Father Rigor died leaving a will naming as devisees the testator’s three sisters. The will also contained a bequest to be given to the nearest male relative who shall pursue an ecclesiastical career until his ordination as priest. Inasmuch as no nephew of the testator claimed the devise and as the administratrix and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no right to administer the ricelands, the same were not delivered to that ecclesiastic.
Whether the testator’s nearest male relative who took the priesthood after the testator’s death falls within the intention of the testator in providing to whom the bequest is to be given.
NO. The Court held that the said bequest refers to the testator’s nearest male relative living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite time thereafter. “In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in case of representation, when it is proper” (Art. 1025, Civil Code).Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in question was ineffectual or inoperative. Therefore, the administration of the rice lands by the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the will was likewise inoperative.