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Vitug v.

CA

G.R. No. 82027, March 29, 1990

Spouses Dolores and Romarico Vitug entered into a survivorship agreement with
the Bank of American National Trust and Savings Association. The said agreement
contained the following stipulations:

(1) All money deposited and to be deposited with the Bank in their joint savings current
account shall be both their property and shall be payable to and collectible or
withdrawable by either or any of them during their lifetime; and

(2) After the death of one of them, the same shall belong to and be the sole property of the
surviving spouse and payable to and collectible or withdrawable by such survivor

Dolores died naming Rowena Corona in her wills as executrix. Romarico later filed
a motion asking authority to sell certain shares of stock and real property belonging to the
estate to cover his advances to the estate which he claimed were personal funds
withdrawn from their savings account. Rowena opposed on the ground that the same
funds withdrawn from the savings account were conjugal partnership properties and part
of the estate. Hence, there should be no reimbursement. On the other hand, Romarico
insists that the same are his exclusive property acquired through the survivorship
agreement.

ISSUE: Whether or not the funds of the savings account subject of the survivorship
agreement were conjugal partnership properties and part of the estate

No. The Court ruled that a Survivorship Agreement is neither a donation mortis causanor
a donation inter vivos. It is in the nature of an aleatory contract whereby one or both of
the parties reciprocally bind themselves to give or to do something in consideration of
what the other shall give or do upon the happening of an event which is to occur at an
indeterminate time or is uncertain, such as death. The Court further ruled that a
survivorship agreement is per se not contrary to law and thus is valid unless its operation
or effect may be violative of a law such as in the following instances: (1) it is used as a
mere cloak to hide an inofficious donation; (2) it is used to transfer property in fraud of
creditors; or (3) it is used to defeat the legitime of a compulsory heir. In the instant case,
none of the foregoing instances were present. Consequently, the Court upheld the validity
of the survivorship agreement entered into by the spouses Vitug. As such, Romarico,
being the surviving spouse, acquired a vested right over the amounts under the savings
account, which became his exclusive property upon the death of his wife pursuant to the
survivorship agreement. Thus, the funds of the savings account are
not conjugal partnership properties and not part of the estate of the deceased Dolores.