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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;

(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 may be granted to one or more of the principal creditors, if
competent and willing to serve;

(b) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be granted to such
other person as the court may select.


1. Executor;
2. Administrator, regular or special (Rule 80); and
3. Administrator with a will annexed (Rule 79, Section 1).

Executor - The one named by the testator in his will for the administration of his property after his

Administrator - One appointed by the Court in accordance with the Rules or governing statutes to
administer and settle the intestate estate or such testate estate, where the testator did not name any
executor or that the executor so named refuses to accept the trust, or fails to file a bond, or is
otherwise incompetent.

Administrator with a will annexed - one appointed by the court in cases when, although there is a
will, the will does not appoint any executor, or if appointed, said person is either incapacitated or
unwilling to serve as such.

Any COMPETENT person may serve as executor or administrator.


1. a minor
2. a non-resident
3. one who in the opinion of the court is unfit to exercise the duties of the trust by reason of:
a) drunkenness
b) improvidence
c) want of understanding and integrity
d) conviction for an offense involving moral turpitude

& Executor of executor shall not, as such, administer the estate of the first testator. (Sec. 2)

The court cannot add new causes for disqualification. They are limited to the causes
enumerated and have no authority to issue letters to a person because his interests are hostile
to those of the estate and the legatees under the will.

Reyes v. Arazanso. The administrator does not have to be an heir. He may be a stranger to the

Tambunting de Tengco v. Tambunting. An administrator should be able to devote his time

and mind to the burden of his trust; as administrator should not be in one place while the
estate administered is in another place for he cannot then efficiently discharge his duties as

Negative Factors

1. Minors
2. Non-residents
3. Drunkenness
Something more gross than occasional intoxication must appear to preclude the
appointment of the person entitled

It is only when their habits of drink are carried so far as to cloud he brain and
weaken their respect for honesty and integrity that the courts take cognizance of
their use of liquor.

What is contemplated by this article is drunkenness that is excessive, inveterate and
continued use of intoxicants, to such an extent as to render the subject of the habit as
unsafe against to entrust with the care of property or the transaction of business.


Definition: want of care, business capacity, or foresight in the management of
property which would be likely to render the estate and effects of interstate unsafe,
and liable to be lost or diminished in value.

Symptoms: carelessness, indifference, prodigality, wastefulness or negligence in
reference to the care, management and preservation of property


Want of Understanding
It must amount to lack of intelligence.

Want of Integrity
Integrity: soundness of moral privilege and character, shown by a persons dealing
with others, in making and performance of contracts, in fidelity and honesty in the
discharge of trust

Moral Turpitude
Zari v. Flores (79). Definition: an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the
private and social duties which a man owes others and society, contrary to the
accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and woman or conduct
contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals.



Letters testamentary - Authority issued to an executor named in the will to administer the estate
(w/ will, for executor)

Letters of administration Authority issued by the court to a COMPETENT person to administer

the estate of the deceased who died intestate (no will, for administrator)

GR NO L-17633 | 19 October 1966 | 18 SCRA 371

FACTS: In this case, JOSE MILLAREZ died intestate, the following year, a certain CIRILIO LIM
(nephew), alleging that the deceased left no other relatives nor a surviving spouse, filed a petition for
his appointment as judicial administrator of the estate of the deceased (CFI of Neg. Occ.).

BASILISA DIAZ-MILLAREZ (widow) on the other hand filed an opposition on such petition on two

1. that the petitioner has an adverse interest in the estate; and

2. that the properties of the estate are subject to a litigation between her as plaintiff and LIM as

In the said Civil Case, where BASILISA is the plaintiff and LIM is the defendant, they were litigating
between the ownership of the said properties of the deceased. BASILISA alleges that she is the
legitimate widow of the deceased; on the other hand, LIM contends that BASILISA was not the
legitimate spouse of the deceased.
upon appeal to the CA, it was established that BASILISA was indeed a legitimate swpouse of the
deceased for 23 years and that the subject property was conjugal.

Since during the hearing, both parties manifested that there is an existing case between them over
the property, the Trial Court (TC) dismissed the said petition for appointment.

LIMs M.R. also was denied so he elevated the case to the CA, which certified such appeal to the SC
because no question of fact was involved.

ISSUE: Whether LIM can be appointed as Judicial Administrator of the estate of the deceased?

HELD: NO. LIM cannot be appointed as JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATOR of the ESTATE of the DECEASED
because the COURT finds that LIM cannot perform the duties of an administrator on the following

1. LIM, as a relative of the deceased, has some interest adverse to that of BASILISA; and

2. LIM have some liabilities to BASILISA and the to the estate of the deceased.

The COURT, in SIOCA vs. GARCIA, and AREVALO vs. BUSTAMANTE, held that one is considered to
be unsuitable for appointment as administrator when he has adverse interest of some kind or
hostility to those immediately interested in the estate. And that, the determination of a
person's suitability for the office of judicial administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound
judgment of the court exercising the power of appointment and said judgment is not to be
interfered with on appeal unless the said court is clearly in error.

GR NO L-42088 | 7 MAY 1976 | 71 SCRA 86

FACTS: Sotero Baluyot died in Manila on 1976. His nephew Alfredo Baluyot filed a verified petition
for letters of administration. He alleged that the widow, Mrs. Baluyot, was mentally incapable to act
as administratrix and he surmised that the decedent left a will. He prayed to be appointed
administrator. The lower court appointed him special administrator.

Mrs. Baluyot opposed this and alleged that she was unaware that her husband left a will and that the
allegation that she was mentally incapable was libelous. She prayed to be named administratrix. The
lower court cancelled Alfredos appointment and in the same order, found Mrs. Baluyot as healthy
and mentally qualified after asking her a series of questions while on the witness stand.

Alfredo moved for reconsideration. The lower court again appointed Alfredo and also, Jose Espino, an
alleged acknowledged natural child of Sotero, as special administrators.

Mrs. Baluyot filed an urgent motion that she be appointed administratrix which Alfredo opposed. At
the hearing, no oral and documentary evidence was presented. The lower court merely examined
Mrs. Baluyot with few basic questions such as her year of birth, school she attended, year of her
marriage, and her relationship with Espino.

he probate court terminated the appointments of Espino and Alfredo and appointed instead Mrs.
Baluyot based on the fact that as surviving spouse she has a preferential right to be appointed as
administratrix and that the court was convinced of her capacity.

Alfredo filed this special civil action for certiorari in order to set aside the appointment. Alfredo in his
manifestation disclosed that Sotero executed a notarial will and bequeathed to Mrs. Baluyot his onehalf share in certain conjugal assets and one-fourth of the residue of his estate. The remaining threefourths were bequeated to his collateral relatives including Alfredo. The testator designated Mrs.
Baluyot as executrix.

ISSUE: Whether the lower court acted with grave abuse of discretion in appointing Mrs. Baluyot as


While the surviving spouse enjoys preference in the granting of letters of administration, it does not
follow that she should be named administratrix without conducting a full-dress hearing on her

Even the directive of the testator in his will designating that a certain person should act as executor is
not binding on the probate court and does not automatically entitle him to the issuance of letters
testamentary. A hearing has to be held in order to ascertain his fitness to act as executor. He might
have been fit to act as executor when the will was executed but supervening circumstances might
have rendered him unfit for that position.

Thus, it was held that a hearing is necessary in order to determine the suitability of the person to be
appointed administrator by giving him the opportunity to prove his qualifications and affording
oppositors a chance to contest the petition.

In this case, the probate court briefly and perfunctorily interrogated Mrs. Baluyot in order to satisfy
itself on her mental capacity. The court did not give Alfredo a chance to contest her qualifications
even though he had squarely raised the issue as to her competency.

The lower court departed from the usual course of probate procedure in summarily appointing Mrs.
Baluyot as administratrix on the assumption that Alfredo was not an interested party. That
irregularity became more pronounced after Alfredo's revelation that the decedent had executed a
will. He anticipated that development when he articulated in his petition his belief that Sotero
Baluyot executed wills which should be delivered to the court for probate. As it now turned out, he is
one of the legatees named in the decedent's alleged will.

It is necessary to convert the proceeding in the lower court into a testamentary proceeding. The
probate of the will cannot be dispensed with and is a matter of public policy. Lower courts order set


(a) The surviving husband or wife or the next of kin, or both in the discretion of the court, or to
such person as such surviving spouse or next of kin, request to have appointed, if competent
and willing to serve. (SURVIVING SPOUSE OR NOMINEE)
(b) If the surviving spouse or the next of kin or the person selected by them be incompetent or
unwilling to serve, or if the surviving spouse or next of kin neglects for 30 days after the
death of the decedent to apply for administration, ANY 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. (STRANGER)

& The Order of appointment of Regular administrator is final and appealable.

The underlying assumption is that those who will reap the benefits of a wise, speedy and economical
administration of the estate or on the other hand, suffer the consequences of waste, improvidence or
mismanagement, have the higher interest and most influential motive to administer the estate

Gonzales v. Aguinaldo (90).The underlying assumption is that those who will reap the
benefit of a wise, speedy and economical administration of the estate or who will suffer the
consequences of waste, improvidence or mismanagement, have the highest interest and most
influential motive to administer the estate correctly.

However, the preference is not absolute. It may be disregarded if such action will be
for the benefit of the estate

The 30 day period may be waived under the permissive tone of paragraph (b)

The creditor may file within a reasonable time after the death of the decedent in the estate
proceedings, and if none were had, to petition for letters of administration.

Matute v. CA (69). The appointment of a co-administrator is legally permissible and
sanctioned in practice.

Next of kin persons who are entitled under the statute of distribution to the decedents
Administration may be granted to such other person as the court may appoint in case the
persons who have the preferential right to be appointed are not incompetent or are unwilling
to serve

Writ of Mandamus will issue only to direct the court to appoint an administrator, but not to
direct the court who to appoint.

Administration extends only to the assets of a decedent found within the state or country
where it was granted (Rule 78.4).

& Baluyot vs. Pano. A hearing is necessary to determine the suitability of a person to be
appointed administrator by giving him the opportunity to prove his qualifications and to
afford oppositors to contest the petition.

Even the directive of the testator in his will designating that a certain person should act as
executor is not binding on the probate court and does not automatically entitle him to the
issuance of letters testamentary. A hearing has to be conducted to ascertain his fitness to act
as executor.

GR NOO 101512 | 7 August 1992 | 212 SCRA 413

FACTS: Nine months after Domingo Gabriel died, his son, Roberto Dindo Gabriel (private respondent)
filed a petition for letters of administration in RTC Manila. No opposition had been filed and
subsequently, probate court appointed him as an administrator.

Petitioners Nilda, Eva, Boy, George, Rosemarie and Maribel Gabriel filed their Opposition to the
Petition and Motion alleging that that (1) they were not duly informed by personal notice of the
petition for administration; (2) petitioner Nilda Gabriel, as the legitimate daughter, should be
preferred over private respondent; (3) private respondent has a conflicting and/or adverse interest
against the estate because he might prefer the claims of his mother and (4) most of the properties of
the decedent have already been relinquished by way of transfer of ownership to petitioners and
should not be included in the value of the estate sought to be administered by private respondent.

Probate court denied the opposition on the ground that they had not shown any circumstance
sufficient to overturn Roberts appointment. Petitioners then filed a petition for certiorari with the
CA which was dismissed.

Petitioners main argument is that under Sec. 6, Rule 78, it is the surviving spouse who is first in the
order of preference for the appointment of an administrator, therefore, Felicitas Gabriel, the
surviving spouse should be preferred over Robert who is an illegitimate child of the decedent.
Assuming that Felicitas is incompetent, the next of kin should be appointed and there, Nilda comes in.

Private respondent contends that the order of preference is not absolute and the choice of who to
appoint rests in the sound discretion of the court. He called attention to the fact that petitioners
applied for appointment belatedly. Lastly, he was not shown to be incompetent and disqualified from

ISSUE: Who should be appointed as administrator?

HELD: The court deems it practical that there be co-administration between Robert (IC) and Felicitas

Sec. 6, Rule 78 prescribes the order of preference in the issuance of letters of administration. In the
appointment of an administrator, the principal consideration reckoned with is the interest of the one
to be appointed in the estate. The underlying assumption is that those who will reap the benefit of a
wise, speedy and economical administration of the estate or suffer the consequences of waste,
improvidence or mismanagement, have the highest interest and most influential motive to
administer the estate correctly.

The widow is preferred in the appointment because she is supposed to have a conjugal interest as a
partner in the conjugal partnership. She would have a right of succession over the portion of
decedents property in addition to the share in the conjugal partnership. On this ground alone,
Felicitas, has every right to the administration of her husbands estate.

It is true that under the rules, the preference may be disregarded by the court where said preferred
persons neglect to apply for letters 30 days after decedents death. However, such failure is not

sufficient to exclude the widow from administration of the estate. In this case, there is no compelling
reason to disqualify Felicitas from appointment as administratix.

HOWEVER, The court sees no reason to nullify the appointment of Robert. Determination of a
persons suitability as administrator rests in the sound judgment of the court. The legal and specific
causes for removal under Sec. 2, Rule 82 should be present to justify removal. In this case, the mere
importunity of some heirs of the deceased, there being no factual or substantial bases is not adequate
to remove Robert as administrator. Moreover, the court may exercise its discretion to appoint an
administrator where those who are entitled to letters fail to apply within a given time.


This is both legally permissible and sanctioned in practice as Sec. 6(a), Rule 78 allows issuance of
letters to both surviving spouse and the next of kin. Sec. 2, Rule 78 contemplates a contingency where
an executor/administrator dies, resigns or is removed which is remediable by co-administration.
Also, co-administration will constitute a recognition of both the extent of the interest of the widow in
the estate and the creditable services rendered to and which may further be expected from private
respondent for the same estate.

Co-administration is upheld for the reasons below:

(1) to have the benefit of their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different interests
(2) where justice and equity demand that
opposing parties or factions be represented in the

management of the estate of the deceased;

(3) where the estate is large or, from any cause, an intricate and perplexing one to settle;
(4) to have all interested persons satisfied and the representatives to work in harmony for the best

interests of the estate; and
(5) when a person entitled to the administration
of an estate desires to have another competent

person associated with him in the office.

Dispositive portion:

WHEREFORE, the judgment of respondent Court of Appeals is MODIFIED by AFFIRMING the validity
of the appointment of respondent Roberto Dindo Gabriel as judicial administrator and ORDERING
the appointment of petitioner Felicitas Jose-Gabriel as co-administratrix in Special Proceeding No.
88-4458 of Branch XI, Regional Trial Court of Manila.

93 PHIL 155 (1953)

Luis Morales, married to Hermenegilda Sicat, died in the municipality of Tarlac, Tarlac. Seven
days later, Jose Torres alleging to be a creditor of the conjugal partnership commenced this
special proceeding in the Tarlac court petitioning for the issuance of letters of administration in
favor of Atty. Pedro B. de Jesus, for the purpose of settling the estate of the deceased.
Sicat opposed and claimed preference to be appointed as administratrix. She said the only close
relatives and forced heirs were her six legitimate minor children, besides herself.
The petitioner presented evidence. The oppositor submitted none. Then the trial judge,
disregarding the preference established by law for the surviving widow, entered an order
appointing Atty. Pedro B. de Jesus as the administrator.
The widow appealed on time, and argued several assignments of error revolving around the
principal issue whether this appointment should be upheld, ignoring the surviving widow's
preferential right.

The order making the appointment is undoubtedly appealable.

ISSUE: WON the order of preference in Section 6, Rule 79 of Rules of Court, may be disregarded
in this case.

HELD: Cannot.
The order of preference for the appointment of administrators provided in Section 6, Rule 79 of
the Rules of Court, may be disregarded only if the person enjoying such preference appears to be
unsuitable for the trust, he having an adverse interest or is hostile to those immediately
interested in the estate, to such an extent as to render the appointment inadvisable.|||
If they are not, the court may entirely disregard the preference thus provided. This is the reason
for the rule that in the selection of an administrator courts may exercise discretion. But, of
course, the order of preference may be disregarded only when the reasons therefor are positive
and clear.

The trial judge was cognizant of this statutory preference. But he expressly stated his reason for
disregarding it, saying in effect:
"Apparently the amount of credits exceeds the value of the conjugal assets; therefore the interest
of the creditors deserves paramount consideration. Now, inasmuch as the widow has shown
hostility to the creditors by openly disputing their credits, she is therefore unsuitable, for having
adverse interests."

However, evidence "showed clearly that the surviving widow is fully competent in a high degree
to administer the intestate of her deceased husband", plainly indicates that except for her
supposed hostility to creditors she was suitable for the trust. Consequently, having found that her
attitude did not per se constitute antagonism to the creditors, we must necessarily declare and
enforce her superior right to appointment as administratrix under Rule 79.

Wherefore, the questioned order appointing Atty. Pedro B. de Jesus is annulled, and one
will be entered requiring the issuance by the court a quo of letters of administration to the
widow appellant subject to such terms and conditions as are appropriate under the Rules. Costs
against the appellee.

GR NO 109979 | 11 March 1999 | 304 SCRA 541

Failure to attend hearings of applicant Son and father fighting over whom should be the admin: The
order of preference is discretionary upon the court - the court determines who should be competent
-in this case, the surviving spouse is a resident of Australia!

FACTS: Beatriz Silverio died. Her surviving spouse, Ricardo Silverio, Sr., filed an intestate proceeding
for the settlement of her estate.

In Nov 2004, during the pendency of the case in RTC of Makati City, Ricardo Silverio, Jr. filed a
petition to remove Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. as the administrator of the estate. Edmundo S. Silverio also
filed an opposition for the removal of Ricardo C. Silverio, Sr. as administrator of the estate and for the
appointment of a new administrator.

RTC granted the petition and removed Silverio Sr. as administrator of the estate, while appointing
Silverio Jr. as the new administrator. The Motion for Reconsideration was denied.

In 2005, Ricardo Silverio Jr. filed an Urgent Motion for an Order Prohibiting Any Person to
Occupy/Stay/Use Real Estate Properties Involved in the Intestate Estate of the Late Beatriz Silverio,
without Authority from this Honorable Court.

On May 31, 2005, the RTC issued an Omnibus Order affirming its Order dated January 3, 2005 and
denying private respondents motion for reconsideration. In the Omnibus Order, the RTC also
authorized Ricardo Silverio, Jr. to, upon receipt of the order, immediately exercise his duties as
administrator of the subject estate. The Omnibus Order also directed Nelia S. Silverio-Dee to vacate
the property at No. 3, Intsia, Forbes Park, Makati City within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the

Silverio-Dee received a copy of the said Order on June 8, 2005. Instead of filing a Notice of Appeal and
Record on Appeal, private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration of the Order which was
denied by RTC in an Order dated December 12, 2005. This Order was received by private respondent
on December 22, 2005.

On January 6, 2006, private respondent filed her Notice of Appeal while she filed her Record on
Appeal on January23, 2006.

RTC denied the appeal on two grounds:

(1) that Nelia Silverio-Dees appeal was against an order denying a motion for
reconsideration which is disallowed under Sec. 1(a), Rule 41 of the Rules of Court; and

(2) that Nelia Silverio-Dees Record on Appeal was filed beyond the reglementary period to
file an appeal provided under Sec. 3 of Rule 41.

Hence, private respondent filed a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, with the CA which issued a
TRO and ruled that Notice of Appeal was filed within the reglementary period provided by the Rules
of Court applying the "fresh rule period" enunciated by this Court in Neypes v. Court of Appeals.

ISSUE: WON the Omnibus Order dated May 31, 2005 and the Order dated December 12, 2005 are
Interlocutory Orders which are not subject to appeal?

HELD: Yes, they are interlocutory orders.

1. SC first cited the CA decision which ruled that the Omnibus Order dated May 31, 2005 was a final
order. CA said that the alleged authority given by SILVERIO, SR. for Nelia S. Silverio-Dee to occupy the
property dated May 4, 2004, assuming it is not even antedated as alleged by SILVERIO, JR., is null and
void since the possession of estate property can only be given to a purported heir by virtue of an
Order from this Court (see Sec. 1 Rule 90, supra; andSec. 2 Rule 84, Revised Rules of Court). In fact,
the Executor or Administrator shall have the right to the possession and management of the real as
well as the personal estate of the deceased only when it is necessary for the payment of the debts and
expenses of administration (See Sec. 3 Rule 84, Revised Rules of Court). CA also reiterated that a final
order is one that disposes of the subject matter in its entirety or terminates a particular proceeding
or action, leaving nothing else to be done but to enforce by execution what has been determined by
the court, while an interlocutory order is one which does not dispose of the case completely but
leaves something to be decided upon.

2. The SC added that it is only after a judgment has been rendered in the case that the ground for the
appeal of the interlocutory order may be included in the appeal of the judgment itself. The
interlocutory order generally cannot be appealed separately from the judgment. It is only when such
interlocutory order was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of
discretion that certiorari under Rule 65 may be resorted to.

In the instant case, Nelia Silverio-Dee appealed the May 31, 2005 Order of the RTC on the ground that
it ordered her to vacate the premises of the property located at No. 3 Intsia Road, Forbes Park,
Makati City. On that aspect the order is not a final determination of the case or of the issue of
distribution of the shares of the heirs in the estate or their rights therein. It must be borne in mind

that until the estate is partitioned, each heir only has an inchoate right to the properties of the estate,
such that no heir may lay claim on a particular property. The underlying rationale is that until a
division is made, the respective share of each cannot be determined and every co-owner exercises,
together with his co-participants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso property, in addition to his
use and enjoyment of the same.

The Court in Alejandrino v. Court of Appeals said that although the right of an heir over the property
of the decedent is inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and partitioned, the law
allows a co-owner to exercise rights of ownership over such inchoate right as provided in Art 493 of
the Civil Code.


What is the MAIN ISSUE in an administration proceeding?
Who is the person rightfully entitled to administration.

Who may oppose the issuance of letters?
GENERAL RULE: Any person interested in the will. (Section 1)

EXCEPTION: Even where a person who had filed a petition for the allowance of the will of the
deceased person had no right to do so in view of his lack of interest in the estate, nevertheless, where
the interested persons did not object to its application, the defect in the petition would be deemed
cured. The filing of the petition may be considered as having been ratified by the interested parties.
(Eusebio vs. Valmores 97 PHIL 163)

Petition for Opposition may at the same time be filed for Letters of Administration with the will

Contents of a petition for letters of administration: (Sec.2)
a) jurisdictional facts;
b) name, age, residence of heirs and creditors;
c) probable value and character of the estate; and
d) name of the person for whom letters is prayed for.

No defect in the petition shall render void the issuance of the letters of administration.

Grounds for Opposition:

1. In Letters Testamentary
a) Incompetence

2. In Letters of Administration
a) incompetence;
b) preferential right of the heir under Sec. 6, Rule 78.

Publication for 3 Weeks and notice to heirs, creditors and other persons believed to have an interest
in the estate is required before hearing.

Letters can be granted to any person or any other applicant even if other competent persons are
present if the latter fail to claim their letters when notified by the court. (Sec. 6, Rule 79)

GR NO 130371 & 130855 | 4 August 2009 | 595 SCRA 43

FACTS: On January 11, 1996, the RTC, acting as a probate court issued an Order granting letters
testamentary in solidum to respondents Ferdinand R. Marcos II (Bong2) and Imelda Marcos as
executors of the last will and testament of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos, Upon Bong2s filing of a
bond in the amount of P50,000.00.

On January 15, 1996, Republic of the Philippines filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration in so far
as the January 11, 1996 RTC Order granted letters testamentary to respondents.

On the other hand, Imelda Marcos filed her own motion for reconsideration on the ground that the
will is lost and that petitioner has not proven its existence and validity.

On February 5, 1996, Bong2 filed a Compliance stating that he already filed a bond in the amount
of P50,000.00 as directed by the January 11, 1996 RTC Order and that he took his oath as named
executor of the will on January 30, 1996.

On March 13, 1996, the RTC issued Letters of Administration to BIR Commissioner Liwayway
Vinzons-Chato in accordance with an earlier Order dated September 9, 1994, appointing her as
Special Administratrix of the Marcos Estate.

On April 1, 1996, Bong2 filed a Motion to Revoke the Letters of Administration issued by the RTC to
BIR Commissioner Vinzons-Chato.

On April 26, 1996, the RTC issued an Order denying the motion for partial reconsideration filed by
Republic as well as the motion for reconsideration filed by respondent Imelda Marcos.

On June 6, 1996, petitioner filed with this Court a Petition for Review on Certiorari, under Ruled 45 of
the Rules of Court, questioning the aforementioned RTC Orders granting letters testamentary to

On March 13, 1997, the CA issued a Decision, dismissing the referred petition for having taken the
wrong mode of appeal. Petitioner filed a Motion for Reconsideration, which was, however denied by
the CA in a Resolution dated August 27, 1997.

ISSUE: WON the Marcoses are fit to serve as executors.



(1) Republic contends that respondents denied the existence of the will, and are,
therefore, estopped from claiming to be the rightful executors thereof. Petitioner further
claims that said actions clearly show that respondents lack the competence and integrity to
serve as officers of the court.

HELD: This Court does not agree with the posture taken by petitioner, and instead, accepts the
explanation given by respondents, to wit:

Respondents opposed the petition for probate not because they are
disclaiming the existence of the will, but because of certain legal grounds, to wit: (a)
petitioner does not have the requisite interest to institute it; (b) the original copy of
the will was not attached to the petition for probate as required by the rules; and (c)

the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue is not qualified to be appointed

as administrator of the estate.[43]

Based on the foregoing, considering the nature of their opposition, respondents cannot be held guilty
of estoppel as they merely acted within their rights when they put in issue legal grounds in opposing
the probate proceedings.

More importantly, even if said grounds were later on overruled by the RTC, said court was still of
opinion that respondents were fit to serve as executors notwithstanding their earlier opposition.
Again, in the absence of palpable error or gross abuse of discretion, this Court will not interfere with
the RTCs discretion.

(2) Petitioner contends that respondents have strongly objected to the transfer to the
Philippines of the Marcos assets deposited in the Swiss Banks and thus the same should serve
as a ground for their disqualification to act as executors.

HELD: This Court does not agree. In the first place, the same are mere allegations that, without proof,
deserve scant consideration. Time and again, this Court has stressed that this Court is a court of law
and not a court of public opinion.

Moreover, Republic had already raised the same argument in its motion for partial reconsideration
before the RTC. Said court, however, still did not find the same as a sufficient ground to disqualify
respondents. Again, in the absence of palpable error or gross abuse of discretion, this Court will not
interfere with the RTCs discretion.

(3) Republic argues that the assailed RTC Orders were based solely on their own evidence and
that respondents offered no evidence to show that they were qualified to serve as executors.

HELD: It is basic that one who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it and a mere allegation is not
evidence. Consequently, it was the burden of petitioner (not respondents) to substantiate the
grounds upon which it claims that respondents should be disqualified to serve as executors, and
having failed in doing so, its petition must necessarily fail.

GR NO L-23372 | 14 June 1967 | 20 SCRA 43

FACTS: Pio Duran died without testament. His alleged heirs are Josefina Duran, as surviving spouse;
several brothers and sisters; nephews and nieces. Subsequent to his death, Cipriano Duran, one of the
surviving brothers, executed a public instrument assigning and renouncing his hereditary rights to
the decedents estate in favor of Josefina Duran, for the consideration of P2,500.00. A year later
Cipriano Duran filed in the Court of First Instance of Albay a petition for intestate proceedings to
settle Pio Durans estate, further asking that he be named the administrator. An ex parte motion to be
appointed special administrator was also filed by him. Against said petition, Josefina Duran filed an
opposition, praying for its dismissal upon the ground that the petitioner is not an "interested person"
in the estate, in view of the deed of transfer and renunciation afore-stated, attaching a copy of the
same; in the alternative, she asked to be appointed administratrix. Replying to this, Cipriano alleged,
in his opposition to the motion to dismiss, that Josefina Duran was not the decedents wife. Anent the
deed of assignment, he contended that the same was procured thru fraud, with gross inadequacy of
price and vitiated by lesion. Still later, another brother of the decedent, Miguel Duran, filed a petition
to be joined as co-petitioner of Cipriano. Josefina Duran moved to strike out said petition as an
improper attempt to intervene in the case. She also filed a reply to Ciprianos opposition to her
motion to dismiss. In turn, Miguel filed an opposition to Josefinas motion to strike out

CFI- Dismissed the petition of Cipriano for his lack of interest

Appeal directly to SC on questions of law.

ISSUE: Whether or not the deed of assignment executed by Cipriano did not operate to render him a
person without interest in the estate.

HELD: No. The assignment took place when no settlement proceedings was pending. The properties
subject matter of the assignment were not under the jurisdiction of a settlement court. Allowing that
the assignment must be deemed a partition as between the assignor and assignee, the same does not
need court approval to be effective as between the parties. An extra judicial partition is valid as
between the participants even if the requisites of Sec 1, Rule 74 for extrajudicial partition are not
followed, since said requisites are for purposes of binding creditors and non-participating heirs only
(Hernandez v. Andal, 78 Phil. 196). Should it be contended that said partition was attended with
fraud, lesion or inadequacy of price, the remedy is to rescind or to annul the same in an action for
that purpose. And in the meanwhile, the assigning heir cannot initiate a settlement proceeding, for
until the deed of assignment is annulled or rescinded, it is deemed valid and effective against him, so
that he is left without that "interest" in the estate required to petition for settlement proceedings.

POWERS (Rules 81, 83-85)


1. To have access to, and examine and take copies of books and papers relating to the
partnership in case of a deceased partner;

2. To examine and make invoices of the property belonging to the partnership in case of a
deceased partner;

3. To make improvements on the properties under administration with the necessary court
approval except for necessary repairs;

4. To possess and manage the estate when necessary:
a) for the payment of debts; and
b) for payment of expenses of administration;

5. To maintain in tenantable repairs houses and other structures and fences and to deliver the
same in such repair to the heirs or devisees when directed so to do by the court.

1. Cannot acquire by purchase, even at public or judicial auction, either in person or mediation
of another, the property under administration.

2. Cannot borrow money without authority of the court.

3. Cannot speculate with funds under administration.

4. Cannot lease the property for more than one year.

5. Cannot continue the business of the deceased unless authorized by the court.

6. Cannot profit by the increase or decrease in the value of the property under administration.


i. Before an executor or administrator enters upon the execution of his trust, and letters testamentary
or of administration issue, he shall give a bond, in such sum as the courts directs, conditioned as

(a) To make and return to the court, within 3 months, a true and complete inventory of all the
goods, chattels, rights, credits, and estate of the deceased which shall come to his possession
or knowledge or to the possession of any other person for him; (see Rule 83.1)

(b) To administer according to these rules, and, if an executor, according to the will of the
testator, all goods, chattels, rights, credits, and estate which shall come to his possession or
knowledge or to the possession of any other person for him and from the proceeds to pay
and discharge all debts, legacies, and charges on the same, or such dividends thereon as shall
be decreed by the court;

(c) To render a true and just account of his administration to the court within 1 year, and at any
other time when required by the court; (see Rule 85.8)

(d) To perform all orders of the court by him to be performed.

ii. When three (3) months after his appointment every executor or administrator shall return to the
court a true inventory and appraisal of all the real and personal estate of the deceased which
has come into his possession or knowledge. In the appraisement of such estate, the court may
order one or more of the inheritance tax appraisers to give his or their assistance.

iii. The executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased partner shall at all times have access
to, and may examine and take copies of, books and papers relating to the partnership
business, and may examine and make invoices of the property belonging to such partnership;
and the surviving partner or partners, on request, shall exhibit to him all such books, papers, and
property in their hands or control. On the written application of such executor or administrator, the
court having jurisdiction of the estate may order any such surviving partner or partners to freely
permit the exercise of the rights, and to exhibit the books, papers, and property, as in this section
provided, and may punish any partner failing to do so for contempt.

iv. Except as otherwise expressly provided in the following sections, every executor or administrator
is chargeable in his account with the whole of the estate of the deceased which has come into
his possession, at the value of the appraisement contained in the inventory; with all the interest,
profit, and income of such estate; and with the proceeds of so much of the estate as is sold by him, at
the price at which it was sold.

GR NO 118671 | 29 January 1996 | 252 SCRA 541

FACTS: Petitioner Edmond Ruiz is the only son and designated executor of the testator Hilario Ruiz in
his holographic will. The respondents here are the co-heirs of Edmond, the testators adopted
daughter Maria Pilar Ruiz Montes, and his three granddaughters.

Respondent Maria filed for the probate of the will, which the court admitted. Edmond opposed the
probate of the will but eventually withdrew his opposition. The court ordered the issuance of letters
testamentary to Edmond conditioned upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P50,000.00.

The 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. The court,
however, held in abeyance the release of the titles to respondent Montes and the three
granddaughters until the lapse of six months from the date of first publication of the notice to
creditors. The court ordered Administrator Edmond M. Ruiz to submit an accounting of the expenses
necessary for administration including provisions for the support the 3 granddaughters before the
amount required can be withdrawn and cause the publication of the notice to creditors with
reasonable dispatch. This decision was sustained by the Court of Appeals.

ISSUE: Whether the probate court, after admitting the will to probate but before payment of the
estate's debts and obligations, has the authority: (1) to grant an allowance from the funds of the
estate for the support of the testator's grandchildren; (2) to order the release of the titles to certain
heirs; and (3) to grant possession of all properties of the estate to the executor of the will.

HELD: It is settled that allowances for support under Section 3 of Rule 83 should not be limited to the
"minor or incapacitated" children of the deceased. Article 188 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the
substantive law in force at the time of the testator's death, provides that during the liquidation of the
conjugal partnership, the deceased's legitimate spouse and children, regardless of their age, civil
status or gainful employment, are entitled to provisional support from the funds of the estate. The
law is rooted on the fact that the right and duty to support, especially the right to education, subsist
even beyond the age of majority.

Be that as it may, grandchildren are not entitled to provisional support from the funds of the
decedent's estate. 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. It was error, therefore,
for the appellate court to sustain the probate court's order granting an allowance to the
grandchildren of the testator pending settlement of his estate.

Petitioner must be reminded that his right of ownership over the properties of his father is merely
inchoate as long as the estate has not been fully settled and partitioned. 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. He cannot unilaterally assign to himself
and possess all his parents' properties and the fruits thereof without first submitting an inventory
and appraisal of all real and personal properties of the deceased, rendering a true account of his
administration, the expenses of administration, the amount of the obligations and estate tax, all of
which are subject to a determination by the court as to their veracity, propriety and justness.

68 PHIL 745 (1939)

FACTS: Estefania Fenix was he administatrix of the intestate of the deceased Rafael Jocson, On
February 8, 1935, she leased some of the deceasess land to Jesus R. Nava for a period of five crop
years, with rental of P1,000 a year.
The contract was entered into without the intervention of the court acting in the intestate

Conception Jocson de Hillado asked the court to require the administratix to explain certain details in
the matter of said lease; and to sell the land she leased to Nava at a public auction.

The trial court annulled the intestate proceedings and granted the motion of Conception to sell the
land in a public auction.

ISSUES: W/N the administrator has the power to lease any of the properties of the estate under his
administration. Does he need court approval?

W/N the lower court has the power to annul, in the intestate proceedings, a contract of lease
executed by the administratrix without its intervention.

o Defendant (Nava): The TC has no such power, and that the contract can only be
annulled in a separate, independent proceeding.


He may, therefore exercise all acts of administration without special authority of the court.


The contract here in question being a mere act of administration, could validly be entered into by the
administratrix within her powers of administration, even without the court's previous authority. And
the court had no power to annul or invalidate the contract in the intestate proceedings wherein it
had no jurisdiction over the person of the lessee. A separate ordinary action is necessary to that

84 PHIL 4783 (1949)

FACTS: The petitioner Estrella appears to be one of the heirs of the deceased Marcelo Ledesma. Jose
Cosgayon y Ledesma, another heir, filed a petition alleging that the administratrix Estrella is a
permanent resident of Manila; that the properties included in the testate estate are abandoned; that
the produce, rentals, and income of the estate are in the hands of the tenants and the supposed
lessees of the properties; that unless a co- administrator is appointed, the estate and all its assets
including its income are liable to be lost to the detriment of the heirs and other interested parties,
and asking that he be appointed co-administrator to protect his rights and those of the other heirs,
specially his brothers and sisters; and that an order be issued requiring petitioner Estrella to render
an accounting of her administration. The Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, issued an order
denying the petition for appointment of a co-administrator on the ground that as long as the
administration of the properties of a deceased person is in the hands of an administrator duly
qualified and acting as such, it is improper to appoint another administrator. However further states
in the order that the Estrella must appear before the court to explain the alleged abandonment of her
administration and in not having made the corresponding inventory of the properties under her
administration, including the annual reports. Estrella asked postponement of hearing twice, and on
its second request for extension of time, Judge D. Enriquez issued a warrant of arrest and was served
to Estrella in Manila. Here the petition for prohibition alleging that the warrant of arrest is illegal and
unjust and constituted grave abuse of discretion.

ISSUE: Was the warrant of arrest illegal?

HELD: No. After a careful consideration of this case, we are satisfied that the respondent was
warranted in issuing his order of April 3, 1948, ordering the arrest of the petitioner herein. Said
order was issued not to harass the petitioner but merely to enforce the order of the court requiring
her appearance in court to show cause why she should not be punished for contempt of court for her
failure to comply with her duties as administratrix in the testate proceedings. Said court was
perfectly justified in issuing that order for her appearance if as made to appear before us, since her
appointment as administratrix about 25 years ago, to the prejudice of the heirs and to the detriment
of the properties under administration, she had really abandoned her administration, had come to
live permanently in Manila and had not filed any annual report, not even an inventory of the
properties she was supposed to be administering. And, this requirement for her to appear and render

an accounting of her administration was not done by the court on its own initiative although it could
have done so but upon a petition of one of the heirs said to be prejudiced by petitioners
abandonment of her administration.No one may be compelled to act as administrator in any
proceedings. The petitioner herein was under no obligation to be administratrix in said proceedings
No. 1362. If she found her permanent residence in Manila incompatible with her duties to administer
properties situated in Negros Occidental, she was perfectly justified in refusing the administration.
But as long as she accepted the appointment of administratrix, qualified as such, and led the court
and the heirs to believe that she would perform her duties as such and protect and serve the interests
of said heirs and other interested parties, she was bound to comply with her duties. If later on she
found it difficult or impossible to continue with her administration, at least she should have filed an
inventory of the properties she had administered and render an accounting of her administration,
particularly of the produce, fruits and income of the properties under administration, and then ask
the court that she be relieved of her duties. This, she apparently had not done. For this reason as
already stated, the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental was justified in requiring her to

GR NO L-3677 | 29 November 1951 | 90 SCRA 459

FACTS: Basil Gordon Butler was a former resident of the Philippines who died in Brooklyn, New York
leaving a will duly probated by the Surrogate Court of NY County, wherein James Ross Sr., James
Madison Ross, Jr. and Ewald Selph were named executors

The will provided a residuary clause containing the following:

o The remainder of his estate after payment of all the legal claims as well as all the legacies
shall be given to Mercedes de Leon for her use and profit
o But since Mercedes is not of sound judgment, the properties, personal effects as well as the
monies, securities and other properties, shall be held in trust for her benefit by the executors
o The executors will determine how to invest properly the properties so that she will have a
permanent source of income
o And I attest and direct that I do not wish to intend that the action of my executors upon
their discretion in this matter be questioned by anyone whatsoever

So one of the executors was appointed as trustee and bought an annuity from Manufacturers Life at
its head office in Toronto, Canada

o The contract stipulates for a monthly payment of $57.60 to Mercedes during her lifetime,
with the proviso that in the event of her death, the residue, if any, of the capital sum shall be
paid in one sum to James Madison Ross or his successor as trustee

Mercedes de Leon has been receiving the stipulated monthly allowance through the Insurance
Company's Manila Office.

However, Mercedes wanted to get hold of the entire amount invested in the said annuity, so she
presented the will for probate in the CFI and secured the appointment of Ghezzi as the executrix
Ghezzi, as executrix, filed a motion to cite the Manila Branchs Manager to appear and render
accounting for certain funds the Branch allegedly has in its possession and claimed belonging to the

The CFI dismissed the motion. Hence, this appeal

ISSUE: W/N the Branch should render an accounting


The administration of Butler's estate granted in New York was the principal or domiciliary
administration (Johannes vs. Harvey, 43 Phil., 175), while the administration taken out in the
Philippines is ancillary. However, the distinction serves only to distinguish one administration from
the other, for the two proceedings are separate and independent. (34 C.J.S. 1232,1233)

The important thing to inquire into is the Manila court's authority with respect to the assets herein
involved. The general rule universally recognized is that administration extends only to the
assets of a decedent found within the state or country where it was granted, so that an
administrator appointed in one state or country has no power over property in another state or
country. (Keenan vs. Toury, 132 A.L.R. 1362; Nash vs. Benari, 3 A.L.R. 61; Michigan Trust Co. vs.
Chaffee, 149 A.L.R. 1078).This principle is specifically embodied in section 4 of Rule 78 of the Rules of
Court (now Sec. 4, Rule 77)

It is manifest from the facts before set out that the funds in question are outside the jurisdiction of
the probate court of Manila. Having been invested in an annuity in Canada under a contract executed
in the country, Canada is the suits of the money. The party whose appearance the appellant seeks is
only a branch or agency of the company which holds the funds in its possession, the agency's
intervention being limited to delivering to the annuitant the checks made out and issued from the
home office. There is no showing or allegation that the funds have been transferred or removed to
the Manila Branch

Assuming arguendo that the properties were indeed in the hands of the Manila Branch, Ghezzi cannot
claim control over it as the administratix because it has passed completely into the hands of the
insurance company. Hence, no longer part of the estate


GR NO L-45494 | 31 August 1978 | 85 SCRA 253

FACTS: Petitioner Generosa Bolisay and private respondent-admninistratrix Angela Buted Pascual
are sisters, the daughters of the deceased Luciana Abadilla whose intestate estate is being settled.

The subject property is registered in the name of petitioners Bolisays.

The Bolisays mortaged the said property to secure a loan from GSIS. With the said loan, they built a 7door apartment on the said lot and has been declared in their name for tax purposes. The mortgage
was later on released upon full payment.

Angela Pascual and Maria Buted filed an action (Civil Case 1) for the annulment of the Deed of Sale
executed by their deceased mother Luciana in favor of petitioners Bolisays.

The complaint alleged lack of consideration and disputed that the Bolisays were the ones who spent
for the construction of the 7 door apartment.

Pending also before Branch I of the same court is an action of partition (Civil Case 2) wherein a
compromise agreement was reached excluding the lot in question from the list of partitionable

Nonetheless,Pascual, as administratrix, filed an inventory of the properties comprising the estate of
Luciana and included therein the property (registered in the name of the Bolisays) here in
controversy and was approved by the Court without opposition.

The ownership of said property is in issue in an ordinary action in the regular court and the estate is
one of the parties therein.

On motion of the administratrix (Pascual) in the special proceedings, judge Alcid authorized the
administratrix to collect rentals from the disputed property.

Bolisays moved for reconsideration of said order. They also moved to exclude the property from the
inventory and asked for a prima facie determination of the issue of ownership. Judge Alcid denied
both motions holding that a probate court has no jurisdiction to determine the question of ownership
of properties included in the inventory of an estate.|||

ISSUE: WON the probate court should resolve the issue before it provisionally, as basis for its
inclusion in or exclusion from the inventory.

HELD: Yes.

The mere inclusion in the inventory submitted by the administrator of the estate of a deceased
person of a given property does not of itself deprive the probate court of authority to inquire into the
propriety of such inclusion in case an heir or a third party claims adverse title thereto. To hold
otherwise would render inutile the power of that court to make a prima facie determination of the
issue of ownership. The correct rule is that the probate court should resolve the issue before it
provisionally, as basis for its inclusion in or exclusion from the inventory. It does not even matter
that the issue is raised after the approval of the inventory because "apparently, it is not necessary
that the inventory and appraisal be approved by the court.

A probate court's order allowing the administratrix to collect rentals from a disputed property listed
in the inventory would have no more legal basis after the Supreme Court had held that the property
in issue should be excluded from the inventory of the subject estate. The probate court's authority
extends only over properties listed in the inventory, without prejudice to any party adversely
affected asserting or protecting his right or interests in a separate appropriate remedy.


When may a probate court appoint a special administrator?

1. Delay in granting of letters including appeal in the probate of the will.

2. Executor is a claimant of the estate he represents.

- in this second instance, the administrator shall have the same powers as that of a general

The preference accorded by Sec. 6 of Rule 78 of the Rules of Court to surviving spouse refers to the
appointment of a regular administrator, NOT to that of special administrator, and that the order
appointing the later lies within the discretion of the probate court, and is not appealable. (Pijuan vs.
De Gurrea, 124 Phil. 1527)


1. Possession and charge of the goods, chattels, rights, credits, and estate of the deceased;

2. Commence and maintain suit for the estate;
3. Sell ONLY

a) perishable property; and

b) those ordered by the court;

4. Pay debts ONLY as may be ordered by the court.

Until questions causing the delay is decided and the regular administrator is appointed.

When does the power of a special administrator cease?
After the questions causing the delay are resolved and letters are granted to regular executor or

Is appointment of special administrator appealable?
NO, the same is INTERLOCUTORY. However, appointment of a REGULAR ADMINISTRATOR is
appealable because it is a final order.

& It is possible for the executor or administrator whose appointment is challenged by appeal to be
appointed also as the special administrator pending such appeal. There is no harm in appointing the
same person as special administrator because there is a vast of difference between the powers and
duties of the two positions.

GR NO 187879 | 5 July 2010 | 623 SCRA 559

FACTS: Petitioners Dalisay E. Ocampo (Dalisay), Vince E. Ocampo (Vince), Melinda Carla E. Ocampo
(Melinda), and Leonardo E. Ocampo, Jr. (Leonardo, Jr.) are the surviving wife and the children of
Leonardo Ocampo (Leonardo), who died on January 23, 2004. Leonardo and his siblings,
respondents Renato M. Ocampo (Renato) and Erlinda M. Ocampo (Erlinda) are the legitimate
children and only heirs of the spouses Vicente and Maxima Ocampo, who died intestate on December
19, 1972 and February 19, 1996, respectively. Vicente and Maxima left several properties, mostly
situated in Bian, Laguna. Vicente and Maxima left no will and no debts.

On June 24, 2004, five (5) months after the death of Leonardo, petitioners initiated a petition for
intestate proceedings, entitled In Re: Intestate Proceedings of the Estate of Sps. Vicente Ocampo and
Maxima Mercado Ocampo, and Leonardo M. Ocampo, in the RTC, Branch 24, Bian, Laguna,
docketed as Spec. Proc. No. B-3089. The petition alleged that, upon the death of Vicente and Maxima,
respondents and their brother Leonardo jointly controlled, managed, and administered the estate of
their parents. Under such circumstance, Leonardo had been receiving his share consisting of onethird (1/3) of the total income generated from the properties of the estate. However, when Leonardo
died, respondents took possession, control and management of the properties to the exclusion of
petitioners. The petition prayed for the settlement of the estate of Vicente and Maxima and the estate
of Leonardo. It, likewise, prayed for the appointment of an administrator to apportion, divide, and
award the two estates among the lawful heirs of the decedents.

Respondents filed their Opposition and Counter-Petition dated October 7, 2004, contending that the
petition was defective as it sought the judicial settlement of two estates in a single proceeding. They
argued that the settlement of the estate of Leonardo was premature, the same being dependent only
upon the determination of his hereditary rights in the settlement of his parents estate. In their
counter-petition, respondents prayed that they be appointed as special joint administrators of the
estate of Vicente and Maxima.

ISSUE: Whether or not the removal of special administrators was valid.

HELD: It has long been settled that the selection or removal of special administrators is not
governed by the rules regarding the selection or removal of regular administrators. The

probate court may appoint or remove special administrators based on grounds other than
those enumerated in the Rules at its discretion, such that the need to first pass upon and resolve
the issues of fitness or unfitness and the application of the order of preference under Section 6 of
Rule 78, as would be proper in the case of a regular administrator, do not obtain. As long as the
discretion is exercised without grave abuse, and is based on reason, equity, justice, and legal
principles, interference by higher courts is unwarranted. The appointment or removal of special
administrators, being discretionary, is thus interlocutory and may be assailed through a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.

Respondents insincerity in administering the estate was betrayed by the Deed of Conditional Sale
dated January 12, 2004 discovered by petitioners. This Deed was executed between respondents, as
the only heirs of Maxima, as vendors, thus excluding the representing heirs of Leonardo, and Spouses
Marcus Jose B. Brillantes and Amelita Catalan-Brillantes, incumbent lessors, as vendees, over a real
property situated in Bian, Laguna, and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-332305 of the
Registry of Deeds of Laguna, for a total purchase price of P2,700,000.00. The Deed stipulated for a
payment of P1,500,000.00 upon the signing of the contract, and the balance of P1,200,000.00 to be
paid within one (1) month from the receipt of title of the vendees. The contract also stated that the
previous contract of lease between the vendors and the vendees shall no longer be effective; hence,
the vendees were no longer obligated to pay the monthly rentals on the property. And yet there is a
purported Deed of Absolute Sale over the same realty between respondents, and including Leonardo
as represented by Dalisay, as vendors, and the same spouses, as vendees, for a purchase price of only
P1,500,000.00. Notably, this Deed of Absolute Sale already had the signatures of respondents and
vendee-spouses. Petitioners claimed that respondents were coaxing Dalisay into signing the same,
while respondents said that Dalisay already got a share from this transaction in the amount of
P500,000.00. It may also be observed that the time of the execution of this Deed of Absolute Sale,
although not notarized as the Deed of Conditional Sale, might not have been distant from the
execution of the latter Deed, considering the similar Community Tax Certificate Numbers of the
parties appearing in both contracts.

GR NO 166520 | 14 March 2008 | 548 SCRA 528

FACTS: Upon the death of Gerardo Tan on Oct. 14, 2000, private respondents Rogelo Lim Suga and
Helen Tan Racoma, who were claiming to be the children of the decedent moved for the appointment
of their attorney-in-fact, Romualdo Lim as special administrator. This was opposed by the petitioner
Vilma Tan, Jake Tan and Geraldine Tan, claiming that none of the respondents can be appointed since
they are not residing in the country, that Romualdo does not have the same competence as Vilma Tan
who was already acting as the de facto administratrix of the estate, and that the nearest of kin, being
the legitmate children, is preferred in the choice of administrator (claiming that the respondent were
illegitmate children).However, upon failure of Vilma to follow a court directive to account for the
income of the estate, the court granted Romualdo's appointment as special administrator. Petitioners
appealed to the Court of Appeals and was denied, hence the petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether or not the court violated Sec. 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court in their selection of a
special administrator.

HELD: The preference under Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court for the next of kin refers to the
appointment of a regular administrator, and not of a special administrator, as the appointment of the
latter lies entirely in the discretion of the court, and is not appealable. If petitioners really desire to
avail themselves of the order of preference, they should pursue the appointment of a regular
administrator and put to an end the delay which necessitated the appointment of a special

Comment: The court was correct in granting the appointment of Romualdo as special administrator
since it was shown that Vilma was in remiss after failing to follow the series of directives and
extension given to her to account for the estate.

GR NO L-21917 | 29 November 1966 | 18 SCRA 898

FACTS: In 1932, appellant Manuela Ruiz hereinafter referred to as Mrs. Gurrea and Carlos
Gurrea were married in Spain, where they lived together until 1945, when he abandoned her and
came, with their son Teodoro, to the Philippines. Here he lived maritally with Rizalina Perez by
whom he had two (2) children.

Having been informed by her son Teodoro, years later, that his father was residing in Pontevedra,
Negros Occidental, Manuela came to the Philippines, in June, 1960; but, Carlos Gurrea refused to
admit her to his residence in said municipality. Hence, she stayed with their son, Teodoro, in Bacolod

Carlos Gurrea died on March 7, 1962, leaving a document purporting to be his last will and
testament, in which he named Marcelo Pijuan as executor thereof and disinherited Mrs. Gurrea and
their son, Teodoro. Soon thereafter, or on April 24, 1962, Pijuan instituted probate of said will.

Thereafter Pijuan was appointed special administrator of the estate, without bond. Oppositions to
the probate of the will were filed by Mrs. Gurrea, her son, Teodoro, and one Pilar Gurrea, as an
alleged illegitimate daughter of the deceased.

The lower court denied the motion of Mrs. Gurrea for her appointment as administratrix. Hence, an
appeal was made.

ISSUE: WON Mrs. Gurrea, as an administrator, has a preferential right over Pijuan, as the named

HELD: No, under Section 6 of Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court said preference exists "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."

None of these conditions obtains, however, in the case at bar. The deceased Carlos Gurrea has left a
document purporting to be his will, seemingly, is still pending probate. So, it cannot be said, as yet,
that he has died intestate. Again, said document names Marcelo Pijuan as executor thereof, and it is
not claimed that he is incompetent therefor. What is more, he has not only not refused the trust, but,
has, also, expressly accepted it, by applying for his appointment as executor, and, upon his
appointment as special administrator, has assumed the duties thereof.

The order of preference in the appointment of regular administrators does not apply to the
appointment of a special administrator. Furthermore, the order appointing the special
administrator lies within the discretion of the probate court, and is not appealable.



1. neglect to render accounts; (w/in 1 YEAR or when the court directs);
2. neglect to settle estate according to these rules;
3. neglect to perform an order or judgment of the court or a duty expressly provided by these
4. absconding; or

5. insanity or incapability or unsuitability to discharge the trust. (Sec. 2)

These grounds are EXCLUSIVE.

Lawful acts of an administrator or executor before the revocation, resignation, or removal are valid
unless proven otherwise. (Sec.3)

GR NO 74769 | 28 September 1990 | 190 SCRA 112

FACTS: Special Proceedings pending before the court a quo, is an intestate proceeding involving the
estate of the deceased Doa Ramona Gonzales Vda. de Favis. Doa Ramona is survived by her four (4)
children who are her only heirs, namely, Asterio Favis, Beatriz F. Gonzales, Teresa F. Olbes, and
Cecilia Favis-Gomez.

On 25 October 1983, the court a quo appointed petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales and private respondent
Teresa Olbes as co-administratrices of the estate.

While petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales was in the United States accompanying her ailing husband who
was receiving medical treatment in that country, private respondent Teresa Olbes filed a motion to
remove Beatriz F. Gonzales as co-administratrix, on the ground that she is incapable or unsuitable to
discharge the trust and had committed acts and omissions detrimental to the interest of the estate
and the heirs.

Only Asterio Favis opposed the removal of Beatriz F. Gonzales as co-administratrix, as the latter was
still in the United States attending to her ailing husband.

Judge Aguinaldo canceled the letters of administration granted to Beatriz F. Gonzales and retained
Teresa Olbes as the administratrix of the estate of the late Ramona Gonzales for the best interest of
the estate of the deceased.

Petitioner contends before this Court that respondent Judge's Order should be nullified on the
ground of grave abuse of discretion, as her removal was not shown by respondents to be anchored
on any of the grounds provided under Section 2, Rule 82, Rules of Court, which states:

"Sec. 2. Court may remove or accept resignation of executor or
administrator. Proceedings upon death, resignation or removal If an executor or
administrator neglects to render his account and settle the estate according to
law, or to perform an order or judgment of the court, or a duty expressly provided
by these rules, or absconds, or becomes insane, or otherwise incapable or
unsuitable to discharge the trust, the court may remove him, or in its discretion,
may permit him to resign. . . ."

ISSUE: WON the grounds the removal of Beatriz as administrator was proper.


Administrators have such an interest in the execution of their trust as entitle them to protection from
removal without just cause. Hence, Section 2 of Rule 82 of the Rules of Court provides the legal and
specific causes authorizing the court to remove an administrator.

While it is conceded that the court is invested with ample discretion in the removal of an
administrator, it however must have some fact legally before it in order to justify a removal. There
must be evidence of an act or omission on the part of the administrator not conformable to or in
disregard of the rules or the orders of the court, which it deems sufficient or substantial to warrant

the removal of the administrator. In making such a determination, the court must exercise good
judgment, guided by law and precedents.

In the present case, the court a quo did not base the removal of the petitioner as co-administratrix on
any of the causes specified in respondent's motion for relief of the petitioner. The court based the
removal of the petitioner on the fact that in the administration of the estate, conflicts and
misunderstandings have existed between petitioner and respondent Teresa Olbes which allegedly
have prejudiced the estate, and the added circumstance that petitioner had been absent from the
country since October 1984, and up to 15 January 1985, the date of the questioned order.

Certainly, it is desirable that the administration of the deceased's estate be marked with harmonious
relations between co-administrators. But for mere disagreements between such joint
fiduciaries, without misconduct, one's removal is not favored.

We, like petitioner, find of material importance the fact that the court a quo failed to find hard facts
showing that the conflict and disharmony between the two (2) co-administratrices were unjustly
caused by petitioner, or that petitioner was guilty of incompetence in the fulfillment of her duties, or
prevented the management of the estate according to the dictates of prudence, or any other act or
omission showing that her continuance as co-administratrix of the estate materially endangers the
interests of the estate. Petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales is as interested as respondent Olbes and the
other heirs in that the properties of the estate be duly administered and conserved for the benefit of
the heirs; and there is as yet no ground to believe that she has prejudiced or is out to prejudice said
estate to warrant the probate court into removing petitioner as co-administratrix.

Respondent Judge removed petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales as co-administratrix of the estate also on
the ground that she had been absent from the country since October 1984 and had not returned as of
15 January 1985, the date of the questioned order, leaving respondent Olbes alone to administer the

In her motion for reconsideration of the Order, petitioner explained to the court a quo that her
absence from the country was due to the fact that she had to accompany her ailing husband to the
United States for medical treatment. It appears too that petitioner's absence from the country was
known to respondent Olbes, and that the latter and petitioner Gonzales had continually maintained
correspondence with each other with respect to the administration of the estate during the
petitioner's absence from the country.

The above facts, we note, show that petitioner had never abandoned her role as co-administratrix of
the estate nor had she been remiss in the fulfillment of her duties. Suffice it to state, temporary
absence in the state does not disqualify one to be an administrator of the estate. Thus, as
held in re Mc Knight's Will, a temporary residence outside of the state, maintained for the benefit of
the health of the executors' family, is not such a removal from the state as to necessitate his removal
as executor.

Finally, it seems that the court a quo seeks refuge in the fact that two (2) of the other three (3) heirs
of the estate of the deceased (Teresa Olbes and Cecilia Favis Gomez) have opposed the retention or
re-appointment of petitioner as co-administratrix of the estate. Suffice it to state that the removal of
an administrator does not he on the whims, caprices and dictates of the heirs or beneficiaries of the
estate, nor on the belief of the court that it would result in orderly and efficient administration. In re
William's Adm'r.,

As the appointment of petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales was valid, and no satisfactory cause for her
removal was shown, the court a quo gravely abused its discretion in removing her. Stated differently,
petitioner Beatriz F. Gonzales was removed without just cause. Her removal was therefore improper.