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Case Digests in SUCCESSION I.

General Provisions
A. Transfer of property, rights and obligation Art. 774, 776, 728
1. G.R. No. 149926 February 23, 2005 UNION BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. EDMUND SANTIBAEZ and FLORENCE SANTIBAEZ ARIOLA, respondents. Preliminaries: The case is a petition for review before the SC on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court which seeks the reversal of the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated May 30, 2001 in CA-G.R. CV No. 48831 affirming the dismissal of the petitioners complaint in Civil Case No. 18909 by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 63 regarding the petitioners money or debt claim against the respondents. Facts: Sometime in 1980, the First Countryside Credit Corporation (FCCC) entered into two successive loan agreement with the respondents father which Edmund and his father Ephraim were signatory to a promissory note in favor of the FCCC for the purchase of (3) three Agricultural All-Purposed Diesel tractors. The second one having a Continuing Guaranty Agreement. Sometime in February 1981, respondents father died, leaving a holographic will. Subsequently in March 1981, testate proceedings commenced before the RTC of Iloilo City appointing Edmund, as one of the heirs, as the special administrator of the estate of the decedent. During the pendency of the testate proceedings, the surviving heirs, Edmund and his sister Florence Santibaez Ariola, executed a Joint Agreement wherein they agreed to divide between themselves and take possession of the three (3) tractors; that is, two (2) tractors for Edmund and one (1) tractor for Florence. Each of them was to assume the indebtedness of their late father to FCCC, corresponding to the tractor respectively taken by them. Sometime in 1981, a Deed of Assignment with Assumption of Liabilities was executed by and between FCCC and Union Savings and Mortgage Bank, wherein the FCCC as the assignor, among others, assigned all its assets and liabilities to Union Savings and Mortgage Bank. Demand letters were sent by the petitioner to Edmund for the settlement of his account with the petitioner but Edmund failed to heed the same and refused to pay. Thus, on February 1988, the petitioner filed a Complaint for sum of money against the respondents, before the RTC of Makati City and summonses were issued against both, but the one intended for Edmund was not served since he was in the United States and there was no information on his address or the date of his return to the Philippines. Accordingly, the complaint was narrowed down to respondent Florence S. Ariola. In her answer Florence Ariola alleged that the loan documents did not bind her since she was not a party thereto. Considering that the joint agreement signed by her and her brother Edmund was not approved by the probate court, it was null and void; hence, she was not liable to the petitioner under the joint agreement. The RTC in its decision favoring the respondents stated that the claim of the petitioner should have been filed with the probate court before which the testate estate of the late Efraim Santibaez was pending, as the sum of money being claimed was an obligation incurred by the said decedent. The trial court also found that the Joint Agreement apparently executed by his heirs, Edmund and Florence, was, in effect, a partition of the estate of the decedent. However, the said agreement was void, considering that it had not been approved by the probate court, and that there can be no valid partition until after the will has been probated. Ruling that the joint agreement executed by the heirs was null and void, the trial court held that the petitioners cause of action against respondent Florence S. Ariola must necessarily fail. On its appeal to the CA, petitioner claims that the obligations of the deceased were transmitted to the heirs as provided in Article 774 of the Civil Code, there was thus no need for the probate court to approve the joint agreement where the heirs partitioned the tractors owned by the deceased and assumed the obligations related thereto. The petitioner also points out that the holographic will of the deceased did not include nor mention any of the tractors subject of the complaint, and, as such was beyond the ambit of the said will. The petitioner also proffers that, considering the express provisions of the continuing guaranty agreement and the promissory notes executed by the named respondents, the latter must be held liable jointly and severally liable thereon. Thus, there was no need for the petitioner to file its money claim before the probate court. Finally, the petitioner stresses that both surviving heirs are being sued in their respective personal capacities, not as heirs of the deceased. The CA affirmed the decision of the Trial Court thus the petitioner filed an appeal before the SC. Issue:

Whether or not the petitioner can hold the respondents liable on the obligation of their deceased father being the successor of the property, rights and obligation of the decedent without probate of a will of the decedent?

Held: The Court held that, in testate succession, there can be no valid partition among the heirs until after the will has been probated. The law enjoins the probate of a will and the public requires it, because unless a will is probated and notice thereof given to the whole world, the right of a person to dispose of his property by will may be rendered nugatory. The authentication of a will decides no other question than such as touch upon the capacity of the testator and the compliance with those requirements or solemnities which the law prescribes for the validity of a will. The Court also stressed that, it is well-settled is the rule that a probate court has the jurisdiction to determine all the properties of the deceased, to determine whether they should or should not be included in the inventory or list of properties to be administered. The said court is primarily concerned with the administration, liquidation and distribution of the estate and to avoid prejudice to other possible heirs and creditors who may have a valid claim against the estate of the deceased. The Court in perusing the joint agreement, it provides that the heirs as parties thereto "have agreed to divide between themselves and take possession and use the above-described chattel and each of them to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel taken as herein after stated which is in favor of First Countryside Credit Corp." The assumption of liability was conditioned upon the happening of an event, that is, that each heir shall take possession and use of their respective share under the agreement. It was made dependent on the validity of the partition, and that they were to assume the indebtedness corresponding to the chattel that they were each to receive. The partition being invalid as earlier discussed, the heirs in effect did not receive any such tractor. It follows then that the assumption of liability cannot be given any force and effect. The Court in determining whether the heirs assumption of the indebtedness of the decedent is binding without a probate proceeding, the Court ruled in the negative. The Court notes that the loan was contracted by the decedent. The petitioner, purportedly a creditor of the late Efraim Santibaez, should have thus filed its money claim with the probate court in accordance with Section 5, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court. The SC denied the petition.

2. G.R. No. L-8437. November 28, 1956. ESTATE OF K. H. HEMADY, deceased, vs. LUZON SURETY CO., INC., claimant-Appellant. Preliminaries: Before the Court is an appeal by Luzon Surety Co., Inc., from an order of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, dismissing its claim against the Estate of K. H. Hemady. Facts: K. H. Hemady before his demise entered a suretyship agreement with Luzon Surety Co. Inc., herein claimaint-appellant, as solidary guarantor on twenty different indemnity agreements, or counter bonds, each subscribed by a distinct principal, in consideration of the Luzon Surety Co.s of having guaranteed, the various principals in favor of different creditors. Stipulated in the suretyship agreement, among others, is that the undersigned, jointly and severally, agree at all times to indemnify the COMPANY and keep it indemnified and hold and save it harmless from and against any and all damages, losses, and expenses of whatsoever kind and nature which the COMPANY shall or may, at any time sustain or incur. It stipulated that, It shall not be necessary for the COMPANY to bring suit against the principal upon his default, or to exhaust the property of the principal, but the liability hereunder of the undersigned indemnitor shall be jointly and severally, a primary one, the same as that of the principal, and shall be exigible immediately upon the occurrence of such default. Upon the death of Hemady the court assigned an administratrix of his estate thereafter the Luzon Surety Co. had filed a claim against the Estate based on twenty different indemnity agreements. The administratrix contends that upon the death of Hemady, his liability as a guarantor terminated, and therefore, in the absence of a showing that a loss or damage was suffered, the claim cannot be considered contingent. The Trial Court believes that there is merit in this contention and finds support in Article 2046 of the new Civil Code. It should be 2

noted that a new requirement has been added for a person to qualify as a guarantor, that is integrity. As correctly pointed out by the Administratrix, integrity is something purely personal and is not transmissible. Upon the death of Hemady, his integrity was not transmitted to his estate or successors. Whatever loss therefore, may occur after Hemadys death, are not chargeable to his estate because upon his death he ceased to be a guarantor. Thus, the lower court dismissed the claims of Luzon Surety Co. stating that whatever losses may occur after Hemadys death, are not chargeable to his estate, because upon his death he ceased to be guarantor. Issue: Whether or not the obligation left by the guarantor upon his death is not chargeable to his estate based on the extinguishment of his qualification? Held: The Court held that the reasoning presented by the lower court and the administratrix is untenable. The Court said under the Civil Code, Contracts take effect only as between the parties, their assigns and heirs, except in the case where the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of law. The Court further stressed that, while in our successional system the responsibility of the heirs for the debts of their decedent cannot exceed the value of the inheritance they receive from him, the principle remains intact that these heirs succeed not only to the rights of the deceased but also to his obligations. Articles 774 and 776 of the New Civil Code (and Articles 659 and 661 of the preceding one) expressly so provide. ART. 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law. ART. 776. The inheritance includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by his death. Under our law, therefore, the general rule is that a partys contractual rights and obligations are transmissible to the successors. The Court also stressed that, of the three exceptions fixed by Article 1311, the nature of the obligation of the surety or guarantor does not warrant the conclusion that his peculiar individual qualities are contemplated as a principal inducement for the contract. The Court further explains the three exceptions to intransmissibility of obligations of the decedent to his heirs or assigns as according to Art. 1311 of the Civil Code. First is the Nature of the Undertaking. In the case at bar the nature of the obligation of the surety or guarantor does not warrant the conclusion that his peculiar individual qualities are contemplated as a principal inducement for the contract. In the instant case what is expected is that the debt or reimbursement be made by the guarantor or surety himself or by someone else in his behalf, so long as the money was paid to it. The second exception is by The Stipulations of the Contracts. Being exceptional and contrary to the general rule, this intransmissibility should not be easily implied, but must be expressly established, or at the very least, clearly inferable from the provisions of the contract. The third exception is by Provision of Law. The third exception to the transmissibility of obligations under Article 1311 exists when they are not transmissible by operation of law. The provision makes reference to those cases where the law expresses that the rights or obligations are extinguished by death, as is the case in legal support (Article 300), parental authority (Article 327), usufruct (Article 603), contracts for a piece of work (Article 1726), partnership (Article 1830) and agency (Article 1919). By contract, the articles of the Civil Code that regulate guaranty or suretyship (Articles 2047 to 2084) contain no provision that the guaranty is extinguished upon the death of the guarantor or the surety. The contracts of suretyship entered into by K. H. Hemady in favor of Luzon Surety Co. not being rendered intransmissible due to the nature of the undertaking, nor by the stipulations of the contracts themselves, nor by provision of law, his eventual liability thereunder necessarily passed upon his death to his heirs. The contracts, therefore, give rise to contingent claims provable against his estate. The Courts conclusion is that the solidary guarantors liability is not extinguished by his death, and that in such event, the Luzon Surety Co., had the right to file against the estate a contingent claim for reimbursement. The order appealed from was reversed. 3

3. G.R. No. L-15499 February 28, 1962 ANGELA M. BUTTE, plaintiff-appellant, vs. MANUEL UY and SONS, INC., defendant-appellee. Preliminaries: Appeal from a decision of the Court of First instance of Manila dismissing the action for legal redemption filed by plaintiffappellant. Facts: Jose V. Ramirez, during his lifetime, was a co-owner of a house and lot located at Sta. Cruz, Manila, with his five other siblings as co-owners, Marie Garnier Vda. de Ramirez, Jose V. Ramirez, Jose E. Ramirez, Rita de Ramirez, and Jose Ma. Ramirez. On October 20, 1951, Jose V. Ramirez died. Subsequently, Special Proceeding No. 15026 was instituted to settle his estate, that included the one-sixth (1/6) undivided share in the aforementioned property. And although his last will and testament, wherein he bequeathed his estate to his children and grandchildren and one-third (1/3) of the free portion to Mrs. Angela M. Butte, hereinafter referred to as plaintiff-appellant, has been admitted to probate, the estate proceedings are still pending up to the present on account of the claims of creditors which exceed the assets of the deceased. The Bank of the Philippine Islands was appointed judicial administrator. On December 9, 1958, Mrs. Marie Garnier Vda. de Ramirez, one of the co-owners of the late Jose V. Ramirez in the Sta. Cruz property, sold her undivided 1/6 share to Manuel Uy & Sons, Inc. defendant-appellant herein, for the sum of P500,000.00. On the same day (December 9, 1958), Manuel Uy & Sons, Inc. sent a letter to the Bank of the Philippine Islands as judicial administrator of the estate of the late Jose V. Ramirez informing it of the above-mentioned sale. This letter, together with that of the bank, was forwarded by the latter to Mrs. Butte. On January 15, 1959, Mrs. Angela M. Butte, thru Atty. Resplandor Sobretodo, sent a letter and a Philippine National Bank cashier's check in the amount of P500,000.00 to Manuel Uy & Sons, Inc. offering to redeem the 1/6 share sold by Mrs. Marie Garnier Vda. de Ramirez. This tender having been refused, plaintiff on the same day consigned the amount in court and filed the corresponding action for legal redemption. After the filing by defendant of its answer containing a counterclaim, and plaintiff's reply thereto, trial was held, after which the court rendered decision on May 13, 1959, dismissing plaintiff's complaint on the grounds that she has no right to redeem the property and that, if ever she had any, she exercised the same beyond the statutory 30-day period for legal redemptions provided by the Civil Code. Issue: Whether or not plaintiff-appellant, being a testamentary or voluntary heir, can exercise the right of legal redemption over the 1/6 share sold by Mrs. Marie Garnier Vda. de Ramirez? Held: The Court held that the appellant Angela M. Butte is entitled to exercise the right of legal redemption. As testamentary heir of the estate of J.V. Ramirez, she and her co-heirs acquired an interest in the undivided one-sixth (1/6) share owned by her predecessor in the Santa Cruz property, from the moment of the death of the aforesaid co-owner, J.V. Ramirez. By law, the rights to the succession of a deceased persons are transmitted to his heirs from the moment of his death, and the right of succession includes all property rights and obligations that survive the decedent. ART. 776. The inheritance includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by his death. (659) ART. 777. The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. (657a) ART. 947. The legatee or devisee acquires a right to the pure and simple legacies or devisees from the death of the testator, and transmits it to his heirs. Thus, plaintiff-appellant is entitled to redemption as according to Articles 1620 and 1623 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which read as follows: ART. 1620. A co-owner of a thing may exercise the right of redemption in case the shares of all the other-co-owners or of any of them, are sold to a third person. If the price of the alienation is grossly excessive, the redemptioner shall pay only a reasonable one.

Should two or more co-owners desire to exercise the right of redemption, they may only do so in proportion to the share they may respectively have in the thing owned in common. (1522a) ART. 1623. The right of legal predemption or redemption shall not be exercised except within thirty days from the notice in writing by the respective vendor, or by the vendor, as the case may be. The deed of sale shall not be accorded in the Registry of Property, unless accompanied by an affidavit of the vendor that he has given written notice thereof at all possible redemptioners. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes that of adjoining owners.

4. G.R. No. 131953, June 5, 2002 MAGLASANG vs. THE HEIRS OF CORAZON CABATINGAN FACTS: On February 1992, Conchita Cabatingan executed in favor of her brother, Nicolas Cabatingan, a "Deed of Conditional of Donation Inter Vivos for House and Lot." Four (4) other deeds of donation were subsequently executed by Conchita Cabatingan on January 1995, bestowing upon: (a) petitioner Estela C. Maglasang, two (2) parcels of land; (b) Nicolas Cabatingan, a portion of a parcel of land; and (c) Merly S. Cabatingan, a portion of land. These deeds of donation contain similar provisions, to wit: "That for and in consideration of the love and affection of the DONOR for the DONEE, x x x the DONOR does hereby, by these presents, transfer, convey, by way of donation, unto the DONEE the above-described property, together with the buildings and all improvements existing thereon, to become effective upon the death of the DONOR; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that in the event that the DONEE should die before the DONOR, the present donation shall be deemed automatically rescinded and of no further force and effect; x x x"3 (Emphasis Ours) On May 1995, Conchita Cabatingan died. Upon learning of the existence of the foregoing donations, respondents (Heirs of Corazon Cabatingan) filed an action for Annulment And/Or Declaration of Nullity of Deeds of Donations and Accounting, seeking the annulment of said four (4) deeds of donation executed. Heirs allege, inter alia, that petitioners, fraudulently caused the donations and that the documents are void for failing to comply with the provisions of the Civil Code regarding formalities of wills and testaments, considering that these are donations mortis causa. RTC ruled that the donation was mortis causa thus void for not following the requisite forms. ISSUE: Whether or not a donation mortis causa without conforming to the requisites of solemnities of wills and testament is a valid transfer of property rights? HELD: The Court held that the donation is a donation mortis causa and considering that the disputed donations are donation mortis causa, the same partake of the nature of testamentary provisions and as such, said deeds must be executed in accordance with the requisites on solemnities of wills and testaments under Articles 805 and 806 of the Civil Code, to wit: For a donation mortis causa to be valid it must conform with the following requisites: ART. 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another. The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as aforesaid, each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin, and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written , and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof, or caused some other person to write his name, under his express direction, in the presence of the instrumental witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another. If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them. ART. 806. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. The notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of the will, or file another with the office of the Clerk of Court.

B. Obligations limited to the value of inheritance Art. 774


1. G.R. No. L-68053 May 7, 1990 LAURA ALVAREZ, FLORA ALVAREZ and RAYMUNDO ALVAREZ, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APELLATE COURT and JESUS YANES, ESTELITA YANES, ANTONIO YANES, ROSARIO YANES, and ILUMINADO YANES, respondents. Preliminaries: The case is a petition for review on certiorari seeking the reversal of the decision of the IAC affirming the decision of CIF ordering the petitioners to pay jointly and severally the private respondents the sum of P20,000.00 representing the actual value of Lots Nos. 773-A and 773-B of the cadastral survey of Murcia, Negros Occidental. Facts: Aniceto Yanes, respondents ascendants, left a parcel of land intestate known as Lot 773 and 823 of the cadastral survey of Murcia, Negros Occidental. Aniceto was survived by his children, Rufino, Felipe and Teodora. Herein private respondents were grandchildren of Aniceto. Teodora cultivated only three hectares of Lot 823 as she could not attend to the other portions of the two lots which had a total area of around twenty-four hectares. The record does not show whether the children of Felipe also cultivated some portions of the lots but it is established that Rufino and his children left the province to settle in other places as a result of the outbreak of World War II. According to Estelita, from the "Japanese time up to peace time", they did not visit the parcels of land in question but "after liberation", when her brother went there to get their share of the sugar produced therein, he was informed that Fortunato Santiago, Fuentebella (Puentevella) and Alvarez were in possession of Lot 773. Lot 773 was subdivided into Lot 773-A and Lot 773-B. The said lots was then sold to Monico Fuentebella Jr. After Fuentebella's death and during the settlement of his estate, the administratrix thereof (Arsenia R. Vda. de Fuentebella, his wife) filed in Special Proceedings No. 4373 in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, a motion requesting authority to sell Lots 773-A and 773-B. By virtue of a court order granting said motion, on March 24, 1958, Arsenia Vda. de Fuentebella sold said lots for P6,000.00 to Rosendo Alvarez. Two years later or on May 26, 1960, Teodora Yanes and the children of her brother Rufino, namely, Estelita, Iluminado and Jesus, filed in the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental a complaint against Fortunato Santiago, Arsenia Vda. de Fuentebella, Alvarez and the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental for the "return" of the ownership and possession of Lots 773 and 823. They also prayed that an accounting of the produce of the land from 1944 up to the filing of the complaint be made by the defendants, that after court approval of said accounting, the share or money equivalent due the plaintiffs be delivered to them, and that defendants be ordered to pay plaintiffs P500.00 as damages in the form of attorney's fees. During the pendency in court of said case, Alvarez sold Lots 773-A, 773-B and another lot for P25,000.00 to Dr. Rodolfo Siason. On February 21, 1968 the Yaneses filed an action for the recovery of real property with damages. Named defendants therein were Dr. Rodolfo Siason, Laura Alvarez, Flora Alvarez, Raymundo Alvarez and the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental. Respondents pray for the return/delivery of possession of Lot 773 and if, delivery thereof could not be effected, or, if the issuance of a new title could not be made, that the Alvarez and Siason jointly and severally pay the Yaneses the sum of P45,000.00. In its decision, the lower court found that Rodolfo Siason, who purchased the properties in question thru an agent as he was then in Mexico pursuing further medical studies, was a buyer in good faith for a valuable consideration. Although the Yaneses were negligent in their failure to place a notice of lis pendens "before the Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental in order to protect their rights over the property in question" in Civil Case No. 5022, equity demanded that they recover the actual value of the land because the sale thereof executed between Alvarez and Siason was without court approval. Petitioners further contend that the liability arising from the sale of Lots No. 773-A and 773-B made by Rosendo Alvarez to Dr. Rodolfo Siason should be the sole liability of the late Rosendo Alvarez or of his estate, after his death. Issue: Whether or not petitioners are liable as to the extent of the value of their inheritance? Held: The Court held, such contention is untenable for it overlooks the doctrine obtaining in this jurisdiction on the general transmissibility of the rights and obligations of the deceased to his legitimate children and heirs. Thus, the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code state: Art. 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law.

Art. 776. The inheritance includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by his death. Art. 1311. Contract stake effect only between the parties, their assigns and heirs except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of law. The heir is not liable beyond the value of the property received from the decedent. Petitioners being the heirs of the late Rosendo Alvarez, they cannot escape the legal consequences of their father's transaction, which gave rise to the present claim for damages. That petitioners did not inherit the property involved herein is of no moment because by legal fiction, the monetary equivalent thereof devolved into the mass of their father's hereditary estate, and we have ruled that the hereditary assets are always liable in their totality for the payment of the debts of the estate. It must, however, be made clear that petitioners are liable only to the extent of the value of their inheritance. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED.

2. G.R. No. L-44837 November 23, 1938 SOCORRO LEDESMA and ANA QUITCO LEDESMA, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. CONCHITA MCLACHLIN, ET AL., defendants-appellants. Preliminaries: Intransmissibility of an obligation to an heir by rights of representation of their father who died leaving no properties behind and before their grandfather. The case is for a review of the decision of the CIF of Occidental Negros ordering herein defendants-appellants to pay plaintiffs-appellees the amount of P1,500.00 chargeable to the inheritance of the defendants from their grandfather by rights of representation of their father who died leaving no properties behind and before their grandfather. Facts: In the year 1916, the plaintiff Socorro Ledesma lived maritally with Lorenzo M. Quitco, while the latter was still single, of which relation, lasting until the year 1921, was born a daughter who is the other plaintiff Ana Quitco Ledesma. In 1921, it seems that the relation between Socorro Ledesma and Lorenzo M. Quitco came to an end, but the latter executed a deed, acknowledging the plaintiff Ana Quitco Ledesma as his natural daughter and on January 21, 1922, he issued in favor of the plaintiff Socorro Ledesma a promissory note to pay Miss Socorro Ledesma the sum of two thousand pesos (P2,000) for value received. But was only able to P500.00. Subsequently, Lorenzo M. Quitco married the defendant Conchita McLachlin, with whom he had four children, who are the other defendants. On March 1930, Lorenzo M. Quitco died living no properties to transfer to his heirs, and, still later, that is, on December 1932, his father Eusebio Quitco also died, and as the latter left real and personal properties upon his death, administration proceedings of said properties were instituted, the said case being known as the "Intestate of the deceased Eusebio Quitco. Upon the institution of the intestate of the deceased Eusebio Quitco and the appointment of the committee on claims and appraisal, the plaintiff Socorro Ledesma, on August 26, 1935, filed before said committee the aforequoted promissory note for payment. On November1933, the court issued an order of declaration of heirs in the intestate of the deceased Eusebio Quitco, and as Ana Quitco Ledesma was not included among the declared heirs, Socorro Ledesma, as mother of Ana Quitco Ledesma, asked for the reconsideration of said order, a petition which the court denied. From the order denying the said petition no appeal was taken, and in lieu thereof there was filed the complaint which gives rise to this case. Issue: Whether or not an obligation is transmissible to an heir by rights of representation of their father who died leaving no properties behind and before their grandfather? Held: The Court held, as to the assignment of alleged error, consisting in that the trial court erred in holding that the properties inherited by the defendants from their deceased grandfather by representation are subject to the payment of debts and obligations of their deceased father, who died without leaving any property, while it is true that under the provisions of articles 924 to 927 of the Civil Code, a children represents his father or mother who died before him in the properties of his grandfather or grandmother, this right of representation does not make the said child answerable for the obligations contracted by his deceased father or mother, because, as may be seen from the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure referring to partition of inheritances, the inheritance is received with the benefit of inventory, that is to say, the heirs only answer with the properties received from their predecessor. The herein defendants, as heirs of Eusebio Quitco, in

representation of their father Lorenzo M. Quitco, are not bound to pay the indebtedness of their said father from whom they did not inherit anything. The appealed judgment is reversed, and the defendants are absolved from the complaint.

3. G.R. No. 171035 August 24, 2009 WILLIAM ONG GENATO, Petitioner, vs. BENJAMIN BAYHON, MELANIE BAYHON, BENJAMIN BAYHON, JR., BRENDA BAYHON, ALINA BAYHON-CAMPOS, IRENE BAYHON-TOLOSA, and the minor GINO BAYHON, as represented herein by his natural mother as guardian-ad-litem, JESUSITA M. BAYHON, Respondents. Preliminaries: The death of a person does not extinguish his obligation. At bar is a Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the Decision of the Court of Appeals and Resolution denying the petitioners motion for reconsideration. This is a consolidated case stemming from two civil cases filed before the Regional Trial Court for the payment of a debt by the respondent. Facts: Respondent Benjamin Bayhon obtained a loan from the petitioner amounting to P1,000,000.00 to be paid monthly with 5% interest. That respondent executed a Deed of Real Estate Mortgage in favor of the petitioner to cover the loan which was conditioned upon the personal assurance of the petitioner that the said instrument is only a private memorandum of indebtedness and that it would neither be notarized nor enforced according to its tenor. During the proceeding for the reconstitution of said real estate property before the RTC, Quezon City, Branch 87 petitioner filed an Answer in Intervention in the said proceeding and attached a copy of an alleged dacion en pago covering said lot. Respondent assailed the dacion en pago as a forgery alleging that neither he nor his wife, who had died 3 years earlier, had executed it. In separate case petitioner filed an action for specific performance, before the RTC, Quezon City. In his Complaint, petitioner alleged that respondent failed to pay the loan and executed on October 21, 1989 a dacion en pago in favor of the petitioner. The dacion en pago was inscribed and recorded with the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City. Petitioner further averred that despite demands, respondent refused to execute the requisite documents to transfer to him the ownership of the lot subject of the dacion en pago. Petitioner prayed, inter alia, for the court to order the respondent to execute the final deed of sale and transfer of possession of the said lot. In the decision of the lower court, it stated that the dacion en pago was novated by the payments made by the respondent and that the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage was void considering that respondents wife was already dead during the execution of the deed. On appeal by the respondent to the CA, the CA held that the real estate mortgage and the dacion en pago were both void. The appellate court ruled that at the time the real estate mortgage and the dacion en pago were executed, the wife of respondent Benjamin Bayhon was already dead. Thus, she could not have participated in the execution of the two documents. The appellate court struck down both the dacion en pago and the real estate mortgage as being simulated or fictitious contracts pursuant to Article 1409 of the Civil Code. During the appeal, respondent Benjamin Bayhon died. The Court of Appeals held further that while the principal obligation is valid, the death of respondent Benjamin Bayhon extinguished it. The heirs could not be ordered to pay the debts left by the deceased. Issue: Whether or not the heirs of the decedent can be ordered to pay the debt left by the deceased? Held: The Court held, with regards to the dacion en pago, the Court affirm the ruling of the appellate court that the subject dacion en pago is a simulated or fictitious contract, and hence void. The evidence shows that at the time it was allegedly signed by the wife of the respondent, his wife was already dead. This finding of fact cannot be reversed. With regards to the appellate court extinguishing the obligation of respondent, as a general rule, obligations derived from a contract are transmissible. According to Article 1311 of the Civil Code, contracts take effect only between the parties, their assigns and heirs, except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of law. The heir is not liable beyond the value of the property he received from the decedent. The loan in this case was contracted by respondent. He died while the case was pending before the Court of Appeals. While he may no longer be compelled to pay the loan, the debt subsists against his estate. No property or portion of the inheritance may be transmitted to his heirs unless the debt has first been satisfied.

The decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the obligation to pay the principal loan and interest contracted by the deceased Benjamin Bayhon subsists against his estate.

C. Transfer either through will or operation of law Art. 774 D. Transmissible rights and obligations
1. G.R. No. L-41715 June 18, 1976 ROSALIO BONILLA (a minor) SALVACION BONILLA (a minor) and PONCIANO BONILLA (their father) who represents the minors, petitioners, vs. LEON BARCENA, MAXIMA ARIAS BALLENA, ESPERANZA BARCENA, MANUEL BARCENA, AGUSTINA NERI, widow of JULIAN TAMAYO and HON. LEOPOLDO GIRONELLA of the Court of First Instance of Abra,respondents. Preliminaries: Transmissibility of rights of a compulsory heir to his heirs. Facts: Sometime in March 1975 Fortunata Barcena, mother of minors Rosalio Bonilla and Salvacion Bonilla and wife of Ponciano Bonilla, instituted a civil action in the Court of First Instance of Abra, to quiet title over certain parcels of land located in Abra. In August 1975, the defendants filed motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that Fortunata Barcena is dead and, therefore, has no legal capacity to sue. Said motion to dismiss was heard on August 1975. In said hearing, counsel for the plaintiff confirmed the death of Fortunata Barcena, and asked for substitution by her minor children and her husband, the petitioners herein; but the court after the hearing immediately dismissed the case on the ground that a dead person cannot be a real party in interest and has no legal personality to sue. Counsel for the plaintiff filed a motion to set aside the order of the dismissal pursuant to Sections 16 and 17 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court. The court denied the motion for reconsideration. Counsel for deceased plaintiff filed a written manifestation praying that the minors Rosalio Bonilla and Salvacion Bonilla be allowed to substitute their deceased mother, but the court denied the counsel's prayer for lack of merit. From the order, counsel for the deceased plaintiff filed a second motion for reconsideration of the order dismissing the complaint claiming that the same is in violation of Sections 16 and 17 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court but the same was denied. Issue: Whether or not rights are transmissible to his heir upon the death of the decedent? Held: The Court held, Article 777 of the Civil Code provides "that the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent." From the moment of the death of the decedent, the heirs become the absolute owners of his property, subject to the rights and obligations of the decedent, and they cannot be deprived of their rights thereto except by the methods provided for by law. 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. The right of the heirs to the property of the deceased vests in them even before judicial declaration of their being heirs in the testate or intestate proceedings. When Fortunata Barcena, therefore, died her claim or right to the parcels of land in litigation was not extinguished by her death but was transmitted to her heirs upon her death. Her heirs have thus acquired interest in the properties in litigation and became parties in interest in the case. There is, therefore, no reason for the respondent Court not to allow their substitution as parties in interest for the deceased plaintiff. The question as to whether an action survives or not depends on the nature of the action and the damage sued for. In the causes of action which survive the wrong complained affects primarily and principally property and property rights, the injuries to the person being merely incidental, while in the causes of action which do not survive the injury complained of is to the person, the property and rights of property affected being incidental. Following the foregoing criterion the claim of the deceased plaintiff which is an action to quiet title over the parcels of land in litigation affects primarily and principally property and property rights and therefore is one that survives even after her death.

2. G.R. No. L-4275 March 23, 1909 PAULA CONDE, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ROMAN ABAYA, defendant-appellant. Preliminaries: Transmissibility of rights of acknowledge natural child. From the hearing of the appeal interposed by Roman Abaya in the special proceedings brought in the Court of First Instance of La Laguna for the settlement of the intestate estate and the distribution of the property of Casiano Abaya.

Facts: Casiano Abaya, unmarried, the son of Romualdo Abaya and Sabrina Labadia, died on the 6th of April, 1899. Paula Conde, as the mother of the natural children Jose and Teopista Conde, whom the states she had by Casiano Abaya, on the 6th of November, 1905, moved the settlement of the said intestate succession and was appointed as administrator for the said estate. Roman Abaya, a son of the said Romualdo Abaya and Sabrina Labadia, the parents of the late Casiano Abaya, came forward and opposed said appointment and claimed it for himself as being the nearest relative of the deceased and filed an action at the CIF for an intestate proceeding and he be declared the administrator and sole heir of the estate of the deceased to the exclusion of Paula Conde. Paula Conde in her answer acknowledged the relationship alleged by Roman Abaya, but that she considered that her right was superior to his. The trial was held, both parties presenting documentary and oral evidence, and the court on its decision said that the administrator of the estate of Casiano Abaya should recognize Teopista and Jose Conde as being natural children of Casiano Abaya; that the petitioner Paula Conde should succeed to the hereditary rights of her children with respect to the inheritance of their deceased natural father Casiano Abaya; and therefore, it is hereby declared that she is the only heir to the property of the said intestate estate, to the exclusion of the administrator, Roman Abaya. Not satisfied with the decision of the CIF, defendant filed an appeal on the judgment before the SC alleging that the finding that after the death of a person claimed to be an unacknowledged natural child, the mother of such presumed natural child, as heir to the latter, may bring an action to enforce the acknowledgment of her deceased child in accordance with articles 135 and 137 of the Civil Code is misplaced. Issue: Whether or not a right of an acknowledge natural child can be transmitted to his heir even after the death of the natural father? Held: The Court held, basing its decision on Art. 137 which states that, the actions for the acknowledgment of natural children can be instituted only during the life of the presumed parents, except in the following cases: 1. If the father or mother died during the maturity of the child, in which case the latter may institute the action before the expiration of the first four years of its maturity. 2. If, after the death of the father or mother, some instrument, before unknown, should be discovered in which the child is expressly acknowledged. In this case the action must be instituted with the six months following the discovery of such instrument. In the case at bar, the right of action for the acknowledgment of natural children to which article 137 refers, can never be transmitted to his mother or heir. The judgment appealed from in all its parts was reversed. 3. G.R. No. 173292 September 1, 2010 MEMORACION Z. CRUZ, represented by EDGARDO Z. CRUZ, Petitioner, vs. OSWALDO Z. CRUZ, Respondent. Preliminaries: This is a petition for review of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision dismissing the case filed by the petitioner representing her deceased mother who instituted this action for reconveyance of a parcel of lot that action was dismissed upon the death of the original petitioner. Facts: Sometime in October 1993, Memoracion Z. Cruz filed with the Regional Trial Court in Manila a Complaint against her son, defendant-appellee Oswaldo Z. Cruz, for "Annulment of Sale, Reconveyance and Damages. Memoracion claimed that during her union with her common-law husband (deceased) Architect Guido M. Cruz, she acquired a parcel of land located at Bo. Obrero, Tondo Manila, that the said lot was registered in her name and was registered at the Register of Deeds of Manila, that sometime in July 1992, she discovered that the title to the said property was transferred by appellee and the latters wife in their names in August 1991 by virtue of a Deed of Sale dated February 12, 1973, that the said deed was executed through fraud, forgery, misrepresentation and simulation, hence, null and void, that she, with the help of her husbands relatives, asked appellee to settle the problem, that despite repeated pleas and demands, appellee refused to reconvey to her the said property and because of this she filed a complaint against appellee before the office of the Barangay having jurisdiction over the subject property and since the matter was unsettled, the barangay issued a certification to file action in court, now the subject of controversy. After Memoracion finished presenting her evidence in chief, she died on October 30, 1996. Through a Manifestation, Memoracions counsel, Atty. Roberto T. Neri, notified the trial court on January 13, 1997 of the fact of such death, evidenced by a certificate thereof.

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For his part, appellee filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiffs reconveyance action is a personal action which does not survive a partys death which was then granted without prejudice to the prosecution thereof in the proper estate proceedings. Memoracions son-heir, Edgardo Z. Cruz, manifested to the trial court that he is retaining the services of Atty. Neri for the plaintiff. Simultaneously, Atty. Neri filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Order. However, the said motion was subsequently denied. And then he appealed the said decision to the CA but likewise denied the appeal. Hence, this appeal to the SC. Issue: Whether or not an action which affects primarily and principally property and property rights is a transmissible right and survives the death of the original plaintiff? Held: The Court in is decision states that, the criterion for determining whether an action survives the death of a petitioner as elucidated in Bonilla v. Barcena, the question as to whether an action survives or not depends on the nature of the action and the damage sued for. In the causes of action which survive, the wrong complained of affects primarily and principally property and property rights, the injuries to the person being merely incidental, while in the causes of action which do not survive, the injury complained of is to the person, the property and rights of property affected being incidental. If the case affects primarily and principally property and property rights, then it survives the death of the plaintiff or petitioner. In another case, the SC held that a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Deed of Sale of Real Property is one relating to property and property rights, and therefore, survives the death of the petitioner. Accordingly, the instant case for annulment of sale of real property merits survival despite the death of petitioner Memoracion Z. Cruz.

4. G.R. No. 162784 June 22, 2007 NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, petitioner, vs. SEGUNDA ALMEIDA, COURT OF APPEALS, and RTC of SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA, BR. 31, respondents. Preliminaries: The case is about an action for the annulment of Contract of Sale executed between NHA and Francisca considering that when the decedent there still exists an unpaid obligation arising from a Contract to Sell of the property in question. Facts: The property in question in this case is a real estate property located in San Pedro, Laguna, which was awarded by the then Land Tenure Administration (LTA) thru a Contract to Sell to Margarita Herrera. Margarita had two children namely Francisca and Beatriz, who predeceased her and the mother of herein private respondent. The sale transaction between Margarita and LTA was transferred to DAR and then to NHA. During her later years in life Margarita executed a Sinumpaang Salaysay stating therein her real estate property, which she is paying continuously, and other property which shall be passed on to her legal heirs upon her death. Francisca, on the basis of the said document, executed a Deed of Self-Adjudication claiming that she is the only remaining relative, being the sole surviving daughter of the deceased. She also claimed to be the exclusive legal heir of the late Margarita Herrera. Private respondent filed a case for annulment of the Deed of Self-Adjudication before the then Court of First Instance of Laguna and declared the Deed as null and void. But during trial on the merits of the case assailing the Deed of Self-Adjudication, Francisca Herrera filed an application with the NHA to purchase the same lots submitting therewith a copy of the "Sinumpaang Salaysay" executed by her mother. Private respondent Almeida, as heir of Beatriz Herrera-Mercado, protested the application. The NHA granted the application made by Francisca on the basis the Salaysay which the NHA said in its decision that Margarita waived or transferred all her rights and interest over the lots in question in favor of the Francisca. And when Francisca died the property in question was transferred to her legal heirs. Private respondent then filed an appeal to the Office of the President on the decision of the NHA but the appeal was denied. Aggrieved by the decision private respondent filed an appeal in the SC. Issue:

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Whether or not transmissible rights can be transferred even without probate of a will? Held: The Court held that the Sinumpaang Salaysay executed is in the form of will which must follow the requisites of wills and solemnities. Clearly stated in the document is that rights over the property in question can only be transferred upon the death of the decedent and does forms part of her estate. Considering that said estate is not yet fully paid, the debt incurred can be chargeable to her estate in a probate proceeding which the NHA should have done. Therefore the sale between NHA and Francisca is null and void. When the petitioner received the "Sinumpaang Salaysay," it should have noted that the effectivity of the said document commences at the time of death of the author of the instrument; in her words "sakaling ako'y bawian na ng Dios ng aking buhay" Hence, in such period, all the interests of the person should cease to be hers and shall be in the possession of her estate until they are transferred to her heirs by virtue of Article 774 of the Civil Code which provides that: Art. 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law. By considering the document, petitioner NHA should have noted that the original applicant has already passed away. Margarita Herrera passed away on October 27, 1971. The NHA issued its resolution on February 5, 1986. The NHA gave due course to the application made by Francisca Herrera without considering that the initial applicant's death would transfer all her property, rights and obligations to the estate including whatever interest she has or may have had over the disputed properties. To the extent of the interest that the original owner had over the property, the same should go to her estate. Margarita Herrera had an interest in the property and that interest 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. The death of Margarita Herrera does not extinguish her interest over the property. Margarita Herrera had an existing Contract to Sell with NHA as the seller. Upon Margarita Herrera's demise, this Contract to Sell was neither nullified nor revoked. This Contract to Sell was an obligation on both partiesMargarita Herrera and NHA. Obligations are transmissible. Margarita Herrera's obligation to pay became transmissible at the time of her death either by will or by operation of law.

E. Succession occurs at the time of death Art 777


1. G.R. No. L-4963 January 29, 1953 MARIA USON, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MARIA DEL ROSARIO, CONCEPCION NEBREDA, CONRADO NEBREDA, DOMINADOR NEBREDA, AND FAUSTINO NEBREDA, Jr., defendants-appellants. Preliminaries: This is an action for recovery of the ownership and possession of five (5) parcels of land situated in the Municipality of Labrador, Province of Pangasinan, filed by Maria Uson against Maria del Rosario and her four children named Concepcion, Conrado, Dominador, and Faustino, surnamed Nebreda, who are all of minor age, before the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. Facts: Maria Uson was the lawful wife of Faustino Nebreda who upon his death in 1945 left the lands involved in this litigation. Faustino Nebreda left no other heir except his widow Maria Uson. However, plaintiff claims that when Faustino Nebreda died in 1945, his common-law wife Maria del Rosario took possession illegally of said lands thus depriving her of their possession and enjoyment. In her defense, defendant claims that petitioner lost her property rights over the land in dispute when she and her husband executed in public document, during their separation, relinquishing her of her rights over the land in dispute. Issue: Whether or not a written agreement between husband and wife conditioned upon their separation can relinquish ones property rights? Held: The Court held, it is evident that when Faustino Nebreda died in 1945 the five parcels of land he was seized of at the time passed from the moment of his death to his only heir, his widow Maria Uson. As this Court aptly said, "The property belongs

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to the heirs at the moment of the death of the ancestor as completely as if the ancestor had executed and delivered to them a deed for the same before his death". From that moment, therefore, the rights of inheritance of Maria Uson over the lands in question became vested. The claim of the defendants that Maria Uson had relinquished her right over the lands in question because she expressly renounced to inherit any future property that her husband may acquire and leave upon his death in the deed of separation they had entered into, cannot be entertained for the simple reason that future inheritance cannot be the subject of a contract nor can it be renounced. The decision appealed from is affirmed.

2. G.R. No. L-28040 August 18, 1972 TESTATE ESTATE OF JOSEFA TANGCO, JOSE DE BORJA, administrator-appellee; JOSE DE BORJA, as administrator, CAYETANO DE BORJA, MATILDE DE BORJA and CRISANTO DE BORJA (deceased) as Children of Josefa Tangco, appellees, vs. TASIANA VDA. DE DE BORJA, Special Administratrix of the Testate Estate of Francisco de Borja,appellant. Facts: The property in dispute in this particular case is a parcel of land which is the Hacienda Jalajala Poblacion located in Nueva Ecija which was registered in the name of Francisco de Borja. Francisco was married to Josefa Tangco who had a son Jose de Borja. Upon the death of Josefa, Francisco filed an action for an intestate proceeding and to assign him as the administrator of the estate of Josefa. Afterward Jose file a motion to the probate court for him to be declared as co-administrator of the estate of Josefa which the court granted. Years have passed and Francisco was remarried to Tasiana. Years later Francisco died and Tasiana move for the intestate proceeding of Franciscos estate and that she be declared as its administrator which the court granted. In a series of court litigation involving the estate of Jose and Francisco one of the issue to be resolve by the court was whether the Hacienda Jalajala belong to the conjugal partnership of Josefa and Francisco or was it an exclusive property of Francisco. During these proceedings an agreement had been made between Jose and Tasiana regarding the sale of the estate of Francisco to Jose and his siblings and to be paid to Tasiana. Thereafter, the buyer of Jalajala "Poblacion" is hereby authorized to pay directly to Tasiana Ongsingco Vda. de de Borja the balance of the payment due her under and issue in the name of Tasiana Ongsingco Vda. de de Borja, corresponding certified checks/treasury warrants, who, in turn, will issue the corresponding receipt to Jose de Borja. But after awhile Tasiana oppose the sharing of the sale alleging that the said property is an exclusive property of Francisco and her being the sole heir to the estate of Francisco should be given the whole profit of the sale. Issue: Whether or not the validity of a sale of a hereditary estate is conditioned upon the succession that occurs at the time of death of the decedent? Held: The Cout held, as a hereditary share in a decedent's estate is transmitted or vested immediately from the moment of the death of such causante or predecessor in interest (Civil Code of the Philippines, Art. 777) there is no legal bar to a successor (with requisite contracting capacity) disposing of her or his hereditary share immediately after such death, even if the actual extent of such share is not determined until the subsequent liquidation of the estate. Of course, the effect of such alienation is to be deemed limited to what is ultimately adjudicated to the vendor heir.

3. G.R. No. L-43082 June 18, 1937 PABLO LORENZO, as trustee of the estate of Thomas Hanley, deceased, plaintiff-appellant, vs. JUAN POSADAS, JR., Collector of Internal Revenue, defendant-appellant. Facts: On October 4, 1932, the plaintiff Pablo Lorenzo, in his capacity as trustee of the estate of Thomas Hanley, deceased, brought this action in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga against the defendant, Juan Posadas, Jr., then the Collector of Internal Revenue, for the refund of the amount paid by the plaintiff as inheritance tax on the estate of the deceased, and for the collection of interst thereon, computed from the date when the aforesaid tax was paid under protest. It appears that on May 27, 1922, one Thomas Hanley died in Zamboanga, Zamboanga, leaving a will and considerable amount of real and personal properties. Sometime in June 1922, proceedings for the probate of his will and the settlement and distribution of his estate were begun in the Court of First Instance of Zamboanga. The will was admitted to probate. Said will provides, among other things, as follows:

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4. I direct that any money left by me be given to my nephew Matthew Hanley. 5. I direct that all real estate owned by me at the time of my death be not sold or otherwise disposed of for a period of ten (10) years after my death, and that the same be handled and managed by the executors, and proceeds thereof to be given to my nephew, Matthew Hanley, at Castlemore, Ballaghaderine, County of Rosecommon, Ireland, and that he be directed that the same be used only for the education of my brother's children and their descendants. 6. I direct that ten (10) years after my death my property be given to the above mentioned Matthew Hanley to be disposed of in the way he thinks most advantageous. 8. I state at this time I have one brother living, named Malachi Hanley, and that my nephew, Matthew Hanley, is a son of my said brother, Malachi Hanley. Plaintiff alleged that the imposition of tax on the estate of the decedent should only be after 10 years as when the real property of the decedent had been transferred ownership to the assigned heir as stipulated in his will. Issue: Whether or not the property of the deceased ancestor is immediately succeeded by the heirs? Held: The Court held, according to article 657 of the Civil Code, "the rights to the succession of a person are transmitted from the moment of his death." "In other words", said Arellano, C. J., ". . . the heirs succeed immediately to all of the property of the deceased ancestor. The property belongs to the heirs at the moment of the death of the ancestor as completely as if the ancestor had executed and delivered to them a deed for the same before his death." The tax therefore is upon transmission or the transfer or devolution of property of a decedent, made effective by his death. The authentication of a will implies its due execution but once probated and allowed the transmission is effective as of the death of the testator in accordance with article 657 of the Civil Code. Whatever may be the time when actual transmission of the inheritance takes place, succession takes place in any event at the moment of the decedent's death.

4. G.R. No. 129008 January 13, 2004 TEODORA A. RIOFERIO, VERONICA O. EVANGELISTA assisted by her husband ZALDY EVANGELISTA, ALBERTO ORFINADA, and ROWENA O. UNGOS, assisted by her husband BEDA UNGOS, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ESPERANZA P. ORFINADA, LOURDES P. ORFINADA, ALFONSO ORFINADA, NANCY P. ORFINADA, ALFONSO JAMES P. ORFINADA, CHRISTOPHER P. ORFINADA and ANGELO P. ORFINADA,respondents. Facts: Sometine in May 1995, Alfonso P. Orfinada, Jr. died without a will in Angeles City leaving several personal and real properties located in Angeles City, Dagupan City and Kalookan City. He also left a widow, respondent Esperanza P. Orfinada, whom he married on July 1960 and with whom he had seven children who are the herein respondents. Apart from the respondents, the demise of the decedent left in mourning his paramour, Teodora Riofero, petitioner, and their three children as co-petitioner. Respondents Alfonso James and Lourdes Orfinada discovered that, petitioner Teodora Rioferio and her children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate of a Deceased Person with Quitclaim involving the properties of the estate of the decedent located in Dagupan City and was able to register them in the Registry of Deeds in Dagupan City. Respondents also found out that petitioners were able to obtain a loan of P700,000.00 from the Rural Bank of Mangaldan Inc. by executing a Real Estate Mortgage over the properties subject of the extra-judicial settlement. On December 1995, respondent Alfonso "Clyde" P. Orfinada III filed a Petition for Letters of Administration before the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, praying that letters of administration encompassing the estate of Alfonso P. Orfinada, Jr. be issued to him. Petitioners filed their Answer to the aforesaid complaint interposing the defense that the property subject of the contested deed of extra-judicial settlement pertained to the properties originally belonging to the parents of Teodora Riofero and that the titles thereof were delivered to her as an advance inheritance but the decedent had managed to register them in his name. Petitioners also raised the affirmative defense that respondents are not the real parties-in-interest but rather the Estate of Alfonso O. Orfinada, Jr. in view of the pendency of the administration proceedings. Issue: Whether or not the heirs may bring suit to recover property of the estate pending the appointment of an administrator is the issue in this case?

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

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