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OUTLINE OF THE LAW OF

SUCCESSION
Prof. Ruben F. Balane
2015
______________________________
I.

II.

NATURE AND
SUCCESSION

PURPOSE

OF

THE

LAW

ON

A.

To provide a means whereby the property and


juridical relations of a person which are not
extinguished by death should be transmitted and
distributed.

B.

Statutory definition in Article 774: Succession as a


mode of acquisition.

C.

Succession as part of family law.

D.

When does transmission take effect? Upon


decedents death Art. 777, (Uson v. Del Rosario,
92:530 / De Borja v. De Borja, 46 SCRA 577 /
Bonilla v. Barcena, 71 SCRA 491).

E.

Definition of terms and General Concepts Arts.


775 782.

SYSTEM OF DISTRIBUTION OF PROPERTY UNDER


PHILIPPINE LAW: THE SYSTEM OF PARTIAL
RESERVATION
A.

The Reserved Portion (Legitime) and the Free


Portion.

B.

Kinds of Succession Under the System of Partial


Reservation.
1.
2.
3.

III.

Compulsory Succession (886 907)


Testamentary Succession (779; 783 856)
Intestate Succession (960 1014)

COMPULSORY SUCCESSION (886 907; 854; 915 923,


1032 1040; 970 977; 992; 891)
A.

Why Compulsory?

B.

The reserved portion the legitime, defined in


Article 886; Article 904; Articles 905 907 & 855

C.

Kinds of Compulsory Heirs: Article 887


1.

D.

Primary
a.
b.

legitimate children and/or


legitimate descendants

2.

Secondary
a.
legitimate parents
b.
other legitimate ascendants
c.
illegitimate parents

3.

Concurring
a.
surviving spouse
b.
illegitimate children

Legitimary shares of compulsory heirs.


1.

Basic legitime 1/2 of the estate. Three


exceptions:
a.

Marriage in articulo mortis Art. 900,


par. 2.

2.

3.

b.

Surviving spouse
children Art. 894.

and

illegitimate

c.

Surviving spouse
parents Art. 903.

and

illegitimate

Legitimate children and/or Descendants.


a.

1/2 of the estate Art. 888.

b.

Principle: The nearer exclude


farther,
without
prejudice
representation.

c.

Adopted children same rights as


legitimate children Sec. 18, R.A. 8552
(Domestic Adoption Act of 1998)

Legitimate Parents or Ascendants.


a.

1/2 of the estate Arts. 889 890.

b.

Three rules:
1.
2.
3.

4.

the
to

The nearer exclude the farther.


Division by line.
Equal division within the line.

Surviving Spouse: Most variable share.


a.

If alone: 1/2 of the estate. Exception:


marriage in articulo mortis: 1/3 of the
estate (Art. 900, par. 2).

b.

If concurring with illegitimate children:


1/3 of the estate (Art. 894).

c.

If concurring with one legitimate child:


1/4 of the estate (Art. 892).

5.

6.

d.

If concurring with legitimate parents or


ascendants: 1/4 of the estate (Art. 896).

e.

If concurring with illegitimate parents:


1/4 of the estate (Art. 903).

f.

If
concurring
with
legitimate
ascendants and illegitimate children:
1/8 of the estate (Art. 899).

g.

If concurring with several legitimate


children: a share equal to that of one
legitimate child (Art. 892 and Art. 895,
par. 3)

Illegitimate Children and/or Descendants.


a.

If they are the only compulsory heirs:


1/2 of the estate (Art. 901).

b.

If concurring with the surviving spouse:


1/3 of the estate (Art. 894).

c.

If concurring with legitimate parents or


ascendants: 1/4 of the estate (Art. 896).

d.

If concurring with legitimate children or


descendants: ratio of 2:1. (Art. 176 [FC])
[But if decedent died before effectivity
of FC 10:5:4]. (Art. 895 [CC])

e.

Descendants of Illegitimate Children


(Art. 902)

Illegitimate Parents.
a.

If alone: 1/2 of the estate (Art. 903).

b.
7.
E.

If concurring with spouse 1/4 of the


estate (Art. 903).

Various combinations: found


Articles 888 903. (333 335)

passim

in

Preterition (Art. 854) Caution in drawing up will.


1.
2.
3.

What is preterition?
Who can be preterited?
Effect of preterition.

F.

Disinheritance (Arts. 915 923).

G.

Unworthiness (Arts. 1032 1040).

H.

Representation (Arts. 970 977).

I.

The Successional Bar (Art. 992).

J.

Special Rule:
1.

The Reserva Troncal (Art. 891).


a.

Purpose pp. 329 330

b.

Requisites Chua v. CFI, p. 330

c.

Process

d.

Parties
1.

Two Basic Rules

2.

Sibling as mediate source

3.

Should Origin and Reservista


belong to different lines?

4.

Must reservatario be related to


Origin?

e.

Juridical Nature

f.

Property Reserved
1.

Not part of the reservistas estate

g.

Rights and Obligations 378

h.

Extinguishment - 379

IV. TESTAMENTARY SUCCESSION (783 885; 915 923; 924


959)
A.

Statutory definition: Art. 779.

B.

Testamentary
succession
compulsory succession.

C.

subsidiary

to

1.

Will operates only to the extent that legitimes


are not impaired.

2.

Wills can dispose only of free portion.

Wills defined in Art. 783.


1.

Two kinds of wills.


a.
b.

2.

Attested
Holographic

Common requirements:
a.

As to testamentary capacity Arts. 796


803.

b.

3.

As to form Art. 804.


1)

In writing

2)

In a language known to
testator.

the

Special requirements for attested wills


Arts. 805 806; 820 824.
a.

Signed by testator or his agent in his


presence and by his express direction
at the end thereof in witnesses
presence.

b.

Attested and signed by at least 3


credible
witnesses
in
testators
presence and of one another.

c.

Testator must sign each and every page


except the last on left margin and in
witnesses presence.

d.

Witnesses must sign each and every


page on left margin, in testators
presence and of one another.

e.

All pages numbered in letters on upper


part.

f.

Attestation clause.
f.1

Stating number of pages of will.

f.2

Stating fact that testator or agent


signed as required by law in
witnesses presence.

f.3

4.

g.

Notarization.

h.

If testator is deaf or a deaf-mute Art.


807.

i.

If testator is blind Art. 808.

j.

Witnesses Arts. 820 824.

Special requirements for holographic wills


Arts. 810 814.
a.

D.

Stating that witnesses witnessed


and signed as required by law in
testators and one anothers
presence.

Entirely written, dated and signed by


testator.

5.

Purpose of requirements to close the door


to bad faith and fraud, to avoid substitution
of wills, and to guarantee their truth and
authenticity.

6.

Codicils and Incorporation Arts. 825 827.

Two modes of testamentary succession.


1.

Institution of heir Arts. 840 856.

2.

Legacies and devises Arts. 924 959.

3.

Distinction between heirs, legatees and


devisees Art. 782.

4.

Rules common to both.

a.

Capacity to succeed Arts. 1024


1040.
a.1

Incapacity and Unworthiness


Arts. 823, 1027, 1028, 1032.

b.

Subsidiary Institution (substitutions)


Arts. 857 870.

c.

Conditions, terms, and modes Arts.


871 885.

d.

Accretion Arts 1015 1023.

E.

Revocability of Wills Ways of Revoking:


Arts. 828 834.

F.

Republication and Revival Arts. 835 837.

G.

Executors and Administrators Arts. 1058


1060.

H.

Formal and Intrinsic Validity.


1.

Probate Arts. 838 839.


1.a.

2.

Special rule for probate


holographic will Art. 811

of

Formal Validity Arts. 795, 815 819,


820 824.
a.

As to the will itself.

b.

As to testamentary capacity.

c.

As to capacity of witnesses.

10

3.

V.

Instrinsic validity the efficacy of the


dispositions themselves.
a.

For Filipino citizens Art. 2263.

b.

For aliens Arts. 16, par. 2 & 1039.

INTESTATE SUCCESSION (960 1014)


A.

Definition: That which takes place by operation of


law in default of a valid will.
1.

Specific instances Art. 960.

B.

Basic principle: Same as compulsory succession


exclusion and concurrence.

C.

Four Basic Rules of Intestate Succession:


1.

Intestate heir must be related to deceased,


either by:
a.

jus familiae

b.

jus sanguinis

c.

jus conjugis

d.

jus imperii

2.

Rule of preference of lines. (978 / 985)

3.

Rule of proximity of degree, subject to right


of representation (962).

4.

Rule of equality, subject to 5 exceptions;


(962)

11

D.

a.

Preference of lines.

b.

Limitation as to
descending line.

c.

Rule of division by line in ascending


line Art. 987.

d.

Full-and half-blood relationship


collateral line Arts. 1006 & 1008.

e.

Representation.

kind

heir

in

in

Intestate Heirs.
1.

Legitimate children and/or descendants.

2.

Illegitimate children and/or descendants.

3.

Legitimate parents and/or ascendants.

4.

Illegitimate parents.

5.

Surviving spouse.

6.

Brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces.


(Bacayo v. Borromeo, 145 SCRA 986)
[Exclude uncles / aunts] [1009]

7.

Other collaterals up to the 5th degree.

8.

State.

D.a. Rules on Computation of


Relationship Arts. 963 969.
E.

of

Degrees

of

Various combinations: Found passim in Arts. 978


1014. [443-446]

12

Various combinations are possible because of


simultaneous operation of rules of exclusion and
concurrence.
E.a. Succession to estate of adopted Sec. 18,
R.A. 8552.
F.

Intestate Succession in Relation to Compulsory


Succession.
1.

Note that with the exception of Par. D, nos. 6,


7 and 8, intestate heirs are also compulsory
heirs. Ergo, there will be overlapping of
compulsory and intestate succession.

2.

Compulsory succession is supreme. The


rules of intestate succession can operate
only to the extent that the legitimes are not
impaired.

3.

General Rule: Observe the portions given by


the rules on intestacy. There will be no
conflict with legitimes.
Exception: Concurrence in intestacy
legitimate and illegitimate descend-ants:

G.

of

a.

Get legitimes first.

b.

Distribute excess in pro-portion of 2:1


[Note: if under the Civil Code 10:5:4]

Intestate Succession in Relation to Testamentary


Succession:
1.

If will disposes of part of the free portion:


The problem of Partial Intestacy

13

H.

a.

Rule: Trace where the intestate portion


went in case of total intestacy and let
recipient thereof suffer the reduction.

b.

Apply in Articles 991, 994, 997, 998,


1000 and 1001.

Special Rules.
1.

The Successional Bar Art. 992.

2.

Accretion Arts. 1015 1023.

3.

Capacity and Unworthiness Arts. 1024


1025; 1032 1040.

4.

Representation Arts. 970 977.

VI.

ACCEPTANCE AND REPUDIATION Articles 1041


1057

VII.

PARTITION
AND
DISTRIBUTION
SUBSTANTIVE ASPECTS
A.

OF

ESTATE:

If compulsory succession takes place1.

Net hereditary estate must be determined.


Purpose: To be able to compute legitimes.

2.

Method of determination (collation) (Art.


908).
a.

Determine value of property left at the


death of the testator.

b.

Deduct all debts and obligations.

14

c.

B.

3.

Donations are included in legitime but


testamentary dispositions are excluded
Arts. 909 910, 1061 1062, 1063.

4.

If legitimes impaired first reduce


testamentary dispositions pro rata (907, 911,
but cf. 950), 912 914, then reduce donations
in inverse order of dates (911, 773).

A.1

Collation Three Concepts: Arts. 1061


1077.

If testamentary succession takes place 1.

Will must be probated.

2.

Two kinds of probate:


a.
b.

3.
C.

Add the value of all donations inter


vivos.

Ante Mortem
Post Mortem

Probate determinative only of formal validity.

Actual Partition (Arts. 1078 1105).


1.

Before partition co-ownership among heirs.

2.

Partition Separation, division


and
assignment of a thing held in common
among those to whom it may belong (Art.
1079).

3.

Kinds of Partition:
a.
b.

Extra-judicial
Judicial