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.
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.
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.