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

25 Jul

[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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