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UP Law F2021 047 Estate of Ruiz v.

CA

Spec Pro Rules 81, 83-85 1996 Puno, J


Powers and duties of executors and
administrators

SUMMARY
Edmond Ruiz and Maria Montes are heirs of Hilario Ruiz. When Hilario died, Edmond was named executor. One
property, a house and lot in Valle Verde, Pasig which the testator bequeathed to the 3 granddaughters was leased out
by Edmond to third persons. Probate court ordered Edmond to deposit with the Branch Clerk of Court the rental
deposit and payments totalling P540,000.00. Edmond prayed for release of the rent payments deposited with the
Branch Clerk of Court. Montes opposed and praying that the release of rent payments be given to the 3
granddaughters.
FACTS
 Hilario Ruiz executed a holographic will where he named the following as his heirs
o Edmond Ruiz – only son
o Maria Pilar Ruiz-Montes – adopted daughter
o Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine and Maria Angeline - 3 granddaughters, all daughters of Ruiz
 Testator bequeathed to his heirs substantial cash, personal and real properties and named Edmond Ruiz
executor of his estate.
 Hilario Ruiz died and the cash component of his estate was immediately distributed among Ruiz and
respondents.
 Edmond, the named executor, did not take any action for the probate of his father's holographic will.
 4 years after – Montes filed before the RTC a petition for the probate and approval of the deceased’s will and
for the issuance of letters testamentary to Edmond Ruiz
o Edmond opposed the petition on the ground that the will was executed under undue influence.
 The house and lot in Valle Verde, Pasig which the testator bequeathed to the 3 granddaughters was leased out
by Edmond to third persons.
 Probate court ordered Edmond to deposit with the Branch Clerk of Court the rental deposit and payments
totalling P540,000.00 representing the one-year lease of the Valle Verde property.
 Edmond moved for the release of P50,000.00 to pay the real estate taxes on the real properties of the estate.
o The probate court approved the release of P7,722.00
 Edmond withdrew his opposition to the probate of the will
o Probate court admitted the will to probate and ordered the issuance of letters testamentary to
Edmond conditioned upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P50,000.00
 Testate Estate of Hilario Ruiz, with Edmond Ruiz as executor, filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for Release of Funds
o Prayed for release of the rent payments deposited with the Branch Clerk of Court
o Montes opposed and praying that the release of rent payments be given to the 3 granddaughters
o Probate court denied the release of funds and granted the motion of Montes due to Edmond’s lack of
opposition
o Probate Court ordered the release of the funds to Edmond but only "such amount as may be necessary
to cover the expenses of administration and allowances for support" of the testator's three
granddaughters subject to collation and deductible from their share in the inheritance
 CA sustained probate court’s order.

RATIO

W/N grandchildren are not entitled to provisional support from the funds of the decedent's estate.
YES.

Rule 83, Sec. 3. Allowance to widow and family. — The widow and minor or incapacitated children of a
deceased person, during the settlement of the estate, shall receive therefrom under the direction of the court,
such allowance as are provided by law.

The law clearly limits the allowance to "widow and children" and does not extend it to the deceased's
grandchildren, regardless of their minority or incapacity.
W/N The right of an executor or administrator to the possession and management of the real and
personal properties of the deceased can only be exercised so long as it is necessary for the payment of
the debts and expenses of administration
YES.
Rule 84, Sec. 3. Executor or administrator to retain whole estate to pay debts, and to administer estate not
willed. — An executor or administrator shall have the right to the possession and management of the real as
well as the personal estate of the deceased so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and
expenses for administration.
When petitioner moved for further release of the funds deposited with the clerk of court, he had been
previously granted by the probate court certain amounts for repair and maintenance expenses on the
properties of the estate, and payment of the real estate taxes thereon, but he moved again for the release of
additional funds for the same reasons he previously cited.
i. It was correct for the probate court to require him to submit an accounting of the necessary
expenses for administration before releasing any further money in his favour.
ii. Petitioner had deposited with it only a portion of the one-year rental income from the Valle Verde
property.
iii. As executor, he is a mere trustee of his father's estate. The funds of the estate in his hands are trust
funds and he is held to the duties and responsibilities of a trustee of the highest order.
FALLO

IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 33045
affirming the order dated December 22, 1993 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 156, Pasig in SP
Proc. No. 10259 are affirmed with the modification that those portions of the order granting an
allowance to the testator's grandchildren and ordering the release of the titles to the private
respondents upon notice to creditors are annulled and set aside.

Respondent judge is ordered to proceed with dispatch in the proceedings below.

SO ORDERED.