There was no consideration for the contract
of sale. Felicitas de la Cruz, a family friend of the Franciscos, testified that
Zenaida Pascual and Regina Francisco did not have any source of income in
1983.

Zenaida Pascual testified that she was engaged in operating a canteen,


working as cashier in Mayon Night Club as well as buying and selling RTW
(Ready to Wear) items in August of 1983 and prior thereto.

Regina Francisco, on the other hand, was a market vendor, selling nilugaw,
earning a net income of P300.00 a day in 1983. She bought the property from
the deceased for P15,000.00.[17] She had no other source of income.

We find it incredible that engaging in buy and sell could raise the amount of
P10,000.00, or that earnings in selling goto could save enough to pay P15,000.00,
in cash for the land.

Second: Even if the kasulatan was not simulated, it still violated the Civil
Code[19] provisions insofar as the transaction affected respondents legitime. The
sale was executed in 1983, when the applicable law was the Civil Code, not the
Family Code.

Obviously, the sale was Gregorios way to transfer the property to his illegitimate
daughters[20] at the expense of his legitimate daughter. The sale was executed
to prevent respondent Alfonso from claiming her legitime and rightful share in
said property. Before his death, Gregorio had a change of heart and informed
his daughter about the titles to the property.

According to Article 888, Civil Code:

The legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the


hereditary estate of the father and of the mother.

The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half subject to the rights of
illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided.

Gregorio Francisco did not own any other property. If indeed the parcels of land
involved were the only property left by their father, the sale in fact would deprive
respondent of her share in her fathers estate. By law, she is entitled to half of the
estate of her father as his only legitimate child.[21]

The legal heirs of the late Gregorio Francisco must be determined in proper
testate or intestate proceedings for settlement of the estate. His compulsory heir
can not be deprived of her share in the estate save by disinheritance as
prescribed by law