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Amount of Successional Rights (2004) P300,000.

00, When the deed was about to be

Mr. XT and Mrs. YT have been married for 20 years. prepared Joaquin told Julio that it be drawn in the
Suppose the wife, YT, died childless, survived only by name of Joaquina Roxas, his acknowledged natural
her husband, XT. What would be the share of XT from child. Thus, the deed was so prepared and executed
her estate as inheritance? Why? Explain. (5%) by Julio. Joaquina then built a house on the lot where
she, her husband and children resided. Upon
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Under the Civil Code, the Joaquin's death, his legitimate children sought to
widow or widower is a legal and compulsory heir of recover possession and ownership of the lot, claiming
the deceased spouse. If the widow is the only that Joaquina Roxas was but a trustee of their father.
surviving heir, there being no legitimate ascendants, Will the action against Joaquina Roxas prosper?
descendants, brothers, and sisters, nephews and
nieces, she gets the entire estate. SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, because there is a
presumed donation in favor of Joaquina under Art.
Barrier between illegitimate & legitimate relatives 1448 of the Civil Code (De los Santos v. Reyes, 27
(1993) January 1992, 206 SCRA 437). However, the donation
A is the acknowledged natural child of B who died should be collated to the hereditary estate and the
when A was already 22 years old. When B's full blood legitime of the other heirs should be preserved.
brother, C, died he (C) was survived by his widow and
four children of his other brother D. Claiming that he ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Yes, the action against
is entitled to inherit from his father's brother C. A Joaquina Roxas will prosper, but only to the extent of
brought suit to obtain his share in the estate of C. Will the aliquot hereditary rights of the legitimate children
his action prosper? as heirs. Joaquina will be entitled to retain her own
share as an illegitimate child, (Arts. 1440 and 1453.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No, the action of A will not Civil Code; Art. 176, F. C.)
prosper. On the premise that B, C and D are legitimate
brothers, as an illegitimate child of B, A cannot inherit Disinheritance vs. Preterition (1993)
in intestacy from C who is a legitimate brother of B. Maria, to spite her husband Jorge, whom she
Only the wife of C in her own right and the legitimate suspected was having an affair with another woman,
relatives of C (i.e. the children of D as C's How will you executed a will, unknown to him, bequeathing all the
rule on Jorge's opposition to the probate of legitimate properties she inherited from her parents, to her
nephews inheriting as collateral relatives) can inherit sister Miguela. Upon her death, the will was
in intestacy. (Arts. 992, 1001, 1OO5 and 975, Civil presented for probate. Jorge opposed probate of the
Code) will on the ground that the will was executed by his
wife without his knowledge, much less consent, and
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: The action of A will not that it deprived him of his legitime. After all, he had
prosper. Being an illegitimate, he is barred by Article given her no cause for disinheritance, added Jorge in
992 of the Civil Code from inheriting ab intestato from his opposition. Maria's will. If you were the Judge?
the legitimate relatives of his father.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: As Judge, I shall rule as follows:
Barrier between illegitimate & legitimate relatives Jorge's opposition should be sustained in part and
(1996) denied in part. Jorge's omission as spouse of Maria is
Cristina the illegitimate daughter of Jose and Maria, not preterition of a compulsory heir in the direct line.
died intestate, without any descendant or ascendant. Hence, Art. 854 of the Civil Code does not apply, and
Her valuable estate is being claimed by Ana, the the institution of Miguela as heir is valid, but only to
legitimate daughter of Jose, and Eduardo, the the extent of the free portion of one-half. Jorge is still
legitimate son of Maria. Is either, both, or neither of entitled to one-half of the estate as his legitime. (Art.
them entitled to inherit? Explain. 1001, Civil Code)

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Neither Ana nor Eduardo is ALTERNATIVE ANSWERS: a) As Judge, I shall rule as
entitled to inherit of ab intestato from Cristina. Both follows: Jorge's opposition should be sustained in part
are legitimate relatives of Cristina's illegitimate and denied in part. This is a case of ineffective
parents and therefore they fall under the prohibition disinheritance under Art, 918 of the Civil Code,
prescribed by Art. 992, NCC (Manuel v. Ferrer, 242 because the omission of the compulsory heir Jorge by
SCRA 477; Diaz v. Court of Appeals, 182 SCRA 427). Maria was intentional. Consequently, the institution
Collation (1993) Joaquin Reyes bought from Julio Cruz of Miguela as heir is void only insofar as the legitime
a residential lot of 300 square meters in Quezon City of Jorge is prejudiced. Accordingly, Jorge is entitled to
for which Joaquin paid Julio the amount of his legitime of one-half of the estate, and Miguela
gets the other half. b) As Judge, I shall rule as follows: Disinheritance; Ineffective; Preterition (2000)
Jorge's opposition should be sustained. This is a case In his last will and testament, Lamberto 1) disinherits
of preterition under Article 854 Civil Code, the result his daughter Wilma because "she is disrespectful
of the omission of Jorge as compulsory heir having the towards me and raises her voice talking to me", 2)
same right equivalent to a legitimate child "in the omits entirely his spouse Elvira, 3) leaves a legacy of
direct line" is that total intestacy will arise, and Jorge P100,000.00 to his mistress Rosa and P50,000.00 to
will inherit the entire estate. c) As Judge, I shall rule as his driver Ernie and 4) institutes his son Baldo as his
follows: the opposition should be denied since it is sole heir. How will you distribute his estate of
predicated upon causes not recognized by law as P1,000,000.00? (5%)
grounds for disallowance of a wll, to wit: 1 that the
will was made without his knowledge; 2 that the will SUGGESTED ANSWER: The disinheritance of Wilma
was made without his consent; and 3 that it has the was ineffective because the ground relied upon by the
effect of depriving him of his legitime, which is a testator does not constitute maltreatment under
ground that goes into the intrinsic validity of the will Article 919(6) of the New Civil Code. Hence, the
and need not be resolved during the probate testamentary provisions in the will shall be annulled
proceedings. However, the opposition may be but only to the extent that her legitime was impaired.
entertained for, the purpose of securing to the The total omission of Elvira does not constitute
husband his right to the legitime on the theory that preterition because she is not a compulsory heir in the
the will constitutes an ineffective disinheritance under direct line. Only compulsory heirs in the direct line
Art. 918 of the Civil Code, d) As Judge, I shall rule as may be the subject of preterition. Not having been
follows: Jorge is entitled to receive his legitime from preterited, she will be entitled only to her legitime.
the estate of his wife. He was not disinherited in the The legacy in favor of Rosa is void under Article 1028
will even assuming that he gave ground for for being in consideration of her adulterous relation
disinheritance, hence, he is still entitled to his with the testator. She is, therefore, disqualified to
legitime. Jorge, however, cannot receive anything receive the legacy of 100,000 pesos. The legacy of
from the free portion. He cannot claim preterition as 50,000 pesos in favor of Ernie is not inofficious not
he is not a compulsory heir in the direct line. There having exceeded the free portion. Hence, he shall be
being no preterition, the institution of the sister was entitled to receive it. The institution of Baldo, which
valid and the only right of Jorge is to claim his applies only to the free portion, shall be respected. In
legitime. sum, the estate of Lamberto will be distributed as
Disinheritance; Ineffective (1999) Baldo-----------------450,000
Mr. Palma, widower, has three daughters D, D-l and Wilma---------------250,000
D-2. He executes a Will disinheriting D because she Elvira-----------------250,000
married a man he did not like, and instituting Ernie-----------------50,000
daughters D-1 and D-2 as his heirs to his entire estate 1,000,000
of P 1,000,000.00, Upon Mr, Palma's death, how
should his estate be divided? Explain. (5%) Heirs; Intestate Heirs; Reserva Troncal (1995)
Isidro and Irma, Filipinos, both 18 years of age, were
SUGGESTED ANSWER: CIVIL LAW Answers to the BAR passengers of Flight No. 317 of Oriental Airlines. The
as Arranged by Topics (Year 1990-2006) This is a case plane they boarded was of Philippine registry. While
of ineffective disinheritance because marrying 1028 en route from Manila to Greece some passengers
for being in consideration of her adulterous relation a hijacked the plane, held the chief pilot hostage at the
man that the father did not approve of is not a ground cockpit and ordered him to fly instead to Libya. During
for disinheriting D. Therefore, the institution of D-l the hijacking Isidro suffered a heart attack and was on
and D-2 shall be annulled insofar as it prejudices the the verge of death. Since Irma was already eight
legitime of D, and the institution of D-l and D-2 shall months pregnant by Isidro, she pleaded to the
only apply on the free portion in the amount of hijackers to allow the assistant pilot to solemnize her
P500,000.00. Therefore, D, D-l and D-2 will get their marriage with Isidro. Soon after the marriage, Isidro
legitimes of P500.000.00 divided into three equal expired. As the plane landed in Libya Irma gave birth.
parts and D-l and D-2 will get a reduced testamentary However, the baby died a few minutes after complete
disposition of P250,000.00 each. Hence, the shares delivery. Back in the Philippines Irma Immediately
will be: filed a claim for inheritance. The parents of Isidro
D P166,666.66 opposed her claim contending that the marriage
D-l P166,666.66 + P250.000.00 between her and Isidro was void ab initio on the
D-2 P166,666.66 + P250,000.00 following grounds: (a) they had not given their
consent to the marriage of their son; (b) there was no
marriage license; (c) the solemnizing officer had no compulsory heirs of Luis, how much is the legitime of
authority to perform the marriage; and, (d) the each, and how much is the free portion of his estate,
solemnizing officer did not file an affidavit of marriage if any?
with the proper civil registrar. 2. Does Irma have any
successional rights at all? Discuss fully. SUGGESTED ANSWER: The compulsory heirs are the
two legitimate children and the two illegitimate
SUGGESTED ANSWER: 2. Irma succeeded to the estate children. The parents are excluded by the legitimate
of Isidro as his surviving spouse to the estate of her children, while the brothers are not compulsory heirs
legitimate child. When Isidro Heir Legitime at all. Their respective legitimate are: a) The legitime
Distribution of Wilma’s Legacy Institution TOTAL of the two (2) legitimate children is one half (1/2) of
Legitime Baldo 250,0000 125,000 200,000 575,000 the estate (P500,000.00) to be divided between them
Wil ma (250.000) Elvi ra 250,000 125.000 375.000 Erni equally, or P250,000.00 each. b) The legitimate of
e 50,000 50.000 TO TAL 500,000 250,000 50,0 00 each illegitimate child is one-half (1/2) the legitime of
200,00 0 1,000,000 CIVIL LAW Answers to the BAR as each legitimate child or P125,000.00. Since the total
Arranged by Topics (Year 1990-2006) died, he was legitime of the compulsory heirs is legitime of the
succeeded by his surviving wife Irma, and his legitimate children and it follows that the
legitimate unborn child. They divided the estate P750,000.00, the balance of P250,000.00 is the free
equally between them, the child excluding the parents portion. Legitime;
of Isidro. An unborn child is considered born for all
purposes favorable to it provided it is born later. The Compulsory Heirs vs. Secondary Compulsory Heirs
child was considered born because, having an intra- (2005)
uterine life of more than seven months, it lived for a Emil, the testator, has three legitimate children, Tom,
few minutes after its complete delivery. It was Henry and Warlito; a wife named Adette; parents
legitimate because it was born within the valid named Pepe and Pilar; an illegitimate child, Ramon;
marriage of the parents. Succession is favorable to it. brother, Mark; and a sister, Nanette. Since his wife
When the child died, Irma inherited the share of the Adette is well-off, he wants to leave to his illegitimate
child. However, the share of the child in the hands of child as much of his estate as he can legally do. His
Irma is subject to reserva troncal for the benefit of the estate has an aggregate net amount of Pl,200,000.00,
relatives of the child within the third degree of and all the above-named relatives are still living. Emil
consanguinity and who belong to the line of Isidro. now comes to you for advice in making a will. How
will you distribute his estate according to his wishes
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: If the marriage is void. Irma without violating the law on testamentary succession?
has no successional rights with respect to Isidro but (5%)
she would have successional rights with respect to the
child. SUGGESTED ANSWER: P600,000.00 — legitime to be
divided equally between Tom, Henry and Warlito as
Heirs; Intestate Heirs; Shares (2003) the legitimate children. Each will be entitled to
Luis was survived by two legitimate children, two P200,000.00. (Art. 888, Civil Code) P100,000.00 --
illegitimate children, his parents, and two brothers. share of Ramon the illegitimate child. Equivalent to
He left an estate of P1 million. Luis died intestate. 1/2 of the share of each legitimate child. (Art. 176,
Who are his intestate heirs, and how much is the Family Code) P200,000.00 — Adette the wife. Her
share of each in his estate? share is equivalent to the share of one legitimate
child. (Art. 892, par. 2, Civil Code) Pepe and Pilar, the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The intestate heirs are the two parents are only secondary compulsory heirs and they
(2) legitimate children and the two (2) illegitimate cannot inherit if the primary compulsory heirs
children. In intestacy the estate of the decedent is (legitimate children) are alive. (Art. 887, par. 2, Civil
divided among the legitimate and illegitimate children Code) Brother Mark and sister Nanette are not
such that the share of each illegitimate child is one - compulsory heirs since they are not included in the
half the share of each legitimate child. Their share are enumeration under Article 887 of the Civil Code. The
: For each legitimate child – P333,333.33 For each remaining balance of P300,000.00 is the free portion
illegitimate child – P166,666.66 (Article 983, New Civil which can be given to the illegitimate child Ramon as
Code; Article 176, Family Code) an instituted heir. (Art. 914, Civil Code) If so given by
the decedent, Ramon would receive a total of
Legitime; Compulsory Heirs (2003) P400,000.00.
Luis was survived by two legitimate children, two
illegitimate children, his parents, and two brothers.
He left an estate of P1 million. Who are the
Preterition (2001) SUGGESTED ANSWER: (a) Assuming that the
Because her eldest son Juan had been pestering her institution of A, B and F were to the entire estate,
for capital to start a business, Josefa gave him there was preterition of C since C is a compulsory heir
P100,000. Five years later, Josefa died, leaving a last in the direct line. The preterition will result in the total
will and testament in which she instituted only her annulment of the institution of heirs. Therefore, the
four younger children as her sole heirs. At the time of institution of A, B and F will be set aside and Mr. Cuz's
her death, her only properly left was P900,000.00 in a estate will be divided, as in intestacy, equally among
bank. Juan opposed the will on the ground of A, B and C as follows:
preterition. How should Josefa's estate be divided A - P333,333.33;
among her heirs? State briefly the reason(s) for your B - P333.333.33; and
answer. (5%) C - P333,333.33.
(b) On the same assumption as letter (a), there was
SUGGESTED ANSWER: There was no preterition of the preterition of C. Therefore, the institution of A and B
oldest son because the testatrix donated 100,000 is annulled but the legacy of P100.000.00 to F shall be
pesos to him. This donation is considered an advance respected for not being inofficious. Therefore, the
on the son's inheritance. There being no preterition, remainder of P900.000.00 will be divided equally
the institutions in the will shall be respected but the among A, B and C. Proceedings;
legitime of the oldest son has to be completed if he
received less. After collating the donation of P100.000 Succession; Death; Presumptive Legitime (1991)
to the remaining property of P900,000, the estate of a) For purposes of succession, when is death deemed
the testatrix is P1,000,000. Of this amount, one-half or to occur or take place? b) May succession be
P500,000, is the legitime of one legitimate child is conferred by contracts or acts inter vivos? Illustrate. c)
P100,000. The legitime, therefore, of the oldest son is Is there any law which allows the delivery to
P100,000. However, since the donation given him was compulsory heirs of their presumptive legitimes
P100,000, he has already received in full his legitime during the lifetime of their parents? If so, in what
and he will not receive anything anymore from the instances?
decedent. The remaining P900,000, therefore, shall go
to the four younger children by institution in the will, SUGGESTED ANSWER: A. Death as a fact is deemed to
to be divided equally among them. Each will receive occur when it actually takes place. Death is presumed
P225,000. to take place in the circumstances under Arts. 390-
391 of the Civil Code. The time of death is presumed
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Assuming that the donation is to be at the expiration of the 10year period as
valid as to form and substance, Juan cannot invoke prescribed by Article 390 and at the moment of
preterition because he actually had received a disappearance under Article 391. B. Under Art. 84 of
donation inter vivos from the testatrix (III Tolentino the Family Code amending Art 130 of the Civil Code,
188,1992 ed.). He would only have a right to a contractual succession is no longer possible since the
completion of his legitime under Art. 906 of the Civil law now requires that donations of future property be
Code. The estate should be divided equally among the governed by the provisions on the testamentary
five children who will each receive P225,000.00 succession and formalities of wills.
because the total hereditary estate, after collating the
donation to Juan (Art. 1061, CC), would be P1 million. ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: B. In the case of Coronado
In the actual distribution of the net estate, Juan gets vs.CA(l91 SCRA81), it was ruled that no property
nothing while his siblings will get P225,000.00 each. passes under a will without its being probated, but
may under Article 1058 of the Civil Code of 1898, be
Preterition; Compulsory Heir (1999) sustained as a partition by an act inter vivos [Many-Oy
(a) Mr, Cruz, widower, has three legitimate children, vs. CA 144SCRA33). And in the case of Chavez vs, IAC
A, B and C. He executed a Will instituting as his heirs 1191 SCRA211), it was ruled that while the law
to his estate of One Million (P1,000,000.00) Pesos his prohibits contracts upon future inheritance, the
two children A and B, and his friend F. Upon his death, partition by the parent, as provided in Art. 1080 is a
how should Mr. Cruz's estate be divided? Explain. case expressly authorized by law. A person has two
(3%) (b) In the preceding question, suppose Mr. Cruz options in making a partition of his estate: either by
instituted his two children A and B as his heirs in his an act inter vivos or by will. If the partition is by will, it
Will, but gave a legacy of P 100,000.00 to his friend F. is imperative that such partition must be executed in
How should the estate of Mr, Cruz be divided upon his accordance with the provisions of the law on wills; if
death? Explain, (2%) by an act inter vivos, such partition may even be oral
or written, and need not be in the form of a will,
provided the legitime is not prejudiced. "Where
several sisters execute deeds of sale over their 1 /6 Betina have a cause of action against Divino? Explain
undivided share of the paraphernal property of their (5%)
only giving her authority thereto but even signing said
deeds, there is a valid partition inter vivos between SUGGESTED ANSWER: CIVIL LAW Answers to the BAR
the mother and her children which cannot be revoked as Arranged by Topics (Year 1990-2006) A. A MODAL
by the mother. Said deeds of sale are not contracts INSTITUTION is the institution of an heir made for a
entered into with respect to future inheritance. "It certain purpose or cause (Arts. 871 and 882, NCC).
would be unjust for the mother to revoke the sales to SUBSTITUTION is the appointment of another heir so
a son and to execute a simulated sale in favor of a that he may enter into the inheritance in default of
daughter who already benefited by the partition." the heir originality instituted. (Art. 857, NCC). B. In a
SIMPLE SUBSTITUTION of heirs, the testator
SUGGESTED ANSWER: C. Yes, under Arts. 51 and 52 of designates one or more persons to substitute the
the New Family Code. In case of legal separation, heirs instituted in case such heir or heirs should die
annulment of marriage, declaration of nullity of before him, or should not wish or should be
marriage and the automatic termination of a incapacitated to accept the inheritance. In a
subsequent marriage by the reappearance of the FIDEICOMMISSARY SUBSTITUTION, the testator
absent spouse, the common or community property institutes a first heir and charges him to preserve and
of the spouses shall be dissolved and liquidated. Art, transmit the whole or part of the inheritance to a
51. In said partition, the value of the presumptive second heir. In a simple substitution, only one heir
legitimes of all common children, computed as of the inherits. In a fideicommissary substitution, both the
date of the final judgment of the trial court, shall be first and second heirs inherit. (Art. 859 and 869, NCC)
delivered in cash, property or sound securities, unless C. Betina has a cause of action against Divino. This is a
the parties, by mutual agreement, judicially approved, case of a testamentary disposition subject to a mode
had already provided for such matters. The children of and the will itself provides for the consequence if the
their guardian, or the trustee of their property, may mode is not complied with. To enforce the mode, the
ask for the enforcement of the judgment. The delivery will itself gives Betina the right to compel the return
of the presumptive legitimes herein prescribed shall in of the property to the heirs of Theodore. (Rabadilla v.
no way prejudice the ultimate successional rights of Conscoluella, 334 SCRA 522 [2000] GR 113725, 29
the children accruing upon the death of either or both June 2000).
of the parents; but the value of the properties already
received under the decree of annulment or absolute Wills; Formalities (1990)
nullity shall be considered as advances on their (1) If a will is executed by a testator who is a Filipino
legitime. Art. 52. The judgment of annulment or of citizen, what law will govern if the will is executed in
absolute nullity of the marriage, the partition and the Philippines? What law will govern if the will is
distribution of the properties of the spouses, and the executed in another country? Explain your answers.
delivery of the children's presumptive legitimes shall (2) If a will is executed by a foreigner, for instance, a
be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and Japanese, residing in the Philippines, what law will
registries of property; otherwise, the same shall not govern if the will is executed in the Philippines? And
affect third persons. what law will govern if the will is executed in Japan, or
some other country, for instance, the U.S.A.? Explain
Wills; Codicil; Institution of Heirs; Substitution of Heirs your answers.
By virtue of a Codicil appended to his will, Theodore SUGGESTED ANSWER: (1) a. If the testator who is a
devised to Divino a tract of sugar land, with the Filipino citizen executes his will in the Philippines,
obligation on the part of Divino or his heirs to deliver Philippine law will govern the formalities. b. If said
to Betina a specified volume of sugar per harvest Filipino testator executes his will in another country,
during Betina’s lifetime. It is also stated in the Codicil the law of the country where he maybe or Philippine
that in the event the obligation is not fulfilled, Betina law will govern the formalities. (Article 815, Civil
should immediately seize the property from Divino or Code}
latter’s heirs and turn it over to Theodore’s
compulsory heirs. Divino failed to fulfill the obligation SUGGESTED ANSWER: (2) a. If the testator is a
under the Codicil. Betina brings suit against Divino for foreigner residing in the Philippines and he executes
the reversion of the tract of land. a) Distinguish his will in the Philippines, the law of the country of
between modal institution and substation of heirs. which he is a citizen or Philippine law will govern the
(3%) b) Distinguish between simple and formalities. b. If the testator is a foreigner and
fideicommissary substitution of heirs. (2%) c) Does executes his will in a foreign country, the law of his
place of residence or the law of the country of which
he is a citizen or the law of the place of execution, or
Philippine law will govern the formalities (Articles 17. SUGGESTED ANSWERS: a) Yes, The will is valid. The
816. 817. Civil Code). law does not require a witness to actually see the
testator sign the will. It is sufficient if the witness
POSSIBLE ADDITIONAL ANSWERS: a. In the case of a could have seen the act of signing had he chosen to
Filipino citizen, Philippine law shall govern substantive do so by casting his eyes to the proper direction. b)
validity whether he executes his will in the Philippines Yes, the will is valid. Applying the "test of position",
or in a foreign country. b. In the case of a foreigner, although Comelio did not actually see Vicente sign the
his national law shall govern substantive validity will, Cornelio was in the proper position to see
whether he executes his will in the Philippines or in a Vicente sign if Cornelio so wished.
foreign country.
Wills; Joint Wills (2000)
Wills; Holographic Wills; Insertions & Cancellations Manuel, a Filipino, and his American wife Eleanor,
(1996) executed a Joint Will in Boston, Massachusetts when
Vanessa died on April 14, 1980, leaving behind a they were residing in said city. The law of
holographic will which is entirely written, dated and Massachusetts allows the execution of joint wills.
signed in her own handwriting. However, it contains Shortly thereafter, Eleanor died. Can the said Will be
insertions and cancellations which are not probated in the Philippines for the settlement of her
authenticated by her signature. For this reason, the estate? (3%)
probate of Vanessa's will was opposed by her relatives
who stood to inherit by her intestacy. May Vanessa's SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, the will may be probated
holographic will be probated? Explain. in the Philippines insofar as the estate of Eleanor is
concerned. While the Civil Code prohibits the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, the will as originally execution of Joint wills here and abroad, such
written may be probated. The insertions and prohibition applies only to Filipinos. Hence, the joint
alterations were void since they were not will which is valid where executed is valid in the
authenticated by the full signature of Vanessa, under Philippines but only with respect to Eleanor. Under
Art. 814, NCC. The original will, however, remains Article 819, it is void with respect to Manuel whose
valid because a holographic will is not invalidated by joint will remains void in the Philippines despite being
the unauthenticated insertions or alterations (Ajero v. valid where executed.
CA, 236 SCRA 468].
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: The will cannot be probated
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: It depends. As a rule, a in the Philippines, even though valid where executed,
holographic will is not adversely affected by Insertions because it is prohibited under Article 818 of the Civil
or cancellations which were not authenticated by the Code and declared void under Article 819, The
full signature of the testator (Ajero v. CA, 236 SCRA prohibition should apply even to the American wife
468). However, when the insertion or cancellation because the Joint will is offensive to public policy.
amounts to revocation of the will, Art.814 of the NCC Moreover, it is a single juridical act which cannot be
does not apply but Art. 830. NCC. Art. 830 of the NCC valid as to one testator and void as to the other.
does not require the testator to authenticate his
cancellation for the effectivity of a revocation effected Wills; Probate; Intrinsic Validity (1990)
through such cancellation (Kalaw v. Relova, 132 SCRA H died leaving a last will and testament wherein it is
237). In the Kalaw case, the original holographic will stated that he was legally married to W by whom he
designated only one heir as the only substantial had two legitimate children A and B. H devised to his
provision which was altered by substituting the said forced heirs the entire estate except the free
original heir with another heir. Hence, if the portion which he gave to X who was living with him at
unauthenticated cancellation amounted to a the time of his death. In said will he explained that he
revocation of the will, the will may not be probated had been estranged from his wife W for more than 20
because it had already been revoked. years and he has been living with X as man and wife
since his separation from his legitimate family. In the
Wills; Holographic Wills; Witnesses (1994) probate proceedings, X asked for the issuance of
On his deathbed, Vicente was executing a will. In the letters testamentary in accordance with the will
room were Carissa, Carmela, Comelio and Atty. wherein she is named sole executor. This was
Cimpo, a notary public. Suddenly, there was a street opposed by W and her children. (a) Should the will be
brawl which caught Comelio's attention, prompting admitted in said probate proceedings? (b) Is the said
him to look out the window. Cornelio did not see devise to X valid? (c) Was it proper for the trial court
Vicente sign a will. Is the will valid?
to consider the intrinsic validity of the provisions of ADDITIONAL ANSWERS: 1. In the case of Gan vs. Yap
said will? Explain your answers, (104 Phil 509), the execution and the contents of a
lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved
SUGGESTED ANSWER: by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen or
(a) Yes, the will may be probated if executed read such will. The will itself must be presented
according to the formalities prescribed by law. otherwise it shall produce no effect. The law regards
the document itself as material proof of authenticity.
(b) The institution giving X the free portion is not Moreover, in order that a will may be revoked by a
valid, because the prohibitions under Art. 739 of the subsequent will, it is necessary that the latter will be
Civil Code on donations also apply to testamentary valid and executed with the formalities required for
dispositions (Article 1028, Civil Code), Among the making of a will. The latter should possess all the
donations which are considered void are those made requisites of a valid will whether it be ordinary or a
between persons who were guilty of adultery or holographic will, and should be probated in order that
concubinage at the time of the donation. the revocatory clause thereof may produce effect. In
the case at bar, since the holographic will itself cannot
(c) As a general rule, the will should be admitted in be presented, it cannot therefore be probated. Since
probate proceedings if all the necessary requirements it cannot be probated, it cannot revoke the notarial
for its extrinsic validity have been met and the court will previously written by the decedent. 2. On the
should not consider the intrinsic validity of the basis of the Rules of Court, Rule 76, Sec. 6, provides
provisions of said will. However, the exception arises that no will shall be proved as a lost or destroyed will
when the will in effect contains only one testamentary unless its provisions are clearly and distinctly proved
disposition. In effect, the only testamentary by at least two (2) credible witnesses. Hence, if we
disposition under the will is the giving of the free abide strictly by the two-witness rule to prove a lost
portion to X, since legitimes are provided by law. or destroyed will, the holographic will which Johnny
Hence, the trial court may consider the intrinsic allegedly mistakenly burned, cannot be probated,
validity of the provisions of said will. (Nuguid v. since there is only one witness, Eduardo, who can be
Nuguid, etal.. No. L23445, June 23, 1966, 17 SCRA; called to testify as to the existence of the will. If the
Nepomuceno v. CA, L-62952, 9 October 1985. 139 holographic will, which purportedly, revoked the
SCRA 206). earlier notarial will cannot be proved because of the
absence of the required witness, then the petition for
Wills; Probate; Notarial and Holographic Wills (1997) the probate of the notarial will should prosper.
Johnny, with no known living relatives, executed a
notarial will giving all his estate to his sweetheart. Wills; Revocation of Wills; Dependent Relative
One day, he had a serious altercation with his Revocation (2003)
sweetheart. A few days later, he was introduced to a Mr. Reyes executed a will completely valid as to form.
charming lady who later became a dear friend. Soon A week later, however, he executed another will
after, he executed a holographic will expressly which expressly revoked his first will, which he tore
revoking the notarial will and so designating his new his first will to pieces. Upon the death of Mr. Reyes,
friend as sole heir. One day when he was clearing up his second will was presented for probate by his heirs,
his desk, Johnny mistakenly burned, along with other but it was denied probate due to formal defects.
papers, the only copy of his holographic will. His Assuming that a copy of the first will excluded by a
business associate, Eduardo knew well the contents of legitimate son of the decedent [Art. 887, New is
the will which was shown to him by Johnny the day it available, may it now be admitted to probate and
was executed. A few days after the burning incident, given effect? Why?
Johnny died. Both wills were sought to be probated in
two separate petitions. Will either or both petitions SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, the first will may be
prosper? admitted to probate and given effect. When the
testator tore first will, he was under the mistaken
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The probate of the notarial will belief that the second will was perfectly valid and he
will prosper. The holographic will cannot be admitted would not have destroyed the first will had he known
to probate because a holographic will can only be that the second will is not valid. The revocation by
probated upon evidence of the will itself unless there destruction therefore is dependent on the validity of
is a photographic copy. But since the holographic will the second will. Since it turned out that the second
was lost and there was no other copy, it cannot be will was invalid, the tearing of the first will did not
probated and therefore the notarial will will be produce the effect of revocation. This is known as the
admitted to probate because there is no revoking will. doctrine of dependent relative revocation (Molo v.
Molo, 90 Phil 37.)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Jayson will still be entitled to
ALTERNATIVE ANSWERS: No, the first will cannot be the entire P12 Million as the father, brother and sister
admitted to probate. While it is true that the first will will be Civil Code]. This follows the principle that the
was successfully revoked by the second will because descendants exclude the ascendants from
the second will was later denied probate, the first will inheritance.
was, nevertheless, revoked when the testator
destroyed it after executing the second invalid will. Wills; Testamentary Intent (1996)
(Diaz v. De Leon, 43 Phil 413 [1922]). Alfonso, a bachelor without any descendant or
ascendant, wrote a last will and testament in which he
Wills; Testamentary Disposition (2006) devised." all the properties of which I may be
Don died after executing a Last Will and Testament possessed at the time of my death" to his favorite
leaving his estate valued at P12 Million to his brother Manuel. At the time he wrote the will, he
common-law wife Roshelle. He is survived by his owned only one parcel of land. But by the time he
brother Ronie and his half-sister Michelle. died, he owned twenty parcels of land. His other
brothers and sisters insist that his will should pass
(1) Was Don's testamentary disposition of his estate in only the parcel of land he owned at the time it was
accordance with the law on succession? Whether you written, and did not cover his properties acquired,
agree or not, explain your answer. Explain. which should be by intestate succession. Manuel
claims otherwise. Who is correct? Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, Don's testamentary
disposition of his estate is in accordance with the law SUGGESTED ANSWER: Manuel is correct because
on succession. Don has no compulsory heirs not under Art. 793, NCC, property acquired after the
having ascendants, descendants nor a spouse [Art. making of a will shall only pass thereby, as if the
887, New Civil Code]. Brothers and sisters are not testator had possessed it at the time of making the
compulsory heirs. Thus, he can bequeath his entire will, should it expressly appear by the will that such
estate to anyone who is not otherwise incapacitated was his intention. Since Alfonso's intention to devise
to inherit from him. A common-law wife is not all properties he owned at the time of his death
incapacitated under the law, as Don is not married to expressly appears on the will, then all the 20 parcels
anyone. of land are included in the devise.

(2) If Don failed to execute a will during his lifetime, as

his lawyer, how will you distribute his estate? Explain.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: After paying the legal

obligations of the estate, I will give Ronie, as full-
blood brother of Don, 2/3 of the net estate, twice the
share of Michelle, the half-sister who shall receive
1/3. Roshelle will not receive anything as she is not a
legal heir [Art. 1006 New Civil Code].

(3) Assuming he died intestate survived by his brother

Ronie, his half-sister Michelle, and his legitimate son
Jayson, how will you distribute his estate? Explain.

SUGGESTED ANSWER: Jayson will be entitled to the

entire P12 Million as the brother and sister will be
excluded by a legitimate son of the decedent. This
follows the principle of proximity, where "the nearer
excludes the farther."

(4) Assuming further he died intestate, survived by his

father Juan, his brother Ronie, his half-sister Michelle,
and his legitimate son Jayson, how will you distribute
his estate? Explain. (2.5%)
Disposition; Mortis Causa vs. Intervivos; Corpse (2009) No.XI. The spouses Peter and Paula had three (3)
No. XI. children. Paula later obtained a judgment of nullity of
TRUE or FALSE. marriage. Their absolute community of property
Answer TRUE if the statement is true, or FALSE if the having been dissolved, they delivered P1 million to
statement is false. Explain your answer in not more each of their 3 children as their presumptive
than two (2) sentences. (E). A person can dispose of legitimes. Peter later re-married and had two (2)
his corpse through an act children by his second wife Marie. Peter and Marie,
intervivos having successfully engaged in business, acquired real
. (1%) properties. Peter later died intestate. (A). Who are
SUGGESTED ANSWER: False. A persons cannot dispose Peter’s legal heirs and how will his estate be divided
of his corpse through an act inter vivos, i.e., an act to among them? (5%)
take effect during his lifetime. Before his death there
is no corpse to dispose. But he is allowed to do so SUGGESTED ANSWER: The legal heirs of Peter are his
through an act mortis causa, i.e., an act to take effect children by the first and second marriages and his
upon his death. surviving second wife. Their shares in the estate of
Peter will depend, however, on the cause of the
Heirs; Fideicommissary Substitution (2008) nullity of the first marriage. If the nullity of the first
No. XIII. Raymond, single, named his sister Ruffa in his marriage was psychological incapacity of one or both
will as a devisee of a parcel of land which he owned. spouses, the three children of that void marriage are
The will imposed upon Ruffa the obligation of legitimate and all of the legal heirs shall share the
preseving the land and transferring it, upon her death, estate of Peter in equal shares. If the judgment of
to her illegitimate daughter Scarlet who was then only nullity was for other causes, the three children are
one year old. Raymond later died, leaving behind his illegitimate and the estate shall be distributed such
widowed mother, Ruffa and Scarlet. that an illegitimate child of the first marriage shall
receive half of the share of a legitimate child of the
(A). Is the condition imposed upon Ruffa, to preserve second marriage, and the second wife will inherit a
the property and to transmit it upon her death to share equal to that of a legitimate child. In no case
Scarlet, valid? (1%) may the two legitimate children of the second
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, the condition imposed marriage receive a share less than one-half of the
upon Ruffa to preserve the property and to transmit it estate which is their legitime. When the estate is not
upon her death to Scarlet is valid because it is sufficient to pay all the legitimes of the compulsory
tantamount to fideicommissary substitution under heirs, the legitime of the spouse is preferred and the
Art. 863 of the Civil Code. illegitimate children suffer the reduction.
(B). If Scarlet predeceases Ruffa, who inherits the
property? (2%) (A) If the ground of nullity is psychological incapacity:
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Ruffa will inherit the property 3 children by first 1/6 of the estate for each
as Scarlet's heir. Scarlet acquires a right to the marriage
succession from the time of Raymond's death, even 2 children by second 1/6 of the estate for each
though she should predecease Ruffa (Art. 866, Civil marriage
Code). Surviving second spouse 1/6 of the estate

(C). If Ruffa predeceases Raymond, can Scarlet inherit (B) If the ground of nullity is not psychological
the property directly from Raymond? (2%) capacity:
SUGGESTED ANSWER: If Ruffa predeceases Raymond, ¼ of the estate for each
Raymond's widowed mother will be entitled to the 2 legitimate children of second marriage
inheritance. Scarlet, an illegitimate child, cannot Surviving second spouse ¼ of the estate
inherit the property by intestate succession from 3 illegitimate children 1/12 of estate for each of
Raymond who is a legitimate relative of Ruffa (Art. first marriage
992, Civil Code). Moreover, Scarlet is not a
compulsory heir of Raymond, hence she can inherit Note: The legitime of an illegitimate child is supposed
only by testamentary succession. Since Raymond to be ½ the legitime of a legitimate child or 1/8 of the
executed a will in the case at bar, Scarlet may inherit estate. But the estate will not be sufficient to pay the
from Raymond. said legitime of the 3 illegitimate children, because
only ¼ of the estate is left after paying the legitime of
Heirs; Intestate Succession; Legitime; Computation the surviving spouse which is preferred. Hence, the
remaining ¼ of the estate shall be divided among the they will tak, i.e., the direct line excludes the
3 illegitimate children. collateral, the descending direct line excludes the
ascending ,the nearer excludes the more remote, the
(B). What is the effect of the receipt by nephews and nieces exclude the uncles and the aunts,
Peter’s 3 children by his first marriage of and half blood relatives inherit half the share of full
their presumptive legitimes on their right to
blooded relatives.
inherit following Peter’s death? (5%)
Legitimes; Compulsory Heirs (2012)
No.VIII.b) How can RJP distribute his estate by will, if
In the distribution of Peter’s estate, ½ of the
his heirs are JCP, his wife; HBR and RVC, his parents;
presumptive received by the 3 children of the first
and an illegitimate child, SGO?
marriage shall be collated to Peter’s estate and shall
be imputed as an advance of their respective SUGGESTED ANSWER: A testator may dispose of by
inheritance from Peter. Only half of the presumptive
will the free portion of his estate. Since the legitime of
legitime is collated to the estate of Peter because the JCP is 1/8 of the estate, SGO is ¼ of the estate and
other half shall be collated to the estate of his first
that of HBR and RVC is ½ of the hereditary estate
under Art 889 of the NCC, the remaining 1/8 of the
estate is the free portion which the testator may
Heirs; Representation; Iron-Curtain Rule (2012)
dispose of by will
No.VIII.a) Ricky and Arlene are married. They begot
Franco during their marriage. Franco had an illicit
Legitime; Compulsory Heirs (2008)
relationship with Audrey and out of which, they begot No. XII. Ernesto, an overseas Filipino worker, was
Arnel. Frnaco predeceased Ricky, Arlene and Arnel.
coming home to the Philippines after working for so
Before Ricky died, he executed a will which when many years in the Middle East. He had saved
submitted to probate was opposed by Arnel on the P100.000 in his saving account in Manila which
ground that he should be given the share of his father,
intended to use to start a business in his home
Franco. Is the opposition of Arnel correct? Why? (5%)
country. On his flight home, Ernesto had a fatal heart
attack. He left behind his widowed mother, his
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No, his opposition is not
common-law wife and their twins sons. He left no will,
correct. Arnel cannot inherit from Ricky in the
no debts, no other relatives and no other properties
representation of his father Franco. In representation,
except the money in his saving account. Who are the
the representative must not only be a legal heir of the
heirs entitled to inherint from him and how much
person he is representing, he must also be a legal heir
should each receive?(3%)
of the decedent he seeks to inherit from. While Arnel
is a legal heir of Franco, he is not a legal heir of Ricky SUGGESTED ANSWER: The mother and twin sons are
because under Art 992 of the NCC, an illegitimate
entitled to inherit from Ernesto. Art. 991 of the Civil
child has no right to inherit ab intestate from the
Code, provides that if legitimate ascendants are left,
legitimate children and relatives of his father or
the twin sons shall divide the inheritance with them
mother. Arnel is disqualified to inherit from Ricky
taking one-half of the estate. Thus, the widowed
because Arnel is an illegitimate child of Franco and
mother gets P50,000.00 while the twin sons shall
Ricky is a legitimate relative of Franco.
receive P25,000.00 each. The common-law wife
cannot inherit from him because when the law speaks
Heirs; Reserva Troncal (2009) "widow or widower" as a compulsory heir, the law
refers to a legitimate spouse (Art. 887, par 3, Civil
Answer TRUE if the statement is true, or FALSE if the Code).
statement is false. Explain your answer in not more
than two (2) sentences. (B).In reservatroncal, all
Preterition; Disinheritance (2008)
reservatarios (reservees) inherit as a class and in
No.X. Arthur executed a will which contained only: (i)
equal shares regardless of their proximity in degree to
a provision disinheriting his daughter Bernica for
the prepositus. (1%)
running off with a married man, and (ii) a provision
disposing of his share in the family house and lot in
SUGGESTED ANSWER: FALSE. Not all the relatives favor of his other children Connie and Dora. He did
within the third degree will inherit as reservatario , not make any provisions in favor of his wife Erica,
and not all those who are entitled to inherit will because as the will stated, she would anyway get ½ of
inherit in the equal shares . The applicable laws of
the house and lot as her conjugal share. The will was
intestate succession will determine who among the
very brief and straightforward and both the above
relatives will inherit as reservatarios and what shares
provisions were contained in page 1, which Arthur (B). Between Marian and the baby, who is presumed
and his instrumental witness, signed at the bottom. to have died ahead? (1%)
Page 2 contained the attestation clause and the SUGGESTED ANSWER: Marian is presumed to have
signatures, at the bottom thereof, of the 3 died ahead of the baby. Art. 43 applies to persons
instrumental witnesses which included Lambert, the who are called to succeed each other. The proof of
driver of Arthur; Yoly, the family cook, and Attorney death must be established by positive or
Zorba, the lawyer who prepared the will. There was a circumstantial evidence derived from facts. It can
3rd page, but this only contained the notarial never be established from mere inference. In the
acknowledgement. The attestation clause stated the present case, it is very clear that only Marian and
will was signed on the same occasion by Arthur and Pietro were hacked with bolos. There was no showing
his instrumental witnesses who all signed in the that the baby was also hacked to death. The baby's
presence of each other, and the notary public who death could have been due to lack of nutrition.
notarized the will. There are no marginal signatures or
pagination appearing on any of the 3 pages. Upon his ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: The baby is presumed to have
death, it was discovered that apart from the house died ahead of Marian. Under Par. 5, rule 131, Sec. 5
and lot, he had a P 1 million account deposited with (KK) of the Rules of Court, if one is under 15 or above
ABC bank. 60 and the age of the other is in between 15 and 60,
the latter is presumed to have survived. In the instant
(A). Was Erica preterited? (1%) case, Marian was already 18 when she found out that
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Erica cannot be preterited. Art. she was pregnant. She could be of the same age or
854 of the Civil Code provides that only compulsory maybe 19 years of age when she gave birth. (C). Will
heirs in the direct line can be preterited. Pietro, as surviving biological father of the baby, be
entitled to claim the proceeds of the life insurance on
(B). What other defects of the will, if any, can cause the life of Marian? (2%)
denial of probate? (2%) SUGGESTED ANSWER: Pietro, as the biological father
SUGGESTED ANSWER: The other defects of the will of the baby, shall be entitled to claim the proceeds of
that can cause its denial are as follows: (a) Atty. Zorba, life insurance of the Marian because he is a
the one who prepared the will was one of the three compulsory heir of his child.
witnesses, violating the three-witnesses rule; (b) no
marginal signature at the last page; (c ) the attestation Succession; Rule on Survivorship (2009)
did not state the number of pages upon which the will No.II. Dr. Lopez, a 70-year old widower, and his son
is written; and, (d) no pagination appearing Roberto both died in a fire that gutted their home
correlatively in letters on the upper part of the three while they were sleeping in their air- conditioned
pages (Azuela v. C.A., G.R. No. 122880, 12 Apr 2006 rooms. Roberto’s wife, Marilyn, and their two children
and cited cases therein, Art 805 and 806, Civil Code). were spared because they were in the province at the
time. Dr. Lopez left an estate worth P20M and a life
(C). Was the disinheritance valid? (1%) insurance policy in the amount of P1M with his three
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, the disinheritance was children --- one of whom is Roberto --- as
valid. Art. 919, par 7, Civil Code provides that "when a beneficiaries. Marilyn is now claiming for herself and
child or descendant leads a dishonorable or her children her husband’s share in the estate left by
disgraceful life, like running off with a married man, Dr. Lopez, and her husband’s share in the proceeds of
there is sufficient cause for disinheritance." Dr. Lopez’s life insurance policy. Rule on the validity of
Marilyn’s claims with reasons. (4%)
Succession; Proof of Death between persons called to
succeed each other (2008) SUGGESTED ANSWER : As to the Estate of Dr. Lopez:
No. II. At age 18, Marian found out that she was Marilyn is not entitled to a share in the estate of Dr.
pregnant. She insured her own life and named her Lopez. For purpose of succession, Dr. Lopez and his
unborn child as her sole beneficiary. When she was son Roberto are presumed to have died at the same
already due to give birth, she and her boyfriend time, there being no evidence to prove otherwise, and
Pietro, the father of her unboarn child, were there shall be no transmission of rights from one to
kidnapped in a resort in Bataan where they were the other (Article 43, NCC). Hence, Roberto, inherited
vacationing. The military gave chase and after one nothing from his father that Marilyn would in turn
week, they were found in an abandoned hut in Cavite. inherit from Roberto .The children of Roberto,
Marian and Pietro were hacked with bolos. Marian however, will succeed their grandfather, Dr. Lopez ,in
and the baby delivered were both found dead, with representation of their father Roberto and together
the baby's umbilical cord already cut. Pietro survived. Roberto will receive 1/3 of the estate of Dr. Lopez
since their father Roberto was one of the three
children of Dr. Lopez . Marilyn cannot represent her Wills; Holographic Wills; Probate (2009)
husband Roberto because the right is not given by the No.VI. On December 1, 2000, Dr. Juanito Fuentes
law to a surviving spouse. As to the proceeds of the executed a holographic will, wherein he gave nothing
insurance on the life of Dr. Lopez: Since succession is to his recognized illegitimate son, Jay. Dr. Fuentes left
not involved as regards the insurance contract, the for the United States, passed the New York medical
provisions of the Rules of Court (Rule 131, Sec. 3 , [jj] licensure examinations, resided therein, and became
[5] ) on survivorship shall apply. Under the Rules, Dr. a naturalized American citizen. He died in New York in
Lopez, who was 70 years old, is presumed to have 2007. The laws of New York do not recognize
died ahead of Roberto who is presumably between holographic wills or compulsory heirs.
the ages 15 and 60. Having survived the insured,
Roberto's right as a beneficiary became vested upon (A). Can the holographic will of Dr. Fuentes be
the death of Dr. Lopez. When Roberto died after Dr. admitted to probate in the Philippines? Why or why
Lopez, his right to receive the insurance became part not? (3%)
of his hereditary estate, which in turn was inherited in SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, the holographic will of Dr.
equal shares by his legal heirs, namely, his spouse and Fuentes may be admitted to probate in the
children. Therefore, Roberto's children and his spouse Philippines because there is no public policy violated
are entitled to Roberto's one third share in the by such probate. The only issue at probate is the due
execution of the will which includes the formal validity
insurance proceeds.
of the will. As regards formal validity, the only issue
the court will resolve at probate is whether or not the
Wills; Holographic Wills; Insertions & Cancellations
will was executed in accordance with the form
No.VII. a) Natividad’s holographic will, which prescribed by the law observed by the testator in the
execution of his will. For purposes of probate in the
had only one (1) substantial provision, as first written,
named Rosa as her sole heir. However, when Gregorio Philippines, an alien testator may observe the law of
presented it for probate, it already contained an the place where the will was executed (Art 17, NCC),
or the formalities of the law of the place where he
alteration, naming Gregorio, instead of Rosa, as sole
resides, or according to the formalities of the law of
heir, but without authentication by Natividad’s
his own country, or in accordance with the Philippine
signature. Rosa opposes the probate alleging such lack
Civil Code (Art. 816, NCC). Since Dr. Fuentes executed
of proper authentication. She claims that the
his will in accordance with the Philippine law, the
unaltered form of the will should be given effect.
Philippine court shall apply the New Civil Code in
Whose claim should be granted? Explain. (5%)
determining the formal validity of the holographic
will. The subsequent change in the citizenship of Dr.
It depends. If the cancellation of Rosa’s name in the Fuentes did not affect the law governing the validity
will was done by the testator himself, Rosa’s claimed of his will. Under the new Civil Code, which was the
law used by Dr. Fuentes, the law enforced at the time
that the holographic will in its original tenor should be
of execution of the will shall govern the formal validity
given effect must be denied. The said cancellation has
of the will (Art. 795, NCC).
revoked the entire will as nothing remains of the will
after the name of Rosa was cancelled. Such
(B). Assuming that the will is probated in the
cancellation is valid revocation of the will and does
Philippines, can Jay validly insist that he be given his
not require authentication by the full signature of the
testator to be effective. legitime? Why or why not? (3%)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No, Jay cannot insist because
under New York law he is not a compulsory heir
However, if the cancellation of Rosa’s name was not
done by the testator himself, such cancellation shall entitled to a legitime. The national law of the testator
determines who his heirs are, the order that they
not be effective and the will in its original tenor shall
succeed, how much their successional rights are, and
remain valid. The effectively of the holographic will
whether or not a testamentary disposition in his will is
cannot be left to the mercy of unscrupulous third
valid (Art 16, NCC). Since, Dr. Fuentes was a US
parties. The writing of Gregorio’s name as sole heir
citizen, the laws of the New York determines who his
was ineffective, even though written by the testator
heirs are. And since the New York law does not
himself, because such is an alteration that requires
authentication by the full signature of the testator to recognize the concept of compulsory heirs, Jay is not a
be valid and effective. Not having an authenticated, compulsory heir of Dr. Fuentes entitled to a legitime.
the designation of Gregorio as an heir was ineffective,
Wills; Joint Wills (2008)
(Kalaw v. Relova, G.R. No. L-40207, Sept 28, 1984).
No. XI. John and Paula, British citizens at birth,
acquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization after
their marriage. During their marriage the couple
acquired substanial landholdings in London and in (2) Are the testamentary dispositions valid? Explain.
Makati. Paula bore John three children, Peter, Paul (2%)
and Mary. In one of their trips to London, the couple SUGGESTED ANSWER: Since the joint will is void, all
executed a joint will appointing each other as their the testamentary disposition written therein are also
heirs and providing that upon the death of the void. However, if the will is valid, the institutions of
survivor between them the entire estate would go to the heirs shall be annulled because Joshur was
Peter and Paul only but the two could not dispose of preterited. He was preterited because he will receive
nor divide the London estate as long as they live. John nothing from the will, will receive nothing in testacy,
and Paul died tragically in the London Subway and the facts do not show that he received anything
terrorist attack in 2005. Peter and Paul filed a petition as an advance on his inheritance. He was totally
for probate of their parent's will before a Makati excluded from the inheritance of his parents.
Regional Trial Court.
(3) Is the testamentary prohibition against the division
(A). Should the will be admitted to probate? (2%) of the London estate valid? Explain. (1%)
admitted to probate because a joint will is expressly Assuming the will of John and Maria was valid, the
prohibited under Art. 818 of the Civil Code. This testamentary prohibition on the division of the
provision applies John and Paula became Filipino London estate shall be valid but only for 20 years.
citizens after their marriage. Under Arts 1083 and 494 of the NCC, a testamentary
disposition of the testator cannot forbid the partition
(B). Are the testamentary dispositions valid? (2%) of all or part of the estate for a period longer than
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No. The testamentary twenty (20) years.
dispositions are not valid because (a) omission of
Mary, a legitimate child, is tantamount to preterition Wills; Prohibition to Partition of a Co-Owned Property
which shall annul the institution of Peter and Paul as (2010)
heirs (Art. 854, Civil Code); and, (b) the disposition No.I. True or False.
that Peter and Paul could not dispose of nor divide (B) X, a widower, died leaving a will stating that the
the London estate for more than 20 years is void (Art. house and lot where he lived cannot be partitioned
870, Civil Code). for as long as the youngest of his four children desires
to stay there. As coheirs and co-owners, the other
Wills; Joint Wills; Probate (2012) three may demand partition anytime. (1%)
No.VII.b) John Sagun and Maria Carla Camua, British SUGGESTED ANSWER: FALSE, The other three co-heirs
citizens at birth, acquired Philippine citizenship by may not anytime demand the partition of the house
naturalization after their marriage. During their and lot since it was expressly provided by the
marriage, the couple acquired substantial decedent in his will that the same cannot be
landholdings in London and in Makati. Maria begot partitioned while his youngest child desires to stay
three (3) children, Jorge, Luisito, and Joshur. In one of there. Article 1083 of the New Civil Code allows a
their trips to London, the couple executed a joint will decedent to prohibit, by will, the partition of a
appointing each other as their heirs and providing property and his estate for a period not longer than
that upon the death of the survivor between them, 20 years no matter what his reason maybe. Hence,
the entire estate would go to Jorge and Luisito only the three co-heir cannot demand its partition at
but the two (2) could not dispose of nor divide the anytime but only after 20 years from the death of
London estate as long as they live. John and Maria their father. Even if the deceased parent did not leave
died tragically in the London subway terrorist attack in a will, if the house and lot constituted their family
2005. Jorge and Luisito filed a petition for probate of home, Article 159 of the Family Code prohibits its
their parents’ will before a Makati Regional Trial partition for a period of ten (10) years, or for as long
Court. Joshur vehemently objected because he was as there is a minor beneficiary living in the family
preterited. (1) Should the will be admitted to home.
probate? Explain. (2%)
Wills; Notarial Wills; Blind Testator; Requisites (2008)
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No, the will should not be No. XIV. Stevie was born blind. He went to school for
admitted to probate. Since the couples are both the blind, and learned to read in Baille Language. He
Filipino citizens, Art 818 and 819 of the NCC shall Speaks English fluently. Can he: (A). Make a will? (1%)
apply. Said articles prohibits the execution of joint
wills and make them void, even though authorized of SUGGESTED ANSWER: Assuming that he is of legal age
the country where they were executed. (Art. 797, Civil Code) and of sound mind at the time of
execution of the will (Art. 798, Civil Code), Stevie, a experienced a stomach ache and kept going to the
blind person, can make a notarial will, subject to restroom for long periods of time. Hannah, while
compliance with the "two-reading rule" (Art. 808, Civil waiting for her turn to sign the will, was reading the
Code) and the provisions of Arts. 804, 805 and 806 of 7th Harry Potter book on the couch, beside the table
the Civil Code. on which everyone was signing. Benjamin, aside from
witnessing the will, also offered to notarize it. A week
(B). Act as a witness to a will? (1%) after, Clara was run over by a drunk driver while
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Stevie cannot be a witness to a crossing the street in Greenbelt. May the will of Clara
will. Art. 820 of the Civil Code provides that "any be admitted to probate? Give your reasons briefly.
person of sound mind and of the age of eighteen (10%)
years or more, and not blind, deaf or dumb, and able
to read and write, may be a witness to the execution SUGGESTED ANSWER: Probate should be denied. The
of a will. requirement that the testator and at least three (3)
witnesses must sign all in the "presence" of one
(C). In either of the above instances, must the will be another was not complied with. Benjamin who
read to him? (1%) notarized the will is disqualified as a witness, hence he
SUGGESTED ANSWER: If Stevie makes a will, the will cannot be counted as one of the three witnesses (Cruz
must be read to him twice, once by one of the v. Villasor, 54 SCRA 31, 1973). The testatrix and the
subscribing witnesses, and again, by the notary public other witnesses signed the will not in the presence of
before whom the will is acknowledged (Art. 808, Civil Roberta because she was in the restroom for
Code). extended periods of time. Inside the restroom,
Roberta could not have possibly seen the testatrix and
Wills; Testamentary Disposition; Period to Prohibit the other witnesses sign the will by merely casting her
Partition (2008) eyes in the proper direction (Jaboneta v. Gustilo, 5
No. XI. John and Paula, British citizens at birth, Phil 541, 1906; Nera v. Rimando, 18 Phil 451, 1914).
acquired Philippine citizenship by naturalization after Therefore, the testatrix signed the will in the presence
their marriage. During their marriage the couple of only two witnesses, and only two witnesses signed
acquired substanial landholdings in London and in the will in the presence of the testatrix and of one
Makati. Paula bore John three children, Peter, Paul another. It is to be noted, however, that the thumb
and Mary. In one of their trips to London, the couple mark intended by the testator to be his signature in
executed a joint will appointing each other as their executing his last will and testament is valid (Payad v.
heirs and providing that upon the death of the Tolentino, 62 Phil 848, 1936; Matias v. Salud, L-104
survivor between them the entire estate would go to Phil 1046, 23 June, 1958). The problem, however,
Peter and Paul only but the two could not dispose of states that Clara "said that she can sign her full name
nor divide the London estate as long as they live. John later;" Hence, she did not consider her thumb mark as
and Paul died tragically in the London Subway her "complete" signature, and intended further action
terrorist attack in 2005. Peter and Paul filed a petition on her part. The testatrix and the other witness signed
for probate of their parent's will before a Makati the will in the presence of Hannah, because she was
Regional Trial Court. (C). Is the testamentary aware of her function and role as witness and was in a
prohibition against the division of the London estate position to see the testatrix and the other witnesses
valid? (2%) sign by merely casting her eyes in the proper
SUGGESTED ANSWER: No. the testamentary direction.
prohibition against the division of the London estate is
void (Art. 870, Civil Code). A testator, however, may
prohibit partition for a period which shall not exceed
twenty (20) years (Art. 870 in relation to Art. 494, par
3, Civil Code).

Wills; Witnesses to a Will, Presence required;

Thumbmark as Signature (2007)
No.VI. Clara, thinking of her mortality, drafted a will
and asked Roberta, Hannah, Luisa and Benjamin to be
witnesses. During the day of signing of her will, Clara
fell down the stairs and broke her arms. Coming from
the hospital, Clara insisted on signing her will by
thumb mark and said that she can sign her full name
later. While the will was being signed, Roberta