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Group 6

Uy v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 167979, March 16, 2006

6 Uy v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 167979, March 16, 2006 Aton, Bero, Binuya, Dayagbil,

Aton, Bero, Binuya, Dayagbil, Escaño, Jaramillo, Tiu, Velayo, Villablanca, Sabdullah

Facts:

Joy Tan - died intestate; survived by her spouse, Johnny Tan, and two children: Lilian and Lily Tan

SP No. 97-241 - appointed Lilian Tan as special administrator, but subsequently revoked as a result of Lily Tan’s Motion; Letters of Administration was granted to Lily Tan

Philip Tan - intervenor; brother and creditor of

deceased; appointed by RTC as co-administrator

What is the Order of preference in granting the Letters

of Administration?

Under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the preference to whom

letters of administration may be granted are as follows:

SEC. 6. When and to whom letters of administration granted. If no executor is named in the will, or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give bond, or a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted:

(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or both, in the discretion of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin, requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to serve;

What is the Order of preference in granting the Letters

of Administration? (cont)

(b) If such surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin,

or the person selected by them, be incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow, or next of kin, neglects for thirty (30) days after the

death of the person to apply for administration or to request that administration be granted to some other person, it may be granted to one or more of the principal creditors, if competent and willing to serve;

(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be

granted to such other person as the court may select.

Did the trial court act with grave abuse of discretion in appointing private respondent as

Did the trial court act with grave abuse of discretion in appointing private respondent as co-administrator to the estate of the deceased?

No. The trial court did not act with grave abuse of discretion in appointing private respondent as co-administrator.

The trial court did not disregard the order of preference. Instead of removing petitioner, it appointed private respondent, a creditor, as co-administrator since the estate was sizeable and petitioner was having a difficult time attending to it alone.

In fact, petitioner did not submit any report regarding the estate under his administration.

Explain why a co-administrator may be appointed

despite the rule on the Order of Preference?

A co-administrator performs all the functions and duties and exercises all the powers of a regular administrator, only that he is not alone in the administration. The practice of appointing co-administrators in estate proceedings is not prohibited, but it should only be resorted to, as held in Gabriel v Court of Appeals, in certain cases when circumstances merit their appointment, to wit:

a. to have the benefit of their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different interests represented;

b. where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or factions be represented in the management of the

estate of the deceased;

Explain why a co-administrator may be appointed

despite the rule on the Order of Preference? (cont)

where the estate is large or, from any cause, an intricate

c.

and perplexing one to settle;

d. to have all interested persons satisfied and the representatives to work in harmony for the best interests of the estate; and

e. when a person entitled to the administration of an estate

desires to have another competent person associated with

him in the office.

The court may appoint a co-administrator despite the rule on the Order of Preference when the person enjoying preferential right as an administrator is unsuitable.

The order of preference in the appointment of an administrator depends on the attendant facts and circumstances.

In Sioca v. Garcia:

… a probate court cannot arbitrarily and without sufficient reason disregard the preferential rights of the surviving spouse to the administration of the estate of the deceased spouse.

But, if the person enjoying such preferential rights is unsuitable, the court may appoint another person.

The determination of a person's suitability for the office of administrator rests, to a great

The determination of a person's suitability for the office of administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound

judgment

of

the

court

exercising

the

power

of

appointment and such judgment will not be interfered with on appeal unless it appears affirmatively that the court below was in error.

End

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