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Monthly Archives: July 2017

Baltazar v. Laxa, G.R. No. 174489, April 11, 2012.

[DEL CASTILLO, J.]

FACTS

Paciencia was a 78 year old spinster at the time she executed her will. The same was executed in the house of a certain retired Judge Limpin, was read to Paciencia twice, was signed by her, and was attested to by three credible witness. Petitioner Rosie Mateo, daughter of the first cousin of testatrix, testified that the latter was “magulyan” or “forgetful” because she would sometimes leave her wallet in the kitchen then start looking for it moments later.

ISSUE

Whether or not forgetfulness is equivalent to being unsound mind, hence lack of testamentary capacity.

 

RULING

NO. The state of being forgetful does not necessarily make a person mentally unsound so as to render him unfit to execute a will. Forgetfulness is not equivalent to being of unsound mind. Article 799 of the Civil Code provides for the criteria for soundness of mind. In this case, apart from the testimony of Rosie pertaining to Paciencia’s forgetfulness, there is no substantial evidence, medical or otherwise, that would show that Paciencia was of unsound mind at the time of the execution of the will. The law presumes that every person is of sound mind, in the absence of proof to the contrary.

A scrutiny of the Will discloses that [Paciencia] was aware of the nature of the document she executed. She specially requested that the customs of her faith be observed upon her death.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession

 

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Solla v. Ascuenta, G.R. No. L-24955, September 4, 1926.

[VILLA-REAL, J.]

FACTS

Maria Solla died leaving a will in accordance with the laws then in force but was not probated. Maria then instituted grandson Leandro Serrano as universal heir, with the obligation that the latter shall “give or deliver to the parish priest of this town a sufficient sum of money necessary for a yearly novena” and shall “insist that his heirs comply with the same”. The Trial Court ruled that the order mentioned by Maria Solla that Leandro shall “insist that his heirs comply with the same” pertains to both the distribution of the legacies and the pious bequests.

ISSUE

Whether or not the phrase “insist that his heirs comply with the same” pertains to both the distribution of the legacies and the pious bequests.

RULING

NO. In order to determine the testator’s intention, the court should place itself as near as possible in his position, and hence, where the language of the will is ambiguous or doubtful, should take into consideration the situation of the testator and the facts and circumstances surrounding him at the time the will executed. In the present case, it appearing that it was Mari Solla’s intention, in ordering her universal heir Leandro Serrano in her will at the hour of his death, to insist upon the compliance of her orders by his heirs, that the latter should comply with her pious orders and that she did not mean her orders concerning her legacies.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession

 

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Intestate Estate of the Late Vito Borromeo v. Borromeo, G.R. No. L-55000, July 23, 1987.

[GUTIERREZ, JR., J.]

FACTS

Fortunato claimed a portion of the legitime being an illegitimate son of the deceased, by incorporating a Waiver of Hereditary Rights supposedly signed by the rest of the Borromeo’s. In the waiver, of the 9 heirs relinquished to Fortunato their shares in the disputed estate. The petitioners opposed this Waiver for reason that this is without force and effect because there can be no effective waiver of hereditary rights before there has been a valid acceptance of the inheritance from the heirs who intend to transfer the same.

ISSUE

Whether or not a Waiver of Hereditary Rights can be executed without a valid acceptance from the heirs in question.

RULING

YES. 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 the former. The heirs succeed the deceased by the mere fact of death. More or less, time may elapse from the moment of the death of the deceased until the heirs enter into possession of the hereditary property, but the acceptance in any event retroacts to the moment of the death, in accordance with article 989 of the Civil Code. The right is vested, although conditioned upon the adjudication of the corresponding hereditary portion.

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession

 

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Bough v. Modesto, 94 Phil, January 28, 1954.

FACTS

Bruno Modesto, Bough and Restituto Anapo executed a private document whereby Modesto agreed that he would share to the latter-parties whatever property that he will receive by inheritance from his wife, who predeceased him eventually. It was proved in such private document that the properties were to be divided and proportioned. 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 for in such private document.

ISSUE

Whether or not the contract which contains object of which is Modesto’s inheritance is valid and binding between the parties.

 

RULING

YES. The contract is valid. It is well settled that rights by inheritance are acquired and transmitted upon the death of the decedent. With this, it follows that it is perfectly legal for an heir to enter into a contract of the nature of the document. The contract becomes effective only when Modesto is declared as heir but his right over the inheritance accrues from the time his wife died.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession

 

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Cruz v. Cruz, G.R. No. 173292, September 1, 2010.

[CARPIO, J.]

FACTS

Memoracion Z. Cruz filed with the RTC a Complaint against her son, Oswaldo Z. Cruz, for “Annulment of Sale, Reconveyance and Damages.” After Memoracion finished presenting her evidence in chief, she died. The RTC was informed, albeit belatedly, of the death of Memoracion, and was supplied with the name and address of her legal representative, Edgardo Cruz.

ISSUE

Whether or not Petition for Annulment of Deed of Sale, Reconveyance and Damages is a purely personal action which did not survive the death of petitioner.

 

RULING

NO. The question as to whether an action survives or not depends on the nature of the action and the damage sued for. In the causes of action which survive, the wrong complained [of] affects primarily and principally property and property rights, the injuries to the person being merely incidental, while in the causes of action which do not survive, the injury complained of is to the person, the property and rights of property affected being incidental. Here, the petition for annulment of deed of sale involves property and property rights, and hence, survives the death of petitioner Memoracion.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Civil Law, Succession

 

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Bonilla v. Barcena, G.R. No. L-41715, June 18, 1976.

[MARTIN, J.]

FACTS

Fortunata Barcena filed an action to quiet title over parcels of land. Pending the proceeding, she died. The counsel for deceased plaintiff filed a written manifestation praying that the minors Rosalio Bonilla and Salvacion Bonilla be allowed to substitute their deceased mother, but the court denied the counsel’s prayer for lack of merit, and dismissed the complaint on the ground that a dead person has no legal personality to sue.

ISSUE

Whether or not a court action survives, through the heirs, after the death of the plaintiff.

RULING

YES. Article 777 of the Civil Code provides “that the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent.” From the moment of the death of the decedent, the heirs become the absolute owners of his property, subject to the rights and obligations of the decedent, and they cannot be deprived of their rights thereto except by the methods provided for by law.  When Fortunata Barcena, therefore, died her claim or right to the parcels of land in litigation, was not extinguished by her death but was transmitted to her heirs upon her death. Her heirs have thus acquired interest in the properties in litigation and became parties in interest in the case. There is, therefore, no reason for the respondent Court not to allow their substitution as parties in interest for the deceased plaintiff.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession

 

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Testate Estate of Josefa tangco v. De Borja, G.R. No. L-28040, August 18, 1972.

[REYES, J.B.L., J.]

FACTS

The testate estate of Josefa Tangco alone has been unsettled for more than a quarter of a century. In order to put an end to all these litigations, a compromise agreement was entered into. Tasiana assailed the validity of agreement applying the doctrine in Guevarra v. Guevarra. Jose de Borja pointed out that the Rules of Court allows the extrajudicial settlement of the estate of a deceased person regardless of whether he left a will or not.

ISSUE

Whether or not the heirs may enter into compromise agreement to convey their share of the inheritance even before the probate of the will.

 

RULING

YES. The ruling in Guevarra v. Guevara, relied by the appellant, which declared invalid a compromise agreement which disposes of the estate before probate of the will is not applicable here. Successional rights are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent (Art. 777). In this case, the clear object of the contract was merely the conveyance by Tasiana Ongsingco of any and all her individual share and interest, actual or eventual in the estate of Francisco de Borja and JosefaTangco. The transaction was binding on both in their individual capacities, upon the perfection of the contract, even without previous authority of the Court to enter into the same.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Case Digests, Civil Law, Succession

 

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