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Succession; general provisions; testamentary succession; testamentary capacity and intent; forms of wills

1. Ibarle vs. Po The moment of death is the determining factor when the heirs acquire a
definite right to the inheritance, whether such right be pure or contingent. No formal or judicial declaration is needed. 2. Palicte vs. Hon. Ramolete The term successor-in-interest includes one who succeeds to the interest of the debtor by operation of law. 3. Nufable vs. Nufable The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. It does not matter when the will was admitted to probate or the settlement of estate approved. 4. Reyes vs. CA As a general rule, courts in probate proceedings are limited to pass only upon the extrinsic validity of the will sought to be probated. The court merely inquires on its due execution, whether or not it complies with the formalities prescribed by law, and the testamentary capacity of the testator. It does not determine nor even by implication prejudge the validity or efficacy of the wills provisions. The intrinsic validity is not considered since the consideration thereof comes only after the will has been proved and allowed. 5. Postigo vs. Borjal The barring of the debts of the estate cannot effect a modification of the will, nor cause the testamentary provision of the testator to be interpreted as meaning anything but that stated in his will. 6. Solla vs. Azcueta In order to determine the testators intention, the court should place itself as near as possible in his position, and hence, where the language of the will is ambiguous or doubtful, it should take into consideration the situation of the testator and the facts and circumstances surrounding him at the time the will was executed. 7. Vda. de Villanueva vs. Juico The intention and wishes of the testator, when clearly expressed in his will, constitute the fixed law of interpretation, and all questions raised at the trial, relative to its execution and fulfilment, must be settled in accordance therewith, following the plain and literal meaning of the testators words, unless it clearly appears that his intention was otherwise. 8. Rodriguez vs. CA The wishes of the testatrix constitute the law. If a testamentary disposition admits of different interpretations, in case of doubt, that by which the disposition is to be operative shall be preferred. 9. Aznar vs. Garcia Intestate and testamentary succession, 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 governed by national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property, and regardless of the country where said property may be found. 10. Bellis vs. Bellis A provision in a foreigners will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored. 11. Llorente vs. CA Article 16 provides for the application of the national law of the decedent as regards the intrinsic validity of the will. 12. Bugnao vs. Ubag Testamentary capacity is the capacity to comprehend the nature of the transaction in which the testator is engaged at the time, to recollect the property to be disposed of and the person who would naturally be supposed to have claims upon the testator, and to comprehend the manner in which the instrument will distribute his property among the objects of his bounty. 13. Torres vs. Lopez A decree of guardianship is not conclusive as to the testamentary capacity of the decedent; it may be refuted by proof to the contrary. 14. Caguia vs. Calderon Greater weight is accorded to the testimonies of subscribing witnesses and those present during the signing of the will, than the medical experts whose testimonies were based wholly upon hypothetical questions. 15. Bagtas vs. Paguio Mere weakness of the mind and body, induced by age and disease do not render a person incapable of making a will. 16. Samson vs. Corrales Tan Quintin Mere professional speculation cannot prevail over the positive statements of 5 apparently credible witnesses whose testimony does not in itself seem unreasonable. 17. Neyra vs. Neyra In connection with mental capacity, the testimony of witnesses who had known and talked to the testator is more trustworthy than the testimony of alleged medical experts.

18. Alsua-Betts vs. CA (1) A will may be revoked by the testator at any time before the
testators death. There can be no restriction that may be made on his absolute freedom to revoke the will previously made, even if such previous will has been probated. For in the first place, probate only authenticates the will and does not pass upon the efficacy of the dispositions therein. And secondly, the rights to the succession are transmitted only from the moment of the death of the decedent. (2) A weak or feebleminded person may make a valid will, provided he has understanding and memory sufficient to enable him to know what he is about to do and how or to whom he is disposing of his property. II. Notarial Will

1. Acop vs. Paraiso The decedents alleged will, being written in English, a language unknown
to said decedent, cannot be probated, because it is prohibited by law, which clearly and positively requires that the will be written in the language or dialect known by the testator. 2. Jimenez Vda. de Javellana vs. Javellana Where there is want of expression in the body of the will itself or in the attestation clause that the testator knew the language in which the will was written, proof thereof may be established by evidence aliunde. Although lack of such evidence may be cured by presumption of knowledge of the language or dialect used in the will, no such presumption may arise where, as in the case at bar, the will was executed in Spanish, while the testator was a Visayan residing in San Juan, Rizal at the time of his death. 3. Amata vs. Tablizo Where the testator is in perfectly sound mental condition, neither old age, nor ill health, nor the fact that somebody had to guide his hand in order that he could sign, is sufficient to invalidate his will. 4. Lopez vs. Liboro (1) The purpose of the law in prescribing the paging of wills is to guard against fraud, and to afford means of preventing the substitution or of detecting the loss of any of its pages. The omission to put a page number on a sheet, if that be necessary, may be supplied by other forms of identification more trustworthy than the conventional numeral words or characters. (2) A statute requiring a will to be signed is satisfied if the signature is made by the testators mark. (3) There is no statutory requirement that the testators understanding of the language used in the will be expressed therein. It is a matter that may be established by proof aliunde. 5. Yap Tua vs. Yap Ka Kuan (1) If the writing of a mark simply upon a will is sufficient indication of the intention of the person to make and execute it, then certainly, the writing of a portion or all of the name ought to be accepted as a clear indication of an intention to execute it. (2) While the rule is absolute that one who makes a will must sign the same in the presence of the witnesses and that the witnesses must sign in the presence of each other, as well as in the presence of the one making the will, yet, nevertheless, the actual seeing of the signature made is not necessary. It is sufficient if the signatures are made where it is possible for each of the necessary parties, if they so desire, to see the signatures placed upon the will. 6. Leao vs. Leao The placing of a cross, by a testatrix, opposite her name attached to an instrument purporting to be her last will and testament is sufficient compliance. 7. Dolar vs. Diancin The requirement of the statute that the will shall be signed is satisfied not only by the customary written signature, but also by the testators thumbmark. 8. Ex Parte Arcenas Where a testator is unable to sign his name, the person signing at his request must write at the bottom of the will the full name of the testator in the latters presence, and by his express direction, and then sign his own name in full. 9. Guison vs. Concepcion The person requested by the testatrix to sign the will for her must write the name of the testatrix and not his own name. 10. Ex Parte Juan Ondevilla The law does not prescribe the specific form in which the name of the testator should be affixed at the foot of the will when written at his request by another person. The only thing required by law is that the will shall bear the name of the testator. 11. In the Matter of the Will of Siason (1) The recital of the name of the testator as written below the will at his request serves as a signature by a third person. (2) Had one of the witnesses left the room or placed himself so remotely therein as to be cut off from actual participation in the proceeding, then the subscription might not have taken place in his presence within the meaning of the law. 12. Macapinlac vs. Alimurong The legality of the will is not affected by the insertion, supposed to have been made subsequently, of another name before that of the testator when such name may be treated as nonexistent without affecting its validity.

13. Balonan vs. Abellana A will subscribed at the end thereof by some person other than the
testator in such manner that the signature of said person appears above the typewritten statement for the testatrix Anacleta Abellana may not be admitted to probate for failure to comply with the express requirement of the law that the testator must himself sign the will or that his name be affixed thereto by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. 14. Caluya vs. Domingo Where a testator is unable to write and his name is signed by another at his request, in his presence and in that of the subscribing witnesses thereto, it is unimportant, so far as the validity of the will is concerned, whether the person who writes the name of the testator signs his own name or not. The important thing is that it clearly appears that the name of the testator was signed at his direction in the presence of the subscribing witnesses and that they attest and subscribe it in his presence and in the presence of each other. III. Notarial Will

1. Jaboneta vs. Gustilo The true test of presence of the testator and the witnesses in the
execution of a will is not whether they actually saw each other sign, but whether they might have seen each other sign, had they chosen to do so, considering their mental and physical condition and position with relation to each other at the moment of inscription of each signature. 2. Nera vs. Rimando The position of the testator and of the witnesses to a will, at the moment of the subscription by each, must be such that they may see each other sign if they choose to do so. 3. Abaya vs. Zalamero (1) Where it appears in a will that the testator has stated that by reason of his inability to sign his name he requested one of the three witnesses present to do so, and that as a matter of fact, said witness wrote the name and surname of the testator who, stating that the instrument executed by him contained his last will, put the sign of the cross between his said name and surname, all of which details are set forth in a note which the witnesses forthwith subscribed in the presence of the testator and of each other, said will may be probated. (2) The fact that the witness who was requested to sign the name of the testator, omitted to state the words by the request of the testator when writing of his own hand the name and surname of the said testator, and the fact that said witness subscribed his name together with the other witnesses and not below the name of the testator, does not constitute a defect nor invalidate the said will. 4. In re Will of Tan Diuco An instrumental witness is one who takes part in the execution of an instrument of writing. The same witnesses who signed on the left margin of each page must be the same witnesses who should sign the attestation clause, inasmuch as they alone can certify the facts to be stated in said clause, for having taken a direct part therein. 5. Gabriel vs. Mateo The mere fact that one of the testatrixs signatures on the left margin of the will deviates from the horizontal direction apparently to avoid interfering with that of one of the witnesses written on the same line does not mean that the testatrixs signature was placed there after those of the witnesses had been written when it appears that the same tendency to rise is noted in the testatrixs other signatures in the same will. 6. In re Will of Prieto Failure of the attesting witnesses to sign with the testator on the left margin of each of the 5 pages of the will is a fatal defect. 7. Avera vs. Garcia A will properly executed in accordance with the requirements of existing law is not rendered invalid by the fact that the paginal signatures of the testator and the attesting witnesses appear in the right margin instead of the left. 8. In the Matter of the Estate of Saguinsin Page is each one of the two faces or planes of the leaf of a book or notebook. Two pages constitute 1 leaf. 1 page represents only 1/2 of 1 leaf. 9. In re Will of Tan Diuco, supra 10. Estate of Tampoy vs. Alberastine Statutes providing for formalities to be observed in the execution of wills are very strictly construed. The requirement regarding the signing on the left margin of each and every page of the will is mandatory and failure to comply with it is fatal to the validity of the will. 11. Aldaba vs. Roque Although the law requires that each folio of the will be paged in letters, that is, that the words one, two, etc., be written on each page to indicate its correlation, nevertheless, the use of the letters A, B, C, etc., to indicate paging, is a sufficient compliance

with the spirit of the law, since it indicates the correlation of the pages and serves to prevent the loss of any of them. 12. Unson vs. Abella When in a will reference is made to an inventory of the properties of the testator, which has thus been made a part of the will, if the will has an attestation clause that meets the requirements of the law, no other attestation clause is necessary for said inventory, but that of the will will be sufiicient for the validity both of the will and the inventory. 13. Testate Estate of Paula Toray By the attestation clause is meant "that clause wherein the witnesses certify that the instrument has been executed before them, and the manner of the execution of the same." It is signed not by the testator but by the witnesses, for it is a declaration made by the witnesses and not by the testator. And the law is clear that it is the attestation clause that must contain a statement, among others, that the testator signed the will in the presence of the witnesses. Without that statement, the attestation clause is fatally defective. 14. Gil vs. Murciano Where it appears from the context of an attestation clause that certain words have been inadvertently omitted, the court may supply the omission. Evidence aliunde is not allowed to fill the void or supply the missing details. What is permitted is a probe into the will, an exploration within its confines, to ascertain its meaning or to determine the existence or absence of the requisite formalities of the law. 15. In re Neumark The requirement as to the presence of an attestation clause and as to its contents should be mandatory. 16. In re Andrada The law requires that the attestation shall state the number of sheets or pages used, the evident purpose being to safeguard the document from the possibility of the interpolation of additional pages or the omission of some of the pages actually used. It is true that this point is also safeguarded by the other two requirements that the pages shall be consecutively lettered and that each page shall be signed on the left margin by the testator and the witnesses. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the requirement affords additional security against the danger that the will may be tampered with; and as the Legislature has seen fit to prescribe this requirement, it must be considered material. 17. Nayve vs. Mojal The act of the testator and the witnesses seeing reciprocally the signing of the will is one which cannot be proven by the mere exhibition of the will unless it is stated in the document. 18. Gonzales vs. Gonzales An attestation clause made by the testator himself more than by the instrumental witnesses, but signed by the latter right under the signature of the testator, substantially complies with the requirements of law. 19. Singson vs. Florentino If the last part of the body of the will contains a statement that it is composed of 8 pages, and the will itself shows that it is really and actually composed of 8 pages duly signed by the testator and his instrumental witnesses, the will is valid even if its attestation clause does not state the number of pages or sheets upon which the will is written. 20. Villaflor vs. Tobias That the attestation clause of the will is written on a separate page and not on the last page of the body of the document is a matter of minor importance and is explained by the fact that if the clause had been written on the last page of the body of the document, there would not have been sufficient space on that page for the signatures of the witnesses to the clause. In these circumstances the writing of the attestation clause on a separate page did not invalidate the will. 21. Abangan vs. Abangan - The object of the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills is to close the door against bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution of wills and testaments and to guarantee their truth and authenticity. It is not the object of the law to restrain and curtail the exercise of the right to make a will. When an interpretation already given assures such ends, any other interpretation whatsoever, that adds nothing but demands more requisites entirely unnecessary, useless and frustrative of the testators last will must be disregarded. 22. Caneda vs. CA The rule, as it now stands, is that omissions which can be supplied by an examination of the will itself, without the need of resorting to extrinsic evidence, will not be fatal and, correspondingly, would not obstruct the allowance to probate of the will being assailed. However, those omissions which cannot be supplied except by evidence aliunde would result in the invalidation of the attestation clause and ultimately, of the will itself. 23. Fernandez vs. Vergel de Dios The will is distinct and different from the attestation, although both are necessary to the validity of the will, each of which must comply with different requisites. 24. Taboada vs. Rosal Attestation consists in witnessing the testator's execution of the will in order to see and take note mentally that those things are, done which the statute requires for

the execution of a will and that the signature of the testator exists as a fact, while subscription is the signing of the witnesses names upon the same paper for the purpose of identification of such paper as the will which was executed by the testator. 25. Testate Estate of A. Ledesma Article 806 of the new Civil Code does not contain words requiring that the testator and the witnesses should acknowledge the testament on the same day or occasion that it was executed. 26. Gabucan vs. Manta The lack of the documentary stamp on a document does not invalidate such document. 27. Azuela vs. CA The attestation clause is "a memorandum of the facts attending the execution of the will" required by law to be made by the attesting witnesses, and it must necessarily bear their signatures. An unsigned attestation clause cannot be considered as an act of the witnesses, since the omission of their signatures at the bottom thereof negatives their participation. 28. Mascarina vs. Angeles The law does not require that the attestation clause state that the contents of the will were read to the testatrix. 29. Alvarado vs. Gaviola (1) The rationale behind the requirement of reading the will to the testator if he is blind or incapable of reading the will himself (as when he is illiterate), is to make the provisions thereof known to him, so that he may be able to object if they are not in accordance with his wishes. (2) Substantial compliance is acceptable where the purpose of the law has been satisfied, the reason being that the solemnities surrounding the execution of wills are intended to protect the testator from all kinds of fraud and trickery but are never intended to be so rigid and inflexible as to destroy the testamentary privilege. Substantial compliance suffices where the purpose has been served. 30. Pasno vs. Ravina The law does not require that the will shall be dated. Accordingly, a will without a date is valid. So likewise an erroneous date will not defeat a will. 31. Maglasang vs. Heirs of Cabatingan Donations mortis causa partake of the nature of testamentary provisions and as such, must be executed in accordance with the requisites on solemnities of wills and testaments under Articles 805 and 806 of the Civil Code. IV. Holographic wills; witnesses to wills; codicils and incorporation by reference; revocation of wills and testamentary dispositions; republication and revival of wills

1. Ajero vs.CA Only the requirements of Article 810 and not those found in Articles 813 and
814 are essential to the probate of a holographic will. What assures authenticity in holographic wills is the requirement that they be totally autographic or handwritten by the testator himself, as provided under Article 810. Enriquez vs. Abadia The validity of a will is to be judged not by the law in force at the time of the testator's death or at the time the supposed will is presented in court for probate or when the petition is decided by the court but at the time the instrument was executed. Roxas vs. De Jesus (1) As a general rule, the "date" in a holographic Will should include the day, month, and year of its execution. However, when as in the case at bar, there is no appearance of fraud, bad faith, undue influence and pressure and the authenticity of the Will is established and the only issue is whether or not the date "FEB./61" appearing on the holographic Will is a valid compliance with Article 810 of the Civil Code, probate of the holographic (2) Will should be allowed under the principle of substantial compliance.The prevailing policy is to require satisfaction of the legal requirements in order to guard against fraud and bad faith but without undue or unnecessary curtailment of testamentary privilege. If a Will has been executed in substantial compliance with the formalities of the law, and the possibility of bad faith and fraud in the exercise thereof is obviated, said Will should be admitted to probate. Varela vs. Calderon An attestation clause inserted in a holographic will does not in any way affect the essential requisites prescribed for such kind of wills, and consequently does not invalidate it nor destroy its character of a holographic will. Gan vs. Yap The execution and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will may not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses who have seen and/or read such will. The law regards the document itself as material proof of authenticity. Rodelas vs. Aranza If the holographic will has been lost or destroyed and no other copy is available, the will cannot be probated because the best and only evidence is the handwriting of the testator in said will. It is necessary that there be a comparison between sample handwritten statements of the testator and the handwritten will. But, a photostatic copy or xerox copy of the

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holographic will may be allowed because comparison can be made with the standard writings of the testator. 7. Azoala vs. Singson The requirement regarding the presentation of 3 witnesses in case there is contest can be considered mandatory only in the case of ordinary testaments, precisely because the presence of at least three witnesses at the execution of ordinary wills is made by law essential to their validity. Where the will is holographic, no witness need be present, and the rule requiring production of three witnesses must be deemed merely permissive if absurd results are to be avoided. 8. Codoy vs. Calugay The possibility of a false document being adjudged as the will of the testator cannot be eliminated, which is why if the holographic will is contested, that law requires three witnesses to declare that the will was in the handwriting of the deceased. In Article 811, the word "shall" connotes a mandatory order. 9. Yu Chengco vs. Tiaoqui Section 638 requires that the proof of the authenticity of a will executed in a foreign country must be duly "authenticated." 10. De La Cerna vs. Manuela Rebaca-Potot A final probate decree of a joint will of husband and wife affects only the share of the deceased spouse and cannot include the disposition of said joint will insofar as the estate of the living spouse is concerned, must be, on her death, reexamined and adjudicated de novo. 11. Cruz vs. Villasor The notary public before whom the will was acknowledged cannot be considered as the third instrumental witness since he cannot acknowledge before himself his having signed the will. If the third witness were the notary public himself, he would have to avow assent, or admit his having signed the will in front of himself. This cannot be done because he cannot split his personality into two so that one will appear before the other to acknowledge his participation in the making of the will. 12. Gonzales vs. CA The instrumental witnesses in Order to be competent must be shown to have the qualifications under Article 820 of the Civil Code and none of the disqualifications under Article 821 and for their testimony to be credible, that is worthy of belief and entitled to credence, it is not mandatory that evidence be first established on record that the witnesses have a good standing in the community or that they are honest and upright or reputed to be trustworthy and reliable, for a person is presumed to be such unless the contrary is established otherwise. 13. Macam vs. Gatmaitan The fact that a will has been allowed without opposition and the order allowing the same has become final and executory is not a bar to the presentation and probate of a codicil, provided it complies with all the necessary formalities for executing a will. It is not necessary that the will and the codicil be probated together, as the codicil may be concealed by an interested party and it may not be discovered until after the will has already been allowed; and they may be presented and probated one after the other, since the purpose of the probate proceedings is merely to determine whether or not the will and the codicil meet all the statutory requirements for their extrinsic validity, leaving the validity of their provisions for further consideration. 14. Diaz vs. De Leon The destruction of a will animo revocandi constitutes, in itself, a sufficient revocation. 15. Gago vs. Mamuyac Where a will which cannot be found is shown to have been in the possession of the testator, when last seen, the presumption is, in the absence of other competent evidence, that the same was cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption arises where it is shown that the testator had ready access to the will and it cannot be found after his death. 16. Bustamante vs. Arevalo Though testatrix knew that she had made a first will, she nevertheless said that the second will was her last one. This would seem to signify that her last will, cancelling her previously expressed wish, was to make Ariston Bustamante her only heir. Hence, it can be said that the first will has been entirely revoked. 17. Samson vs. Naval In order that a former will may be revoked by operation of law by a subsequent will, it is necessary that the latter should be valid and executed with the formalities required for making of wills. A subsequent will, containing a clause revoking a previous will, having been disallowed, cannot produce the effect of annulling the previous will, inasmuch as said revocatory clause is void. 18. Molo vs. Molo To be effective as a revocation, the writing must be executed with the same formalities which are required to be observed in the execution of a will. A writing fails as a revoking instrument where it is not executed with the formalities requisite for the execution of a

will, even though it is inscribed on the will itself, although it may effect a revocation by cancellation or obliteration of the words of the will. 19. Testate Estate of the Late Adriana Maloto Intention to revoke must be accompanied by overt physical act of burning, tearing, obliterating or cancelling the will by the testator or by another person in his presence and under his express direction. The physical act of destruction of a will must be coupled with animus revocandi on the part of the testator. V. Allowance and disallowance of wills

1. Manahan vs. Manahan In the phraseology of the procedural law, there is no essential
difference between the authentication of a will and the probate thereof. The words authentication and probate are synonymous in this case. All the law requires is that the competent court declare that in the execution of the will the essential external formalities have been complied with and that, in view thereof, the document, as a will, is valid and effective in the eyes of the law. 2. Coloma vs. Coloma The probate of a will in this jurisdiction is a proceeding in rem. The provision of notice by publication as a prerequisite to the allowance of a will is constructive notice to the whole world, and when probate is granted, the judgment of the court is binding upon everybody, even against the State. 3. Salazar vs. CFI CFI acquires jurisdiction to probate a will when it is shown by evidence before it: (1) That a person has died leaving a will; (2) in case of a resident of this country, that he died in the province where the court exercises territorial jurisdiction; (3) in the case of a nonresident, that he has left an estate in the province where the court is situated, and (4) that the testament or last will of the deceased has been delivered to the court and is in the possession thereof 4. Trillana vs. Crisostomo (1) Where a will is duly probated after publication pursuant to Sec 630 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the order admitting the will is, in the absence of fraud, effective against any persons. The fact that an heir or other interested party lives so far away as to make it impossible for such party to be present at the date appointed for the, probate of the will does not render the order of probate void for lack of due process. (2) If two wills are presented for allowance but one of them revokes expressly and absolutely the other, the revoked will cannot be included in the probate of the latter subsequent will, because it would be a waste of time to allow the revoked will if the subsequent revoking will is allowed. 5. Rodriguez vs. De Borja (1) Upon the will being deposited, the court could, motu proprio, have taken steps to fix the time and place for proving the will, and issued the corresponding notices conformably to what is prescribed by Section 3, Rule 76. (2) The power to settle decedents' estates is conferred by law upon all courts of first instance, and the domicile of the testator only affects the venue but not the jurisdiction of the Court. 6. Butiong vs. Surigao Consolidated Mining Co., Inc. It is well-settled that one who has or can have no interest in succeeding a decedent cannot oppose the probate of his alleged will. 7. Castaeda vs. Alamany To establish conclusively as against everyone, and once for all, the fact that a will was executed with the formalities required by law and that the testator was in a condition to make a will, is the only purpose of the proceedings under the new code for the probate of a will. 8. Sumilang vs. Ramagosa Probate is one thing the validity of the testamentary provisions is another. The first decides the execution of the document and the testamentary capacity of the testator; the second relates to descent and distribution. 9. Palacios vs. Catimbang Palacios The authentication of the will decides no other questions than such as touch upon the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requisites or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of a will. It does not determine nor even by implication prejudge the validity or efficiency of the provisions; that may be impugned as being vicious or null, notwithstanding its authentication. 10. Fernandez vs. Tantoco The mind of the attorney, being conversant with the requisites of the proper execution of the instrument, is more likely to become fixed on details; and he is more likely than other persons to retain those incidents in his memory. 11. Tolentino vs. Francisco When a will is contested it is the duty of the proponent to call all of the attesting witnesses, if available but the validity of the will in no wise depends upon the united support of the will by all of those witnesses. 12. Junquera vs. Borromeo Subscribing witnesses may forget or exaggerate what they really know, saw, heard or did; they may be biased and, therefore, tell only half truths to

mislead the court or favor one party to the prejudice of the other. This cannot be said of the condition and physical appearance of the questioned document itself. 13. Aldanese vs. Salutillo It is true that the rule prevailing in this jurisdiction is that when a will is contested the attesting witnesses must be called to prove the will or a showing must be made that they cannot be had, but that does not necessarily mean that they must be brought bodily before the court. It is their testimony which is needed and not their actual personal presence in the court room. 14. Ermac vs. Medelo The policy of the law is to terminate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of deceased persons with the least loss of time. The probate court is not the best forum for the resolution of adverse claims of ownership of any property ostensibly belonging to the decedent's estate. 15. Ongsingco vs. Judge Tan The general rule is that questions as to title to property cannot be passed upon in testate or intestate proceedings. 16. Magallanes vs. Kayanan The property, whether real or personal, which are alleged to form part of the estate of a deceased person but claimed by another to be his property by adverse title to that of the deceased and his estate and not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the deceased, cannot be determined by the probate court. The probate court may do so only for the purpose of determining whether or not a given property should be included in the inventory of the estate of the deceased, but such determination is not conclusive and is still subject to a final decision in a separate action to be instituted between the parties. The probate court may also determine questions of title to property if the parties voluntarily submitted to its jurisdiction and introduced evidence to prove ownership. 17. Coca vs. Borromeo The probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate or testate proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the inventory of a piece of property without prejudice to its final determination in a separate action. 18. Mendoza vs. Teh The mere fact that petitioner's deceased husband resides in QC at the time of his death affects only the venue but not the jurisdiction of the Court. 19. Padilla vs. Matela It is a settled rule that questions of title to property cannot be passed upon in testate or intestate proceedings. 20. Cordova vda. De Maalac vs. Ocampo When the interested parties are all heirs, it is optional to them to submit to the probate court a question as to title to property, and when so submitted, said probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon, the reason being that questions of collation or of advancement are generally inevitably involved therein which are proper matters to be passed upon in the due course of administration. 21. Estate of Gelacio Sebial The general rule is that questions of title to property cannot be passed upon in a testate or intestate proceeding. However, when the parties are all heirs of the decedent, it is optional upon them to submit to the probate court the question of title to property and, when so submitted, the probate court may definitely pass judgment thereon. 22. Bolisay vs. Alcid A court which takes cognizance of testate or intestate proceedings has power and jurisdiction to determine whether or not the properties included therein or excluded therefrom belong prima facie to the deceased, although such a determination is not final or ultimate in nature, and without prejudice to the right of the interested parties, in a proper action, to raise the question bearing on the ownership or existence of the right or credit. 23. Valero vda. De Rodriguez The prevailing rule is that for the purpose of determining whether a certain property should or should not be included in the inventory, the probate court may pass upon the title thereto but such determination is not conclusive and is subject to the final decision in a separate action regarding ownership which may be instituted by the parties. 24. Testate Estate of the Late Adriana Maloto vs. Maloto It is not proper to make a finding in an intestate estate proceeding that the discovered will has been revoked. The more appropriate remedy of the petitioners in the premises stated in the petition is for petitioners to initiate a separate proceeding for the probate of the alleged with in question. 25. Heirs of the Late Jesus Fran vs. Salas That the annexing of the original will to the petition is not a jurisdictional requirement is clearly evident in Sec 1, Rule 76 which allows the filing of a petition for probate by persons named therein, regardless of whether or not he is in possession of the will, or the same is lost or destroyed. 26. Dorotheo vs. CA If the will is extrinsically void, the rules of intestacy apply regardless of the intrinsic validity thereof. If it is extrinsically valid, the next test is to determine its intrinsic validity that is whether the provisions of the will are valid according to the laws of succession. 27. Heirs of Rosendo Lasam vs. Umengan Without having been probated, the last will and testament could not be the source of any right.


Arroyo vs. Abay The dismissal of the petition for probate in a previous special proceedings due to failure of the then petitioner and his counsel to appear on the date and time set for the hearing is not an adjudication on the merits. The probate of a will may be the concern of one person or several persons as usually is the case. The fault of one such person may be imputed to him alone who must suffer the consequences of his act. Such fault cannot be imputed to other persons. 29. Gayon vs. Gayon As succession takes place, by operation of law, "from the moment of the death of the decedent", heirs may be sued without a previous declaration of heirship. 30. Pilar S. Vda. De Manalo vs. CA The trial court, sitting as a probate court, has limited and special jurisdiction and cannot hear and dispose of collateral matters and issues which may be properly threshed out only in an ordinary civil action. 31. Icasiano vs. Icasiano The inadvertent failure of one witness to affix his signature to one page of a testament, due to the simultaneous lifting of two pages in the course of signing, is not per se sufficient to justify denial of probate. Impossibility of substitution of this page is assured not only the fact that the testatrix and two other witnesses did sign the defective page, but also by its bearing the coincident imprint of the seal of the notary public before whom the testament was ratified by testatrix and all three witnesses. 32. Coso vs. Fernandez Deza Mere general or reasonable influence over a testator is not sufficient to invalidate a will; to have that effect the influence must be undue. To be sufficient to invalidate a will, the influence exerted must be of a kind that so overpowers and subjugates the mind of the testator as to destroy his free agency and make him express the will of another rather than his own. Influence gained by kindness and affection will not be regarded as undue, if no imposition or fraud be practised, even though it induces the testator to make an unequal and unjust disposition of his property in favour of those who have contributed to his comfort and ministered to his wants, if such disposition is voluntarily made. 33. Pascual vs. de la Cruz It is a settled rule in this jurisdiction that the mere fact that a Will was made in favor of a stranger is not in itself proof that the same was obtained through fraud and undue pressure or influence. To be sufficient to avoid a will, the influence exerted must be of a kind that so overpowers and subjugates the mind of the testator as to destroy his free agency and make him express the will of another rather than his own. VI. Institution of heir; substitution of heirs; conditional testamentary dispositions and testamentary dispositions with a term

1. Nable Jose vs. Uson Heirs instituted without designation of shares shall inherit in equal

2. Pecson vs. Coronel Any person who has no forced heirs may dispose by will of all his 3. Miciano vs. Brimo Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good morals shall be 4.
considered as not imposed and shall not prejudice the heir or legatee in any manner whatsoever, even should the testator otherwise provide. Heirs of the late Matilde Montinola-Sanson vs. CA (1) One who has no compulsory heirs may dispose by will of all his estate or any part of it in favor of any person having capacity to succeed. (2) The fact that some heirs are more favored than others is proof of neither fraud or undue influence. Diversity of apportionment is the usual reason for making a testament, otherwise, the decedent might as well die intestate. Nuguid vs. Nuguid The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. Solano vs. Court of Appeals The preterition of the GARCIAS should annul the institution of ZONIA as heir only insofar as the legitime of the omitted heirs is impaired. Acain vs. IAC Preterition annuls the institution of an heir and annulment throws open to intestate succession the entire inheritance. The only provisions which do not result in intestacy are the legacies and devises made in the will for they should stand valid and respected, except insofar as the legitimes are concerned. Macrohon Ong Ham vs. Saavedra A will is valid even though it does not contain any institution of an heir, or if such institution does not include the entire estate, and even though the person instituted does not accept the inheritance or is disqualified to inherit. property or any part of it in favor of any person qualified to acquire it.\


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9. Crisologo vs. Singson It seems to be of the essence of a fideicommissary substitution that

an obligation be clearly imposed upon the first heir to preserve and transmit to another the whole or part of the estate bequeathed to him, upon his death or upon the happening of a particular event. A fideicommissary substitution shall have no effect unless it is made expressly either by giving it such name, or by imposing upon the first heir the absolute obligation to deliver the inheritance to a substitute or second heir. 10. Perez vs. Garchitorena Requisites of a fideicommissary substitution: (1) A first heir primarily called to the enjoyment of the estate; (2) An obligation clearly imposed upon the heir to preserve and transmit to a third person the whole or a part of the estate; (3) A second heir. Finally, the requisite added -- that the fideicommissary or second heir should be entitled to the estate from the time of the testator's death, which in the instant case, is, a necessary consequence derived from the nature of the fideicommissary substitution, in which the second heir does not inherit from the heir first instituted, but from the testator. 11. Rabadilla vs. CA Substitution is the designation by the testator of a person or persons to take the place of the heir or heirs first instituted. Under substitutions in general, the testator may either (1) provide for the designation of another heir to whom the property shall pass in case the original heir should die before him/her, renounce the inheritance or be incapacitated to inherit, as in a simple substitution, or (2) leave his/her property to one person with the express charge that it be transmitted subsequently to another or others, as in a fideicommissary substitution. Under Article 863, the fideicommissary to whom the property is transmitted must not be beyond one degree from the first heir or the fiduciary. A fideicommissary substitution is therefore, void if the first heir is not related by first degree to the second heir. 12. Balanay vs. Martinez The rule is that "the invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will does not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is to be presumed that the testator would not have made such other dispositions if the first invalid disposition had not been made". Where some of the provisions of a will are valid and others invalid, the valid parts will be upheld if they can be separated from the invalid without defeating the intention of the testator or interfering with the general testamentary scheme, or doing injustice to the beneficiaries. 13. Morente vs. De La Santa Article 790 of the Civil Code provides that testamentary provisions may be made conditional and article 793 provides that a prohibition against another marriage may in certain cases be validly imposed upon the widow or widower. 14. Natividad vs. Gabino A person is entirely free to make his will in such manner as may best please him, provided the testamentary provisions conform to law and meet its requirements. 15. Rigor vs. Rigor The will of the testator is the first and principal law in the matter of testaments. When his intention is clearly and precisely expressed, any interpretation must be in accord with the plain and literal meaning of his words, except when it may certainly appear that his intention was different from that literally expressed. 16. Vda. de Rodriguez vs. Tan When the estate has no pending obligations to be paid, the heirs, whether of age or not, are not bound to submit the property to a judicial administration for the reason that it is superfluous or unnecessary, and in most cases long and costly, in which case the way left to the heirs is to divide the estate among themselves as they may see fit, and should they disagree, they may do so in an ordinary action of partition. Section 1 does not preclude the heirs from instituting administration proceedings, even if the estate has no debts or obligations, if they do not desire to resort for good reasons to an ordinary action of partition. 17. Garcia Fule vs. CA The term "resides" connotes "actual residence" as distinguished from "legal residence or domicile." It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. No particular length of time of residence is required; however, the residence must be more than temporary. 18. Ilustre vs. Alaras Frondosa When the heirs are all of lawful age and there are no debts, there is no reason why the estate should be burdened with the costs and expenses of an administrator. The property belonging absolutely to the heirs, in the absence of existing debts against the estate, the administrator has no right to intervene in any way whatever in the division of the estate among the heirs. They are co-owners of an undivided estate and the law offers them a remedy for the division of the same among themselves. 19. Medina vs. Court of Appeals An administrator is deemed unsuitable and should be removed where his personal interests conflict with his official duties, by virtue of the equally established principle that an administrator is a quasi trustee, disqualified from acquiring properties of the estate, and who should be indifferent between the estate and claimants of the

property except to preserve it for due administration, and who should be removed when his interest conflicts with such right and duly. 20. Baluyut vs. Pano A hearing is necessary in order to determine the suitability of the person to be appointed administrator by giving him the opportunity to prove his qualifications and affording oppositors a chance to contest the petition. 21. Recto vs. De La Rosa A probate court may not without the consent of all the parties concerned pass on any controversy regarding the ownership of property purportedly forming part of the estate of a deceased person. 22. Dalisay vs. Consolacion The mere fact that an administrator happens to owe money to the decedent is not in itself a ground for his removal. 23. Uy vs. Court of Appeals It is well settled that a probate court cannot arbitrarily and without sufficient reason disregard the preferential rights ... to the administration of the estate of the deceased. But, if the person enjoying such preferential rights is unsuitable, the court may appoint another person. The determination of a persons suitability for the office of administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound judgment of the court exercising the power of appointment and such judgment will not be interfered with on appeal unless it appears affirmatively that the court below was in error. Unsuitableness may consist in adverse interest of some kind or hostility to those immediately interested in the estate.


Legitime; reserva troncal

1. Nieva vs. Alcala the provision of article 811 of the Civil Code apply only to legitimate

2. Hollero vs. CA heirs may relinquish their rights to the inheritance 3. Edroso vs. Sablan The ascendants who holds the property required by article 811 to be
reserved can dispose of the property they inherit itself from his descendant, and recover it from anyone who may unjustly detain it, while the persons in whose favor the right is required to be reserved in either case cannot perform any act whatsoever of disposal or of recovery. Only an act of disposal mortis causa in favor of persons other than relatives within the third degree of the descendants from whom he got the property to be reserved must be prohibited to him, because this alone has been the object of the law: "To prevent persons outside a family from securing, by some special accident of life, property that would otherwise have remained therein." Cabardo vs. Villanueva The transmission is gratuitous or by gratuitous title when the recipient does not give anything in return. It matters not whether the property transmitted be or be not subject to any prior charges; what is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously, or by an act of mere liberality of the person making it, without imposing any obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving the property transmitted deliver, give or do nothing in return. Riosa vs. Rocha In the transmission of reservable property the law imposes the reservation as a resolutory condition for the benefit of the reserves. The fact that the reservable character of the property was not recorded in the registry of deed at the time that it was acquired by the transferee cannot affect the right of the reservees, for the reason that the transfers were made at the time when it was the obligation of the reservor to note only such reservation and the reservees did not them have any right to compel her to fulfill such an obligation. Gonzales vs. CFI Article 891 clearly indicates that the reservable properties should be inherited by all the nearest relatives within the third degree from the prepositus. Lacerna vs. Vda. de Corcino A sister, even if only a half-sister, in the absence of other sisters or brothers, or of children of brothers or sisters, excludes all other collateral relatives, regardless of whether or not the latter belong to the line from which the property of the deceased came. Florentino vs. Florentino Reservable property neither comes, nor falls under, the absolute dominion of the ascendant who inherits and receives same from his descendant, therefore it does not form part of his own property nor become the legitimate of his forced heirs. It becomes his own property only in case that all the relatives of his descendant shall have died (reservista) in which case said reservable property losses such character. Cano vs. Director of Lands The only requisites for the passing of the title from the reservista to the reservatario: (1) the death of the reservista; and (2) the fact that the reservatario has survived the reservista.



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Frias Chua vs. CFI of Negros Occidental "The transmission is gratuitous or by gratuitous title when the recipient does not give anything in return." It matters not whether the property transmitted be or be not subject to any prior charges; what is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously, or by an act of mere liberality of the person making it, without imposing any obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving the property gives or does nothing in return; "the essential thing is that the person who transmits it does so gratuitously, from pure generosity, without requiring from the transferee any prestation." 11. Sumaya vs. IAC Relatives within the third degree in whose favor the right (or property) is reserved have no title of ownership or of fee simple over the reserved property during the lifetime of the reservor. Only when the reservor should die before the reservees will the latter acquire the reserved property, thus creating a fee simple, and only then will they take their place in the succession of the descendant of whom they are relatives within the third degree. The reserva is extinguished upon the death of the reservor, as it then becomes a right of full ownership on the part of the reservatarios, who can bring a reivindicatory suit therefor. 12. Velayo vs. Siojo The relatives within the third degree in whose favor the right is reserved cannot dispose of the property, first because it is in no way, either actually, constructively or formally, in their possession; and moreover, because they have no title of ownership or of fee simple which they can transmit to another, on the hypothesis that only when the person who must reserve the right should die before them will they acquire it, thus creating a fee simple, and only then will they take their place in the succession of the descendant of whom they are relatives within the third degree. VIII. Legitime

1. Danilo Suarez vs. Court of Appeals The legitime of the legitimate children and
descendants consists of 1/2 of the hereditary estate of their father or mother.