The deceased Father Sancho Abadia executed a holographic will in his own handwriting, numbered and signed by the testator himself and attested by three (3) witnesses on September 6, 1923. He died on January 14, 1943 in Cebu. The will was admitted to probate on January 24, 1952. Some of the cousins and nephews, who would inherit the estate of the deceased if he left no will, filed opposition.
What law should apply as to the validity of the holographic will: the old Civil Code when the will was executed or the new Civil Code which could have validated the will?
It should be the old Civil Code. The new Civil Code, which took effect August 30, 1950, provides in Art. 795: “The validity of a will as to its form depends upon the observance of the law in force at the time it is made.” Here, the validity of the holographic will is to be judged not by the law enforced at the time when the petition is decided by the court but at the time the instrument was executed. When one executes a will which is invalid for failure to observe and follow the legal requirements at the time of its execution, just like in this case, then upon his death he should be regarded and declared as having died intestate. This is because the general rule is that the Legislature cannot validate void wills.