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In re: Will of Rev Abadia

Fr Abadia executed a document (Exhibit A) purportedly his Last Will and Testament. He died
Jan14, 1943, and left properties estimated at Php8k

One of the legatees, Enriquez, filed a petition for its probate before CFI Cebu. Some cousins
and nephews, who would inherit had there been no will, opposed.

Two of the three witnesses already died. The remaining witness testified that in his presence
and the other 2 co-witnesses, Fr Abadia wrote out in long hand in Spanish said will; that Fr
Abad spoke and understood; that he signed on the left hand margin of the front page of
each of the 3 folios and numbered the same with Arabic numerals; all this in the presence of
the 3 attesting witnesses who signed their names on the last page after the attestation
clause I his presence and in the presence of each other. The oppositors did not submit any

CFI Cebu declared said document as a holographic will and was admitted to probate.
It was in the handwriting of the testator
At the time of execution, and at the time of testators death, holographic wills were not
permitted by law.
At the time, case was decided, New Civil Code already in force, allowing holographic
wills. The trial court also the controlling factor, which is the intention of the
testator, overrides any defect in form
Oppositors appeal involved questions of law, thus certified to the Supreme Court

ISSUE: WON Fr Abadias holographic will maybe admitted to probate

Order appealed from is reversed. Exhibit A is denied probate.
The validity of a will as to its form depends upon the observance of the law in force at the
time it is made
From the day of the death of the testator, if he leaves a will, the title of the legatees and
devisees under it becomes a vested right, protected under the due process clause of the
constitution against a subsequent change in the statute adding new legal requirements
of execution of wills which would invalidate such a will

Although the will operates upon and after the death of the testator, the wishes of the
testator about the disposition of his estate among his heirs and among the legatees is given
solemn expression at the time the will is executed, and in reality, the legacy or bequest then
becomes a completed act. This ruling has been laid down by this court in the case of In
re Will of Riosa, 39 Phil., 23. It is a wholesome doctrine and should be followed.
At the time that Exhibit "A" was executed in 1923 and at the time that Father Abadia died
in1943, holographic wills were not permitted, and the law at the time imposed certain
requirements for the execution of wills, such as numbering correlatively each page (not folio
or sheet) in letters and signing on the left hand margin by the testator and by the three
attesting witnesses, requirements which were not complied with in Exhibit "A" because the
back pages of the first two folios of the will were not signed by any one, not even by the
testator and were not numbered, and as to the three front pages, they were signed only by
the testator.
Fleumer vs. Hix, 54 Phil 610

Facts: The petitioner is a special administrator of the estate of Edward Hix. He alleged that
the latters will was executed in Elkins, West Virginia on November 3, 1925 by Hix who had
his residence in that jurisdiction, and that the laws of that state govern. To this end, the
petitioner submitted a copy of Section 3868 of Acts 1882, c.84 as found in West Virginia
Code, annotated by Hogg, Charles E., vol.2 1914, p. 1690 and as certified to by the Director
of National Library. The Judge of the First Instance however denied the probate of the will on
the grounds that Sec 300 and 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure were not complied with.
Hence, this appeal.

Issue: Is it necessary to prove in this jurisdiction the existence of such law in West Virginia
as a pre requisite to the allowance and recording of said will.

Held: Yes. The laws of the foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. The
courts of the Philippine Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the
various states of the American Union. Such laws must be proved as facts. Here the
requirements of the law were not met. There was no showing that the book from which an
extract was taken was printed or published under the authority of the state of West Virginia,
as provided in Sec 30 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Nor was the extract from the law
attested by the certificate of the officer having charge of the original, under the seal of the
State of West Virginia as provided in Sec 301. No evidence was introduced showing that the
extract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time alleged will was executed. The
court therefore did not err in denying the probate of the will. The existence of such law in
West Virginia must be proved.


Orendain, petitioner vs Trusteeship of the Estate of Dona M. Rodriguez,
G.R. No. 168660
T the decedent, Doa Margarita Rodriguez, died in Manila, leaving a last will and testament.
The will was admitted to probate. The CFI Manila approved the project of partition presented
by the executor of Doa Margarita Rodriguezs will.
At the time of her death, the decedent left no compulsory or forced heirs and, consequently,
was completely free to dispose of her properties, without regard to legitimes as provided in
her will. Some of Doa Margarita Rodriguezs testamentary dispositions contemplated the
creation of a trust to manage the income from her properties for distribution to beneficiaries
specified in the will.
Almost four decades later, petitioners Hilarion, Jr. and Enrico Orendain, heirs of Hilarion
Orendain, Sr., moved to dissolve the trust on the decedents estate, which they argued had
been in existence for more than twenty years, in violation of Articles 867 and 870 of the Civil
Code, and inconsistent with our ruling in Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals.
1. Whether trusteeship over the properties can be dissolved (Art 867, Art 870 of NCC)
2. Whether the provisions above stated is inapplicable to this motion
3. Does Art. 1013 par. 4 of the NCC applies

SC cites Rodriguez vs CA that the perpetual prohibition was valid only for twenty (20) years.
SC affirmed holding that the trust stipulated in the decedents will prohibiting perpetual
alienation or mortgage of the properties violated Articles 867 and 870 of the Civil Code.
However, SC reversed and set aside the CAs decision which declared that that portion of the
decedents estate, the properties in the will is ought to be distributed based on intestate
succession, there being no institution of heirs to the properties covered by the perpetual
SC held that the RTC was mistaken in denying petitioners motion to dissolve and ordering
the disposition of the properties according to the testatrixs wishes.
The herein testatrixs large landholdings cannot be subjected indefinitely to a trust because
the ownership thereof would then effectively remain with her even in the afterlife. Art. 1013
is inapplicable. Petion is granted.


deceased, Executor andHeir-appellees, VS. HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA,
January 31, 1963

FACTS: Edward E. Christensen, though born in New York, migrated to California, where he
resided and consequently was considered a California citizen. In 1913, he came to the
Philippines where he became a domiciliary until his death. However, during the entire period
of his residence in this country he had always considered himself a citizen of California. In
his will executed on March 5,1951, he instituted an acknowledged natural daughter, Maria
Lucy Christensen as his only heir, but left a legacy of sum of money in favor of Helen
Christensen Garcia who was rendered to have been declared acknowledged natural
daughter. Counsel for appellant claims that California law should be applied; that under
California law, the matter is referred back to the law of the domicile; that therefore Philippine
law is ultimately applicable; that finally, the share of Helen must be increased in view of the
successional rights of illegitimate children under Philippine law. On the other hand, counsel
for the heir of Christensen contends that in as much as it is clear that under Article 16 of our
Civil Code, the national law of the deceased must apply, our courts must immediately apply
the internal law of California on the matter; that under California law there are no
compulsory heirs and consequently a testator could dispose of any property possessed by
him in absolute dominion and that finally, illegitimate children not being entitled to anything
and his will remain undisturbed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Philippine law should prevail in administering the estate of

RULING: The court in deciding to grant more successional rights to Helen said in effect that
there are tworules in California on the matter: the internal law which should apply to
Californians domiciled inCalifornia; and the conflict rule which should apply to Californians
domiciled outside of California.The California conflict rule says: If there is no law to the
contrary in the place where personalproperty is situated, is deemed to follow the person of
its owner and is governed by the law of hisdomicile. Christensen being domiciled outside
California, the law of his domicile, the Philippines,ought to be followed. Where it is referred
back to California, it will form a circular pattern referringto both country back and forth.

Bellis vs Bellis, 20 scra 358

Amos Bellis was a citizen of the State of Texas, and of the United States. By his first wife
whom he divorced he had five legitimate children, by his second wife, who survived him, he
had three legitimate children, and three illegitimate children. Before he died, he made two
wills, one disposing of his Texas properties and the other disposing his Philippine properties.
In both wills, his illegitimate children were not given anything. The illegitimate children
opposed the will on the ground that they have been deprived of their legitimes to which they
should be entitled, if Philippine law were to be applied.

ISSUE: Whether or not the national law of the deceased should determine the successional
rights of the illegitimate children.
HELD: The Supreme Court held that the said children are not entitled to their legitimes
under the Texas Law, being the national law of the deceased, there are no legitimes.



Petition for review on certiorari


- Adoracion Campos died, leaving her father, Hermogenes and her sisters, Nenita Paguia,
Remedios Lopez and MarietaMedina as the surviving heirs.
- As Hermogenes Campos was the only compulsory heir, he executed an Affidavit of
Adjudication whereby head judicated unto himself the ownership of the entire estate of
- Eleven months after, Nenita Paguia filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of Adoracion,
which was allegedlyexecuted in the US and for her appointment as administratrix of the
estate of the deceased testatrix.
- An opposition to the reprobate of the will was filed by Hermogenes alleging among other
things, that he has every reason to believe that the will in question is a forgery; that the
intrinsic provisions of the will are null and void; and that even if pertinent American laws on
intrinsic provisions are invoked, the same could not apply in as much as they would work
injustice and injury to him.
- Hermogenes filed a Motion to Dismiss Opposition (With Waiver of Rights or Interests)
stating that he "has been able to verify the veracity thereof (of the will) and now confirms
the same to be truly the probated will of his daughter Adoracion." Hence, an ex-parte
presentation of evidence for the reprobate of the questioned will was made.
- Respondent judge issued an order admitting the Last Will and Testament of Adoracion and
allowed probate in thePhilippines, and Nenita Paguia was appointed Administratrix of the
estate of said decedent.
- Hermogenes filed a petition for relief, praying that the order allowing the will be set aside
on the ground that the withdrawal of his opposition to the same was secured through
fraudulent means. He filed another motion entitled "Motion to Vacate and/or Set Aside the
Order of January 10, 1979, and/or dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction.
- Respondent judge issued an order dismissing the petition for relief for failure to present
evidence in support thereof. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was
denied. In the same order, respondent judge also denied the motion to vacate for lack of

WON the provisions of the will are valid.

- NO. As a general rule, the probate court's authority is limited only to the extrinsic validity
of the will, the due execution thereof, the testatrix's testamentary capacity and the
compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of the
will normally comes only after the court has declared that the will has been duly
authenticated. However, where practical considerations demand that the intrinsic validity of
the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the issue.-
Although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus, the
respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright, the private respondents have
sufficiently established that Adoracion was, at the time of her death, an American citizen
and a permanent resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


Adoracion Campos died, leaving her father and sisters as surviving heirs.
Hermogenes, the father, was the only heir executed an affidavit of adjudication
whereby he adjudicated himself the ownership of the entire estate of Adoracion.
Nenita Paguia, one of her sisters, filed a petition of reprobate of the will of Adoracion,
which was allegedly executed in the US and for her appointment as administratrix of
Adoracions estate.
Nenita alleged that the testratrix was an American citizen at the time of her death and
was a permanent resident of Pennsylvania, USA and that her last will and testament was
made under the Pennsylvania law and was probated and allowed in the said state.
As a general rule, the probate courts authority is limited only to the extrinsic validity
of the will, the due execution thereof, the testratrixs testamentary capacity and the
compliance with the requisites or solemnities prescribed by law. The intrinsic validity of the
will normally come only after the court has declared that the will has been duly
authenticated. However, where the practical considerations demand that the intrinsic
validity of the will be passed upon, even before it is probated, the court should meet the
Under Art 16 par. 2 and Art 1039 of the Civil Code the law which governs Adoracions
will is the Pennsylvania law which is the national law of the decedent.


Father Pascual Rigor devised forty-four hectares of ricelands to his nearest male
relatives who would study priesthood and provided that the administration of the ricelands
would be under the responsibility of the parish priest of Victoria during the time that there is
no qualified devisee as contemplated in the will.
The parish priest of Victoria petitioned for the delivery of the Riceland to the church
since no nearest male relative is available.
The lower court, after declaring the bequest inoperative, later reconsidered its findings
on the ground that the testator had a grandnephew(born after the testators death), who was
a seminarian, and directed the administrator of the estate to deliver the ricelands to the
parish priest of Victoria as trustee.
THE Supreme Court ruled that the will referred to the nearest male relative of the
testator who was living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite time thereafter,
because in order to be capacitated to inherit, the devisee must be living at the moment the
succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper.


FACTS: Leon Guinto filed an action for forcible entry against Santiago Medina. The trial court
ruled in favor of Guinto.However, Guinto still appealed because the trial court dismissed his
claim for damages. While the case was onappeal, Medina died. Medina was substituted by
his heirs.
ISSUE: WON the heirs of Medina are liable for damages to Guinto in excess of the
inheritance they received
RULING: The heirs of Medina, having been merely substituted in his place at the time of his
death, their liability for damages is only to the extent of the value of the property they might
have received, if any, from him.

Dela Cerna v. Potot, 12 SCRA 576

Spouses Bernabe de la Serna and Gervasia Rebaca, executed a joint last will ad testament
where they willed that their 2 parcels of land be given to Manuela Rebaca, their niece and
that while each of them are living, he/she will continue to enjoy the fruits of the lands

Bernabe died. Gervasia submitted the will for probated. By order of Oct. 31, 1939, the Court
admitted for probate the said will but only for the part of Bernabe.

When Gervasia died, another petition for probate was instituted by Manuela, but because
she and her attorney failed to appear in court, the petition was dismissed. When the same
was heard, the CFI declared the will void for being executed contrary to the prohibition on
joint wills. On appeal, the order was reversed.

W/N the will may be probated.

Admittedly the probate of the will in 1939 was erroneous, however, because it was probated
by a court of competent jurisdiction it has conclusive effect and a final judgment rendered
on a petition for the probate of a will is binding upon the whole world. However, this is only
with respect to the estate of the husband but cannot affect the estate of the wife;
considering that a joint will is a separate will of each testator.

The joint will being prohibited by law, its validity, in so far as the estate of the wife is
concerned, must be re-examine and adjudicated de novo.
The undivided interest of the wife should pass upon her death to her intestate heirs and not
to the testamentary heir. Thus as to the disposition of the wife, the will cannot be given

A decree of probate decree is conclusive on the due execution and the formal validity of the
will subject to such probate.

REYES VS. CA JULY 31, 1954

Facts: decedent Benedicto de los Reyes, before his death, sold properties to one of the heirs
of the executor. The heirs of the former claimed that the said properties should be part of
the inheritance.
Trial Court declared the subject properties having been sold before the death was no longer
part of the inheritance.

Issue: whether the properties sold are part of the inheritance? (Void contract)

Held: yes, the properties are part of the inheritance, according to the Civil Code, even these
properties sold by the decedent may still be the object of succession and would be part of
the estate and as much, the heirs may still be entitled to the subject properties. Such case
may be considered as a circumvention of the law as the forced heirs may be deprived of
their rights to their legitime. The appealed decision is reversed and the deed of sale was
annulled and the parcel of land involved mere declared as pertaining to the estate of the
decedent Benedicto de los Reyes.(If the contract is void, the property still forms part of the
inheritance in order not to prejudice the heir )


Facts: on October 3, 1941 Leon Guinto filed an action for forcible entry against Santiago
Medina. Guinto alleged that he has been in possession of the said land since 1934, and that
on 1941 by means of force and intimidation. Medina deprived him of his possession. Trial
Court rendered decision in favor of Guinto. While the case was on its original appeal
Santiago died.

Issue: whether the liability of heirs may exceed the amount of inheritance?

Held: no, the heirs of the original defendants in this case has been merely substituted in his
place upon his death, their liability for damages (money debt) is only to the extent of the
value of the property that they might have received if any from him.


Facts: Faustino Nebrada upon his death left 5 parcels of land and leaving his only legitimate
heir, Uson his wife. However, Uson claimed that upon Nebradas death, de Rosario a
common-law wife illegally took possession of the said parcel of land. Del Rosario claimed that
before Nebradas death, spouses executed a public document agreeing to separate as
husband and wife and also renouncing her right to inherit any other property that may be
left by her husband upon his death. Trial Court ruled in favor of Uson, therefore ordering del
Rosario to restore the ownership and possession of said lands.

Issue: whether the provisions of the NCC regarding the succession rights of illegitimate
children which were declared for the first time be given retroactive effect?

Held: No, such provision should not be given retroactive effect. The right of ownership of the lawful wife of
a decedent who had died before the NCC took effect became vested upon his death and is
so because of the imperative provision of the law which commands that the rights of succession are
transmitted from the moment of death. The new right recognized by the NCC, in favor of the illegitimate
children of the deceased cannot be asserted to the impairment of the vested right of the
lawful wife over ht elands in dispute. While Article 2253 of the NCC provides that the rights
which were declared for the first time shall have retroactive effect even through the event
which gave rise to them may have occurred under the former legislation. Yet this is so only
when the new rights do not prejudice any vested or acquired rights of the same origin.


Facts: Francisco De Borja, upon the death of his wife, filed a petition for the probate of her
will and after probate, was appointed executor and administrator. Jose De Borja, thereon, was appointed
co-administrator of the testate estate of his mother while the widower allegedly took into himself a second
wife, Tasiana Ongsingco. Upon Franciscos death, Tasiana instituted testate proceedings and
was appointed special administrator. The relationship between the children of the first
marriage and Tasiana has been plagued with several court suits and in order to put an end
to all these litigations a compromise agreement was entered by and between the heirs of
Francisco by the first marriage and the heirs of Francisco by the second marriage.

Issue: The doctrine in Guevarra vs Guevarra which held that he presentation of a will for probate is
mandatory and that the settlement and distribution of an estate on the basis of intestacy. When the
decedent left a will is against the law and public policy is not applicable when the clear
object of settlement was merely the conveyance by the heir of any and all their individual
share and interest, actual or eventual, in the estate of the decedent and not the distribution
of the said estate.

As a hereditary share in a decedents estate is transmitted or immediately from the moment

of death, there is no legal bar to a successor disposing his or her hereditary share
immediately after such death, even after the actual extent of such share is not yet determined until the
subsequent liquidation of the estate. Of course, the effect of such alienation is deemed
limited to what is ultimately adjudicated to vendor heir.


Facts: A civil action to quiet title over certain parcels of land was instituted by Fortunata
Barcena. A motion to dismiss the complaint was filed by the defendants on the ground that Fortunata is
dead therefore has no legal capacity to sue. Counsel for the plaintiff asked for the
substitution of her minor children and her husband. The Court, however, dismissed the case
on the basis that a dead person cannot be a real person in interest and has no
legal personality to sue.

Issue: whether the heirs may be parties in interest who may substitute the deceased in an
action to quiet title over certain parcels of land?

Held: Article 777 of the Civil Code provides that he right to the succession is transmitted
from the moment of death of the decedent. From the moment of death of the decedent, the
heirs become the absolute owners of the property subject to the rights and obligations of the decedent,
and they cannot be deprived of their right thereto, except as provided for by the law. The
moment of death is the determining factor when the heirs acquire a definite right to the
inheritance, whether such right is pure or contingent. The right of the heirs to the property
of the deceased vest in them even before judicial declaration of their being heirs in
the testate and intestate proceedings. When Fortunata died, her claim on right to the parcels
of land in litigation was not extinguished but was transmitted to her heirs upon her death.
The heirs have acquired interest in the properties in litigation and become parties in interest
in the case. There is therefore no reason for the court not to allow the substitution as they
are now the real parties in interest in the case at bar.

BOUGH VS MODESTO 47 OG 97 9 3013

Facts: On March 4, 1936 Bruno Modesto, ____ Bough and Restituto Anapol executed a
private document whereby Modesto agreed that he would share with Restituto Anapol and
Bough whatever property he might inherit from his deceased wife. It was provided in such
document that the properties were to be divided and proportioned 1/8 each provided that
Restituto pay the expense to be incurred in connection with the litigation that Modesto was
facing. Bough and Restituto instituted the present action to secure judgment ordering
Modesto to divide the properties left by his wife, in the manner and form provided in the
private document. Modesto, in his defense alleged that the ____ had failed to comply with
the terms and conditions specified in the contract and that the said contract was not
contrary to law, morals and public policy.

Issue: whether the contract, the object of which is Modestos inheritance is valid and binding
between the parties?

Held: The contract is valid. It is well settled that rights by inheritance are acquired and
transmitted upon the death of the decedent. If this is so, it must necessarily follow that it is perfectly legal
for an heir to enter into a contract of the nature of the document in this case, the
understanding to be, of course, that the contract would be effective only if and when he is really
declared an heir and only as regards any property that might be adjudicated to him as such. It cannot be
said that the disputed contract deals and interferes with properties in Custodia legis because
the reasonable interpretation that must be given to it that contemplates and provides for the
partition only of such property as may be adjudicated to Modesto if when he is declared to
be an heir of his deceased wife, the claims of the partition to be made in due course, that is
through the probate court. It is the present action that should not be considered strictly as one for
partition but only as an action intended to determine the right of the parties under the terms of
the contract.


Facts: Vito Borromeo, a widower and permanent resident of Cebu died without heirs but leaving
properties in Cebu. Jose Junguera filed with the CFI Cebu a petition for the probate of a one-
page document as the last will and testament left by said deceased, but the same was found to be a
forged document. The testate proceedings was converted into an intestate proceeding as
several parties filed their claims alleging that they are the heirs of the intestate of Vito
Borromeo. On April 10, 1969 the trial court invoking Article 972 of the Civil Code issued
an order declaring nine persons to the exclusion of others as intestate heirs of Vito. The Court also
ordered that the assets of Vito be divided in 4/9 and5/9 groups and distributed equally. On April 25,
1969 Fortunato who had earlier claimed an heir under the forged will, filed a motion praying
that he be declared as one of the heirs of the deceased, alleging that he is an illegitimate
son and entitled to receive a legitime like all other forced heir. In his motion for
reconsideration, Fortunato attached a waiver of hereditary rights of 5 of the deceased heirs and the
latter having agreed to designate their share to the former.

Issue: whether hereditary rights may be waived before there has been acceptance or
repudiation of an inheritance which the heir intends to transfer.

Held: The prevailing jurisprudence on waiver of hereditary rights is that the properties
included in an existing inheritance cannot be considered as belonging to third persons with
respect to the heirs who by fiction of law continue the personality of t former. Nor does such
properties have the character of a future property because the heirs acquires a right to succeed from
the moment of death of the deceased until the heirs enter into possession of the hereditary
property, but the acceptance in any event acts form the moment of death in accordance
with the provision of the Civil Code. The right is vested although conditioned upon the
adjudication of the corresponding hereditary partition. The heirs therefore could waive their
hereditary rights even if the order to partition the estate was yet to be issued.