Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

In re: Will of Rev. Abadia Facts: On Sept. 6, 1923, Fr.

Sancho Abadia, parish priest of Talisay, Cebu, executed a document purporting to be his last will and testament. He died Jan. 14, 1943. He left properties estimated at P 8k in value. On Oct. 2, 1946, one of the legatees in the purported last will filed a petition to probate the will, to which the cousins and nephews of the deceased opposed. The purported last will and testament turned out to be a holographic will, as one of the attesting witnesses, the two others being also dead, testified that Fr. Sancho wrote out his will in Spanish, which he knew and understood, and that testator signed on the left hand margin of the front page of each of the three folios or sheets of which the document is composed, and numbered the same with Arabic numerals, and finally signed his name at the end of his writing at the last page, all this, in the presence of the three attesting witnesses after telling that it was his last will and that the said three witnesses signed their names on the last page after the attestation clause in his presence and in the presence of each other. The oppositors did not submit any evidence. Issue: WON the will may be probated, on the ground that even if the law in force at the time the will was made, does not recognize a holographic will, the intent of the testator is controlling. Ruling: NO, the will may not be probated, and the estate will be divided intestate. Art. 795 "The validity of a will as to its form depends upon the observance of the law in force at the time it is made." The above provision is but an expression or statement of the weight of authority to the affect that the validity of a will is to be judged not by the law enforce 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. One reason in support of the rule is that although the will operates upon and after the death of the testator, the wishes of the testator about the disposition of his estate among his heirs and among the legatees is given solemn expression at the time the will is executed, and in reality, the legacy or bequest then becomes a completed act. This ruling has been laid down by this court in the case of In re Will of Riosa, 39 Phil., 23. It is a wholesome doctrine and should be followed. When one executes a will which is invalid for failure to observe and follow the legal requirements at the time of its execution then upon his death he should be regarded and declared as having died intestate, and his heirs will then inherit by intestate succession, and no subsequent law with more liberal requirements or which dispenses with such requirements as to execution should be allowed to validate a defective will and thereby divest the heirs of their vested rights in the estate by intestate succession. The general rule is that the Legislature can not validate void wills Fleumer vs. Hix54 Phil 610 Facts: The petitioner is a special administrator of the estate of Edward Hix. He alleged that the latters will wasexecuted in Elkins, West Virginia on November 3, 1925 by Hix who had his residence in that jurisdiction,and that the laws of that state govern. To this end, the petitioner submitted a copy of Section 3868 of Acts 1882, c.84 as found in West Virginia Code, annotated by Hogg, Charles E., vol.2 1914, p. 1690 andas certified to by the Director of National Library.The Judge of the First Instance however denied the probate of the will on the grounds that Sec 300 and301 of the Code of Civil Procedure were not complied with. Hence, this appeal. Issue: Is it necessary to prove in this jurisdiction the existence of such law in West Virginia as a prerequisiteto the allowance and recording of said will. Held: Yes. The laws of the foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. The courts of thePhilippine Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the various states of theAmerican Union. Such laws must be proved as facts. Here the requirements of the law were not met.There was no showing that the book from which an extract was taken was printed or published under the authority of the state of West Virginia, as provided in Sec 30 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Nor wasthe extract from the law attested by the certificate of the officer having charge of the original, under theseal of the State of West Virginia as provided in Sec 301. No evidence was introduced showing that theextract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time alleged will was executed.The court therefore did not err in denying the probate of the will. The existence of such law in WestVirginia must be proved.

Probate of the late William Giberson. Lela Dalton v Spring Giverson Gr L-4113, June 30, 1952 Paul J Facts: Lela Dalton filed for the legalization of the documents which claims to be the holographic will of William Giberson, executed in California. The decedent was a citizen of Illinois, US and a resident of Cebu who died in UST, Manila. Spring Giberson, a legitimate son of the decedent opposed with the contention that before a will executed in a foreign country maybe probated here, it must be shown that it has been previously probated in said foreign country. The opposition, in support of his theory, he argues that Article 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure has been repealed by Rule 78, under Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution. That Article 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure reads as follows: A will executed outside of the Philippines, which may be authenticated and legalized under the laws of the state or country where it was granted, may be authenticated, legalized and registered in the Philippine Islands, and will have the same efficacy quesi has been granted in accordance with the laws of these Islands. Issue: WON the will of the decedent written in a foreign country does not have legal effect in the Philippines on the ground that it was not probated in that said country. Ruling: A person may dispose of their property for after his death by will. The granting of a legal act testamentoes that can be done in the Philippines or abroad, if granted in a foreign country, must be in accordance with the laws of that country, it is a rule universally adopted. The alien may have to after his death his property in the Philippines by will and not forced to give it in the Philippines can do in their own country or another, but according to the laws of the country granting it. Article 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure, respecting the freedom of the testator to give his will anywhere, has the will to be legalized in a foreign country in accordance with the laws of that country can legalizsarse also in the Philippines. That provision is substantive, it creates the rights of beneficiaries of the will: they are said to legalize wills otorgadosfuera Philippine Islands if they can be legalized in the country in which they were granted, giving them cause of action for compliance pedirjudicialmente the last testator's will whatever the place of execution. Sinesa provision would be truncated to test the power. And Article 637 reads: "The wills authenticated and legalized in the United States, or any state or territory thereof, or a state or paisextranjero, in accordance with the laws of that state, territory or country, may be legalized yarchivados registered in the Court of First Instance of the testator hath provinciaen property, or property efectados by such wills. " This articulono is in conflict with Article 635, in fact, more than its corollary noes. If a will made in a foreign country can be legalized in accordance with the laws of that country may also legalized in the Philippines, with more reason legalizadosen wills and foreign countries in accordance with the laws of those countries may also legalized in the Philippines. Article 1 of Rule 78 is nothing more than a transplantation of Article 637 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Reproduce the two provisions: RULE 78 - SECTION 1. Wills Philippines may be outside PROVED allowed here. - Wills PROVED and allowed in a foreign country, According To The Laws of Such country, may be allowed, filed, and Recorded by the Court of First Instance proper in the Philippines. SEC. 637. Wills islands may be outside PROVED allowed here. - Wills PROVED and allowed in the United States, or State or Territory Any thereof, or in a foreign state or country, According To The Laws of Such State, Territory, or country, may be allowed, filed, and Recorded in the Court of First Instance of the province in Which the testator has real or estate staff on Which Such will may Operate. The underlined words in the second arrangement is not shown in the first. Article 1 of Rule 78 can not prevent a legalized in the Philippines will made in a foreign country, if it can be legalized in accordance with the laws of that country, not previously required to be legalized in that country. It is untenable, therefore, the theory of the opponent.

Revoking the order appealed from with costs against the respondent. G.R. No. L-20234 December 23, 1964 PAULA DE LA CERNA, ET AL., petitioners, vs. MANUELA REBACA POTOT, ET AL., and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents. Facts: "It appears that on May 9, 1939, the spouses, Bernabe de la Cerna and Gervasia Rebaca, executed a joint last will and testament in the local dialect whereby they willed that 'our two parcels of land acquired during our marriage together with all improvements thereon shall be given to Manuela Rebaca, our niece, whom we have nurtured since childhood, because God did not give us any child in our union, Manuela Rebaca being married to Nicolas Potot', and that 'while each of the testator is yet living, he or she will continue to enjoy the fruits of the two lands aforementioned', the said two parcels of land being covered by Tax No. 4676 and Tax No. 6677, both situated in sitio Bucao, barrio Lugo, municipality of Borbon, province of Cebu. Bernabe de la Cerna died on August 30, 1939, and the aforesaid will was submitted to probate by said Gervasia and Manuela before the Court of First Instance of Cebu which, after due publication as required by law and there being no opposition, heard the evidence. Upon the death of Gervasia Rebaca on October 14, 1952, another petition for the probate of the same will insofar as Gervasia was concerned was filed on November 6, 1952, being Special Proceedings No. 1016-R of the same Court of First Instance of Cebu, but for failure of the petitioner, Manuela R. Potot and her attorney, Manuel Potot to appear, for the hearing of said petition, the case was dismissed on March 30, 1954 Spec. Proc. No. 1016-R, In the matter of the Probate of the Will of Gervasia Rebaca). Issue: WON a joint will is valid Held: The appealed decision correctly held that the final decree of probate, entered in 1939 by the Court of First Instance of Cebu (when the testator, Bernabe de la Cerna, died), has conclusive effect as to his last will and testament, despite the fact that even then the Civil Code already decreed the invalidity of joint wills, whether in favor of the joint testators, reciprocally, or in favor of a third party (Art. 669, old Civil Code). The error thus committed by the probate court was an error of law, that should have been corrected by appeal, but which did not affect the jurisdiction of the probate court, nor the conclusive effect of its final decision, however erroneous. A final judgment rendered on a petition for the probate of a will is binding upon the whole world; and public policy and sound practice demand that at the risk of occasional errors, judgment of courts should become final at some definite date fixed by law. Interest rei publicae ut finis sit litium. Petitioners, as heirs and successors of the late Bernabe de la Cerna, are concluded by the 1939 decree admitting his will to probate. The contention that being void the will cannot be validated, overlooks that the ultimate decision on whether an act is valid or void rests with the courts, and here they have spoken with finality when the will was probated in 1939. On this count, the dismissal of their action for partition was correct. But the Court of Appeals should have taken into account also, to avoid future misunderstanding, that the probate decree in 1939 could only affect the share of the deceased husband, Bernabe de la Cerna. It could not include the disposition of the share of the wife, Gervasia Rebaca, who was then still alive, and over whose interest in the conjugal properties the probate court acquired no jurisdiction, precisely because her estate could not then be in issue. Be it remembered that prior to the Civil Code, a will could not be probated during the testator's lifetime. It follows that the validity of the joint will, in so far as the estate of the wife was concerned, must be, on her death, reexamined and adjudicated de novo (from the beginning), since a joint will is considered a separate will of each testator. Thus regarded, the holding of the Court of First Instance of Cebu that the joint will is one prohibited by law was correct as to the participation of the deceased Gervasia Rebaca in the properties in question, for the reasons extensively discussed in our decision in Bilbao vs. Bilbao that explained the previous holding in Macrohon vs. Saavedra. Therefore, the undivided interest of Gervasia Rebaca should pass upon her death to her heirs intestate, and not exclusively to the testamentary heir, unless some other valid will in her favor is shown to exist, or unless she be the only heir intestate of said Gervasia. It is unnecessary to emphasize that the fact that joint wills should be in common usage could not make them valid when our Civil Codes consistently invalidated them, because laws are only repealed by other subsequent laws, and no usage to the contrary may prevail against their observance. Estate of Rodriguez

Facts: Case is a petition for certiorari seeking to nullify order of the CFI wherein after overruling the opposition to the institution of the intestate estate proceedings of the late Flaviano Rodriguez, he appointed Abelardo Rodriguez administrator of the estate upon filing a bond in the sum of P2,000. Rodriguez died Feb. 8, 1944 at Paranaque, leaving an estate worth P 10k. The surviving heirs are the widow, the six childrenpetitioners, and respondent Abelardo Rodriguez. All the heirs, already of age, entered into a verbal agreement whereby they agreed not to make a liquidation of the estate but to place it under the administration of the widow with the understanding that each of the six children would be entitled to receive a portion of the income in equal shares from year to year for the needs of their families provided that they do not exceed the participation to which they are entitled. On March 19, 1952, or eight years after the death of Flaviano Rodriguez, respondent Abelardo Rodriguez filed a petition for administration of the estate of deceased in spite of his knowledge that the estate had no debts and all the heirs were of age. On June 2, 1952, the other heirs, petitioners herein, objected to the petition invoking the rule that if the estate is free from obligations and the heirs are all of age, no administration proceedings shall be allowed; that on August 11, 1952, respondent Judge, after overruling the opposition, appointed Abelardo Rodriguez administrator of the estate upon filing the requisite bond. Issue: WON the appointment of Abelardo Rodriguez as administrator is valid, on the ground that the Rules of Court if the decedent left no debts and the heirs are all of age, or the minors are represented by their judicial guardians, the parties may, without securing letters of administration, divide the estate among themselves as they see fit, and should they disagree, they may do so in an ordinary action of partition. Ruling: YES, the appointment of Abelardo Rodriguez is valid. The law 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. While the law allows the heirs to divide the estate among themselves as they may see fit, or to resort to an ordinary action of partition, it does not compel them to do so if they have good reasons to take a different course of action. Said section is not mandatory or compulsory as may be gleaned from the use made therein of the word may. If the intention were otherwise the framer of the rule would have employed the word shall as was done in other provisions that are mandatory in character. Note that the word may is used not only once but in the whole section which indicates an intention to leave the matter entirely to the discretion of the heirs. G.R. No. L-16749 January 31, 1963 IN THE MATTER OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN, DECEASED. ADOLFO C. AZNAR, Executor and LUCY CHRISTENSEN, Heir of the deceased, Executor and Heir-appellees, vs. HELEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA FACTS: Edward Christensen was born in New York but he migrated to California where he resided for a period of 9 years. In 1913, he came to the Philippines where he became a domiciliary until his death. In his will, he instituted an acknowledged natural daughter, Maria Lucy Christensen (legitimate), as his only heir, but left a legacy sum of money in favor of Helen Christensen Garcia (illegitimate). Counsel for Helen claims that under Article 16, paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, California law should be applied; that under California law, the matter is referred back to the law of the domicile. On the other hand, counsel for Maria, averred that the national law of the deceased must apply, illegitimate children not being entitled to anything under California law. ISSUE: Whether or not the national law of the deceased should be applied in determining the successional rights of his heirs. HELD: The Supreme Court deciding to grant more successional rights to Helen said in effect that there are two rules in California on the matter; the internal law which applies to Californians domiciled in California and the conflict rule for Californians domiciled outside of California. Christensen being domiciled in the Philippines, the law of his domicile must be followed. The case was remanded to the lower court for further proceedings the determination of the successional rights under Philippine law only. G.R. No. L-23678 June 6, 1967 TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS G. BELLIS, deceased. PEOPLE'S BANK and TRUST COMPANY, MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS and MIRIAM PALMA BELLIS vs EDWARD A. BELLIS, ET AL.

Bengzon J Topic: US citizen with a will executed in the Philippines Facts: Amos G. Bellis, a US citizen had 5 legitimate children: Edward A. Bellis, George Bellis (who pre-deceased him in infancy), Henry A. Bellis, Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman from his 1st wife, Mary Mallen, whom he divorced and by his second wife, Violet Kennedy, who survived him, he had three legitimate children: Edwin G. Bellis, Walter S. Bellis and Dorothy Bellis; and finally, he had three illegitimate children: Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. He executed a will in the Philippines on August 1952 which he directed that after all taxes, obligations and expenses of administration are paid for, his distributable estate should be divided in trust in the following order and manner: (a) $240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen; (b) P120,000.00 to his three illegitimate children, Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis, Miriam Palma Bellis, or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied, the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives, namely: Edward A. Bellis, Henry A. Bellis, Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman, Edwin G. Bellis, Walter S. Bellis, and Dorothy E. Bellis, in equal shares. The executor bank submitted and filed its "Executor's Final Account, Report of Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported, inter alia, the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E. Mallen by the delivery to her of shares of stock amounting to $240,000.00, and the legacies of Amos Bellis, Jr., Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis in the amount of P40,000.00 each or a total of P120,000.00. In the project of partition, the executor pursuant to the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and Testament divided the residuary estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his first and second marriages. The 2 illegitimate children filed their respective oppositions arguing that they were deprived of the legitimes as illegitimate children and that they are compulsory heirs of the deceased. The Court overruled the opposition and approved the partition. Relying upon Art. 16 of the Civil Code, it applied the national law of the decedent, which in this case is Texas law, which did not provide for legitimes. Issue: WON Philippine law will apply on the basis of article 16 of the Civil Code where it applied the national law of the decedent. Ruling: Yes Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national law of the decedent, in intestate or testamentary successions, with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights; (e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the capacity to succeed. They provide that ART. 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may he the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. ART. 1039. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. Appellants would however counter that Art. 17, paragraph three, of the Civil Code, stating that Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. prevails as the exception to Art. 16, par. 2 of the Civil Code afore-quoted. This is not correct. Precisely, Congress deleted the phrase, "notwithstanding the provisions of this and the next preceding article" when they incorporated Art. 11 of the old Civil Code as Art. 17 of the new Civil Code, while reproducing without substantial change the second paragraph of Art. 10 of the old Civil Code as Art. 16 in the new. It must have been their purpose to make the second paragraph of Art. 16 a specific provision in itself which must be applied in testate and intestate succession. As further indication of this legislative intent, Congress added a new provision, under Art. 1039, which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law of the decedent.

It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our System of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's national law. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills one to govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate arguing from this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. Assuming that such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine will, it would not alter the law, for as this Court ruled in Miciano v. Brimo, 50 Phil. 867, 870, a provision in a foreigner's 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 in regard to those matters that Article 10 now Article 16 of the Civil Code states said national law should govern. The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis. Wherefore, the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto, with costs against appellants. So ordered. G.R. No. L-54919 May 30, 1984 POLLY CAYETANO, petitioner, vs. HON. TOMAS T. LEONIDAS, in his capacity as the Presiding Judge of Branch XXXVIII, Court of First Instance of Manila and NENITA CAMPOS PAGUIA, respondents. Facts: On January 31, 1977, Adoracion C. Campos died, leaving her father, petitioner Hermogenes Campos and her sisters, private respondent Nenita C. Paguia, Remedios C. Lopez and Marieta C. Medina as the surviving heirs. As Hermogenes Campos was the only compulsory heir, he executed an Affidavit of Adjudication under Rule 74, Section I of the Rules of Court whereby he adjudicated unto himself the ownership of the entire estate of the deceased Adoracion Campos. Eleven months after, on November 25, 1977, Nenita C. Paguia filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of the deceased, Adoracion Campos, which was allegedly executed in the United States and for her appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased testatrix. In her petition, Nenita alleged that the testatrix was an American citizen at the time of her death and was a permanent resident of 4633 Ditman Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.; that the testatrix died in Manila on January 31, 1977 while temporarily residing with her sister at 2167 Leveriza, Malate, Manila; that during her lifetime, the testatrix made her last will and testament on July 10, 1975, according to the laws of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., nominating Wilfredo Barzaga of New Jersey as executor; that after the testatrix' death, her last will and testament was presented, probated, allowed, and registered with the Registry of Wills at the County of Philadelphia, U.S.A., that Clement L. McLaughlin, the administrator who was appointed after Dr. Barzaga had declined and waived his appointment as executor in favor of the former, is also a resident of Philadelphia, U.S.A., and that therefore, there is an urgent need for the appointment of an administratrix to administer and eventually distribute the properties of the estate located in the Philippines. Meanwhile, on June 6, 1982, petitioner Hermogenes Campos died and left a will, which, incidentally has been questioned by the respondent, his children and forced heirs as, on its face patently null and void, and a fabrication, appointing Polly Cayetano as the executrix of his last will and testament. Cayetano, therefore, filed a motion to substitute herself as petitioner in the instant case which was granted by the court on September 13, 1982. ISSUE: WON a compulsory heir may be validly excluded by a will executed by a foreign testator? HELD: Yes, although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus, the respondent judge should have denied its reprobate outright, the private respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was, at the time of her death, an American

citizen and a permanent resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Therefore, under Article 16 par. (2) and 1039 of the Civil Code which respectively provide: Art. 16 par. (2)."However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found." Art. 1039."Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent." the law which governs Adoracion Campo's will is the law of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., which is the national law of the decedent. Although the parties admit that the Pennsylvania law does not provide for legitimes and that all the estate may be given away by the testatrix to a complete stranger, the petitioner argues that such law should not apply because it would be contrary to the sound and established public policy and would run counter to the specific provisions of Philippine Law. It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will, as provided for by Article 16 (2) and 1039 of the Civil Code, the national law of the decedent must apply. This was squarely applied in the case of Bellis v. Bellis (20 SCRA 358) wherein we ruled:"It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the decedent's national law. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. Parish Priest of Victoria v. Rigor FACTS: Father Pascual Rigor died. In his will he devised44-hectares of Riceland to his nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood. Inasmuch as no nearest male relative of the testator claimed the devise, the parish priest of Victoria claimed the Riceland. ISSUE: How should you interpret the statement in the will, should it refer only to the nearest male relative at the time when the testator died or should it be construed to mean all nearest male relative who would study for priesthood and you have to wait forever until that male relativeoccurs? RULING: It should be construed to refer to the nearest male relative living at the moment of death of the decedent because that is the time when transmission occurs. You cannot wait until the nearest male relative who would study for the priesthood occurs long after the pries tdied. The most reasonable construction is the nearest male relative living at the time of the death of the testator.