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Succession – is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and

obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transferred
through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law.

Decedent – the person whose property is transmitted through succession, whether

or not he left a will. If he left a will, he is also called the testator.

Inheritance – includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are
not extinguished by his death.

Testamentary Succession – is that which results from the designation of an heir,

made in a will executed in the form prescribed by law.

Notarial Will – one which is executed with the formalities of the law and is duly
acknowledged and notarized by a bona fide notary public.

Holographic Will – one entirely written in the handwriting of the testator from the
beginning to the end, duly dated and signed. It need not be witnessed or notarized.

Heir – a person called to the succession either by the provision of a will or by

operation of law.

Devisees and legatees – persons to whom gifts of real and personal property are
respectively given by virtue of a will.

Will – an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law,
to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate, to take effect after his

Essential Characteristics of a Will

1.) Unilateral act of a person;

2.) Subordinated to both law and public policy;

3.) There is animus testandi or intention to make a will; and

4.) It is an individual or solitary act.

Other Characteristics of a Will

1.) It is a written act;

2.) It is strictly a personal act;

3.) It can be executed only by a capacitated person;

4.) It is ambulatory and revocable; and

5.) It is free from legal infirmities or circumstances which vitiate the testator’s
freedom to make the will.

Intrinsic or Latent Ambiguity – when there are two apartments in manila.

Extrinsic or Patent Ambiguity – when there is more than one bar topnotchers in

Devise – a gift of real property

Legacy – a gift of personal property

Requisites of Soundness of Mind

1.) Knows the nature of his estate;

2.) Knows the proper objects of his bounty; and

3.) Knows the character of his testamentary act.

Exceptions to the Presumption of Sanity

1.) If the testator was publicly known to be insane one month or less before
making his will.

2.) If the testator had been judicially declared an insane and made his will
after such declaration and before declaration had been set aside.

Prerequisite Formalities of an Notarial Will

1.) Must be subscribed or signed at the end by the testator himself or by the
testator’s name written by another person in his presence and by his
express direction.

2.) Must be attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses.

3.) Each and every page except the last must be signed on the left margin by
the testator and by the witnesses.

4.) Each and every page must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on
the upper part.

5.) Must contain an attestation clause, signed by the witnesses stating the
requirements of the law.

6.) Must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the

Qualifications of Witness
1.) He must be of sound mind;

2.) He must be at least 18 years of age;

3.) He must be able to read and write;

4.) He must not be blind, deaf or dumb; and

5.) He must be domiciled in the Philippines.

Disqualified from being a witness

1.) Any person not domiciled in the Philippines;

2.) Those who have been convicted of falsification of a document, perjury or

false testimony.

Codicil – a supplement or addition to a will, made after the execution of a will and
annexed to be taken as part thereof.

Revocation of Wills

1.) By implication of law; or

2.) By some will, codicil, or other writing

3.) By burning, tearing, cancelling or obliterating

Grounds for Disallowance of a Will

1.) Non-compliance with the formalities required by law

2.) Insanity or mental incapacity to make a will

3.) Will executed through force or duress or fear or threats

4.) Will procured by undue and improper pressure and influence on the part
of the beneficiary

5.) Signature of the testator was procured by fraud or trick

6.) Testator acted by mistake or did not intend that the document be his will
at the time of signing

Substitution – the appointment of another heir so that he may enter into the
inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted.

Fideicommissary Substitution – the fiduciary or first heir instituted is entrusted with

the obligation to preserve and to transmit to a second heir the whole or part of
Requisites of Fideicommissary Substitution

1.) There must be a first heir who will enjoy the property first;

2.) There is an express imposition or obligation on the first heir to preserve

and transmit the property to the second heir;

3.) The first and second heirs must be related within the first degree;

4.) Both the first and second heirs are alive at the time of the death of the