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ARTICLES 774-72 General Provisions 2.

Objective Element
a. Inheritance
Article 774 Succession is a mode of acquisition by
3. Causal Element
virtue of which the property, rights and obligations
The transmission of property by will and
to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a death as the condition.
person are transmitted through his death to another
or others either by his will or by operation of law. What is the distinction between Inheritance and
Basis of Succession
Inheritance refers to the universality of all
the property, rights and obligations constituting the
1. The right to dispose private property. The
partrimony of the decedent, which are not
will is merely a causal instrument for the extinguished by his death.
conveyance. This is the basis of testamentary Succession is the legal mode by which such
succession. property, rights and obligations are transmitted.
2. Family Co-ownership. The testator
recognizes that the family is the heart and What is the extent of inheritance?
soul of the society. The idea of succession It refers to all the properties of the decedent
at the time of his death. They may be residual or
must revolve around it. The is the basis of
accrued properties.
intestate succession.
3. Eclectic Theory. The purpose of succession *Corpse of the decedent is not included.
is to perpetuate the testators patrimony
beyond his existence, giving greater stability Are all the obligations of the deceased part of his
to his family and society. inheritance?
The inheritance includes all the property,
rights and obligations of a person which are not
Article 775
extinguished by his death. Hence, not all obligations
Decedent is the general term applied to the persons shall be part of the decedents inheritance.
whose property is transmitted through succession,
whether or not he left a will. Example: Those obligations which are purely
Testator how called if he left a will.

Article 776 Give examples of rights which are extinguished by

Inheritance includes the following: death, and which, therefore, are not part of the
a. Property estate?
b. Rights(not extinguished by death)
c. Obligations (not extinguished by death) 1. Instransmissible personal rights because of their
nature (such as those appertaining to family rights,
marital and parental authority, support, action for
legal separation, partnership agency, life annuity)
What is the difference between heirs and
devisees/legatees, as to the extent of the inheritance? 2. Right to hold public/private office or job (Hu Niu
vs Collector of Customs, 36 Phil 433)
An heir inherits an aliquot part of the
indeterminate portion of the estate, while, the
Given an example of rights not extinguished by death,
inheritance of a devisee/legatee must be specified by and which, therefore, are parts of the estate?
the testator.
1. Right to bring or continue an action for forcible
What are the elements of Succession?
entry or unlawful detainer
2. Right to compel the execution of a document
1. Subjective Elements
necessary for the convenience, provided that the
a. Testator contract is valid and enforceable under the Statue of
b. Heirs
c. Devisees or
d. Legatees
*When asked for example about rights and obligations brought within the same period specified in Article
which are transmissible and non-transmissible, be 173, except when the action is based on the second
particular whether it is an obligation or a right. paragraph of Article 172 (An admission of legitimate
filiation in a public document or a private
A father was a defendant in a civil case. During its handwritten instrument and signed by the parent
pendency, he died, and his children were substituted concerned.), in which case the action may be brought
as defendants. If judgment is rendered against the during the lifetime of the alleged parent.
defendant, can the children be held personally liable
with their own individual properties? What is the restrictive nature of inheritance?
1. Before death, it is a mere hope
No. The children cannot be held personally liable, 2. After death, it cannot be distributed
despite the substitution. The remedy of the plaintiff- unless, all the claims against the estate of the decedent
creditor is to proceed against the estate of the are liquidated. The purpose of which is to determine,
deceased. (Viardo vsBelmonte, 21 August 1962) what assets are left to be transmitted to the heirs.

*While the debts of the deceased still remain unpaid, no *Under the Rules of Procedures, liquidation is necessary in
residue may be divided among the heirs, legatees and order to determine whether or not the decedent has left any
devisees. Instead, the court may order the sale of sufficient liquid assets which maybe transmitted to the heirs.
properties for the satisfaction of the debts and the heirs
cannot question this. Such a step is necessary for the *Estate is a legal exigency created by law, so that the heirs
eventual partition of the estate. (Lao vs Dec, 23 January will not be bothered by the claims of other persons against
1952) the decedent. Estate is the continuation of the decedents
*A creditor of an heir (who is not a creditor of the
deceased), who intervenes in the estate proceedings, cannot Article 777 The rights to the succession are
ask the court to sell the properties, which the heir debtor transmitted from the moment of the death of the
expects to receive. This is because the debts of the deceased decedent.
himself, must first be paid. Then and only then, we can
determine, if there is a sufficient residue left for the heirs or When is the right to succession transmitted?
for the heirs creditor. (Lintonjua vs Montilla, 31January It is transmitted at the moment of the death
1952) of the decedent.

X died leaving debts amounting to P5M. Will the *Death is a condition that effects transmission of the
heirs of decedents assets. The express will of the decedents
X, be answerable for such debts? presumed will as provided by law is the cause. Before death,
the heir only have a mere hope or expectancy. It is not a
No. The remedy of the creditors would be to vested right, for a will maybe changed, either because of:
proceed against the estate of X as a separate juridical 1. Causes of disinheritance
person. Monetary obligations are not part of the 2. Acts of incapacity/unworthiness
deceased inheritance. 3. revocation of the will

Is the body of the decedent part of the inheritance? What is the decisive moment, when the heirs acquire
No. Because it is not a property (Jurado and a definite right to the inheritance?
Paras). Refer to the special law on the matter. The decisive moment is death. It is upon the
death of the decedent that the heirs acquire a definite
Is an action to claim ones legitimacy transmissible? right over the inheritance, whether such right is pure,
(Article 173 Family Code) conditional or with a term.
The action to claim legitimacy may be
brought by the child during his or her lifetime and What is death?
shall be transmitted to the heirs should the child die Death is the permanent cessation of all the
during minority or in a state of insanity. In these bodily functions which terminates a persons judicial
cases, the heirs shall have a period of five (5) years capacity and capacity to act.
within which to institute the action.
What does presumed will mean?
Is an action to claim ones illegitimacy The will of the decedent to transfer the
transmissible? (Article 175 Family Code) properties to the heirs is presumed by law. The rule
Illegitimate children may establish their laid down by law is based on human experience, as
illegitimate filiation in the same way and on the same may be gleaned from the order of those who may
evidence as legitimate children. The action must be inherit intestate succession.
What are the conditions before the rights of the heirs Before death, the heirs have only a mere hope of
are transmitted? expectancy absolutely inchoate in character, to their share
1. Death of the decedent/testator (either in the inheritance. Hence, any contract entered into with
actual or presumed) respect to the inheritance, would have no object
2. The rights or properties are indeed whatsoever, therefore inexistent from the beginning.
3. Heirs must survive the decedent (no Article 777 provides that the right to succession are
predecease); be willing (no repudiation); be transmitted from the moment of death of the
capacitated to inherit decedent.

*These are also the requisites for succession mortis causa. Does this principle apply only to actual death?
No. The principle under this Article applies
Can an heir sell his future inheritance? to both actual death and presumptive death. This is
No. Because the heir has no vested right over clear from the provisions of Article 390 and 391.
the inheritance yet. Therefore, the object, which is the
inheritance, is not yet determined nor certain. What are the rules on presumptive death as to the
What are the cases when there is no transmission of opening of succession?
right? 1. ten (10) years absence, it being unknown,
1. Repudiation made by the heir whether or not the absentee still lives
2. Heirs predeceased the decedent/testator 2. five (5) years, if the absentee disappeared
3. Incapacity of the heir to succeed after the age of seventy-five (75)
3. four (4) years, if the absentee disappeared
Upon the death of the testator, is it necessary to under any of the circumstances enumerated
deliver the properties to the heir in order to acquire in Article 391
No. Because the right to the inheritance is When or at what precise moment will there be a
transmitted from the moment of the death of the transmission of successional rights in case of a
decedent. Tradition or delivery is not essential for the presumptive death?
acquisition of properties of the decedent because
succession is an independent mode As to ordinary As absence of ten (10) or five (5) years
. if the absentee is more than seventy-five (75) years old
If a decedent dies January 1, 1999 and the property is at the expiration of the period designated by law.
actually delivered only on March 1, 1999, when does
the heir become an owner of the property? As to extra-ordinary absence under Article 391 at
He became an owner of the property the time of the disappearance, because the absentee
beginning January 1, 1999. This is because it is not disappeared under the danger of death.
tradition (delivery) that transfer ownership here but
succession. The effects of an acceptance of the *Although the rule says, that there will be transmission of
inheritance retroacts to the moment of death. successional rights at the time of the disappearance of the
absentee, we must still wait for a period of four (4) years
If on the other hand, there is repudiation, it is as if, the from the time the absentee disappeared. Thereafter, if the
heir never owned the property. This is because of the absentee does not appear within four (4) years, there will be
retroactive effect of repudiation. transmission of successional rights and it will retroact
from the time the absentee disappeared. Reason: the
*No matter when/what time the heir, devisee or legatee absentee disappeared under danger of death.
enters into the possession of the inheritance, devise or
legacy, acquisition always retroact to the moment of death, What are the kinds of death in succession?
in accordance with Article 1042 (The effects of the 1. Actual death
acceptance or repudiation shall always retroact to the 2. Presumptive death
moment of death of the decedent.) a. ordinary
b. extra-ordinary
*After the death of the decedent, anyone of the heirs may
enter into a contract with respect to his share in the What are the rules used to determine the precise time
inheritance, even before the partition has been effected the of death of a decedent in presumptive death?
right to the inheritance is already in the nature of a vested
right upon the death of the decedent. Thus, the heir may: Ordinary presumptive death:
1. Sell his undivided share in the inheritance 1. Rules of evidence
2. Donate it
2. in the absence of evidence, expiration of What are the kinds of testate and intestate
period provided for by law succession?
1. voluntary and compulsory
Extra-ordinary presumptive death: 2. by right and representation
1. Rules of evidence
2. In the absence of evidence, at or about What is testamentary succession?
time of disappearance It is one, which results from the designation
of an heir, made in a will and executed in the form
What is the effect in case a person presumed to be prescribed by law.
dead returns?
There will be a recovery of properties, or a When does intestate succession occur?
return of their Intestate succession is effected by operation
value, if they were already alienated except for the of law, in default of a will. Intestate succession occurs
fruits. when the testator has not made a will or even if he
made one, such will has not been made in accordance
*The exception lies in the case when prescription occurs with the formalities prescribed by law. In this case,
due to lack of title. the presumed will as provided by law, shall govern
the distribution of his hereditary estate after his death.
Can there be succession without death?
As a general rule, there can be no succession What is mixed succession?
without actual death. However, the law provides It is one that is effected partly by will and partly by
succession in cases of presumptive death. In this case, operation of law.
the death of a person is merely presumed and
conditioned on the fact of death When does mixed succession occur?
. It occurs when the testator makes a will but
X had two (2) children, Y and Z. X suffered a heart fails to dispose all of his properties by means of such
attack on January 1, 2002 and was pronounced dead will. The succession partakes of the nature of both
on the same day. On January 2, 2002, X regained testamentary and legal succession.
What is contractual succession?
Y and Z claimed to have succeeded X in his It is the act of future spouse of giving or
properties, when he was pronounced dead on January donating to each other, in their marriage settlements,
1, 2002. Is the claim valid? their future property, which is to take effect, upon the
No. There is no succession because there was death of the donor and o the extent laid down by the
no death. Death must be permanent because a person Civil Code relating to testamentary succession. This
can only die once. succession is not allowed anymore, for it was not
expressly provided for in the Family Code.
Article 778 Succession may be:
(1) Testamentary; What are the kinds of heirs in testamentary
(2) Legal or succession? Define each.
intestate; or
(3) Mixed. Voluntary an heir is called to succeed to the whole
or an aliquot part of the disposable free portion of the
*Contractual Succession has been omitted by the Family hereditary estate by virtue of the will of the testator.
Code. Compulsory an heir is called to succeed to a portion
of the testators estate, known as legitime.
What are the different modes of testamentary
succession? Article 779 Testamentary succession is that which
results from the
1. will or codicil designation of an heir, made in a will executed in the
2. will or codicil maybe: form prescribed by law.
a. notarial (ordinary attested)
b. holographic (handwritten by the testator Article 780 Mixed succession is that effected partly
from the beginning to end, complete with date and by will and partly by operation of law.
Article 781 The inheritance of a person includes not
*In case of doubt, testamentary succession is preferred over only the property and the transmissible rights and
legal or intestate succession. obligations existing at the time of his death, but also
those which have accrued thereto since the opening Devisee or legatee are always called to succeed by
of the succession. means of a will.

What does the inheritance of a person include? It Heir are called to succeed, either by means of a will
includes not only the property and the transmissible (voluntary) or by operation of law (compulsory and
rights and obligations existing at the time of his death, legal).
but also those which have accrued thereto since the
opening of the succession. May a person be compulsory and voluntary heir at
the same time, in the same will? Otherwise stated, is
Article 782 An heir is a person called to the there a possibility of a dual status of an heir?
succession either by the provision of a will or by
operation of law. Devisees and legatees are persons Yes. If in a will a compulsory heir is given
to whom gifts of real and personal property are more than his legitime, he is assumes a dual status.
respectively given by virtue of a will. Insofar as his legitime is concerned, he is a
compulsory heir. Insofar as the excess is concerned,
Who is an heir? he is a voluntary heir.
An heir is a person called to the whole or an aliquot
portion of the inheritance, either by will or by *The aforementioned distinction is important because if a
operation of law. An heir succeeds by universal title. compulsory heir dies ahead of the testator, his legitime is
*Heirs may be compulsory (if entitled to the legitime) or inherited by his own child (by right of representation). On
voluntary (like a friend). the other hand, the child of a voluntary heir wh predeceases
or dies ahead the testator gets nothing from the said
Who is a devisee? testator (Article 856).
A devisee is a person to whom a gift of real
property is given, by virtue of a will. Suppose the only properties left by the decedent are
his three (3) cars. The decedent gave you 1/3 of his
What is legatee? estate, which is, one car. As a beneficiary, are you
A legatee is a person to whom a gift of personal considered as an heir?
property is given, by virtue of a will.
Yes. Because an aliquot part (1/3 thereof) of
What are distinctions between heirs, devisees and the estate was given to me, not a specific part thereof.
The answer would have been different if the decedent
As to the title: had given me a specific car. In this case, I would have
1. Devisees or legatees are always called to succeed to been a legatee, having succeeded a personal property,
individual items of the property. by a particular title.
2. Heirs are always called to succeed to an
indeterminate or aliquot portion of the decedents X made a will designating A as heir of his entire
hereditary estate. estate. However, since X was a gambler, the only
3. Devisees or legatees succeed by a particular title, property left to him when he died was a Honda civic
while heirs succeed by universal title. car. Is A an heir or a legatee?
A is still an heir for the purpose of giving effect to Xs
As to the portion of the estate: will. The fact that the only personal property left by
the decedent is a personal property is immaterial. The
The devise or legacy which is given to the devisee or designation of A, as an heir, still controls.
to the legatee by means of a will, is, as a rule, a
charged against the free portion of the testators Give the importance of the distinction between
property. However, if the testator is not survived by voluntary heirs, devisees and legatees.
compulsory heirs, his entire property is considered as
free property. In such case, the devise and legacy can In case of preterition/permission in testators will of
be charged against the entire property. one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct
line, the effect is to annul entirely the institution of
In the case of heirs, a distinction must be made heirs. But legacies and devisees shall be valid insofar
between heirs in the estate succession (compulsory as they are not inofficious (Article 854).
and voluntary) and heirs in intestate succession (legal
or intestate heirs). In case of imperfect or defective inheritance, the
effect is to annul the institution of heirs to the extent
As to the means of succession: that the legitime of the disinherited heir is prejudiced.
But devises and legacies shall be valid, insofar as they Alvarez vs IAC 185 SCRA 8
are not WAR KIDS"
inofficious. Laura Alvarez v. IAC, Jesus Yanes, et al.
(grandchildren of the deadz sila) G.R. No. L-68053;
In case of properties acquired by the testator after May 7, 1990
the execution of the will, such properties are not as a
rule, included among the property disposed of, Facts: Aniceto was survived by his children Rufino,
unless, it should expressly appear in the will itself Felipe and Teodora. The respondents are the children
that such was the testators intention. This rule of Rufino. Aniceto left his children lots 773 and 823.
applies only to legacies and devises and not to the Rufino and his children left the during WW2. After
institution of heirs. liberation, they found out that lot 773 was in the
possession of Santiago, Fuentebella, and Alvarez.
X designated A to of his estate. He also designated Record shows that TCTs covering lot 773-A;B were
B his car plate number GVG 101. Who is the heir or already issued to Santiago. Santiago sold the lots to
legatee? Fuentebella. When Fuentebella died, his wife sold the
lots to Rosendo Alvarez.
A is an heir because she will succeed an indeterminate
portion of the estate (1/2 of Xs estate). B is a legatee Petitioners filed a complaint against Santiago,
because she will succeed to a specific property (a car Fuentebella, Alvarez, and the Registry of Deed of
with plate number GVG 101). Negros for the return of the ownership and
possession of lots 773 and 823. During the pendency
X executed a will in 1985. He died in 1995. In his will of the case, Alvarez sold the lots to Dr. Siason.
X have Y all of his cars. At the time of the execution Meanwhile, in 1962, Jesus executed a quitclaim in
of the will, X only had two (2) cars. Assuming that in favor of defendant. However, in 1963, the CFI
1995, he already has 200 cars. How many cars will Y rendered a decision in favor of PRs.(Civil case 5022
inherit? Note: pets did not file an appeal in this decision)
Decision cannot be executed coz 733 was already
Y will only get two (2) cars, because the remaining are registered in the name of Siason. The cadastral court
after-acquired properties. Y is merely a legatee initially ordered Siason to produce his TCTs.
because he does not succeed to a portion of the estate. Afterwards, the court nullified its previous order coz
Siason was in GF and without knowledge.
If in the will X stated to give of his estate to Y,
what is the effect? The PRs filed an ex-parte motion for the issuance of
Y is now an heir, because he is to succeed to an alias writ of exec. The court ruled that the
a portion of the estate. Therefore, in the preceding judgment cannot be enforced bec. Siason was not a
problem. If the only estate is 200 cars, Y will get 100 party in the case.
Another action was filed by the PRs for the recovery
What are the advantages and the disadvantages of the land plus damages and fruits. The pets raised
between a devisee, legatee and heir? (see Jurado) res judicata, prescription and estoppel in their answer.
The lower court ruled in favor of the PRs. It ruled that
Effect of preteririon equity demanded that the PRs recover the actual
value of the land bec. the sale was executed without
Effect of imperfect disinheritance court approval. The appellate court affirmed the TCs
decision. MR also denied.
Effect of self-acquired properties
Wills Issue:
How do you determine an heir from a legatee or WON the obligation of deceased Alvarez(he died
devisee? already) to pay the PRs could be legally transmitted
If the property is a particular item of the estate, the and passed down to his legitimate children and heirs.
receiver is a devisee or legatee, as the case may be
(whether that particular item is personal or real). Ruling:
Otherwise, he is an heir. *Civil Case 5022 is already the law of the case because
pets failed to file an appeal. Said decision had long
Article 783 become final and executory. SC is already powerless
to review the decision.
Yes. The binding effect of contracts upon the heirs of
the deceased party is not altered by the provision of
our Rules of Court that money debts of a deceased immediately after such death, even if the actual extent
must be liquidated and paid from his estate before the of such share is not determined until the subsequent
residue is distributed among said heirs (Rule 89). The liquidation of the estate. Teodorica Babangha died
reason is that whatever payment is thus made from
long before World War II, hence, the rights to the
the state is ultimately a payment by the heirs or
succession were transmitted from the moment of her
distributees, since the amount of the paid claim in fact
diminishes or reduces the shares that the heirs would death. It is therefore incorrect to state that it was only
have been entitled to receive.( Estate of Hemady v. in 1966, the date of extrajudicial partition, when
Luzon Surety) Ricardo received his share in the lot as inheritance
from his mother Teodorica. Thus, when Ricardo sold
Petitioners being the heirs of the late Rosendo his share over lot 2476 that share which he inherited
Alvarez, they cannot escape the legal consequences of from Teodorica was also included unless expressly
their father's transaction, which gave rise to the excluded in the deed of sale.
present claim for damages. That petitioners did not
inherit the property involved herein is of no moment Locsin vs CA 206 SCRA 383
because by legal fiction, the monetary equivalent
thereof devolved into the mass of their father's BICOLANONG HACIENDERO
hereditary estate, and we have ruled that the Mariano B. Locsin v. Court of Appeals
hereditary assets are always liable in their totality for G.R. No. 89783; February 19, 1992
the payment of the debts of the estate. It must, Facts:
however, be made clear that petitioners are liable only Mariano inherited extensive property from his father
Getulio. He brought his inheritance into his marriage
to the extent of the value of their inheritance.
with Catalina Jaucian. Catalina, for her part, brought
into the marriage untitled properties which she had
Gevero vs IAC 189 SCRA 201 inherited form her parents.
DEL MONTE Mariano Locsin executed a last will and testament
Bienvenido Gevero v. Intermediate Appellate Court instituting his wife as the sole and universal heir of all
and Del Monte Development Corporation his properties. The spouses being childless, they had
(DELCOR) G.R. No. 77029; August 30, 1990 agreed that their properties, after both of them shall
Facts: have died should revert to their respective sides of the
DELCOR purchased a lot (lot 2476-A; 20,119 sq met) family. After Mariano's death, (1948) his will was
from the late Luis Lancero. As per Deed of Absolute probated without opposition from both sides of the
Sale exec in favor of DELCOR, a TCT was issued. Luis family. Nine years after the death of Don Mariano,
acquired the same parcel of land from Ricardo Catalina began transferring, by sale, donation or
Gevero(1952). The sale bet Luis and Ricardo waqs assignment, Mariano's as well as her own, props to
annotated at the back of an OCT covering a mother their respective nephews and nieces.
lot(lot no. 2476) in the names of Ricardo, his mother Catalina died in 1977. Four years before her death, she
Teodorica and his siblings. made a will affirming the transfers she made. Six
Teodorica died long before WW2. In 1966, an extra- years after her demise, some of Catalina's nephews
judicial settlement and partition was executed by the and nieces filed an action in the RTC of Legaspi to
heirs of Teo. Lot 2476 was adjudicated in favor of recover the properties which she had conveyed to the
Ricardo who was then alive. DELCOR filed an action Locsins, alleging that the conveyances were
with the CFI of Misamis Oriental to quiet title and/or innoficious, without consideration, and intended
annul the partition made by the heirs insofar as the solely to circumvent the laws on succession. After the
same prejudices the land which it acquired. After trial trial, judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiffs.
court rendered judgment in favor of plaintiff The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's
corporation. The appellate court affirmed the decision.
Wills Issue: Issue: WON the PRs are entitled to inherit the
WON the 1/2 share of interest of Teodorica in one of properties which Catalina had already disposed of
the litigated lots is included in the deed of sale. more than 10 yrs before her death.
Ruling: Ruling:
Yezz. The hereditary share in a decedents' estate is No. The properties did not form part of her hereditaty
transmitted or vested immediately from the moment estate. The rights to a person's succession are
of the death of the "causante" or predecessor in transmitted from the moment of his death, and do not
interest (Art. 777), and there is no legal bar to a vest in his heirs until such time. 11 Property which
Doa Catalina had transferred or conveyed to other
successor disposing of his hereditary share
persons during her lifetime no longer formed part of
her estate at the time of her death to which her heirs sue since she was never appointed as administratrix
may lay claim. Had she died intestate, only the or executrix of his estate. Petitioners objection in this
property that remained in her estate at the time of her regard is misplaced. The surviving spouse does not
death devolved to her legal heirs; and even if those need to be appointed as executrix or administratrix of
transfers were, one and all, treated as donations, the the estate before she can file the action. She and her
right arising under certain circumstances to impugn children are complainants in their own right as
and compel the reduction or revocation of a successors of Vicente Tabanao. From the very
decedent's gifts inter vivos does not inure to the moment of Vicente Tabanaos death, his rights insofar
respondents since neither they nor the donees are as the partnership was concerned were transmitted to
compulsory (or forced) heirs. his heirs, for rights to the succession are transmitted
There is thus no basis for assuming an intention on from the moment of death of the decedent.
the part of Doa Catalina, in transferring the Whatever claims and rights Vicente Tabanao had
properties she had received from her late husband to against the partnership and petitioner were
transmitted to respondents by operation of law, more
his nephews and nieces, an intent to circumvent the
particularly by succession, which is a mode of
law in violation of the private respondents' rights to acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights
her succession. Said respondents are not her and obligations to the extent of the value of the
compulsory heirs, and it is not pretended that she had inheritance of a person are transmitted. Moreover,
any such, hence there were no legitimes that could respondents became owners of their respective
conceivably be impaired by any transfer of her hereditary shares from the moment Vicente Tabanao
property during her lifetime. All that the respondents died.
A prior settlement of the estate, or even the
had was an expectancy that in nowise restricted her
appointment of Salvacion Tabanao as executrix or
freedom to dispose of even her entire estate subject
administratrix, is not necessary for any of the heirs to
only to the limitation set forth in Art. 750, Civil Code
acquire legal capacity to sue. As successors who
which, even if it were breached, the respondents may
stepped into the shoes of their decedent upon his
not invoke.
death, they can commence any action originally
pertaining to the decedent. From the moment of his
Emnace vs CA 37 SCRA 431
death, his rights as a partner and to demand
fulfillment of petitioners obligations as outlined in
Emilio Emnace v. Court of Appeals and the Estate of their dissolution agreement were transmitted to
Vicente Tabanao (plus heirs) respondents. They, therefore, had the capacity to sue
G.R. No. 126334; November 23, 2001 and seek the courts intervention to compel petitioner
Facts: to fulfill his obligations.
Pets Emnace, Tabanao and Divigranacia were
partners in a business known as Ma. Nelma Fishing Rabadilla vs CA 334 SCRA 522
Industry. Sometime in January 1986, they decided to
dissolve their partnership and exec an agreement of
Johny Rabadilla v. Court of Appeals
partition and distribution. Throughout the existence
G.R. No, 113725; June 29, 2000
of the partnership, and even after Tabanao's death,
pet failed to submit to Taba's heirs any financial
Testator Aleja Belleza appended a codicil to his last
statements. Pet also reneged on his promise to turn
will and testament wherein he instituted Dr. Jorge
over the 1/3 share in the total assets of the
Rabadilla as a devisee of 511, 855 sq meters of a parcel
partnership to the heirs. PRs(heris) filed an action for
of land in Bacolod. Devisee herein is the predecessor-
accounting, payment of shares, division of assets and
in-interest of the petitioner. The codicil was duly
probated and admitted before the CFI of Negros
Pet filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the
grounds of improp venue, lack of juris and lack of
The codicil stated that should the devisee die ahead of
capacity of the estate of Tabano to sue. The trial court
the testator, the property and rights shall be inherited
denied the motion to dismiss. The trial court held that
by his children and spouse. The codicil also required
the heirs of Tabano had a right to sue in their own
Rabadilla to deliver 75 piculs of export sugar and 25
names, in view of the provision of Art. 777 of the CC.
piculs of domestic sugar to Maria Marlina Cosculuella
y Belleza, and should he die, his heir shall have the
Legal capacity of the surviving spouse of Tabano to
same obligation. Lastly, in the event that the devisee
or his heir shall later sell, lease, mortgage the said lot,
the buyer, lessee, mortgagee shall also have the
Yezz naman. petitioner asserts that the surviving
obligation to deliver the piculs.
spouse of Vicente Tabanao has no legal capacity to
Dr. Rabadilla died in 1983 and was survived by his
wife and children (pet). Belinda Taredo v. Court of Appeals
In 1989, Maria Marlena brought a complaint against G.R. No. 104482; January 22, 1996
the heirs to enforce the provisions of the codicil and to Facts:
revert the ownership to the heirs of the testator. The On October 20, 1962, Lazardo Tanedo executed a
RTC dismissed the complaint. The appellate court notarized deed of absolute sale of one hectare of
reversed the decision of the trial court.. whatever share I shall have over Lot No. 191" in favor
Ruling: of his eldest brother and his wife (Ricardo and
Yes. Petitioner maintains that Article 882 does not Teresita PRs). Upon hte death of his father, Lazaro
find application as there was no modal institution and executed an "Affidavit of Conformity" to reaffirm,
the testatrix intended a mere simple substitution. respect and acknowledge the sale in favor or PRs.
Under Article 776 of the New Civil Code, inheritance Lazaro executed another notarized deed of sale on
includes all the property, rights and obligations of a favor of PRs covering 1/12 of a Lot 191. Ricardo
person, not extinguished by his death. Conformably, learned taht Lazaro sold the same lot to his children.
whatever rights Dr. Jorge Rabadilla had by virtue of PRs recorded the deed in the RD. Pets filed a
subject Codicil were transmitted to his forced heirs, at complaint for rescission executed by Lazardo in favor
the time of his death. And since obligations not of the PRs. The trial court decided in favor of PRs. The
extinguished by death also form part of the estate of CA affirmed the decision of the trial court.
the decedent; corollarily, the obligations imposed by Issue:
the Codicil on the deceased Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, were WON the sale of future inheritance is valid.
likewise transmitted to his compulsory heirs upon his Ruling:
death. Yez syempre duh! Read Art. 1347..
In the said Codicil, testatrix Aleja Belleza devised Lot A second deed of sale was executed in favor of
No. 1392 to Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, subject to the private respondents covering Lazaro's undivided
condition that the usufruct thereof would be inheritance dated 1982, so nevermind the previous
delivered to the herein private respondent every year. deed ya know. The deed of sale in favor of
Upon the death of Dr. Jorge Rabadilla, his respondents was executed in 1980. However,
compulsory heirs succeeded to his rights and title according to Art. 1544 of the CC: Art. 1544. If the
over the said property, and they also assumed his same thing should have been sold to different
(decedent's) obligation to deliver the fruits of the lot vendees, the ownership shall be transferred to the
involved to herein private respondent. Such person who may have first taken possession thereof in
obligation of the instituted heir reciprocally good faith, if it should be movable property.
corresponds to the right of private respondent over Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall
the usufruct, the fulfillment or performance of which belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith
is now being demanded by the latter through the first recorded it in the Registry of Property.
institution of the case at bar. Therefore, private The property in question is land, an immovable, and
respondent has a cause of action against petitioner following the above-quoted law, ownership shall
and the trial court erred in dismissing the complaint
belong to the buyer who in good faith registers it first
in the registry of property. Thus, although the deed of
Modal Institutions::*Petitioner also theorizes that
Article 882 of the New Civil Code on modal sale in favor of private respondents was later than the
one in favor of petitioners, ownership would vest in the
institutions is not applicable because what the
testatrix intended was a substitution - the contention former because of the undisputed fact of registration. On
the other hand, petitioners have not registered the
is without merit. In simple substitutions, the second
heir takes the inheritance in default of the first heir by sale to them at all.
reason of incapacity, predecease or renunciation. [14]
In the case under consideration, the provisions of Santos vs Lambao
Octaviano, Clarence 1932 BILIHAN NG LUPA
subject Codicil do not provide that should Dr. Jorge
Sps Virgilio Santos and Esperanza Lati Santos v.
Rabadilla default due to predecease, incapacity or
Sps. Jose Lumbao and Proserfina Lumbao; G.R. No.
renunciation, the testatrix's near descendants would 169129; March 28, 2007
substitute him. What the Codicil provides is that, Facts:
should Dr. Jorge Rabadilla or his heirs not fulfill the Herein pets are the legitimate and surviving heirs of
conditions imposed in the Codicil, the property the late Rita Catoc Santos, who died on October 20,
referred to shall be seized and turned over to the 195. The other pets are the daughters-in-law of Rita.
The respondents are the alleged owners of a lot,
testatrix's near descendants.
which they purportedly bought from on two
occasions. On the first occasion, Rita sold 100 square
Tanedo vs CA 252 SCRA 80
meters of her inchoate share in her mothers estate Beatriz(she died before her mom; mother of PR).
through a document denominated as "Bilihan ng When Margarita passed away, Francisca executed a
Lupa, Before her death, Rita allegedly informed the deed of self-adjudication claiming that she was the
respondents that she could not deliver the title to the only remaining relative of Margarita. The deed of was
subject prop because the entire property inherited by based on a 'Sinumpaang Salaysay' allegedly executed
her had not yet been partitioned. The PRs claimed by Margarita. The surviving heirs of Beatriz filed a
that pets adjudicated and partitioned the subject case for annulment of the deed. A decision was
property already sold to them. They filed a formal rendered and the deed was declared null and void.
demand letter but pets still failed and refused to During the trial, Francisca filed an application with
reconvey the subject property. The trial court denied the NHA to purchase the same lots. The NHA
the complaint. The CA reversed the decision. MR granted the application.
denied. The PR appealed to the Office of the President. The
Issue: NHA reso was affirmed.
WON herein pets are legally bound to comply with When Francisca died, her heirs executed an
the "Bilihan ng Lupa" and consequently, reconvey the extrajudicial settlement of her estate which they
subject property to herein respondents. submitted to the NHA. The transfer of rights was
Ruling: approved by the NHA. The heirs of Francisca directed
The general rule that heirs are bound by contracts PR to leave the premises that she was occupying.
entered into by their predecessors-in-interest applies Feeling aggrieved, PR sought the cancellation of the
in the present case. Article 131132 of the NCC is the titles issued in favor of the heirs of Francisca. She filed
a complaint in the RTC of San Pedro, Laguna. She
basis of this rule. It is clear from the said provision
invoked her 40 year occupation of the property and
that whatever rights and obligations the decedent re-raised the fact that Francisca's declaration is a
have over the property were transmitted to the heirs nullity because the other heirs were disregarded. The
by way of succession, a mode of acquiring the RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. The
property, rights and obligations of the decedent to the CA reversed the decision and remanded the case for
extent of the value of the inheritance of the heirs. further hearing.
Thus, the heirs cannot escape the legal consequence of The RTC rendered a decision setting aside the
resolution of the NHA and the decision of the Office
a transaction entered into by their predecessor-in-
of the President. The Regional Trial Court ruled that
interest because they have inherited the property the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" was not an assignment of
subject to the liability affecting their common rights but a disposition of property which shall take
ancestor. Being heirs, there is privity of interest effect upon death. It then held that the said document
between them and their deceased mother. They only must first be submitted to probate before it can
succeed to what rights their mother had and what is transfer property.
valid and binding against her is also valid and The NHA and the heirs of Francisca filed their
respective motions which were both denied. The CA
binding as against them. The death of a party does
affirmed the decision of the trial court.
not excuse nonperformance of a contract which Issue:
involves a property right and the rights and WON the decision of NHA is arbitrary.
obligations thereunder pass to the personal Ruling:
representatives of the deceased. Similarly, Yes. The NHA gave due course to the application
nonperformance is not excused by the death of the made by Francisca Herrera without considering that
party when the other party has a property interest in the initial applicant's death would transfer all her
property, rights and obligations to the estate
the subject matter of the contract. In the end, despite
including whatever interest she has or may have had
the death of the petitioners mother, they are still over the disputed properties. To the extent of the
bound to comply with the provisions of the "Bilihan interest that the original owner had over the property,
ng Lupa,". the same should go to her estate. Margarita Herrera
had an interest in the property and that interest
NHA vs Almeida 252 SCRA 383 should go to her estate upon her demise so as to be
able to properly distribute them later to her heirsin
accordance with a will or by operation of law.
When the original buyer died, the NHA should have
NHA v. Segunda Almeida, CA
considered the estate of the decedent as the next
G.R. No. 162784; June 22, 2007
Facts: "person" likely to stand in to fulfill the obligation to
The Land Tenure Administration awarded to pay the rest of the purchase price. The opposition of
Margarita Herrera several portions of land in San other heirs to the repurchase by Francisca Herrera
Pedro, Laguna. She had two children, Francisca and
should have put the NHA on guard as to the award of 838). Furthermore, it has been held that for purposes
the lots. Further, the Decision in the said Civil Case of recognizing a natural child by virtue of a will, the
No. B-1263 (questioning the Deed of Self- will need not be probated, thought it must of course
still be a valid will.
Adjudication) which rendered the deed therein null
and void should have alerted the NHA that there are In Xs will, A was given a house, effective
other heirs to the interests and properties of the immediately. Is the disposition by virtue of a will?
decedent who may claim the property after a testate No. Since it is supposed to take effect
or intestate proceeding is concluded. The NHA immediately. There was therefore no animus testandi
therefore acted arbitrarily in the award of the lots. insofar as this provision is concerned.

Is he entitled to get the house now or immediately?

People vs Umali193 SCRA493
No. Unless, he signifies his acceptance in the
form prescribed by law for donations and unless the
Articles 783-795Wills instrument be notarized as a public instrument
(Article 749).
Article 783 A will is an act whereby a person is
permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to How will the house be disposed of?
control to a certain degree the disposition of this In accordance with the rules on legal
estate, to take effect after his death. succession, in case the donation is not effective
(Article 960).
What are the different modes of testamentary
succession? What are the characteristics of a will? (PIFF-DARM)
1. will or codicil 1. Strictly personal act
2. will or codicil maybe: 2. An individual and unilateral act
a. notarial (ordinary attested) 3. Free and voluntary act
b. holographic (handwritten by thetestator 4. A formal and solemn act
from the beginning to end,complete with 5. A disposition of property
date and signature) 6. Ambulatory
7. Revocable during the lifetime of the testator
* In case of doubt, testamentary succession is preferred to 8. An act of mortis causa
legal or intestate succession.
Why a personal act? Because its execution cannot be
What is a will? left to the discretion of third person.
A will is an act whereby a person is permitted, with
the formalities prescribed by law, to control a certain Why unilateral? Because it does not need the
degree the disposition of his estate, to take care after approval of any other person.
his death (Article 783)
Why a formal and solemn act? Because it must
Is the right to make a will a natural right? comply with the formalities prescribed by law.
The act of making a will is not a natural right
because not all persons can make a will. It is not a Why an act mortis causa? Because it takes effect only
statutory right. Simply means, that not all persons are after the death of the testator.
qualified to make a will.
Why ambulatory? Because the testator can revoke it
If the will does not dispose of property, such as when at any time before his death.
a person is merely named as executor, or when a
natural child is recognized, can it still be considered Article 784 The making of a will is a strictly
as a will? personal act; it cannot be left in whole or in part of
If we follow the strict legal definition of the the discretion of a third person, or accomplished
will, it would seem that it does not contain a through the instrumentality of an agent or attorney.
disposition of property, it cannot be considered a will.
But in some jurisdiction and jurisprudence, it may X made his last will and testament and authorize
still be called a will. you to execute it. Is it valid?

Paras: It may still be called a will, although such will No. The making of a will is strictly a personal act. It
need not be probated for under our law it would seem cannot be left in whole or in part to the discretion of a
that the probate is needed only if the property is to be third person or accomplished through the
conveyed by a testamentary succession (see Article instrumentality of an agent or attorney.
1. The duration or efficacy of the designation
Can a testator designate to a third person the typing of heirs, devisees and legatees
of his last will and testament? 2. Determination of the portions of which
Yes. The mechanical act of drafting may be they are to take, provided that they are referred to by
entrusted to another, as long as the disposition itself Name.
expresses the testators desire and all the formalities
of the law are complied with. Why is that the acts provided for under Article 785
cannot be designated by testator to 3rd persons?
What is the meaning of the expression a strict 1. Those acts are testamentary in character,
personal act? and therefore, they cannot be designated,
It means that, it cannot be left in whole or in part to in whole or in part, to 3rd persons
the discretion of a 3rd person or accomplished (making of a will is a strictly personal act)
through the instrumentality of an agent or attorney. 2. To prevent 3rd persons from substituting
his own intentions to that of the testator
However, the mere act of drafting/writing a will does
not fall within the purview of the prohibition. Thus, it X executed a Special Power of Attorney (SPA)
has been held that he who does the mechanical work authorizing his lawyer to make a will. Is the SPA
of writing the will, is a matter of indifference. valid?
No. Because the making of the will is purely a
The fact therefore that the will was typewritten in the personal act.
office of a lawyer is of no consequence (Castaneda vs
Alemmany, 3 Phil 426; Bagtas vs Paguio 22 Phil 227).
X ordered his lawyer to execute the distribution of
the properties in his will in favor of the heirs. Is the
Is it advisable to employ an attorney in making a
act/will valid?
will. What are its advantages?
No. Because the determination of the portions to be
given lies in the 3rd person. The properties to be
In making a will it is advisable to employ an attorney,
distributed and the receivers must already be
for if we employ an attorney in so many cases
specified. The lawyer must only execute the
involving little money, it should be wiser to employ
distribution, without the possibility of substituting his
one whenever the whole estate is involved (57
own intentions over that of the testator.
Am.Jur., Sec 21).
Moreover, if an attorney drafts a will and is present at
X stated in his will I give P1M to be distributed to
the time of its execution, there is a strong
charitable institutions devoted to unwed mothers,
presumption that the will was regularly made.
and, I hereby designate Y to take care of the
distribution of the said amount. Is the act valid?
Is a lawyer prohibited from assisting a person
Yes. The testator may entrust to a 3rd
making a will?
person; the may distribution of specific property or
sums of money that he may leave in general to
If the lawyer does only a mechanical act of writing the
specified classes or caused and also the designation of
will, then, he is not prohibited. Otherwise, the will
the persons, institutions or establishments to which
would be invalid.
such property or sums of money are to be given or
Article 785 The duration or efficacy of the
designation of heirs, devisees or legatees, or the
X, testator said to his lawyer, you may take
determination of the portions which they are to
whatever amount from my estate to be distributed to
take, when referred to by name, cannot be left to the
the street children of Manila. Is this valid?
discretion of a third person.
No. because although there is a specified
class (the street children of Manila), the amount to be
Article 786
given is not specified. The amount is termed as
The testator may entrust to a third person the
whatever amount
distribution of specific property or sums of money
that he may leave in general to specified classes or
In the preceding question, what if X said to his
causes, and also the designation of the persons,
lawyer, I give P10M to be given to the street
institutions or establishments to which such
children of Manila and I hereby designate you to take
property or sums are to be given or applied.
care of the distribution of the said amount. Is this
What are the acts in making a will that cannot be
Yes. Article 786 applies:
designated to a third person?
Street children (specified class);
P10M (specific sum of money).
leave the distribution of the amount thereof to my
What if X said, I hereby make the children of lawyer. Is the provision valid.
Hospicio de San Jose as my legal heirs and declare
my lawyer to determine the amount which they are to No. Although they belong to a specified class, the
receive. Is the will valid? heirs were referred to by name. So Article 785 applies
No. Article 785 applies. Because the heirs and not Article 786. The heirs were specifically named
were referred to by name: the children of the Hospicio and were not merely a particular class.
de San Jose. Furthermore, the amount was not
specified by the testator. It is the lawyer who Suppose the testator stated in his will that I will
determines the amount. give the amount of P50M to all the college schools in
Manila and I leave the distribution of the amount
In the preceding question, what if the testator said, I thereof to my lawyer. Is the provision valid?
hereby make the 2002 graduating class of SBC as my Yes. Because the schools are of a particular class. The
legal heirs in the amount of P10M and declare my third person can distribute the amount by himself.
lawyer to determine the amount which they are to
receive. I this valid? *While Article 785, enumerates in absolute terms, the
Yes. The beneficiary was a specified class the different things which the testator cannot do, Article 786
graduating class of 2002. enumerates by way of exception the different things which
the testator may do.
Under Article 786, the property or the amount of money to
given must be specified by the testator, in addition to the Thus, the testator is allowed to entrust to a 3rd person:
requirement that it must be for a specified class or cause. 1. the power to distribute specific property or sums
of money, which he may have left in general to
X ordered Y to distribute P50T from his estate, for specific classes or causes
whatever good cause he may think. Is the act valid? 2. the power to designated the persons, institutions,
No. Because the recipient of the act is not a specified to which such property or sums of money are to
group or class. Article 786 does not apply. be given or applied

X bequeaths the amount of P5M for Metro Manila. What is contemplated under Article 786 is that, the
He authorized his executor, Y, to distribution the testator has already completed the testamentary act of
amount. Is the act valid? making a will. What is entrusted to a 3rd person are
Yes. The testator may entrust to a 3rd person the merely the details thereof, in order to make the devise or
distribution of specific property or sums of money, legacy more effective.
that he may leave in general to specified classes or
causes, and, also the designation of the persons, Example: A testator may bequeath P1M to a specified
institutions or establishments to which such property class, such as, the different charitable institutions of
or sums of money are to be given or applied (Article Manila, or to a specified cause, such as, the cause of
786). labor, entrusting the same time, to the executor of his
estate, the power to designate the different
In this case, X has already completed the testamentary institutions or organizations to whom the said
act of making a will. What he delegated to Y was amount shall be given.
merely the details thereof, on order to make the
devise or the legacy more effective. Article 787 The testator may not make a
testamentary disposition in such manner that
*The determination of the amount which the heirs, devisees another person has to determine whether or not it is
and legacies are to take is a testamentary act which cannot to be operative.
be delegated to a 3rd person, which such heirs, devisees or
legatees are referred to by name. This prohibition is *The act determining whether a testamentary disposition is
intended to discourage the illegal delegation of to be operative or not, is not exactly testamentary in
testamentary powers (Article 785). character. But the delegation of such act to a 3rd person
would be tantamount to allowing the testator to substitute
Take note however, that the prohibition provided for under the will of a 3rd person, for his own, which precisely, what
Article 785 is different from the rule enunciated under the law intends to prevent, when it states that the making
Article 786. Under Article 786, it involves beneficiaries, of a will cannot be left, in whole or in part, to the discretion
who are not referred to by name, but are referred to by of a 3rd person.
specific classes or causes.
Suppose it is stated in Mr Xs will I will give my
X stated in his will, I give the amount of P50M, for house and lot to F, if my wife will agree. Is the
the benefit of SBC, CEU, LCC and PHS schools and I provision valid?
What are the kinds of ambiguities/validities in the
No. Because it is subject to the 3rd persons formalities of the will?
determination. Under Article 787, the testator may not 1. Latent or intrinsic ambiguities
make a testamentary disposition in such a manner 2. Patent or extrinsic ambiguities
that another person has to determine whether or not it
is to be operative. What is latent or intrinsic ambiguities?
That which does not appear on the face of the will and
In the preceding, is the entire will invalid? is discovered only the extrinsic evidence.
No. The only provisions whose effectivity depend
upon the determination of the 3rd peson (Xs wife) Example: I institute my brother-in-law.
will be invalidated.
When it is discovered, that there are 2
What are the aspects of a will governed by the law of brothers-in-law. This ambiguity is not found in the
the decedent?(A OIC) will itself. The doubt arises only because of the things
1. Order of succession outside the will.
2. Amount of succession
3. Intrinsic validity of testamentary In a will, this kind of ambiguity arises:
provisions 1. When there is an imperfect description of the
4. Capacity to succeed (Article 1039) heir, legatee or devisee
2. When there is an imperfect description of the
*Article 1039 Civil Code: Capacity to succeed is governed gift being given
by the law of the nation of the decent. 3. When only one recipient is designated, but it
turns out that there are two or more, who fit
What is the Rule on the interpretation and the description
construction with respect to testate succession?
What is patent or extrinsic ambiguity?
The rule is to ascertain and give effect to the That which appears on the face of the will itself, in
intention and desires of the testator, provided, they other words, by examining the provision itself, it is
are not contrary to law. evident that it is not clear.
Article 788 If a testamentary disposition admits of
different interpretations, in case of doubt, that Example: I hereby institute some of my 7 brothers.
interpretation by which the disposition is to be It is evident here, that we do not know how many of
operative shall be preferred. the brothers are being instituted.

What if the provision of the will admits of different In this case, extrinsic evidence, as well as the will
interpretations, which shall be preferred? itself may be examined (but not the oral declarations
If a testamentary disposition admits of different of the testator) to ascertain the testators intent, but if
interpretations, in case of doubt, that interpretation by after everything has been done, the doubt still
which the disposition is to be operative shall be remains, not one of the seven brothers will inherit as
preferred. instituted heirs, because then, the heirs will be
considered as unknown persons under Article 844,
The reason is that, testate succession, provided the 2nd paragraph.
will is valid, is preferred to intestacy. If no doubt exist
and the disposition is clearly illegal, the same should What is the remedy if there is a latent/intrinsic
not be given effect. ambiguity in the provisions of the will?

Article 789 When there is an imperfect description, Ascertain the testatorial intention by using either or
or when no person or property exactly answers the both:
description, mistakes and omissions must be 1. Intrinsic evidence
corrected, if the error appears from the context of the 2. Extrinsic evidence
will or from extrinsic evidence, excluding the oral
declarations of the testator as to his intention; and The oral declarations of the testator as to his
when an uncertainty arises upoN the face of the intentions must be excluded.
will, as to the application of any of its provisions,
the testator's intention is to be ascertained from the Example: X, owns a two (2) parcels of land in a certain
words of the will, taking into consideration the province, has devised one of them to his cousin, Marc.
circumstances under which it was made, excluding During the testate proceedings, a question arouse as
such oral declarations. to the identity of the land devised because of the
imperfect description of the property in the will.
Article 790 The words of a will are to be taken in
How can the identity of the property devised be their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear
determined? intention to use them in another sense can be
gathered, and that other can be ascertained.
Under Article 789, Marc may avail himself of either
intrinsic or extrinsic evidence or of both, in order to Technical words in a will are to be taken in their
ascertain the testatorial intention. technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a
contrary intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears
Can Marc testify or present witnesses, who will that he was unacquainted with such technical sense.
testify to the effect that during his lifetime, the
testator, X, verbally declared or revealed the identity Article 791 The words of a will are to receive an
of the property he intended to devise? interpretation which will give to every expression
No. Such testimony would be hearsay, and some effect, rather than one which will render any
therefore, inadmissible as evidence. of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of
interpreting a will, that is to be preferred which will
Suppose that the will states I give to my first cousin prevent intestacy.
Anne Ekaterina Navarro my house and lot in Quezon
City. But three (3) first cousins are named Anne What is the effect if the will of the testator is not
Ekaterina Navarro. What kind of defect is this? What followed? Or if the will is void?
is the remedy?
Latent. Same as patent. Intestate succession occurs.
*Intestacy is not preferred because it is merely presumed.
What is the remedy if there is a patent/extrinsic Testate succession is the general rule because it the express
ambiguity in the provision of the will? will of the testator. Exception: if the will not valid or when
The same as lantent/intrinsic ambiguity. Ascertain the will is void.
the testatorial intention by using either or both:
1. intrinsic evidence Article 792 The invalidity of one of several
2. extrinsic evidence dispositions contained in a will does not result in
the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is
The oral declarations of the testator as to his to be presumed that the testator would not have
intentions must be excluded. made such other dispositions if the first invalid
disposition had not been made.
Why is oral declaration of the testator in determining
the ambiguities in the will not allowed? Will the invalidity of one of several dispositions
1. It is merely a hearsay, and therefore, contained in a will result in the invalidity of the
inadmissible as evidence other dispositions?
2. The testator is already dead by the time the
ambiguities of the will are questioned, and No. It will not result in the invalidity of the other
therefore, he can no longer refute the dispositions, which are otherwise valid, unless, it is to
testimonies of lying witnesses be presumed that the testator would not have made
such dispositions, if the first invalid disposition had
Testator will give his house and lot to two (2) of his not been made.
five (5) brothers. What king of ambiguity is this? Is
the disposition valid? *Even if one disposition or provision is invalid, it does not
necessarily follow that all the others are also invalid. The
Patent/Extrinsic. It is evident from the face of the will exception occurs when the various dispositions are
itself. It depends. Yes, if the identity of the two (2) indivisible in intent or nature.
brothers referred to in the will can be ascertained by
extrinsic or intrinsic evidence. No, if the identity Article 793 Property acquired after the making of a
cannot be determined. In this case, the law on will shall only pass thereby, as if the testator had
intestate succession shall apply. possessed it at the time of making the will, should it
expressly appear by the will that such was his
Principal Rule in Interpretation of Wills intention.
1. D etermine the testatorial intention
2. C onsider the provisions altogether After Acquired Properties
3. Avoid provisions which shall render the will
ineffective Under Article 793, property acquired during the
4. Testacy is always preferred interval between the execution of the will and the
death of the testator, are not as a rule, included
among the properties disposed of, unless, it should disposed of, unless it clearly appears from the will
expressly appear in the will itself, that such is the that he
intention of the testator. intended to convey a less interest.
What is the general rule as to the interest may be
Example: If the testator made a will in 1980, disposing disposed of?
his properties in the form of gifts or bequests of The entire interest of the testator in the property is
specific or determinate real and personal properties, given
and subsequently, during the period from 1980 to the not more or less.
time of his death in 1990, he is able to acquire other Example: The owner of the house who devises the
properties. same,
transfers ownership over the entire house. If he
According to Article 793, the will shall only pass to (owner)
those properties, which he had at the time of its were a mere co-owner or a usufructuary, he conveys
execution in 1980, but not those, which he had his
acquired subsequent thereto. share in the co-ownership, or his usufructuary rights,
It is clear however, that Article 793 applies only to more, no less.
devises and legacies and not to the institution of heirs. What are the exceptions to the aforestated rule?
This can be inferred from the provisions of Article 776 See Paras discussion under Article 792.
and 781 regarding the extent of inheritance. Article 795
The validity of a will as to its form depends upon the
X executed a will in 1980 instituting his three (3) observance of the law in force at the time it is made.
children, A, B and C, as his universal heirs. A shall be What law governs the intrinsic validity of a will?
entitled to , B to and C the remainder. X died in The law at the time of the death of the decedent.
1990, leaving considerable properties, most of which Kinds of validity with respect to wills:
were acquired during the period between 1980 and 1. extrinsic validity
1990. How will the estate be distributed? Or what refers to the forms and solemnities needed
part of the estate will be distributed? maybe seen from the viewpoint of time and
The division of the estate as dictated in the will shall 2. intrinsic validity
be applied not only to those properties existing at the refers to the legality of the provisions in an
time of the execution of the will on 1980, but even to instrument, contract or will
those that were acquired subsequent thereto, because may be seen from the viewpoint of time
A, B and C are instituted heirs. and place
The formal validity of the will is to be judged not by
Why does the provision of after acquired properties the
apply only to legatees and devisees? law in force at the time of (a) the testators death, or
It does not apply to heirs, because the heirs inherit (b)
everything at the time of the testators death. The the supposed will is presented in the court for
extent of the inheritance includes those properties probate, or
acquired even after the execution of the will. The time (c) when the petition is decided by court, but at the
of death is the determining point of the properties, time
which the heirs will inherit, not the making of the the instrument was made.
will. Reason: The testators wishes regarding the
disposition of
The provision applies only to the legatees and his estate among his heirs, devisees and legatees are
devisees because the intention of the will is a given
complete act. solemn expression at the time the will is executed,
*Do not confuse Article 793 with Article 781. Taje note of thus becomes a complete act (Enriquez vs Abadia, 50
the difference between after acquired property (those OG
acquired between the making of the will and the testators 4185; In re: Will of Riosa, 39 Phil 23). Furthermore, a
death) and the property accruing since the opening of the testator cannot be expected to know the future, hence,
succession (or the property added after the death of the it
decendent, referred to under Article 781). is enough that he follows the law in force at the time
Article 794 he
Every devise or legacy shall cover all the interest makes the will.
which What is the effect of a new law changing the
the testator could device or bequeath in the property formalities
of a will? disposition of his estate among his heirs, devisees and
1. after the death of the testator, the rules have no legacies, are given solemn expression at the time the
effect because the heirs already have a vested will
right was executed. It is also during that same time, that
2. before the death of the testator, the rules have will
no effect becomes a completed act.
Exception: if a new law expressly provides for a Suppose at the time of the execution of the will, the
retroactive application law
Exception to the exception: when the heirs required three (3) witnesses. The will was executed by
already have a vested right X,
In the preceding problem, does the exception (with complying with such requirement. Thereafter, a
respect to retroactive application of the Law) violate subsequent law reduced the required number of
the constitutional prohibition regarding the witnesses, until the time X dies. Is the will valid?
deprivation of property without due process of law? Yes. Although, the will did not comply with the
No. It does not violate the constitutional prohibition formalities
regarding the deprivation of property, because: prescribed by law, enacted after the execution of the
1. the statute is enacted before the death of the will,
testator, and as a consequence yet, it can still be admitted to probate because it had
2. no rights are yet vested in the persons called to complied with all of the formalities in force at the
the inheritance either as heirs, devisees or time of
legatees its execution.
Furthermore, the will is still revocable. Thus, if the Is the rule enunciated in Article 795 absolute?
testator No. The validity of a will as to its form depends upon
has made a will and a new law is passed affecting the the
will, observance of the law in force at the time it is made.
the testator may still changed the will to conform to Except, if a subsequent law allows or required
the retroactivity. A latter law may allow for express
new law. retroactivity as implied from the language used
What then is the rule under Article 795? therein.
A will perfectly valid at the time of its execution Suppose X died before effectivity of a new law, but
cannot be probate of the will was initiated after the effectivity
invalidated by a law enacted after the death of the of
testator; neither can a will totally void at the time of the law. Will the new law be given retroactive effect?
its No. The new law must be given retroactive effect, as
execution be validated by such subsequent legislation. this
will violate the vested rights of the heirs.
Suppose X executed his last will and testament in Why?
September 13, 1999. The law at the time it was Because the rights are transmitted at the time of the
executed, death
requires three (3) witnesses. But the time X executed of the decedent.
his Lorenzo vs Posadas (64 Phil 353)
last will and testament, only two (2) were present. A FACTS: Thomas Hanley died, leaving a will and some
month thereafter, a new law was passed requiring personal and real properties. The will, which was duly
only admitted to probate, provides among other things, that all
one (1) witness. Should Xs will be given effect? the properties of the testator shall pass to his nephew,
No. Because the validity of the will as to its form Matthew Hanley. However, it also provides that all the real
depends estate shall be placed under the management of the
upon the observance of the law in force at the time it executors for a period of ten (10) years. After the
is expiration of which, the properties shall be given to
made. The formal validity of the will is to be judged, Matthew Hanley.
not Plaintiff contends that the inheritance tax should be based
only by the law in force at the time of the supposed upon the value of the estate at the expiration of the tenyear
will is period, which according to the testators will, the
presented in court for probate, or when the petition is property could be and is to be delivered to the instituted
decided by court, but also at the time the instrument heir, and not upon the value thereof, at the time of the
was death of the testator.
executed. Although the will operates only after the HELD: Whatever may be the time when actual
death transmission of the inheritance takes place, succession
of the testator, in reality, his wishes regarding the takes place in any event at the moment of death of the
decedent. at the time of the execution of the will.
Death is the generating source from the power of the State In the preceding problem, what if X believed in good
to impose inheritance taxes takes it being. Hence, if upon faith
the death of the decedent, succession takes place and the that he is already eighteen (18) years of age, is the
right of the State to tax vest instantly, the tax should be will
measured by the value of the estate as it stood at the time valid?
of the decedents death, regardless of any subsequent No. Good faith is immaterial.
contingence affecting value or any subsequent increase or Suppose that X is already ninety-five (95) years old,
decrease in value. can
Article 796 to Article 800 he still make a will?
Testamentary Capacity and Intent Yes.
Testamentary Capacity refers to the ability, as well What if X suffers from tubercolosis, diabetis, SARS,
as, AID,
the power to make a will. etc?
Article 796 He may still make a valid will.
All persons who are not expressly prohibited by law What if X does not remember that he has a wife and a
may children?
make a will. No. Because he does not know the proper object of his
Who may execute a will? bounty.
All persons who are not expressly prohibited by law What is X knows he has a BPI Bank Account, but
to does not
make a will. know the exact amount or he knows he has a lot in
Is the right to make a will a natural right? QC
No. Because not all persons are qualified to make a but he does not know the exact address?
will. He may still make a valid will for as long as he knows
The law provides some requirements before a person the
can nature and extent of his estate.
execute a will. Pointers:
It is purely a creature of statute, and as such, is subject 1. The law prescribed no limit in point of age by
matter of legislative control. which a person cannot dispose of his property by
Article 797 will. Hence, mere senility or infirmity of old age
Persons of either sex under eighteen years of age does not necessary imply that a person lacks
cannot testamentary capacity.
make a will. 2. A person is considered to have reached the age
What are the minimum requirements for persons in of eighteen (18) on the 1st hour of his birthday.
making a will? 3. Neither physical infirmity or disease is
1. must be 18 years old inconsistent with testamentary capacity. The
2. must be of sound mind usual test must still be applied.
3. must not be expressly prohibited by law 4. Senile dementia produces a testamentary
When does a person become eighteen (18)? incapacity. It is defined as the peculiar decay of
A person is said to have reached the age of eighteen the mental faculties, whereby the person
(18) afflicted is reduced to a second childhood.
only at the commencement of the day which is 5. The fact that the testator is under the immediate
popularly influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs at the
known as his birthday. time he performs the testamentary act, does not
*eighteen (18) years of age invalidate his will, on the ground of lack of
minimum age required testamentary capacity, provided he meets the
as long as it is made before the decedent three (3) requirements.
reaches the age of eighteen (18) the will is 6. An insane delusion, which will render one
void incapable of making a will, may be defined as a
good faith is immaterial belief in things, which do not exist, and which,
the law does not fix a maximum age no rational mind would believe to exist.
X made a will when he is only seventeen (17). He died 7. A belief in spiritualism is not itself a sufficient
without changing the will. Is the will valid? evidence of testamentary incapacity. However, a
No. X has no testamentary capacity at the time of the will executed by one under such extraordinary
execution of the will. Supervening capacity or belief in spiritualism, that he follows blindly and
incapacity implicitly, the supposed direction of the spirits in
does not affect the will because its invalidity is constructing the will, is not admissible to
determined probate.
Example: Belief in angels/dwarfs that at the time of making the will he is able to know
a. if no angel delusion the
b. if there is angel undue pressure and influence nature of the estate to be disposed of, the proper
or even threat object
Article 798 of his bounty and the character of his testamentary
In order to make a will it is essential that the act,
testator be then X can still be considered to be of sound mind.
of sound mind at the time of its execution. What are the requisites in order that a testator be
Article 799 considered to be of sound mind?
To be of sound mind, it is not necessary that the The testator must be able, at time of the making of the
testator will, to know:
be in full possession of all his reasoning faculties, or 1. the nature of the estate to be disposed of
that 2. the proper objects of his bounty
his mind be wholly unbroken, unimpaired, or 3. the character of his testamentary act
unshattered What does nature of estate mean?
by disease, injury or other cause. It refers to the character and the testators ownership
It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the of
time of what he is giving. Knows the properties but not
making the will to know the nature of the estate to be necessarily
disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty, and the all the details of the properties.
character of the testamentary act. X decided to make a will. He knows he has properties
When is a person of a sound mind? What is the in
definition Manila, but he does not know the exact address. Is
of a sound mind as applied in the making of the will? the
To be of sound mind, it is not necessary that the disposition valid?
testator Yes. Because the law merely requires that the testator
to be in full possession of all his reasoning faculties or knows, in a general way the nature and the extent of
that his
his mind be wholly unbroken, unimpaired or properties. In this case, X is of sound mind when he
unshattered executed the will.
by disease, injury or other cause. X made a will in 1990. He knew he has money in the
It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the time bank
of and house in Manila but he forgot the specific detail
making the will to know the nature of the estate to be concerning his properties. Is the will valid?
disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty, and the Yes. Because X knows the extent of his properties in a
character of the testamentary act. general way. He is of sound mind.
*Soundness of mind is the ability of the testator mentally What does the proper objects of his bounty mean?
to understand in a general way, the nature and extent of It refers to the testators relation to those who would
his property, his relation to those who naturally have a naturally have a claim or to those who would benefit
claim, to benefit from his property left by him (proper from
bounty), and a general understanding of the practical the property left by the testator. In short, it refers to
effect of the will as executed (must be aware that his act is the
revocable and must be aware of the effects of his act of persons who for some reason expect to inherit
making a will). something
Suppose X suffered a stroke and part of his brain was from the testator.
damaged. Can he still be considered to be of sound page | 17 .
mind copied and modified from ALLIANCE FOR
for purposes of executing a will? ALTERNATIVE ACTION
It depends. by kotch.agcaoili.agudo
If the brain damage sustained by X is so severe, that it Example: testators children
deprives him, at the time of making the will, to know Is it necessary that the testator should know the
the beneficiaries of the will?
nature of the estate to be disposed of, the proper As a general rule, yes. Because the law requires the
object testator to be aware of the proper objects of his
of his bounty, and the character of his testamentary bounty,
act, except in Article 786 which provides that the testator
then, X cannot be considered to be of sound mind. may
But is the brain damage sustained by X is not so designate only a specific class or cause in his will, and
severe, that
the third person shall be responsible in allocating the person who made the will is under guardianship?
specific portion to its members. A prima facie presumption of mental incapacity,
What does testator is able to know the character of when a
the person is under guardianship.
testamentary act mean? If during the probate of the will, there is a question as
It means that the testator knows that it is really a will, to
that the soundness of mind of the testator. Oppositors to
it is a disposition mortis causa, that it is essentially the
revocable. In short, the testator must have a general will presented the attending physician. Whose
understanding of the practical effect of the will as testimony
executed. shall be given weight, the attending physician or the
Can a drug addict make a valid will? doctor who renders the medical speculation?
As a general rule, yes. A drug addict can make a will Attending physician.
long as he is in his lucid mind and he complies with What is the effect of infirmity or disease on the
the testators
requisites provided for under Article 799, 2nd testamentary capacity?
paragraph. Physical infirmity or disease of the testator will not
The exception lies when the effect of drugs are so affect
strong his testamentary capacity as long as the
as to render him of unsound mind. tests/requisites
Article 800 are complied with.
The law presumes that every person is of sound mind, X executed a will. In order for her to sign the will, it
in is
the absence of proof to the contrary. necessary for Y, a minor, to guide her hands. Does X
The burden of proof that the testator was not of still
sound has testamentary capacity?
mind at the time of making his dispositions is on the Yes. As long as the three (3) requisites/tests are
person who opposes the probate of the will; but if the complied
testator, one month, or less, before making his will with.
was *Mental insanity refers to any disorder of the mind
publicly known to be insane, the person who resulting from disease or defect of the brain, whereby
maintains mental freedom may be perverted, weakened or
the validity of the will must prove that the testator destroyed. This is sometimes used as the equivalent of
made mental incapacity to make a will. But there may be mental
it during a lucid interval. incapacity to make a will without actual insanity.
Under Article 800, the law presumes that every Person suffering from:
person is 1. idiocy
of sound mind, in the absence of proof to the 2. imbecility
contrary. 3. senile dementia
What are the instances when this presumption is
inverted? Or what are the instances when the
testator is do not posses the necessary mental capacity to make a will
since these are absolute and permanent forms of mental
presumed to be mentally unsound?
There are at least three (3) instances: disease or insanity.
Idiocy refers to those who are mentally deficient in
1. when the testator, one (1) month or less, before
making his will was publicly known to be insane intellect.
Imbecility refers to those who are mentally deficient as a
*Instead of presumption of mental capacity,
there is a presumption of mental incapacity. The result of a disease.
But there are other forms or degrees of mental
burden of proof is shifted to the proponents of
the will. disease/weakness which do not necessarily negate
testamentary capacity.
2. if the testator made the will after he had been
judicially declared to be insane, and before such Under our law, to be of sound mind, it is not necessary that
the testator be in full possession of all his reasoning
judicial order has been set aside (Torres vs Lopez,
48 Phil 772) faculties or that his mind be wholly unbroken, unimpaired
or unshattered by disease, injury or other cause (Article
3. if the testator makes a will at the time he is still
under guardianship 799).
Hence, mental aberrations, which do not result in such
What is the reason for the inversion of the rule when
a impairment of the faculties as to render the testator
unable to know or understand the nature of his estate to
be disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty and the It has been justly said, that the will of an aged (old)
character of the testamentary act, will not destroy person,
testamentary capacity. should be regarded with tenderness, provided, that
Article 801 he
Supervening incapacity does not invalidate an passes the three (3) tests of possessing a sound mind.
effective Article 802
will, nor is the will of an incapable validated by the A married woman may make a will without the
supervening of capacity. consent
*Supervening capacity or incapacity does not affect the of her husband, and without the authority of the
will because its validity is determined at the time of the court.
execution of the will Article 803
Does the supervening incapacity of the testator A married woman may dispose by will of all her
invalidate an effective will? Or is the will of an separate
incapable property as well as her share of the conjugal
validated by the supervening capacity? partnership
No. (See Article 801 in relation to Article 795) or absolute community property.
X made a will when he was only seventeen (17) years Why is there no provision about married men on
old. laws of
He died at the age of twenty-seven (27) without testamentary capacity and intent?
changing Because there is no doubt as to the rights of men in
the will. Is the will valid? succession. Unlike women due to the Old Civil Code.
No. X has no testamentary capacity at the execution of Can a married woman execute her last will and
the testament without the consent of her husband and
will. Supervening capacity or incapacity does not without authority from the court?
affect the Yes. A married woman may execute a will without
will because its validity is determined at the time of the
the consent of her husband and without authority from
execution of the will. the
Suppose X made a will in 1975 when he was twenty- court. (Article 802)
(25) years old. In 1997, he became insane. He died in page | 19 .
1999. Is the will valid? copied and modified from ALLIANCE FOR
Yes. Subsequent incapacity of the testator does not ALTERNATIVE ACTION
invalidate a valid will. by kotch.agcaoili.agudo
How many times can a person make a will? What are the properties which a married woman may
There is no limit as to how many times a person can dispose of by will?
make A married woman may dispose by will all of her
a will, as long as, he has the capacity to do it. Once a separate
person is eighteen (18) years old the law presumes property, as well as, her share of the conjugal
capacity. So even if the testator is already one partnership
hundred or absolute community property.
(100) years old the will is still valid, unless otherwise What if the husband objects? Can she still make a
proven. valid
Does the law prescribe a limit in point of age by will?
which a Yes. Article 802 is very clear on this. A married
person can dispose of his property by will? woman may
No. As long as the testator passes the test of sound make a will without the consent of her husband.
mind, Aside
provided under Article 799. That is, that the testator, from the minimum requirement that she must be:
at eighteen (18) years old and be of sound mind, nothing
the of the making of the will, is able to know: more is needed for a married woman to validly make
1. nature of the estate to be disposed of a
2. the proper objects of his bounty will.
3. the character of the testamentary act
What is the reason why a person below eighteen (18)
years of age is incapacitated to make a will?
The law presumes mental incapacity. Articles 796 to 803 Testamentary Capacity
Why is a person too old still allowed to make a will?
2. Articles 804-809 (Forms of Wills)
Articles 820-824 (Witnesses to Wills)

1. Conde vs Abaya 13 Phils 240

2. Pamplona vs CA 96 SCRA 775
3. Guerrero vs Bilhis 521 SCRA 394
4. Door vs Diancin 55 Phil 479
5. Yap Tua vs Yap ka Kuan 27 Phil 579
6. Avers vs Garcia 42 Phil 145
7. Nayue vs Moja 47 Phil 152
8. Testate Esatate of Pilipil vs CA 72
Phil 546
9. Testate Estate of Abada vs Abaja
450 SCRA 264
10. Caneda vs CA 222 SCRA 781
11. ROdelas vs Aranza 119 SCRA 116
12. Codoy bs Calugay 312 SCRA 333
13. Ajero vs CA 236 SCRA 488
14. Azaola vs Singson 109 Phil 102
15. Nazareno vs CA 343 SCRA 637
16. Rivera vs IAC 182SCRA 322
17. Labrador vs CA 184 SCRA 322
18. Seangio vs Reyes 508 SCRA 177
19. Capitle vs Elbamuena 509 CRA 444
20. Paz Samaniego-Caleda vs Abence
556 SCRA 569