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Probate Proceedings

Rule 73, 75, 76, 77, 79

Civil Code, Art. 16, 811, 839

Art. 16 - Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the
country where it is stipulated.
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of
succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of
testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose
succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and
regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.

Art. 811 - In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessary that at least one
witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare
that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will is
contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be required.

Art. 839 - The will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases:
(1) If the formalities required by law have not been complied with;
(2) If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable of making a will, at the
time of its execution;
(3) If it was executed through force or under duress, or the influence of fear, or
(4) If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on the part of
the beneficiary or of some other person;
(5) If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud;
(6) If the testator acted by mistake or did not intend that the instrument he signed
should be his will at the time of affixing his signature thereto.

Rule 141, Section 7(d)

BP 129 as amended, Section 19(4), Sec. 33(1)

Section 19- Jurisdiction in civil cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive
original jurisdiction:

(4) In all matters of probate, both testate and intestate, where the gross value of the
estate exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100, 000.00) or, in probate matters in
Metro Manila, where such gross value exceeds Two hundred thousand pesos

Sec. 33 - Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal
Circuit Trial Courts in civil cases. Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:

(1) Exclusive original jurisdiction over civil actions and probate proceedings, testate and
intestate, including the grant of provisional remedies in proper cases, where the value of
the personal property, estate, or amount of the demand does not exceed One hundred

thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in Metro Manila where such personal property, estate,
or amount of the demand does not exceed Two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00),
exclusive of interest, damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and
costs, the amount of which must be specifically alleged: Provided, That interest,
damages of whatever kind, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, and costs shall be
included in the determination of the filing fees: Provided, further, That where there are
several claims or causes of actions between the same or different parties, embodied in
the same complaint, the amount of the demand shall be the totality of the claims in all
the causes of action, irrespective of whether the causes of action arose out of the same
or different transactions;

1. Initiation of probate proceedings

2. Jurisdiction and venue
a. Petition for allowance of will
b. Petition for letters testamentary
c. Petition for letters of administration
1. Amado Garcia owned a property in Calamba, Laguna. He died on 1973.
2. Subsequently, his illegitimate sister Virginia Fule field with CFI of Laguna a petition for
letters of administration and exparte appointment as special administratix over the
3. The Motion was granted by the CFI.
4. Preciosa, widow of Amado, opposed the motion and alleged that:
a) the death certificates presented by Fule shows that Quezon City was the last
residence of Amado therefore the venue of Laguna was improper.
b) Fule is a mere illegitimate sister of the deceased and is not entitled to succeed
from him.
5. The CFI denied the opposition of Preciosa.
6. On appeal, the CA reversed and annulled the appointment of Fule. Preciosa then
became special administratrix.
7. Hence, this petition.
Issue: 1. Whether venue had been properly laid in CFI Laguna?
2. Who is entitled? (Additional issue only)
1. No. The Petition of Virginia Fule is denied. According to Sec. 1 RULE 73 of the Rules of
Court, if the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his
death, whether a citizen or an alien, his will shall be proved, or letters of
administration and his estate settled at the CFI in the province in which he
resides at the time of his death.
In the case at bar, Fules own submitted Death Certificate shows that the
deceased resided in QC at the time of his death, therefore the venue of Laguna
was improper. Venue is subject to waiver (RULE 4 SECTION 4), but Preciosa did not
waive it, merely requested for alternative remedy to assert her rights as surviving

However, venue is distinct from jurisdiction which is conferred by Judiciary Act of 1948,
as amended to be with CFIs independently from the place of residence of the deceased.
2. Preciosa is prima facie entitled to the appointment of special administratrix.
The New Rule, RULE 80 SECTION 1, broadened the basis for appointment of special
administrator (temporarily) to take possession and charge of the estates of the deceased
until the questions causing the delay are decided and (regular) executors or
administrators appointed.
Emilia Figuracion-Gerilla vs. Carolina Vda. De Figuracion, et al
1. Spouses Leandro and Carolina Figuracion had six children: the petitioner and
respondents herein.
2. Leandro executed a deed of quitclaim over his real properties in favor of his six
children. When Leandro died, he left behind two parcels of land, a portion of Lot 2299
and 705 in Urdaneta from his parents.
3. On the other hand, Lot 707 was inherited by Carolina Figuracion and her half-sister
Agripina from their father.
4. Agripina then executed a quitclaim over the one-half eastern portion of the lot in favor
of petitioner, Emilia.
5. But before Agripinias death, Carolina Figuracion adjudicated unto herself, via affidavit
under Rule 74 of the ROC the entire Lot 707 which she later sold to respondents Felipe
and Hilaria.
6. Subsequently, petitioner Emilia went to the US and they stayed there for ten years.
When she returned to the Philippines, she sought the extrajudicial partition of all
properties held in common by her and her siblings (respondents).
7. The RTC rendered judgment nullifying Carolina Figuracions affidavit of selfadjudication and deed of absolute sale of Lot 707. The RTC, however, dismissed the
complaint for partition on the ground that reliefs cannot be granted without any prior
settlement proceedings.
8. The CA upheld the dismissal for partition BUT reversed the decision with respect to
the nullification and the deed of absolute sale on lot 707. Hence, this present
Issue: W/N there needs to be a prior settlement of intestate estate before the properties
can be partitioned or distributed.
Held: Yes. According to the Rule 69 of ROC, partition can be made by agreement under
Section 2 and through commissioners when such agreement cannot be reached, under
Sections 3 to 6.
However, partition is inappropriate in a situation where there remains an issue as to the
expenses chargeable to the estate. In the instant case, the petitioner points out that the
estate is allegedly without any debt and respondents are the only legal heirs, but certain
expenses including those related to her fathers final illness and burial have not been
properly settled.
Thus, with respect to Lot 2299, the heirs have to submit their fathers estate to
settlement. (The heirs or distributees, however, may take possession of the estate even

before the settlement of accounts as long as they file a bond conditioned on the
payment of the estates obligations.)
With respect to the partition of Lot 705, partition was deemed premature since
ownership of the lot is still in dispute. As regards Lot 707, the Court made no ruling on
the validity of Carolinas affidavit of self-adjudication and deed of sale since a separate
case is still pending in the same Division of the Court.

Arbolario vs CA
1. The original owners of the controverted lot, spouses Anselmo Baloyo and Macaria
Lirazan had 5 children, all are dead now.
2. The 1st child, Agueda, was survived by her children, Antonio and Irene (one of the
private respondents). Antonio predeceased his three daughters, respondents Ruth,
Orpha, and Goldelina.)
3. The 2nd child, Catalina was married to Juan Arbolario. They only have one child,
Purificacion Arbolario. Upon the death of Catalina, Juan Arbolario, consorted with
another woman by the name of Francisca and from this cohabitation, petitioners
Voltaire, Lucena, Fe, Exaltacion, and Carlos (ferred to hereinafter as Arbolarios) were
4. The 3rd child, Eduardo, sold his entire interest in the lot to his sister, Agueda, by
virtue of a notarized document.
5. The 4th child, Gaudencia, conveyed her interest in the said lot in favor of her two
nieces, Irene and Purificacion. The 5th child, Juliana, died without any issue.
6. Respondents Irene, Ruth, Orpha and Goldelina contend that they are the only heirs of
Anselmo Baloyo and Macaria Lirazan and executed a Declaration of Heirship and
Partition Agreement.
7. Respondents then filed a civil case against spouses Salhay to recover possession of a
portion of the lot occupied by them as lessees of the late Purificacion.
8. Petitioner Arbolarios filed a Civil Case for the cancellation of title with Damages
against the respondents contending that Declaration of Heirship and Partition
Agreement was defective and thus voidable as they were excluded therein.
9. RTC ruled in favour of the Abolarios declaring them as heirs of Purificacion Arbolario.
10. On appeal, CA declared that the Arbolarios are illegitimate half-brothers and halfsisters and are barred by Article 992 of the Civil Code from inheriting intestate from
the legitimate children and relatives of their father or mother.
ISSUE: W/N the petitioners have a right in the lot in question.

HELD: No. They are illegitimate. There is no solid basis for the argument of petitioners
that Juan Arbolarios marriage to Francisca Malvas was valid. In the instant case, they
failed to prove the fact of marriage between their parents, Juan Arbolario and Francisca
Malvas; hence, they cannot invoke a presumption of legitimacy in their favor.

Felix Azuela vs. CA

Azuela vs CA
1. Felix Azuela filed a petition to admit to probate the notarial will of Eugenia E. Igsolo.
2. Felix is the son of the cousin of the decedent.
3. The will consist of two (2) pages and written in the vernacular Pilipino. The
attestation clause did not state the number of pages and it was not signed by the
attesting witnesses at the bottom thereof.
4. The probate petition adverted to only two (2) heirs, legatees and devisees of the
decedent, namely: Felix Azuela (petitioner himself) and one Irene Igsolo, who was
alleged to have resided abroad.
5. The petition was opposed by Geralda Castillo, who represented herself as the
attorney-in-fact of "the 12 legitimate heirs" of the decedent.
6. Geralda Castillo argued that the will was not executed and attested to in accordance
with law. She pointed out that decedents signature did not appear on the second
page of the will, and the will was not properly acknowledged.
7. After due trial, the RTC admitted the will to probate. It also held that the signing by
the witnesses on the left margin of the second page of the will containing the
attestation clause, substantially satisfied the purpose of identification and attestation
of the will.
8. On appeal, the CA reversed the ruling of the RTC and ordered the dismissal of the
petition for probate. Hence, thepresent petition.
Issue: Whether or not the can be probated.
Held: No, the will cannot be probated.
In the instant case:
1. the attestation clause not state number of pages - A will whose attestation
clause does not contain the number of pages on which the will is written is fatally

2. the witnesses did not sign the Attestation clause - A will whose attestation
clause is not signed by the instrumental witnesses is fatally defective.
3. there No acknowledgment by a notary - a will which does not contain an
acknowledgment, but a mere jurat, is fatally defective.
According to SC, Any one of these defects is sufficient to deny probate.

Alaban et al vs CA
1. Private respondent Francisco Provido filed a petition for the probate of the Last Will
and Testament of the late Soledad P. Elevencionadoa. Francisco was the heir of the
decedent and the executor of her will.
2. RTC allowed the probate of the will and directed the issuance of letters testamentary
to Francisco.
3. After 4 months, petitioners Alaban et al filed a motion for the reopening of the probate
proceedings claiming that:
a. they are the intestate heirs of the decedent
b. RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition due to non-payment
of the correct docket fees, and lack of notice to the other heirs.
c. will could not have been probated because the signature of the decedent was
forged and that the will was not executed in accordance with law:
i. that is, the witnesses failed to sign below the attestation clause
ii. the decedent lacked testamentary capacity
iii. the will was executed by force and under duress and improper pressure
iv. the decedent had no intention to make a will at the time of affixing of her
4. RTC denied the as petitioners were deemed notified of the hearing by publication and
the courts rulings was already final and executory even before petitioners filing of the
motion to reopen.
5. Petitioners filed a petition to annul RTCs decision. CA dismissed the petition.
ISSUE: W/N the allowance of the will to probate should be annulled for failure to mention
the petitioners as parties.
Held: No. According to SC:

1. Probate of a will is considered action in rem - Under the Rules of Court, Notice of
the time and place for proving the will must be published for three (3) consecutive
weeks, in a newspaper of general circulation in the province, as well as furnished to
the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and devisees of the testator In the
case at bar, petitioners became parties due to the publication of the notice
of hearing.
2. The filing of motion to reopen is similar to a motion for new trial - The ruling
became final and executor because the motion was filed out of time. Given that they
knew of the decision 4 months after they could have filed a petition for relief from
judgment after the denial of their motion to reopen.
3. The petition for annulment of judgment must did not comply with the
substantive requisites the court is not convinced that there is extrinsic
fraud which is one of the grounds to avail such remedy.
4. The will states that the respondent was instituted as the sole heir of the
decedent thus he has no legal obligation to mention petitioners in the
petition for probate or personally notify them

Fleumer appelant vs Hix -appellee

Fleumer, the special administrator of the estate of Edward Randolph Hix appealed from a
decision of Judge of First Instance Tuason denying the probate of the document alleged
to by the last will and testament of the deceased. Appellee is not authorized to carry on
this appeal. We think, however, that the appellant, who appears to have been the
moving party in these proceedings, was a "person interested in the allowance or
disallowance of a will by a Court of First Instance," and so should be permitted to appeal
to the Supreme Court from the disallowance of the will It is theory of the petitioner that
the alleged will was executed in Elkins, West Virginia, on November 3, 1925, by Hix who
had his residence in that jurisdiction, and that the laws of West Verginia Code should
ISSUE: Whether or not the laws of West Virginia should govern.
RULING: The laws of a foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. The
courts of the Philippine Islands are not authorized to take American Union. Such laws
must be proved as factsHere the requirements of the law were not met. There was no
was printed or published under the authority of the State of West Virginia, as provided in
section 300 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Nor was the extract from the law attested by
the certificate of the officer having charge of the original, under the sale of the State of
West Virginia, as provided in section 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure. No evidence was
introduced to show that the extract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the
time the alleged will was executed.

Note: In addition, the due execution of the will was not established. The only evidence on
this point is to be found in the testimony of the petitioner. Aside from this, there was
nothing to indicate that the will was acknowledged by the testator in the presence of two
competent witnesses, of that these witnesses subscribed the will in the presence of the
testator and of each other as the law of West Virginia seems to require. On the
supposition that the witnesses to the will reside without the Philippine Islands, it would
then the duty of the petitioner to prove execution by some other means (Code of Civil
Procedure, sec. 633.)
It was also necessary for the petitioner to prove that the testator had his domicile in
West Virginia and not establish this fact consisted of the recitals in the CATHY will and
the testimony of the petitioner. Also in beginning administration proceedings originally in
the Philippine Islands, the petitioner violated his own theory by attempting to have the
principal administration in the Philippine Islands.

Spouses Audrey ONeil and W. Richard Guersey were American Citizens with an adopted
daughter named Kylie Guersey Hill, and have lived in the Philippines for 30 years. Audrey
died leaving a will bequeathing her entire estate to Richard, who was also designated as
The will was admitted probate before the Orphans Court of Baltimore, Mary Land, U.S.A.
which named James N Philips as executor due to Richards renunciation of his
appointment. Atty. Alonzo Q. Ancheta, herein petitioner, of the Quasha Asperilla Ancheta
Pena & Nolasco Law offices was likewise designated by the court as ancillary
In 1981 Richard married herein respondent Candelaria Guersey-Dalaygon with whom he
has two children. Subsequently, Audreys will was admitted probate by then Court of First
Instance of Rizal. As administrator of Audreys estate in the Philippines, petitioner filed
an inventory and appraisal of Audreys properties.
On July 20, 1984, Richard died, leaving a will, wherein he bequeathed his entire estate to
respondent, save for his rights and interests over the A/G Interiors, Inc. shares, which he

left to Kyle. The will was also admitted to probate by the Orphans Court of Ann Arundel,
Maryland, U.S.A, and James N. Phillips was likewise appointed as executor, who in turn,
designated Atty. William Quasha or any member of the Quasha Asperilla Ancheta Pena &
Nolasco Law Offices, as ancillary administrator.
On October 19, 1987, petitioner filed in Special Proceeding No.9625 before the Makati
RTC, a motion to declare Richard and Kyle as heirs of Aubrey and apportioned to them
and of all the estate, respectively. This motion and project of partition was granted and
approved by the trial court in its Order dated February 12, 1988. This was opposed by
respondent on the ground that under the law of the State of Maryland, a legacy passes
to the legatee the entire interest of the testator in the property subject of the legacy.
Respondent argued that since Audrey devised her entire estate to Richard, then it should
be wholly adjudicated to him and not merely thereof, and since Richard left his entire
estate to the respondent, except for the A/G Interior Inc. shares, then the entire property
should now pertain to respondent.
The Court of Appeals annulled the trial courts Orders in Special Proceeding No. 9625 and
later denied the appeal of the petitioner, thus the petition for review on certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner wilfully breached his fiduciary duty when he
disregarded the laws of the State of Maryland on the distribution of Audreys estate in
accordance with her will?
RULING: Well-intentioned though it may be, defendant Alonzo H. Anchetas action
appears to have breached his duties and responsibilities as ancillary administrator of the
subject estate. While such breach of duty admittedly cannot be considered extrinsic
fraud under ordinary circumstances, the fiduciary nature of the said defendants position,
as well as the resultant frustration of the decedents last will, combine to create a
circumstance that is tantamount to extrinsic fraud. Defendant Alonzo H. Anchetas
omission to prove the national laws of the decedent and to follow the latters last will, in
sum resulted in the procurement of the subject orders without a fair submission of the
real issues involved in the case.

3. Appointment and removal of executor or administrator: Rule 78, Rule 80, Rule82 Sec. 24

a. Qualifications

b. Disqualifications

c. Preferences : Order of preference in appointment of administrator (Rule 78, Sec. 6):

If no executor is named in the will, or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the
trust, or fail to give bond, or a person dies intestate, administration shall be granted:
(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or both, in the discretion of the
court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin, requests to have appointed, if
competent and willing to serve;
(b) If such surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or the person selected by them,
be incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow, or next of kin, neglects for thirty (30) days after
the death of the person to apply for administration or to request that administration be granted to some
other person, it may be granted to one or more of the principal creditors, if may be granted to one or
more of the principal creditors, if competent and willing to serve;
(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be granted to such other person as
the court may select.

o Testate Estate of Gregorio Ventura vs. Gregoria Ventura, GR L-26306, 25 April 1988
1. Gregorio Ventura filed a petition for the probate of his will. In the said will, Maria Ventura,
although an illegitimate child, was named and appointed by the testator to be the executrix of
his will and the administratrix of his estate. Said will was admitted to probate on January
1954. Gregorio Ventura died on September 1955.
2. On October 1955, Maria Ventura filed a motion for her appointment as executrix and for the
issuance of letters testamentary and this was issued in her favor.
3. She filed her accounts of administration for the years 1955 to 1960 but said account of
administration was opposed by the spouses Mercedes Ventura (daughter of Gregorio) - Pedro
Corpuz and by Sps Exequiel Victorio - Gregoria Ventura (daughter of Gregorio)- assailing the
veracity of the report as not reflecting the true income of the estate and the expenses which
allegedly are not administration expenses.
4. Mercedes Ventura and Gregoria Ventura filed Motions, namely (1) motion to remove the
executrix Maria and (2) motion to require her to deposit the harvest of palay of the property
under administration in a bonded warehouse. The grounds of aforesaid joint motions to
remove the executrix Maria are: (1) that she is grossly incompetent; (2) that she has
maliciously and purposely concealed certain properties of the estate in the inventory; (3) that
she is merely an illegitimate daughter who can have no harmonious relations with the
appellees; (4) that she has neglected to render her accounts and failed to comply with the
Order of the Court requiring her to file her accounts of administration for the years 1961 to
1963 and (5) that she is with permanent physical defect hindering her from efficiently
performing her duties as an executrix.
5. On May 1965, Maria finally submitted her accounts of administration covering the period
1961 to 1965 which were again opposed by the sps Exequiel Victorio -Gregoria Ventura and
spouses Mercedes Ventura - Pedro Corpuz.
6. On October 1965, the CFI of Nueva Ecija removed the appellant Maria Ventura as executrix
and administratrix of the estate of the late Gregorio Ventura, and in her place appointing the
appellees Mercedes Ventura and Gregoria Ventura as joint administratrices of the estate.
Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE: WON the removal of Maria Ventura as executrix is legally justified.
HELD: This issue has become moot and academic in view of the decision of this Court in related
Civil case whereby it was declared that Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura are the ligimate children
of the deceased Gregorio Ventura and his wife, Paulina Simpliciano, and as such are entitled to
the annulment of the institution of heirs made in the probated will of said deceased
became final and executory upon the finality of the order, approving the partition directed in the
decision in question.
In the case at bar, the surviving spouse of the deceased Gregorio Ventura is Juana Cardona
while the next of kin are: Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura and Maria and Miguel Ventura. The
"next of kin" has been defined as those persons who are entitled under the statute of distribution
to the decedent's property (Cooper vs. Cooper, 43 Ind. A. 620, 88 NE 341). It is generally said
that "the nearest of kin, whose interest in the estate is more preponderant, is preferred in the
choice of administrator. Among members of a class the strongest ground for preference is the
amount or preponderance of interest. As between next of kin, the nearest of kin is to be
Therefore, as the nearest of kin of Gregorio Ventura, Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura are
entitled to preference over the illegitimate children of Gregorio Ventura, namely: Maria and
Miguel Ventura. Hence, under the aforestated preference provided in Section 6 of Rule
78, the person or persons to be appointed administrator are Juana Cardona, as the surviving
spouse, or Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura as nearest of kin, or Juana Cardona and
Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura in the discretion of the Court, in order to represent both

The appeal by appellants Maria Ventura, Juana Cardona and Miguel Ventura was therefore
o Villamor vs. Court of Appeals, GR No. L-41508, 27 June 1988

o Pijuan vs. Vda. de Gurrea, GR No. L-21917, 29 November 1966

1. In 1932, appellant Manuela Ruiz or Mrs. Gurrea and Carlos Gurrea were married in Spain,
where they lived together until 1945, when he abandoned her and came, with their son Teodoro,
to the Philippines. Here he lived with Rizalina Perez by whom he had two (2) children.
2. On July 29, 1960, Mrs Gurrea instituted, against Carlos Gurrea a Civil Case in the CFI of Negros
Occidental, for support and the annulment of some alleged donations of conjugal property, in
favor of his common-law wife, Rizalina.
3. Court issued an order granting Mrs. Gurrea a monthly alimony, pendente lite, of P2,000.00 which,
was reduced by the C.A to P1,000.00.
4. Carlos Gurrea died on March 7, 1962, leaving a document purporting to be his last will and
testament, in which he named Marcelo Pijuan as executor thereof and disinherited Mrs. Gurrea
and their son, Teodoro.
5. Thereafter Pijuan was, upon his ex parte motion, appointed special administrator of the estate,
without bond.
6. Oppositions to the probate of the will were filed by Mrs. Gurrea, her son, Teodoro, and one Pilar
Gurrea, as an alleged illegitimate daughter of the deceased.
7. Mrs. Gurrea filed Special Proceedings a motion alleging that the aforementioned alimony,
pendente lite, of P1,000 a month, had been suspended upon the death of Carlos, and praying
that the Special Administrator be ordered to continue paying it pending the final determination of
the case.
8. She then moved for her appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased. In an order,
said motion for reconsideration was denied.
9. The lower court, likewise, denied the motion of Mrs. Gurrea for her appointment as
administratrix, in view of the provision of the will of the deceased designating another person as
executor thereof. Hence this appeal from said orders.
10.It is next urged by Mrs. Gurrea that the lower court erred in denying her petition for appointment
as administratrix, for, as widow of the deceased, she claims a right of preference under Section 6
of Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court.
ISSUE WON Mrs Gurrea can question the appointment of Special Administrator
RULING No. In the language of the law, said preference exists "if no executor is named in the
will or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give bond, or a
person dies intestate."
None of these conditions are present, however, in the case at bar. The deceased Carlos
Gurrea has left a document purporting to be his will, seemingly, is still pending probate. So, it
cannot be said, as yet, that he has died intestate. Again, said document names Marcelo Pijuan as
executor thereof, and it is not claimed that he is incompetent therefor. What is more, he has not
only not refused the trust, but, has, also, expressly accepted it, by applying for his appointment
as executor, and, upon his appointment as special administrator, has assumed the duties thereof.
It may not be amiss to note that the preference accorded by the aforementioned provision
of the Rules of Court to the surviving spouse refers to the appoint of a regular administrator or

administratrix, not to that of a special administrator, and that the order appointing the latter
lies within the discretion of the probate court, and is not appealable.
The orders appealed from were modified, in the sense that Manuela Ruiz Vda. de Gurrea
shall receive from the estate of the deceased a monthly allowance of P1,000.00, by way of
support, from March 7, 1962, and that, in all other respects, said orders were affirmed.

o Luzon Surety vs. Quebrar, GR L-40517, 31 January 1984

1. Luzon Surety issued two administrator's bond in behalf of defendant Quebrar as administrator
of 2 estates (Chinsuy and Lipa).
2. The plaintiff and both Quebrar and Kilayko bound themselves solidarily after executing an
indemnity agreement where both the defendants agreed to pay the premiums every year.
3. Quebrar and Kilayko paid for the first year (1954-55) at P304.50 each the premiums and the
documentary stamps.
4. Quebrar submitted a Project Partition and Accounts >>>CFI approved it
5. Luzon Surety demanded payment of premiums and documentary stamps for the years 19551962.
BOND in the CFI when the heirs already received their shares
7. CFI: cancelled bonds. - As a result, Kilayco and Quebrar refused to pay the amount demanded
by Luzon Surety (which amounted to almost P2.5k each ~ P5k)
8. Luzon Surety filed a suit for collection.
9. CFI: allowed Luzon Surety to recover: defendants liable under terms of the Indemnity
Agreements, even if they did not renew it, because they were still in force and effect until
cancelled by Court order.
10.Quebrar and Kilayco appealed to the CA.
CA: referred case to SC, questions of law involved
Issue: Are the bonds still in force and effect from 1955 to 1962?
Ruling: YES. Under Rule 81 (Sec.1) of the Rules of Court, the administrator is required to put up
a bond for the purpose of indemnifying creditors, heirs, legatees and the estate. It is conditioned
upon the faithful performance of the administrator's trust. Hence, the surety is then liable under
the administrator's bond.
Even after the approved project of partition, Quebrar as administrator still had something to do.
The administration is for the purpose of liquidation of the estate and the distribution of the
residue among the heirs and legatees. Liquidation means the determination of all the assets of
the estate and the payment of all debts and expenses. It appears that there are still debts and
expenses to be paid after 1957.
Moreover, the bond stipulation did not provide that it will terminate at the end of the 1st year if
the premium remains unpaid. Hence, it does not necessarily extinguish or terminate the
affectivity of the counter bond in the absence of an express stipulation to this effect. As such, as
long as the defendant remains the administrator of the estate, the bond will be held liable and
the plaintiff's liabilities subsist being the co-extensive with the administrator. Terms and
effectivity of bond does not depend on payment of premium and does not expire until
the administration is closed. As long as the probate court retains jurisdiction of the estate,
the bond contemplates a continuing liability.

d. Duties and powers of executor / administrator

Rule 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89
i. Accounting
ii. Inventory

o Hilario M Ruiz vs. CA, GR 118671, 29 Jan. 1996

1. Hilario Ruiz executed a holographic will where he named the following as his heirs Edmond
Ruiz (only son), Maria Pilar Ruiz-Montes (adopted daughter), Maria Cathryn, Candice Albertine
and Maria Angeline - 3 granddaughters, all daughters of Edmond Ruiz.
2. Hilario bequeathed to his heirs substantial cash, personal and real properties and named
Edmond Ruiz executor of his estate. Hilario Ruiz died and the cash component of his estate was
immediately distributed among Ruiz and respondents. Edmond, the named executor, did not take
any action for the probate of his father's holographic will.
3. 4 years after, Pilar filed before the RTC a petition for the probate and approval of the
deceaseds will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to Edmond Ruiz. Edmond opposed
the petition on the ground that the will was executed under undue influence.
4. The house and lot in Valle Verde, Pasig which the testator bequeathed to the 3 granddaughters
was leased out by Edmond to third persons.
5. Probate court ordered Edmond to deposit with the Branch Clerk of Court the rental deposit and
payments totalling P540,000.00 representing the one-year lease of the Valle Verde property.
6. Probate court admitted the will to probate and ordered the issuance of letters testamentary to
Edmond conditioned upon the filing of a bond in the amount of P50,000.00
Testate Estate of Hilario Ruiz, with Edmond Ruiz as executor, filed an "Ex-Parte Motion for
Release of Funds and Prayed for release of the rent payments deposited with the Branch Clerk of
Court. Maria Ruiz-Montes opposed and praying that the release of rent payments be given to the
3 granddaughters
Probate court denied the release of funds and granted the motion of Montes due to
Edmonds lack of opposition. Edmond moved for reconsideration and the Probate Court ordered
the release of the funds to Edmond but only "such amount as may be necessary to cover the
expenses of administration and allowances for support" of the testator's three granddaughters
subject to collation and deductible from their share in the inheritance

CA sustained probate courts order.

ISSUE: W/N the probate court, after admitting the will to probate but before payment of the
estate's debts and obligations, has the authority:
to grant an allowance from the funds of the estate for the support of the testator's
grandchildren - NO
to order the release of the titles to certain heirs
to grant possession of all properties of the estate to the executor of the will.

1. The grandchildren are not entitled to provisional support from the funds of the
decedent's estate. The law clearly limits the allowance to "widow and children" and does not
extend it to the deceased's grandchildren, regardless of their minority or incapacity.
Section 3 of Rule 83 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:
Sec. 3. Allowance to widow and family. The widow and minor or incapacitated children of a
deceased person, during the settlement of the estate, shall receive therefrom under the direction
of the court, such allowance as are provided by law.
In settlement of estate proceedings, the distribution of the estate properties can only be
made after all the debts, funeral charges, expenses of administration, allowance to
the widow, and estate tax have been paid; or before payment of said obligations only
if the distributees or any of them gives a bond in a sum fixed by the court conditioned
upon the payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs, or when
provision is made to meet those obligations
In the case at bar, the probate court ordered the release of the titles to the Valle Verde property
and the Blue Ridge apartments to the private respondents after the lapse of six months from the
date of first publication of the notice to creditors
Hilario Ruiz allegedly left no debts when he died but the taxes on his estate had not hitherto
been paid, much less ascertained. The estate tax is one of those obligations that must be paid
before distribution of the estate. If not yet paid, the rule requires that the distributees post a
bond or make such provisions as to meet the said tax obligation in proportion to their respective
shares in the inheritance.
At the time the order was issued the properties of the estate had not yet been
inventoried and appraised.
3. The right of an executor or administrator to the possession and management of the real and
personal properties of the deceased is not absolute and can only be exercised "so long as
it is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses of administration
Sec. 3 of Rule 84 provides that. Executor or administrator to retain whole estate to pay debts,
and to administer estate not willed. An executor or administrator shall have the right to the
possession and management of the real as well as the personal estate of the deceased so long
as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses for administration.
As executor, he is a mere trustee of his father's estate. The funds of the estate in his hands are
trust funds and he is held to the duties and responsibilities of a trustee of the highest order.

o Ana Lim Kalaw vs. IAC, GR 74618, 2 Sept. 1991

1. Carlos Lim Kalaw died INTESTATE in 1970. One of his children, Victoria Lim Kalaw, thus filed a
petition for issuance of letters of administration with the CFI Manila, naming Carlos surviving
heirs as: Ana Lim Kalaw, Victoria Lim Kalaw, Pura Lim Kalaw and Rosa Lim Kalaw. Ana was the
one named by the court as special adminstratrix in 1974.
2. In 1984, Rosa Lim Kalaw together with Victoria and Pura, filed a motion to remove Ana as
administratrix and to appoint Rosa instead, on the ground of Anas negligence in her duties as
administratrix, specifically that of failing to render an accounting of her administration (as
required under Sec.8 of Rule 851) since her appointment, despite several orders supposedly
served to her by the court.
3. Ana opposed this motion, saying that she didnt know who to render the accounting to as the
judge assigned to the intestate proceeding was promoted to the CA (resulting in a vacant sala for
a while) while his replacement judge died of a cardiac arrest soon after appointment.
4. The Trial Court removed Ana as administratrix, pursuant to Rule 2, Sec. 822, and the IAC
affirmed this, hence this petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with preliminary
injunction to annul the lower courts decision.
Issue: w/n Anas removal as administratrix of her fathers estate is valid
Held: YES.
The rendering of an accounting by an administrator of his administration within one year from his
appointment is mandatory, as shown by the use of the word "shall" in said rule (Sec. 8 of Rule
85). The only exception is when the Court otherwise directs because of extensions of time for
presenting claims against the estate or for paying the debts or disposing the assets of the estate,
which do not exist in the case at bar.
Furthermore, petitioners excuse that the sala where the intestate proceeding was pending was
vacant most of the time deserves scant consideration since petitioner never attempted to file
with said court an accounting report of her administration despite the fact that at one time or
another, Judge Sundiam and Judge Tiongco were presiding over said sala during their
Likewise, her subsequent compliance in rendering an accounting report did not purge her of her
negligence in not rendering an accounting for more than six years, which justifies petitioners
removal as administratrix and the appointment of private respondent in her place as mandated
by Section 2 of Rule 82 of the Rules of Court.

o Josephine Pahamotang vs. PNB, GR No. 156403, 31 March 2005

1. On July 1, 1972, Melitona Pahamotang died. She was survived by her husband Agustin
Pahamotang, and their eight (8) children, namely: Ana, Genoveva, Isabelita, Corazon, Susana,
Concepcion and herein petitioners Josephine and Eleonor, all surnamed Pahamotang.
2. On September 15, 1972, Agustin filed with the then Court of First Instance of Davao City a
petition for issuance of letters administration over the estate of his deceased wife. The petition,
docketed as Special Case No. 1792, was raffled to Branch VI of said court, hereinafter referred to
as the intestate court.
3. In his petition, Agustin identified petitioners Josephine and Eleonor as among the heirs of his
deceased spouse. It appears that Agustin was appointed petitioners' judicial guardian in an
earlier case - Special Civil Case No. 1785 also of the CFI of Davao City, Branch VI. On December
7, 1972, the intestate court issued an order granting Agustins petition.
4. Agustin then executed several mortgages and later sale of the properties with the PNB and
Arguna respectively. The heirs later questioned the validity of the transactions prejudicial to
5. The trial court declared the real estate mortgage and the sale void but both were valid with
respect to the other parties.
6. The decision was reversed by the Court of Appeals; to the appellate court, petitioners
committed a fatal error of mounting a collateral attack on the foregoing orders instead of
initiating a direct action to annul them.
ISSUE: W/N the orders of the intestate court granting Agustins petitions for mortgage and sale
were null and void for lack of compliance with the mandatory requirements of Rule 89 of the
Rules of Court, particularly Sections 2, 4, 7 thereof.
RULING: Yes. The decision of the CA is set aside and trial courts decision reinstated.
The trial court made the correct conclusion of law that the challenged orders of the intestate
court granting Agustins petitions were null and void for lack of compliance with the mandatory
requirements of Rule 89 of the Rules of Court, particularly Sections 2, 4, 7 thereof
Settled is the rule in this jurisdiction that when an order authorizing the sale or encumbrance of
real property was issued by the testate or intestate court without previous notice to the heirs,
devisees and legatees as required by the Rules, it is not only the contract itself which is null and
void but also the order of the court authorizing the same.

o Teodora Rioferio vs. CA, GR No. 129008, 13 Jan. 2004

Rioferio v. Court of Appeals
1. Alfonso P. Orfinada, Jr. died without a will in Angeles City leaving several personal and real
properties located in Angeles City, Dagupan City and Kalookan City. He also left a widow,
respondent Esperanza P. Orfinada, whom he married on July 11, 1960 and with whom he had
seven children who are the herein respondents. Apart from the respondents,
2. Petitioner Teodora Riofero, is his paramour whom he entered into an extra-marital relationship
with her during the subsistence of his marriage to Esperanza sometime in 1965, and and they
have children which are the co-petitioners Veronica, Alberto and Rowena.
3. On November 14, 1995, respondents Alfonso James and Lourdes Orfinada discovered that on
June 29, 1995, petitioner Teodora Rioferio and her children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement
of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim involving the properties of the estate of the
decedent located in Dagupan City.
4. Respondents also found out that petitioners were able to obtain a loan of P700,000.00 from
the Rural Bank of Mangaldan Inc. by executing a Real Estate Mortgage over the properties
subject of the extra-judicial settlement.
5. On December 4, 1995, respondents filed a Complaint for the Annulment/Rescission of Extra
Judicial Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim, Real Estate Mortgage and
Cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Titles before the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan City.
6. On February 5, 1996, petitioners filed their Answer interposing the defense that the property
subject of the contested deed of extra-judicial settlement pertained to the properties originally
belonging to the parents of Teodora Riofero and that the titles thereof were delivered to her as an
advance inheritance but the decedent had managed to register them in his name. Petitioners
also raised the affirmative defense that respondents are not the real parties-in-interest but rather
the Estate of Alfonso O. Orfinada, Jr. in view of the pendency of the administration proceedings.
On April 29, 1996, petitioners filed a Motion to Set Affirmative Defenses for Hearing on the
aforesaid ground.
Issue: Whether the heirs have legal standing to prosecute the rights belonging to the deceased
subsequent to the commencement of the administration proceedings

Ruling: Pending the filing of administration proceedings, the heirs without doubt have legal
personality to bring suit in behalf of the estate of the decedent in accordance with the provision
of Article 777 of the New Civil Code "that (t)he rights to succession are transmitted from the
moment of the death of the decedent." The provision in turn is the foundation of the principle
that the property, rights and obligations to the extent and value of the inheritance of a person
are transmitted through his death to another or others by his will or by operation of law.
Even if administration proceedings have already been commenced, the heirs may still bring the
suit if an administrator has not yet been appointed. This is the proper modality despite the total
lack of advertence to the heirs in the rules on party representation.
While permitting an executor or administrator to represent or to bring suits on behalf of the
deceased, do not prohibit the heirs from representing the deceased. These rules are easily
applicable to cases in which an administrator has already been appointed. But no rule
categorically addresses the situation in which special proceedings for the settlement of an estate
have already been instituted, yet no administrator has been appointed. In such instances, the
heirs cannot be expected to wait for the appointment of an administrator; then wait further to
see if the administrator appointed would care enough to file a suit to protect the rights and the
interests of the deceased; and in the meantime do nothing while the rights and the properties of
the decedent are violated or dissipated.

Even if there is an appointed administrator, jurisprudence recognizes two exceptions, viz: (1) if
the executor or administrator is unwilling or refuses to bring suit; and (2) when the administrator
is alleged to have participated in the act complained of31 and he is made a party defendant.
Evidently, the necessity for the heirs to seek judicial relief to recover property of the estate is as
compelling when there is no appointed administrator, if not more, as where there is an appointed
administrator but he is either disinclined to bring suit or is one of the guilty parties himself.
Therefore, the rule that the heirs have no legal standing to sue for the recovery of property of the
estate during the pendency of administration proceedings has three exceptions, the third being
when there is no appointed administrator such as in this case.