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SUCCESSION entitled to exercise the right of legal

redemption as soon as another co-owner has

CHAPTER 1 sold his undivided share to a stranger. This
General Provisions right of redemption vests exclusively in
consideration of the redemptioner's quality of
Art. 774. co-owner, independently of the size of the
redemptioner's share which the law nowhere
Distinction Between Inheritance and takes into account.
Succession  When the heirship is undisputed, the
purchaser of hereditary property is not
Inheritance Succession deemed to have acquired directly from the
Decedent’s properties, Mode of acquisition decedent, because a dead man cannot
rights and obligations convey title, or from the administrator who
not extinguished by owns no part of the estate. He can only derive
death his title from the heirs, represented by the
administrator, as their trustee or legal
The object of the representative.
Observations on Butte
Elements of Succession  Art. 1623: right of legal redemption should be
exercised “within 30 days from the notice in
1. Mode of Acquisition writing by the prospective vendor”
 Counting of the 30-day redemption period
Art. 721 – 6 Modes of Acquisition: OLDTIPS should have been counted from when Angela
1) Occupation Butte actually received the written notice of
2) Law Marie Garnier on 19 December 1958
3) Donation  Angela Butte exercised the right of
4) Tradition redemption on 15 January 1959. Clearly the
5) Intellectual creation redemption period had not yet expired
6) Prescription
7) Succession b. Transmission of Rights

Types:  Rights are either personal

1) Original – no previous owner (occupation (intransmissible) or transmissible.
+ intellectual creation)  Ex. of personal right: right to hold public
2) Derivative – has a previous owner who office
transmits title to a transferee (law,  Ex. of transmissible right: contractual
donation, succession, tradition, rights, upon death of a buyer of a parcel of
prescription) land on installment basis, his rights and
interests over the property are transferred
2. Transmission of an Inheritance to his heirs.
a. Transmission of Property – death
extinguishes juridical capacity, National Housing Authority v.
hence dominion over his property Almeida
ends The initial applicant’s death would transfer all her
i. Inheritance = assets and liabilities of a property, rights and obligations to the estate
person at the time of his death including whatever interest she has or may have
ii. Without succession, assets would be had over the disputed properties over which she
res nullius hence the necessity of had been granted the right to buy—to the extent
transmitting inheritance to heirs of the interest that the original owner had over
the property, the same should go to her estate.
Butte v. Manuel Uy& Sons Inc
 The rights to the succession of a deceased Verdad v. CA
person are transmitted to his heirs from the  Private respondent, even if a mere relative by
moment of his death, and the right of affinity, has a right to the property in her
succession includes all property rights and capacity as a legal heir of her husband, part
obligations that survive the decedent. of whose estate is a share in his mother’s
 A co-owner of an undivided share is inheritance.
necessarily a co-owner of the whole.  David Rosales, became a co-owner of his
Therefore, any one of the heirs of an mother’s estate upon the death of the latter,
undivided estate, as such co-owner, becomes who later upon his death, passed on to his
widow, private respondent, his own estate  Before inheritance can be distributed to
including his undivided interest over the the heirs, procedures must be completed:
estate of his mother. o Payment of outstanding debts
 “ART. 995. In the absence of legitimate o Estate tax
descendants and ascendants, and illegitimate o Collation
children and their descendants, whether o Final determination of ownership of
legitimate or illegitimate, the surviving spouse contested property
shall inherit the entire estate, without  According to NHA: the estate of a
prejudice to the rights of brothers and sisters, decedent is a juridical person
nephews and nieces, should there be any,
under article 1001. “Should brothers and Limjoco v Intestate Estate of
sisters or their children survive with the widow Fragante
or widower, the latter shall be entitled to one- Within the philosophy of the present legal system
half of the inheritance and the brothers and and within the framework of the constitution, the
sisters or their children to the other half.” estate of P. O. F. should be considered an artificial
Socorro and herein private respondents, along or juridical person for the purposes of the
with the co-heirs of David Rosales, thereupon settlement and distribution of his estate which, of
became co-owners of the property that course, include the exercise during the judicial
originally descended from Macaria. administration thereof of those rights and the
fulfillment of those obligations of his which
c. Transmission of Obligations survived after his death. One of those rights was
the one involved in his pending application before
 GR: Death of the obligor does not the Public Service Commission in the instant
extinguish his contractual obligations (Art. case, consisting in the prosecution of said
1311) application to its final conclusion. An injustice
 Art. 774 – successions transfers not only would ensue from the opposite course.
rights but also obligations however limits
the liability of the heirs for the debts of the If by legal fiction the personality of P. O. F. is
decedent to the value of the inheritance considered extended so that any debts or
 “obligation” includes contingent liabilities obligations left by, and surviving, him may be
paid, and any surviving rights may be exercised
Estate of Hemady v. Luzon Surety for the benefit of his creditors and heirs,
Co. Inc respectively, there is no sound and cogent reason
 The most common example of the contingent for denying the application of the same fiction to
claim is that which arises when a person is his citizenship, and for not considering it as
bound as surety or guarantor for a principal likewise extended for the purposes of the
who is insolvent or dead aforesaid unfinished proceeding before the Public
 The binding effect of contracts upon the heirs Service Commission.
of the deceased party is not altered by the
provision in the Rules of Court that money The Limjoco, Billings and NHA
debts of a deceased must be liquidated and Rules discussed
paid from his estate before the residue is 1) 2 types of persons:
distributed among said heirs (Rule 89). The a. natural
reason is that whatever payment is thus made b. Artificial
from the estate is ultimately a payment by i. Collection or succession of natural
the heirs and distributees, since the amount persons forming a corporation
of the paid claim in fact diminishes or reduces ii. Collection of property to which the law
the shares that the heirs would have been attributes the capacity of having rights
entitled to receive. The general rule, and duties
therefore, is that a party’s contractual rights 2) In Billings, Estate of Morgan must be
and obligations are transmissible to the considered a juridical entity since no one
successors. could be prosecuted for forgery
 A solidary guarantor’s liability is not 3) Billings: estate of deceased person is a
extinguished by his death, and that in such juridical entity for limited purposes (justice for
event Luzon Surety has the right to file forger)
against the estate a contingent claim for 4) Billings used in Limjoco – estate of a deceased
reimbursement person is considered a person to avoid
injustice or prejudice resulting from the
d. Transmission to the Heirs of the impossibility of exercising such legal rights
Estate and fulfilling such legal obligations
5) Neither did Billings nor Limjoco establish a  Succession of Faustina’s estate was
general rule: they created an exception. NHA opened at death, probate had nothing to
“to the extent of the interest that the original do with the opening of succession
owner had over the property, the same should  Probate – judicial proceeding that the law
go to the estate prescribes solely for the purpose of
3. The Object of Succession is the i. Testamentary capacity of the testator
Inheritance ii. Compliance with formalities prescribed
a. Future Property vs. Future by law
Inheritance iii. Identification of the purported will as
that of the testator
Future Property Future Inheritance iv. That the testator freely and voluntarily
Anything which a Contingent executed the will
person does not own universality or 2) The object of the contract forms part of the
at present but which complex of rights and inheritance
the person may obligations that are  9, 000 m2 property formed part of
acquire or proposes to passed to the heirs Faustina’s estate however, upon her
acquire in the future upon death of the demise the property became part of
grantor Faustina’s actual inheritance
Can be the object of a Cannot be the object 3) The promissor has, with respect to the object,
contract of a contract an expectancy of a right which is purely
hereditary in nature
b. Contracts Involving Future  Benjamin inherited property from Faustina
Inheritance in 1941
Blas v. Santos  Domingo and his mother inherited from
Benjamin in 1960
When agreement to transmit one-half of conjugal  Domingo sold the property in 1975 – his
share is a contract as to future inheritance.—-A right was not a mere expectancy but had
document signed by the testator's wife, promising inherited at least part of it from his father
that she would respect and obey all the
dispositions in the latter's will, and that she would 4. Death Triggers Succession
hold one-half of her share in the conjugal assets Death may be:
in trust for the heirs and legatees of her husband a) Actual
in his will, with the obligation of conveying the b) Presumed
same to such of his heirs or legatees as she might i. Ordinary
choose in her last will and testament, is a ii. Extraordinary
compromise and at the same time a contract with
sufficient cause or consideration. Circumstance Length of time Date of Death
(390 and 391) disappeared
Future inheritance is any property or right, not .in absentee 10 years Occurred at
existence or capable of determination at the time the end of the
of the contract, that a person may in the future 10 years from
acquire by succession. the
De Belen vda. De Cabalu v.Tabu e
If 75 years old 5 years Occurred at
Under Article 1347 of the Civil Code, “No contract at the time of the end of the
may be entered into upon future disappearanc 5 years from
inheritanceexcept in cases expressly authorized e the
by law.” Paragraph 2 of Article 1347, disappearanc
characterizes a contract entered into upon future e
inheritance as void. The law applies when the Person on 4 years Occurred on
following requisites concur: (1) the succession board a the date of
has not yet been opened; (2) the object of the missing the
contract forms part of the inheritance; and (3) the vessel, disappearanc
promissor has, with respect to the object, an airplane e of the
expectancy of a right which is purely hereditary in disappeared absentee,
nature. Person in although
armed forces presumption
Observations on vda de Cabalu taken part in only arises at
1) The succession has not yet been opened war
Person in the end of the effectivity causa
danger of 4-yr period As to the Testamentary, intestate or
death under existence of mixed
other the will
circumstances As to the Compulsory = succession of
transferees compulsory heirs to the
a. Succession Inter Vivos legitime
 Succession triggered by the annulment or Voluntary = succession of
declaration of nullity of marriage voluntary heirs, legatees and
 Art. 50. Final judgment shall provide for. . devisees to the disposable free
.delivery of their presumptive legitimes (to portion
common children) As to the Universal = entire estate
 Art. 51. Presumptive legitimes are computed extent Particular = specific property or
as of the date of final judgment of the trial portion
 Art. 52. Record of judgment of Art. 775
nullity/annulment and delivery of legitimes in Art. 782
the civil registry/ registries of
propertiesotherwise it shall not affect third Definitions of Heir, Legatee and Devisee
persons 1. Heir – person called to the succession in
 Art. 50 of the family code implicitly amends the testator’s will, who pursuant to the
Art. 774 such that succession may now occur terms will either receive the entirety or a
during the lifetime of a person fractional part of the inheritance
2. Legatee – person called to the succession
b. Contractual Succession in the testator’s will, who will receive
 Gratuitous disposition of future property MOVABLE property specifically identified
mortis causa made by one future spouse to by the testator
the other (or bilaterally) in the ante-nuptial 3. Devisee - person called to the succession
contract in the testator’s will, who will receive
 Art. 130 (CC). future spouses may give each IMMOVABLE property specifically identified
other as much as one-fifth of their present by the testator
property, and with respect to their future
property, only in the event of death Importance of the Distinction
 Art. 84 amended Art.130. future spouses are
expressly permitted to give donations of HEIRS LEGATEE/DEVISEE
present property to each other however, Preterition (not Preterition does not
donations of future property has two mentioning the name annul the legacy or
requisites: of the heir in a will) devise (must not be
o Donation mortis causa shall be governed annuls the institution inofficious)
by law on testamentary succession Annulment of Will still get gifts of
o The donor must comply with the institution is TOTAL movable or immovable
formalities of a will leaving nothing under property as long as
the will these do not impair
 Donations mortis causa between future
the legitime
spouses now require the execution of wills
Art. 918. Invalid Invalid disinheritance
5. Succession is Governed by the Will or disinheritance annuls does not annul the
by Law the institution of heirs devises or legacies
Succession may be governed by: insofar as it prejudices and they shall be valid
1) The rules of testamentary succession, if there the invalidly to the extent they d
is a will disinherited heir not impair the
2) The rules of intestate succession, if decedent legitime, although
died without a will, a void will or with a will gifts of movable or
that has subsequently lost its validiy immovable property
3) Combination of the rules of testate and may be reduced or
intestate succession if the decedent executed abated if total
a valid will which did not completely dispose annulment is
of the inheritance insufficient to make
whole the legitime of a
compulsory heir
Succession may be classified as: Are not given specific Given specific
As to Either inter vivos ormortis property by the movable or immovable
testator but only properties Rivera v Peoples’ Bank and Trust
fractional parts Company
Is the survivorship agreement valid? Prima facie,
we think it is valid. It is an aleatory contract
Art. 776 supported by law a lawful consideration — the
Art. 781 mutual agreement of the joint depositors
permitting either of them to withdraw the whole
The Inheritance deposit during their lifetime, and transferring the
 Art. 781 – accruals to the hereditary estate balance to the survivor upon the death of one of
are liable for the payment of the outstanding them.
obligations of the decedent
 The inheritance of a person includes But although the survivorship agreement is per
properties, rights and obligations which are se not contrary to law, its operation or effect may
not extinguished by his death, however, be violative of the law. For instance, if it be shown
accruals thereto, while not forming part of the in a given case that such agreement is a mere
hereditary estate, are liable for the payment cloak to hide an inofficiousdonation, to transfer
of the claims of the creditors of the decedent property in fraud of creditors, or to defeat the
legitime of a forced heir, it may be assailed and
Exclusion to Inheritance annulled upon such grounds. No such vice has
1. FIDEICOMMISSARY SUBSTITUTIONS been imputed and established against the
 Art 863. Testator simultaneously institute two agreement involved in the case.
heirs to one and the same inheritance
 First heir receives inheritance at death of the Vitug vs. CA
testator, however, must preserve and  In this case, the monies subject of savings
transmit to second heir account No. 35342-038 were in the nature of
 Property does not form part of inheritance of conjugal funds. There is no showing that the
the first heir funds exclusively belonged to one party, and
hence it must be presumed to be conjugal,
2. RESERVA TRONCAL having been acquired during the existence of
 Art. 891. Ascendant who inherits from his the marita. relations.
descendant any property which the latter may  Neither is the survivorship agreement a
have acquired gratuitous title from another donation inter vivos, for obvious reasons,
ascendant, or a brother or sister IS OBLIGED because it was to take effect after the death
TO RESERVE SUCH PROPERTY for the BENEFIT of one party. Secondly, it is not a donation
OF RELATIVES WITHIN THIRD DEGREE and between the spouses because it involved no
WHO BELONG TO THE LINE FROM WHICH THE conveyance of a spouse's own properties to
PROPERTY CAME the other.
 The validity of the contract seems debatable
3. MATTER OF VLID ALEATORY CONTRACTS by reason of its "survivor-take-all" feature, but
 Contracts where by two or more persons pool in reality, that contract imposed a mere
their resources in a joint investment and obligation with a term, the term being death.
stipulate that the survivor among them shall Such agreements are permitted by the Civil
take absolute title over the entirety of the Code.
investment upon the death of one of them  The fulfillment of an aleatory contract
depends on either the happening of an event
Macam v. Gatmaitan and Gatmaitan which is (1) "uncertain," (2) "which is to occur
Exhibit C is an aleatory contract whereby, at an indeterminate time."
according to article 1790 of the Civil Code, one of
the parties or both reciprocally bind themselves  Survivorship agreements are valid and
to give or do something as an equivalent for that binding, not only between the parties
which the other party is to give or do in case of but also their respective successors
the occurrence of an event which is uncertain or provided that the operation of such
will happen at an indeterminate time. agreements do not violate the law such as:
(1) When used to conceal and inofficious
Leonarda and Juana reciprocally assigned their donation
respective property to one another conditioned (2) When used to transfer property in fraud of
upon who might die first, the time of death creditors
determining the event upon which the acquisition (3) When used to defeat the legitime of
of such right by the one or the other depended. compulsory heirs

Art. 777
Time and Death of the Decedent 4. Recognition of Ownership by Reason of
 Ownership of inheritance passes to heirs Succession
at the time of death of the decedent GR: rights to succession are transmitted from the
 Physical delivery, however, may be moment of decedent’s death. However,
delayed by legal formalities such as: recognition of the ownership of the inheritance by
o CPA statement on itemized assets reason of succession is not self-executory in the
and deduction from estate case of the transfer of ownership of shares of
o Estate tax returns, stock of a corporation. Heirs do not automatically
o Execution of deed of partition become stockholders of a corporation. Art. 63 of
o Publication requirements the Corp. Code – no transfer of shares shall be
 Time of death of decedent determines: valid until transfer is recorded in the books of the
i) Law applicable to the substantive corporation.
validity of his will
ii) Composition of the decedent’s assets Puno v Puno Enterprises, Inc.
and their valuation Upon the death of a shareholder, the heirs do not
iii) Compulsory heirs who are to succeed automatically become stockholders of the
the decedent and their testamentary corporation and acquire the rights and privileges
capacity to succeed of the deceased as shareholder of the corporation
iv) Determination of issues relating to —the stocks must be distributed first to the heirs
preterition in estate proceedings, and the transfer of the
v) Testamentary capacity of the testator stocks must be recorded in the books of the
vi) Timeliness of acceptance or repudiation corporation; During such interim period, the heirs
of the inheritance and the effects stand as the equitable owners of the stocks, the
thereof executor or administrator duly appointed by the
court being vested with the legal title to the
Consequences of Art. 777
1. Death, the Defining Moment Reyes v. Regional Trial Court of Makati
Bonilla vs. Barcena The status of heirs as co-owners of shares of
The moment of death is the determining factor stocks prior to the partition of the decedent’s
when the heirs acquire a definite right to the estate does not immediately and necessarily
inheritance whether such right to be pure or make them stockholders of the corporation—
contingent. The right of the heirs to the property unless and until there is compliance with Section
of the deceased vests in them even before 63 of the Corporation Code on the manner of
juridical declaration of their being heirs. transferring shares, the heirs do not become
registered stockholders of the corporation
2. Distribution Subject to the Existence of a
Residual Estate Comments on Reyes
Salvador v Sta. Maria No law requires succession to be declared. The
The right of the heirs to specific distributive right of an heir to inherit arises from the moment
shares of the inheritance does not become finally of death of the decedent, although his right to
determinable until all the debts of the estate are specific distributive is inchoate. The process of
paid. liquidating the estate does not reduce the
Final distributive shares are inchoate until death successional rights of the heir to a mere
of decedent and cannot be enforced. Residual expectancy. The “right to inherit” is not
estate after payment of decedent’s death synonymous to “the right to specific distributive
determines distribution. share”.

3. Automatic Transmission of the 5. Disposal of Hereditary Share of

Hereditary Estate Inheritance
Ramirez v Baltazar There is no legal bar to a successor to dispose of
The rights to succession are automatically the hereditary share immediately after such
transmitted to the heirs from the moment of death, even if the actual extent of such share is
death of the decedent. While, as a rule, the not determined until the subsequent liquidation
formal declaration or recognition to such of the estate. Effect of such alienation is deemed
successional rights need judicial confirmation, the limited to what is ultimately adjudicated to the
court has protected these rights from vendor heir.
encroachment made or attempted before the
judicial declaration. De Borja v. Vda. De Borja
As owner of an undivided hereditary share, an
heir can dispose of it in favor of anyone. Such
alienation is recognized by Art. 1088 of the Civil therefore alienate, assign or mortgage them, and,
Code, “Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary in any case, the mere fact that the deed purports
rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all to transfer a concrete portion does not per se
of the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of render the sale void.
the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of
the sale. . . “ Heirs are bound by contracts entered into by their
predecessors-in-interest—whatever rights and
6. Sale of an Undivided Share of the obligations of the decedent have over a property
Inheritance are transmitted to the heirs by way of succession,
An heir may only sell his ideal or undivided share a mode of acquiring the property, rights and
in the estate, not any specific property therein. obligations of the decedent to the extent of the
An heir can only alienate such portion of the value of the inheritance of the heirs
estate that may ultimately be allotted to him in
the division of the estate by the probate or Summary of Jurisprudence on Art. 777
intestate court after final adjudication, after all (1) Hereditary estate passes in ownership to the
debts have been paid or the devisees or legatees heirs from the moment of decedent’s death.
shall have been given their shares. Heirs become co-owners
(2) Right of heirs to specific distributive shares of
Lee v. RTC of Quezon City (GR 146006) the inheritance does not become final until all
Where the appropriation of estate properties is debts of the estate are paid
invalid, the subsequent sale thereof to a third (3) Pending partition, each co-heir may convey
party without court approval is likewise the whole or a portion of his undivided
invalid.The sale of the property of the estate by interest in the inheritance. If co-heir sells his
an administrator without the order of the probate share, other co-heirs are entitled to exercise
court is void and passes no title to the purchaser, the right of redemption under Art. 1088.
and any unauthorized disposition of estate (4) Pending partition, co-heirs may enter into a
property can be annulled by the probate court, compromise agreement even if such
there being no need for a separate action to compromise alters the distribution of the
annul the unauthorized disposition. estate as prescribed by the will of the testator
(5) Court approval is required in any disposition of
specific property forming part of the
7. Court Approval for Disposition of the decedent’s estate. Heirs can sell their rights,
Hereditary Estate interest or participation in the estate under
A stipulation requiring court approval of any administration
disposition does not affect the validity and the (6) Upon death of shareholder, heirs do not
effectivity of the sale as regards the selling heirs. automatically become stockholders of the
corporation but is merely an equitable owner
Heirs of Sps. Sandejas v. Lina (141634) of the stocks, pending the distribution and
Court approval is required in any disposition of registration of the transfer of shares.
the decedent’s estate, but reference to judicial
approval, cannot adversely affect the substantive Art. 778
rights of heirs to dispose of their own pro indiviso Art. 779.
shares in the co-heirship or co-ownership. Where Art. 780.
other heirs did not consent to the sale of their
ideal shares in the inherited property, the sale will Types of Succession
only be limited to the pro indiviso share of the
selling heir. 1. TESTAMENTARY – testator dies with a
valid and operative will which must be
valid in two ways:
8. Co-ownership during the Period of a. Extrinsic – compliance with the formal
Indivision requirements of a will
Co-owner has no right to sell or alienate a specific b. Intrinsic – substantive validity of
or determinate part of the thing owned in testator’s dispositions contained
common. The sale is not void but is valid on with therein
respect to the aliquot share of the selling co- 2. LEGAL OR INTESTATE – without valid
owner. It is subject to the results of the partition. and operative will, distribution of estate is
controlled by law
Santos v. Lumbao (169129) 3. MIXED:
Even while an estate remains undivided, co- a. Will does not distribute the entire
owners have each full ownership of their estate or there is no provision as to
respective aliquots or undivided shares and may
how the residual property is to be Holographic will: no need for notary public
disposed however, Art. 839 denies probate if:
b. Provisions are not considered a. procured by undue pressure by
testamentary/property dispositions beneficiary or other
i. Ex. provision of the will relates to the b. signature of testator was procured by
appointment of an administrator, fraud
payment of debts or c. testator acted by mistake in signing
acknowledgment of an illegitimate the will
c. Beneficiaries are incapable to accept or Limitations on the Power to Control
enter into inheritance and there being Limitations of testator in executing a will are:
no substitution, representation or 1. Legitime – part of testator’s property which
accretion he cannot dispose of because the law has
reserved it for certain heirs who are called
Rodriguez, et al. v Borja, et al. (L-21993) compulsory heirs; may be deprived through
Intestacy is subsidiary to testacy.—Intestate disinheritance
succession is only subsidiary or subordinate to 2. Reservable Property– Art. 891. Ascendant
the testate, since intestacy takes place only in who inherits from hid descendant any
the absence of a valid operative will. Only after a property which the latter obtained by
final decision as to the nullity of testate gratuitous title from another ascendant,
succession could an intestate succession be brother or sister must reserve such for the
instituted. The institution of intestacy benefit of relatives within the third degree and
proceedings in one court may not thus proceed who belong to the line from which said
while the probate of the purported will of the property came
deceased is pending in another court. 3. Mistress – forbidden by public policy
CHAPTER 2 4. Fideicommissary Substitution – 2 heirs,
TESTAMENTARY SUCCESSION related to each other within the first degree of
Section 1 – Wills 5. Condition Not to Marry – absolute condition
Subsection 1 – Wills in General not to contract a first marriage is void and
deemed not written; subsequent marriage
Art. 783. valid only if imposed on widow or widower by
deceased spouse or ascendants/descendants
Characteristics of a Will 6. DispocicionCaptatoria–condition that heir
1. Statutory Right– conferred solely by law, not shall make some provision in his will in favor
a natural right of the testator or any other person is void
2. Unilateral Act – unlike contracts, consent of 7. Dispositions in Favor of Incapacitated
the beneficiaries to the execution of the will is Persons –Art. 1027 (priest, relative of such
unnecessary; beneficiaries merely accept of priest, guardian, attesting witness, physician,
repudiate others not permitted by law to inherit) and
3. Formal Act – failure to comply with statutory 1028 (guilty of adultery/concubinage, guilty of
requirements results in nullity of the will. Form the same criminal offense, public officer to
is either: wife, Des/Asc)
a. Notarial Will (Art. 804-806)
b. Holographic Will (Art. 810) Necessity of Conveyance of Property
4. Personal Act – exercise of testator’s A will must convey property over which testator
judgment or discretion in determining the has some degree of control, otherwise the
testamentary dispositions is NON-DELEGABLE; document is not a will. A document is not a will if
mechanical act of drafting and finalizing will its only disposition is recognition of an illegitimate
may be delegated to third party, agent or child. However, it is a will if it relates to the
attorney disinheritance of a compulsory heir.
5. Effective Mortis Causa–will becomes
effective after testator’s death; exception: Seangio v. Reyes (140372-72)
payment of presumptive legitime in FC Art. 50 For disinheritance to be valid, Article 916 of the
6. Essentially Ambulatory – testator may Civil Code requires that the same must be
revoke his will at any time before death, any effected through a will wherein the legal cause
waiver or restriction of this right is void; therefor shall be specified; Maltreatment of a
testator must have testamentary capacity at parent by a child presents a sufficient cause for
the time of revocation (ex. cannot be insane) the disinheritance of the latter.
7. Free Act – Notarial will:notary public
knowledges that will is free and voluntary;
A holographic will must be entirely written, dated, be operative; gives person the power to
and signed by the hand of the testator himself—it countermand his testamentary directive
is subject to no other form, and may be made in
or out of the Philippines, and need not be Art. 789.
witnessed. Defective Testamentary Dispositions
(1) Imperfect description of a property to be
Observations on Seangio given to a particular recipient
If SC already ruled on the extrinsic validity of the (2) Imperfect description of a person who is to
will, why did it remand the case to the probate receive the property
court? The only thing left to do is to liquidate the (3) Uncertainty as the face of the will on the
estate and distribute the proceeds. application of any of its provisions

Art. 784. Classification of Defects

Non-Delegability of Testamentary 1. Patent Defects– apparent merely by
Discretion. reading it
 Testamentary dispositions  discretion of “To some of my brothers I bequeath one-
testator half of my estate”
 Mechanical act of preparing notarial will  2. Latent Defects – ambiguity appears
attorney when disposition is examined in light of
extrinsic facts
TEST OF DETERMINING TESTEMTARY CHARACTER “To my friend Joe” however testator has
OF A DISPOSITION: two friends named Joe
Does it answer the question:
(1) Who will inherit? (i.e. Nothing for Alfredo) Remedial Measures – determine the true
(2) What or how much will be inherited? intention of the testator by
(distribute by intestacy) 1. Examine the will in its entirety
2. Use extrinsic evidence (except oral
Art. 785 declaration of the testator) either
Art. 786. testimonial or domentary
Strictly a Personal Act
If heirs, legatees or devisees are identified in the Art. 788
will by name, testator may not delegate to third Rationale – rules of interpretation must be used
person: to ensure that the testamentary directive is given
(1) Duration of designation of heirs, legatees effect; exercise of control should be respected
or devisees
(2) Efficacy of their designation Art. 790. Ordinary and Technical Sense
(3) Portions or property to be given to such De Roma v. CA (L-46903)
heirs, legatees or devisees Fact that a donation is irrevocable does not
necessarily exempt the donated properties from
Implementation of testamentary disposition is collation as required under Art. 1061, Civil Code;
DELEGABLE. Given the precise language of the deed of
donation the decedent-donor would have
Class Institution included an express prohibition to collate if that
Testator may entrust to a third person the had been the donor's intention.Intention to
distribution of the property that he left by will to exempt donated properties from collation should
such class or cause: be expressed plainly and unequivocally as an
exception to the general rule in Art. 1062, Civil
Art. 1030. Testamentary provisions in favor of the Code; Absent such a clear indication of that
poor in general . . . shall be limited to the poor intention, the rule not the exception should be
living in the domicile of the testator at the time of applied.
his death, unless intention was otherwise.
Art. 791
Designation of the persons who are to be Dizon-Rivera v. Dizon (L-24561)
considered as poor and the distribution of the Thetestator's wishes and intention constitute the
property shall be made by the person appointed first and principal law in the matter of
by the testator for that purpose (in lieu, executor, testaments, and to paraphrase an early decision
justice of the peace, mayor, municipal treasurer) of the Supreme Court of Spain, when expressed
clearly and precisely in his last will amount to the
Art. 787. only law whose mandate must imperatively be
Prohibited Delegation– discretion to determine faithfully obeyed and complied with by his
whether or not a testamentary disposition would executors, heirs and devisees and legatees, and
neither these interested parties nor the courts right of accession
may substitute their own criterion for the To pay for the
testator's wiIl. testator’s debts

The repeated use of the words "I bequeath" in the General Rule and Exceptions
testamentary dispositions acquire no legal GR: a will can only distribute properties owned by
significance, such as to convert the same into testator at the time of the execution of the will
devises to be taken solely from the free one-half Exc: 793: testator may dispose future property if
disposable portion of the estate where the he indicates so (“I hereby bequeath all other
testator's intent that his testamentary property which I have not otherwise disposed in
dispositions were by way of adjudications to the this will, as well as all property which I may in the
beneficiaries as heirs and not as mere devisees, future acquire by any title, to X and Y in equal
is clear and that said dispositions were borne out shares.”)
by the use of phrase "my heirs in this testament"
referring to the "devisees." Art. 794.
General Rule – every legacy or devise is
Vda de. Villafolor v. Juico (L-15737) presumed to convey to the beneficiary the
The intention and wishes of the testator, when entirety of the testator’s interest in the specific
clearly expressed in his will, constitute the fixed property subject matter thereof (if entire, then
law of interpretation, and all questions raised at entire, if aliquot , then aliquot only); no one can
the trial, relative to its execution and fulfillment, give what he does not have
must be settled in accordance therewith,
following the plain and literal meaning of the Grant of Less then Full Interest – testator
testator's words, unless it clearly appears that his may grant to one a naked title and to another
intention was otherwise. usufruct; may grant one-half pro indiviso interest
or bequeath a car to two persons jointly
Observations on vda. De Villaflor
Villaflor was a “reversionary legatee” such that Grant of Greater Interest – testator may
legacy did not give her ownership over properties convey interest in property that exceeds his
but merely a lifetime usufruct. Upon death of rights thereto; may be that 3rd party interest be
decedent, usufruct was extinguished. acquired so as to give the thing in its entirety to
the beneficiary
Art. 792.
Separability Clause – nullity of one of the Art. 795. Formal Validity of a Will
testamentary dispositions does not invalidate the Two kinds of validity of a will: formal and
others, unless the valid dispositions depend upon substantive
the void disposition.
Rules as to Formal Requirements
Balanay, Jr. v. Martinez (L-39247) 1. As to Time – formal validity of a will is
The rule is that “the invalidity of one of several governed by the law in effect at the time
dispositions contained in a will does not result in of its execution; even if the formal
the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is requirements are amended subsequent to
to be presumed that the testator would not have its execution (for substantive – law at the
made such other dispositions if the first invalid time of death of testator)
disposition had not been made” 2. As to Place – testator may choose the
law that will govern the formal validity of
Art. 793 his will; Filipino testator abroad may use
Purpose of the Law–permits a testator to foreign law or Philippine law; likewise with
dispose of property acquired after the making of foreign national in the Philippines
a will without having to execute a new will;
minimizes partial intestacy; testator simply Conflict Rules as to Formal Requirements
indicates an intention to dispose all properties Choice of Law as to Place of Execution
acquired after the making of the will and how Filipino a) Philippine law
Testator b) Law of country where will is
Distinguished from the “Future Property” in Art. executed
781 c) Any form established by the
781 793 law of the country in which
Accruals to the Property acquired by he is; may be probated in
inheritance after the testator after the Phil
death of the testators execution of the will Resident and a) Law of country where will is
Belong to the heirs by Non-Resident executed
Alien b) Will of an alien executed imbecility disqualify a person from executing a
Testator abroad is effective in the Phil will
if made with formalities
prescribed by the law of the Art. 799.
place where he resides, Soundness of Mind
in conformity with Phil law IS OF SOUND MIND:
(1) Should know the nature of the estate to be
Conflict Rules as to Substantive Requirements (2) Should know the proper objects of his
Choice of Law as to Substantive Validity bounty
As to Time Law in force at time of death of (3) Conscious of the nature of the
the testator testamentary act
As to Place Art. 16 – national law of the
person whose succession is De Guzman v. Intestate Estate of Francisco
under consideration, whatever Benitez (61167-68)
the nature of the property, Benitez was confined in the National mental
regardless of the country where Hospital for varying periods of time before
property is found executing his will. Trial court ruled that he was
not of sound mind at the time he executed his
Bellis v. Bellis (L-23678)
The doctrine of renvoi is usually pertinent where
Baltazar v. Laxa (174489)
the decedent is a national of one country and is
domiciled in another. It does not apply to a case
Art. 800
where the decedent was a citizen of Texas and
Presumption of Sanity – may be controverted
was domiciled therein at the time of his death. So
by competent evidence; burden of proof with
that, even assuming that Texas has a conflicts
person opposing probate
rule providing that the domiciliary law should
govern successional rights, the same would not
Exceptions to the Presumption of Sanity
result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine
(1) One month or less, before the execution of
law, but it would still refer to Texas law.
the will, testator was publicly known to be
Nonetheless, if Texas has a conflicts rule,
adopting the rule of lex rei sitae, which calls for
(2) Prior judicial declaration of testator’s insanity,
the application of the law of the place where the
unless such declaration has been set aside
properties are situated, renvoi would arise, where
prior to execution of the will
the properties involved are found in the
(3) Prior judicial appointment of a guardian over
the person/property of a person by reason of
having been found to be insane
Subsection 2 – Testamentary Capacity and
To maintain validity of the will in these
circumstance, one must prove that testator was
Art. 796.
i. In a lucid interval
Art. 797.
ii. Regained his sanity
Art. 798.
Elements of Testamentary Capacity
Art. 801
(1) Is a natural person
Determination of Testamentary Capacity – at
(2) Is at least 18 yrs of age at the time of the
the time of the execution of the will
execution of the will
(3) Must be of sound mind at the time of the
Art. 802. Married woman without consent of
execution of the will
(4) Is not expressly prohibited by law from
Art. 803. Married woman – sep. property
making a will
and conj property
Age Requirement– to ensure that the testator
Subsection 3 – Forms of Wills
possesses sufficient discretion, emotional and
intellectual maturity
Art. 804
Art. 805
Capacity to Act – power of a person to perform
Art. 806
an act with legal effect; not an element of
Forms of Wills
testamentary capacity; minority insanity and
1. Notarial (attested) o additional disposition appearing after the
2. Holographic (handwritten signature of the testator compromises the
no other form is recognized genuineness of the will
b. Bottom signature does not apply to the
The Purpose of the Formalities witnesses – they may sign at any other
“to close the door on bad faith and fraud, to avoid place to identify the pages of the will and
substitution of wills and testaments, and to to prevent fraudulent substitution
guarantee their truth and authenticity.”
 A testator can no longer confirm or explain his Taboada v. Rosal (L-36033)
testamentary dispositions, hence strict The signatures of the instrumental witnesses on
conformity is required for distribution of the the left margin of the first page of the will
estate to be executed according to his intent attested not only to the genuineness of the
signature of the testatrix but also the due
Formal Requisites of a Notarial Will execution of the will as embodied in the
1. A will must be in writing attestation clause.
 To evidence compliance with the
formalities prescribed by law It must be noted that the law uses the
 To serve as exclusive proof of its contents, terms attestedand subscribed. Attestation
avoiding reliance on the memory of man consists in witnessing the testator’s execution of
Must likewise be presented to the court during the will in order to see and take note mentally
probate so that: that those things are done which the statute
 A visual inspection to determine requires for the execution of a will and that the
compliance with formalities signature of the testator exists as a fact. On the
 After verifying compliance, opportunity to other hand, subscription is the signing of the
examine the testamentary dispositions witnesses’ names upon the same paper for the
purpose of identification of such paper as the will
2. A will must be written in a language or which was executed by the testator.
dialect known to the testator
 to ensure that testator understand c. Sufficiency of the customary signature of
contents of his will, protection against the testator – may affix his initials if that
fraud is his customary signature, may be thumb
mark, if an X must be proved that this is
a. Circumstances Indicating lack of his usual signature
knowledge of the language d. Facsimile signature is not acceptable –
Suroza v. Honrado (AM 2026) risk of unauthorized stamping
Testatrix did not know English, yet the will was e. Requisites for third person signing on
written in English and was affixed with her thumb behalf of the testator
mark. In the opening paragraph of the will, it was i. Testator makes an express directive to
stated that English was a language “understood the third person
and known” to the testatrix. In its concluding ii. Third person should write the name of
paragraph it stated that it was read to the the testator and not his own name
textatrix “and translated into Pilipino language” iii. Third person writes the testator’s name
in the will in the presence of the
b. Circumstances indicating knowledge of testator and of each of the
the language instrumental witnesses
Reyes v. Vda de Vidal (L-2867) (hence, an illiterate person, may execute
Deceased was a mestiza Española married to a a notarial will)
Spaniard, made several trips to Spain. Letters of
deceased were written in Spanish. Balonan v. Abellana, et al. (L-
c. Presumption of knowledge of the The name of testatrix AnacletaAbellana, does not
language – where it is proved that appear under the will by said Abellana or by Dr.
testator resides in a particular locality, a Juan Abello, hence failure to comply with
presumption arises that he knows the requirement that testator must himself sign the
language or dialect spoken therein will or some other in his presence with her
express direction
3. The testator must sign at the end of the
a. Purpose – indicate the logical end of the 4. A will must be attested and subscribed
testamentary dispositions by three credible witnesses
Functions of witnesses:
i. Attesting the due execution of the will Lopez v Liboro (L-1787)
- Declare compliance with formalities The purpose of the law in prescribing the paging
which law requires to be confirmed in of wills is to guard against fraud, and to afford
the attestation clause means of preventing the substitution or of
ii. Subscribing thereto detecting the loss of any of its pages. The
- Signing of witnesses’ names upon the omission to put a page number on a sheet, if that
same paper for identification of such be necessary, may be supplied by other forms of
as the will executed by the testator identification more trustworthy than the
conventional numeral words or characters.
b. Effect of a missing signature – witnesses
should sign the will ON THE LEFT MARGIN 8. The will must contain in an attestation
OF EVERY PAGE except the last clause
- if one page was missed but the other
pages signed, the formal defect is Attestation clause = part of a will where
cured and will be admitted to probate witnesses certify:
1) The number of pages used upon which the
Icasiano v. Icasiano (L-18979) will was written
Failure of witness to sign one page is cured by 2) That the testator signed the will or caused
complete set of signatures in the duplicate copy. another to write his name by his express
direction and in his presence and present
c. Credible witness – credible is “worthy of of the witnesses
belief”; cannot be legislated 3) That the testator and the witness signed
d. Competent witness– Art. 820 enumerates the will in the presence of one another
qualifications of a witness to a notarial
will, 821 enumerates disqualifications a. Attestation clause fails to state the
number of pages – not necessarily a fatal
5. The testator and witnesses must sign in defect if the number of pages is readily
the presence of one another discernible
Nera v. Rimando (5971) Tabaoada v. Rosal (L-36033)
The position of testator and of the witnesses to a
will, at the moment of the subscription by each, b. Error in indicating the actual number of
must be such that they may see each other sign pages – not necessarily a fatal error
if they choose to do so.The question whether the
testator and the subscribing witnesses to an Samaniego-Celeda v. Abena (145545) -
alleged will sign the instrument in the presence of While it is true that the attestation clause
each other does not depend upon proof of the is not a part of the will, the court, after
fact that their eyes were actually cast upon the examining the totality of the will, is of the
paper at the moment of its subscription by each considered opinion that error in the
of them, but whether at that moment existing number of pages of the will as stated in
conditions and the position of the parties, with the attestation clause is not material to
relation to each other, were such that by merely invalidate the subject will.
casting their eyes in the proper direction they
could have seen each other sign.  If notarial acknowledgment indicates pages
different from number of pages in actuality,
6. The testator and witnesses must sign on Court disallowed probate
the left margin of each page
 Fully met when instrumental witnesses signed Lopez v. Lopez(189984) - The law is clear
at the left margin of the sole page which that the attestation must state the
contains all the testamentary dispositions number of pages used upon which the will
to prevent substitution of pages is written. The purpose of the law is to
safeguard against possible interpolation
7. Each page of the will must be numbered or omission of one or some of its pages
correlatively and prevent any increase or decrease in
 Safeguards against possible insertion the pages.
 Location of the page number is not material
for as long as there is pagination c. Attestation clause fails to state the
 Pagination need not be in letters and may be number of witnesses – not a fatal error
in Arabic numerals
 If the first page is not numbered, omission Testate Estate of the Late AlipioAbada v.
does not necessarily invalidate the will Abaja (147145)
d. Attestation clause fails to state that the other to write his name, under his
testator’s name was written by a third express direction, in the presence
person – fatally defective of instrumental witnesses
Garcia v. Lacuesta (L-4067) – signature c. The instrumental witnesses
page says that testator requested lawyer witnessed and signed the will and
to write his name, however, the all the pages thereof in the
attestation clause did not say so hence, presence of the testator and of
denial of probate one another
3) Notarial acknowledgment
e. Attesting witnesses did not sign at the
bottom of the attestation clause Garcia v Gatchalian (L-20357) – document
Cagro v Cagro (L-5826) - signature of the was acknowledged before a notary public
witnesses do not appear at the bottom of by the testator but not by the
the attestation clause although were on instrumental witnesses hence cannot be
the left hand margin  fatally defective probated

f. Fatally defective attestation clause c. Role of the Notary Public

Azuela v CA (122880) – attestation clause - GR: not necessary to be present in the
does not contain number of pages, is not execution of the will
signed by the instrumental witnesses, - Ex: blind testator
does not contain an acknowledgment
(only a jurat) d. Disqualifications of a Notary Public
iii. Notary public must be duly
g. Conflicting testimonies of the witnesses commissioned
Vda. De Ramos v. CA (L-40804) - Outside of his territorial jurisdiction,
Observations onVda. De Ramos v. a notary public has no authority to
CA perform the notarial functions
 Witness does not merely attest to the
signatures of the testatrix, but also to the Guerrero v. Bihis (174144) – Atty.
proper execution of the will Directo was not a commissioned notary
 Witnesses testified against the validity of the public for and in Quezon City, hence,
will because it was not signed by the testatrix he lacked the authority to take the
before their presence acknowledgment of the testatrix and
 If they indeed did not see the testatrix sign the instrumental witnesses.
the will, they committed perjury when they
signed the attestation clause iv. Notary public must not be an
 If the testatrix signed the will in their instrumental witness
presence, they committed perjury when they Cruz v. Villasor (L-32213) – To allow the
testified falsely on the witness stand notary public to act as a third witness,
would have the effect of only having
9. The will must be acknowledged before a two attesting witnesses in
notary public contravention of Art. 805
a. Definition of acknowledgment – act of one
who has executed a deed in going before
some competent officer and declaring it
to be his act or deed
- Witness and testator need
acknowledge the will at the same time,
however, must be before the same
notary public

b. Acknowledgment must be made by

testator and witnesses
3 Components of a notarial will:
1) Testamentary dispositions of the
2) Attestation of the witnesses:
a. Actual number of pages used
upon which the will was written
b. Testator signed the will on every
page thereof or caused some