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SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS

RULE 77-91 SUMMARY OF CASES 1-14

ALLOWANCE OF WILL PROVED OUTSIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND ADMINISTRATION OF ESTATE


THEREUNDER

1. VENTURA VS VENTURA

Facts: There was a will wherein the illegitimate daughter was assigned by the testator as executor of the estate (the
will was submitted by the testator for probate during his lifetime. Note that in the will, he denied paternity of the first
children. So the children filed for the annulment of the institution of heirs claiming that they were preterited. So the
court granted the petition. When the illegitimate daughter appealed the decision, the Court denied it because the
decision had become final and executory upon order.). Upon the presentation by the executor of the inventory, the
legitimate children of the testator filed a motion asking the court to remove the former for incompetency and not being
transparent in presenting the accounts and most importantly, for being an illegitimate daughter.

Under Article 854 of the Civil Code, "the pretention or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the
direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the
institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious," and as a result,
intestacy follows, thereby rendering the previous appointment of Maria Ventura as executrix moot and academic. This
would now necessitate the appointment of another administrator, under the following provision:

Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court:

When and to whom letters of administration granted.-If no executor is named in the will, or
the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give bond, or a person
dies intestate, a petition shall be granted:

(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be or next of kin, or both, in the
discretion of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or both, in the
discretion of the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin,
requests to have appointed, if competent and willing to serve;"

xxx xxx xxx

In the case at bar, the surviving spouse of the deceased Gregorio Ventura is Juana Cardona while the next of kin are:
Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura and Maria and Miguel Ventura. The "next of kin" has been defined as those persons
who are entitled under the statute of distribution to the decedent's property (Cooper vs. Cooper, 43 Ind. A. 620, 88 NE
341). It is generally said that "the nearest of kin, whose interest in the estate is more preponderant, is preferred in the
choice of administrator. 'Among members of a class the strongest ground for preference is the amount or
preponderance of interest. As between next of kin, the nearest of kin is to be preferred." (Cabanas, et al. vs. Enage et
al., 40 Off. Gaz. 12 Suppl. 227; citing 12 Am. Jur. Sec. 77, p. 416, cited in Francisco Vicente J., The Revised Rules of
Court in the Philippines, Vol. V-B 1970 Ed., p. 23).

As decided by the lower court and sustained by the Supreme Court, Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura are the
legitimate children of Gregorio Ventura and his wife, the late Paulina Simpliciano. Therefore, as the nearest of kin of
Gregorio Ventura they are entitled to preference over the illegitimate children of Gregorio Ventura, namely: Maria and
Miguel Ventura. Hence, under the aforestated preference provided in Section 6 of Rule 78, the person or persons to
be appointed administrator are Juana Cardona, as the surviving spouse, or Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura as
nearest of kin, or Juana Cardona and Mercedes and Gregoria Ventura in the discretion of the Court, in order to
represent both interests.
Can she also be appointed as co-executor?

Yes.

Co-administrators. Two or more administrators may be appointed for an estate, especially when it
is large and its administration complex.

Co-administration should however be resorted to in exceptional cases only because it may lend to
conflict between or among the co-administrators and diffusion of responsibility.

The appointment of co-administrators has however been upheld for various reasons:

1) to have the benefit of their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different interests
represented;

2) where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or factions be represented in the
management of the estate of the deceased;

3) where the estate is large or, from any cause, an intricate one to settle;

4) to have all interested parties satisfied and the representatives to work in harmony for the
best interests of the estate; and

5) when a person is entitled to the administration of an estate desires to have another


competent person associated with him in the office (Gabriel vs. Court of Appeals, 212 SCRA
413, 1992).

Although a co-administrator is designated to administer a portion of the estate, he is no less an


administrator of the whole because of his judicious management of a mere parcel enhances the value
of the entire estate, while his inefficient or corrupt administration thereof necessarily diminishes the
value of the whole estate (2 Bautista 37).

2. CORONA VS CA

that petitioner's nominee, Nenita F. Alonte, should be appointed as co-Special Administrator. The executrix's
choice of Special Administrator, considering her own inability to serve and the wide latitude of discretion
given her by the testatrix in her Will (Annex "A-1"), is entitled to the highest consideration. Objections to
Nenita's appointment on grounds of impracticality and lack of kinship are over-shadowed by the fact that
justice and equity demand that the side of the deceased wife and the faction of the surviving husband be
represented in the management of the decedent's estate. 2

What is the legal effect of the disinheritance of the surviving spouse? He has no interest.

If the surviing spouse has been disinherited, does he still have an interest? Yes. He has still interest, noting
that there still his interest in the conjugal properties.

SC ordered Alonte as co-administrator.

En passant, it is apropos to remind the Special Administrators that while they may have respective interests
to protect, they are officers of the Court subject to the supervision and control of the Probate Court and are
expected to work for the best interests of the entire estate, its smooth administration, and its earliest
settlement.

3. GABRIEL VS CA

Subject: Widow filed a petition to be appointed as administrator of the husband.

Section 6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court provides:

Sec. 6. When and to whom letters of administration granted. If no executor is named in the will,
or the executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, or fail to give bond, or a person dies
intestate, administration shall be granted:

(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may be, or next of kin, or both, in the discretion of
the court, or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or next of kin, requests to have
appointed, if competent and willing to serve;

(b) If such husband or wife, as the case may be, or the next of kin, or the person selected by them,
be incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow, or next of kin, neglects for thirty (30) days
after the death of the person to apply for administration or to request that administration be granted
to some other person, it may be granted to one or more of the principal creditors, if competent and
willing to serve;

(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing to serve, it may be granted to such other
person as the court may select. (Emphases ours.)

Evidently, the foregoing provision of the Rules prescribes the order of preference in the issuance of letters of
administration, categorically seeks out the surviving spouse, the next of kin and the creditors, and requires that
sequence to be observed in appointing an administrator. It would be a grave abuse of discretion for the probate court
to imperiously set aside and insouciantly ignore that directive without any valid and sufficient reason therefor.

In the appointment of the administrator of the estate of a deceased person, the principal consideration reckoned with
is the interest in said estate of the one to be appointed as administrator. This is the same consideration which Section
6 of Rule 78 takes into account in establishing the order of preference in the appointment of administrators for the
estate. The underlying assumption behind this rule is that those who will reap the benefit of a wise, speedy and
economical administration of the estate, or, on the other hand, suffer the consequences of waste,
improvidence or mismanagement, have the highest interest and most influential motive to administer the
estate correctly. 13

This is likewise the same consideration which the law takes into account in establishing the preference of
the widow to administer the estate of her husband upon the latter's death, because she is supposed to have
an interest therein as a partner in the conjugal partnership. 14 Under the law, the widow would have the right
of succession over a portion of the exclusive property of the decedent, aside from her share in the conjugal
partnership. For such reason, she would have as much, if not more, interest in administering the entire
estate correctly than any other next of kin. 15 On this ground alone, petitioner Felicitas Jose-Gabriel, the
widow of the deceased Domingo Gabriel, has every right and is very much entitled to the administration of
the estate of her husband since one who has greater interest in the estate is preferred to another who has
less. 16

Private respondent, however, argues that Felicitas Jose-Gabriel may no longer be appointed administratrix by reason
of her failure to apply for letters of administration within thirty (30) days from the death of her husband, as required
under the rules.

It is true that Section 6(b) of Rule 78 provides that the preference given to the surviving spouse or next of kin may be
disregarded by the court where said persons neglect to apply for letters of administration for thirty (30) days after the
decedent's death. However, it is our considered opinion that such failure is not sufficient to exclude the widow
from the administration of the estate of her husband. There must be a very strong case to justify the
exclusion of the widow from the administration. 17

In the case at bar, there is no compelling reason sufficient to disqualify Felicitas Jose-Gabriel from
appointment as administratrix of the decedent's estate. Moreover, just as the order of preference is not
absolute and may be disregarded for valid cause 18 despite the mandatory tenor in the opening sentence of
Rule 78 for its observance, so may the 30-day period be likewise waived under the permissive tone in
paragraph (b) of said rule which merely provides that said letters, as an alternative, "may be granted to one
or more of the principal creditors."

On the other hand, we feel that we should not nullify the appointment of private respondent as administrator. The
determination of a person's suitability for the office of judicial administrator rests, to a great extent, in the sound
judgment of the court exercising the power of appointment and said judgment is not to be interfered with on appeal
unless the said court is clearly in error. 19 Administrators have such a right and corresponding interest in the
execution of their trust as would entitle them to protection from removal without just cause. Thus, Section 2 of Rule 82
provides the legal and specific causes authorizing the probate court to remove an administrator.

While it is conceded that the court is invested with ample discretion in the removal of an administrator, it must,
however, have some fact legally before it in order to justify such removal. There must be evidence of an act or
omission on the part of the administrator not conformable to or in disregard of the rules or the orders of the court
which it deems sufficient or substantial to warrant the removal of the administrator. 20 In the instant case, a mere
importunity by some of the heirs of the deceased, there being no factual and substantial bases therefor, is
not adequate ratiocination for the removal of private respondent. Suffice it to state that the removal of an
administrator does not lie on the whims, caprices and dictates of the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate. In
addition, the court may also exercise its discretion in appointing an administrator where those who are
entitled to letters fail to apply therefor within a given time. 21

On the equiponderance of the foregoing legal positions, we see no reason why, for the benefit of the estate and those
interested therein, more than one administrator may not be appointed since that is both legally permissible and
sanctioned in practice. 22 Section 6(a) of Rule 78 specifically states that letters of administration may be issued to
both the surviving spouse and the next of
kin. 23 In fact, Section 2 of Rule 82 contemplates a contingency which may arise when there is only one administrator
but which may easily be remediable where there is co-administration, to wit: "When an executor or administrator dies,
resigns, or is removed the remaining executor or administrator may administer the trust alone, . . . ." Also, co-
administration herein will constitute a recognition of both the extent of the interest of the widow in the estate and the
creditable services rendered to and which may further be expected from private respondent for the same estate.

Under both Philippine and American jurisprudence, the appointment of co-administrators has been upheld
for various reasons, viz: (1) to have the benefit of their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different
interests represented; 24 (2) where justice and equity demand that opposing parties or factions be
represented in the management of the estate of the deceased; 25
(3) where the estate is large or, from any cause, an intricate and perplexing one to settle; 26 (4) to have all
interested persons satisfied and the representatives to work in harmony for the best interests of the
estate; 27 and (5) when a person entitled to the administration of an estate desires to have another competent
person associated with him in the office. 28

Under the circumstances obtaining herein, we deem it just, equitable and advisable that there be a co-
administration of the estate of the deceased by petitioner Felicitas Jose-Gabriel and private respondent
Roberto Dindo Gabriel. As earlier stated, the purpose of having co-administrators is to have the benefit of
their judgment and perhaps at all times to have different interests represented, especially considering that in
this proceeding they will respectively represent the legitimate and illegitimate groups of heirs to the estate.
Thereby, it may reasonably be expected that all interested persons will be satisfied, with the representatives working
in harmony under the direction and supervision of the probate court.

What if the surviving spouse wanted as co-administrator?

She may do so provided that it her appointment as co-administrator falls under the exceptions as provided by law.
4. IN THE MATTER OF VS ARANZANSO

- Juliana Reyes died intestate. The estate had only special administrators until Gregoria Aranzanso who claims to be
the FIRST COUSIN of the decedent asked that be appointed regular administrator. Her petition was granted.

If the adoption is invalid, there will be no children. What will be the legal effect if surviving spouse na lang ang nabilin?

6. SAGUINSIN VS LINDAYAG ET AL.

Lindayag died intestate. Her sister filed a petition for the issuance in her favor letters of administration over the estate
of said deceased. Alleged that the latter left properties and enumerated the surviving heirs.

The surviving spouse merely filed an opposition (motion to dismiss) that the petitioner has no legal interest to institute
the proceeding.

RULING: The dismissal of a petition for letters of administration was affirmed because the petitioner is not an heir of
her deceased sister and, therefore, has no material and direct interest in her estate.

7. Pilipinas Shell vs Dumlao

The oppositor did not seek the dismissal of the petition. They want the son to be appointed as the administrator
(affirmative relief) from the probate court. That is waiver now.

May jurisdiction be waived?

What if the value of the estate falls under lower court? Then ge file sa petitioner ang case sa RTC (if does not exceed
300,000. Would the decision of the court be the same? Or is there a need to proclaim the whole decision null and
void due to lack of jurisdiction? Yes. For lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Cant it be said that after
everything, naa nay partition, pwede pa ma nullify? Dili na oie!

1. Whether or not the jurisdictional facts that need to be stated in a petition for letters of administration under Section
2(a), Rule 79 of the Rules of Court include the specific assertion that the petitioner therein is an "interested person".

2. Whether or not the administration court may properly and validly dismiss a petition for letters of administration filed
by one who is not an "interested person" after having appointed an heir of the decedent as administrator of the latter's
intestate estate and set for pre-trial a claim against the said estate.

Held:

1. No

Section 2, Rule 79 of the Rules of Court provides:

Sec. 2. Contents of petition of letters of administration. A petition for letters of administration must be filed
by an interested person and must show, so far as known to the petitioner:

(a) The jurisdictional facts;

(b) The names, ages, and residences of the heirs, and the names and residences of the creditors, of the
decedent;

(c) The probable value and character of the property of the estate;
(d) The name of the person for whom letters of administration are prayed.

But no defect in the petition shall render void the issuance of letters of administration.

The jurisdictional facts alluded to are: the death of the testator, his residence at the time of his death in the
province where the probate court is sitting or, if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country, his having left his estate in
such province. These facts are amply enumerated in the petition filed by Gonzalez.

Clearly, the allegation that a petitioner seeking letters of administration is an interested person, does not fall within the
enumeration of jurisdictional facts.

Of course, since the opening sentence of the section requires that the petition must be filed by an interested person,
it goes without saying that a motion to dismiss may lie not on the basis of lack of jurisdiction on the part of the court,
but rather on the ground of lack of legal capacity to institute the proceedings.

In Saguinsin vs. Lindayag, the dismissal of a petition for letters of administration was affirmed because the petitioner
is not an heir of her deceased sister and, therefore, has no material and direct interest in her estate.

In the said case, this Court defined an interested party as one who would be benefited by the estate, such as an
heir, or one who has a claim against the estate, such as a creditor; this interest must be material and direct, not
merely indirect or contingent.

However, the Saguinsin doctrine is not without exception. An objection to a petition for letters of administration on that
ground may be barred by waiver or estoppel.

2. No

Private respondents herein did not file a motion to dismiss the petition filed by Gonzalez on the ground of lack of
capacity to sue. They instead filed an Opposition which, unfortunately, did not ask for the dismissal of the petition but
merely opposed the issuance of letters of administration in favor of Gonzalez. The Opposition also proposed that
Bonifacio Canonoy, one of the children of the deceased Regino Canonoy, be appointed administrator of the latter's
intestate estate.

The failure to move for a dismissal amounted to a waiver of the above-mentioned ground. Section 8, Rule 15 of the
Rules of Court provides that:

A motion attacking a pleading or a proceeding shall include all objections then available, and all objections
not so included shall be deemed waived.

However, if a motion to dismiss is not filed, as what obtains in this case, any of the grounds available for such a motion,
except for improper venue, may be pleaded as an affirmative defense, and a preliminary hearing thereon may be had
as if a motion to dismiss had been filed. Excepted from the above rules are the following grounds: (a) failure to state a
cause of action which may be alleged in a later pleading if one is permitted, or by a motion for judgment on the pleadings,
or at the trial on the merits; and (b) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action, subject to the exception as
hereinafter discussed.

By proposing that Bonifacio Canonoy be appointed as administrator instead of Mr. Gonzalez, private respondents
have in fact approved or ratified the filing of the petition by the latter.

There can be no dispute that the trial court had acquired jurisdiction over the case. Immediately after the filing of the
case, the trial court complied with Section 3, Rule 79 of the Rules of Court by issuing the Order dated 27 January
1973. At the initial hearing on 25 July 1973, petitioner Gonzalez established the jurisdictional requirements by
submitting in evidence proof of publication and service of notices of the petition. Thereafter, it heard the evidence on
the qualifications and competence of Bonifacio Canonoy, then appointed him as the administrator and finally directed
that letters of administration be issued to him, and that he takes his oath of office after putting up a surety or property
bond in the amount of P5,000.00.

It is be presumed that Bonifacio Canonoy immediately qualified as administrator because in that capacity, he filed a
motion to dismiss petitioner's claim against the estate, a Reply to the Opposition to the motion to dismiss and an
Answer to the petitioner's amended claim against the estate wherein he interposed a counterclaim.

Clearly, not only had the administrator and the rest of the private respondents voluntarily submitted to the jurisdiction
of the trial court, they even expressly affirmed and invoked such jurisdiction in praying for reliefs and remedies in their
favor.

They cannot now be heard to question the jurisdiction of the trial court. While it may be true that jurisdiction may be
raised at any stage of the proceedings, a party who has affirmed and invoked it in a particular matter to secure an
affirmative relief cannot be allowed to afterwards deny that same jurisdiction to escape penalty, as held in the case of
Tijam, et al. vs. Sibonghanoy, et al.

The instant petition was granted and the Order of respondent Judge was set aside.

8. DE GUZMAN VS THE HONORABLE JUDGE ZOSIMO Z. ANGELES

Father in law vs surviving spouse:

May a probate court act on/or grant motions for the appointment of a special administrator, for the issuance of a writ
of possession of alleged properties of the deceased person, and for assistance to preserve the estate in a petition for
the settlement of the intestate estate even before the court has caused notice to be served upon all interested parties
pursuant to section 3, rule 79 of the ROC?

FACTS OF THE CASE:

The decedent died intestate so the wife filed for the settlement of the estate including the writ of possession
of the vehicles in the possession of the father-in-law. Thereafter she filed a motion for her to be appointed as
the special administrator of the estate. So the Court set a date of the hearing on the said motion. In this
same order, the lower court directed that all parties in the case be notified. however the father-in-law was
not notified about the hearing.
The petitioner contends that the June 5, 1987 order is a patent nullity, the respondent court not having
acquired jurisdiction to appoint a special administratrix because the petition for the settlement of the estate
of Manolito de Guzman was not yet set for hearing and published for three consecutive weeks, as mandated
by the Rules of Court. The petitioner also stresses that the appointment of a special administratrix
constitutes an abuse of discretion for having been made without giving petitioner and other parties an
opportunity to oppose said appointment.

HELD:

As early as March 18, 1937, in the case of Santos v. Castillo (64 Phil. 211) we ruled that before a court may acquire
jurisdiction over the case for the probate of a will and the administration of the properties left by a deceased person,
the application must allege the residence of the deceased and other indispensable facts or circumstances and that
the applicant is the executor named in the will or is the person who had custody of the will to be probated.

In the instant case, there is no doubt that the respondent court acquired jurisdiction over the proceedings upon the
filing of a petition for the settlement of an intestate estate by the private respondent since the petition had alleged all
the jurisdictional facts, the residence of the deceased person, the possible heirs and creditors and the probable value
of the estate of the deceased Manolito de Guzman pursuant to Section 2, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court.
We must, however, differentiate between the jurisdiction of the probate court over the proceedings for the
administration of an estate and its jurisdiction over the persons who are interested in the settlement of the estate of
the deceased person. The court may also have jurisdiction over the "estate" of the deceased person but the
determination of the properties comprising that estate must follow established rules.

Section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court provides:CCC

Court to set time for hearing. Notice thereof. When a petition for letters of administration is
filed in the court having jurisdiction, such court shall fix a time and place for hearing the petition,
and shall cause notice thereof to be given to the known heirs and creditors of the decedent, and to
any other persons believed to have an interest in the estate, in the manner provided in sections 3
and 4 of Rule 76.

Where no notice as required by Section 3, Rule 79 of the Rules of Court has been given to persons believed to have
an interest in the estate of the deceased person; the proceeding for the settlement of the estate is void and should be
annulled. The requirement as to notice is essential to the validity of the proceeding in that no person may be deprived
of his right to property without due process of law.

Verily, notice through publication of the petition for the settlement of the estate of a deceased person is
jurisdictional, the absence of which makes court orders affecting other persons, subsequent to the petition
void and subject to annulment.

In the instant case, no notice as mandated by section 3, Rule 79 of the Revised Rules of Court was caused to be
given by the probate court before it acted on the motions of the private respondent to be appointed as special
administratrix, to issue a writ of possession of alleged properties of the deceased person in the widow's favor, and to
grant her motion for assistance to preserve the estate of Manolito de Guzman.

All interested persons including herein petitioner who is the biggest creditor of the estate listed in the Petition
(P850,240.80) could have participated in the proceedings especially so, because the respondent immediately filed a
motion to have herself appointed as administratrix The petitioner as creditor of the estate has a similar interest in the
preservation of the estate as the private respondent who happens to be the widow of deceased Manolito de Guzman.
Hence, the necessity of notice as mandated by the Rules of Court. It is not clear from the records exactly what
emergency would have ensued if the appointment of an administrator was deferred at least until the most interested
parties were given notice of the proposed action. No unavoidable delay in the appointment of a regular administrator
is apparent from the records.

If emergency situations threatening the dissipation of the assets of an estate justify a court's immediately taking some
kind of temporary action even without the required notice, no such emergency is shown in this case. The need for the
proper notice even for the appointment of a special administrator is apparent from the circumstances of this case.

When does probate court acquire jurisdiction? The jurisdiction of the estate: upon filing of the petition. While
jurisdiction over interested parties ; when notice and hearing requirement are done.

Note that in this cases, no service of summons.

What if there is notice given to heirs, but there is publication? If there is no notice of the order setting the case for
initial hearing, does it mean no jurisdiction?

SPECIAL ADMINISTRATOR A special administrator has been defined as the "representative of decedent
appointed by the probate court to care for and preserve his estate until an executor or general administrator is
appointed."

When is the appropriate time for the appointment of special administrator?


In this case, granted the petition of the father-in law. There is no need to recover the possession of the vehicles.

Let us assume that the special administrator appointment is valid, may the regular administrator get the possession of
the properties?

9. CUENCO VS THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

FACTS:

In terms of venue, we have cebu city or quezon. Pero ge file una sa cebu. Would it not be proper na.

What is the specific act for us to consider that the court has taken cognizance of the case? Upon the issuance of the
order setting the case for hearing.

The Cebu Court may no longer dismiss the petition although it is made aware of the existence of the testate
proceeding in Quezon City. That proceeding will convert the intestate proceeding to testate proceeding.

What if the quezon city does not want to give up the probate proceedings? Quezon City invalid kay under the rules
kay katong to the exclusion of blablabla..

11. RUIZ VS CA

Holographic will of the decedent bequeathing all the properties to his son, adopted daughter and 3 granddaughters.

Edmond, the named executor did not take any action for the probate of his fathers holographic will

Fours years after the death of the decedent, the adopted daughter filed a petition for the probate and approval of the
will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to Edmond Ruiz. Edmond opposed on the ground that the will was
executed under undue influence.

One of the properties leased out by Edmond to third parties.

Probate court ordered Edmond to deposit the rental deposit and payments.

WON the probate court, after admitting the will to probate but before payment of the estates debts and obligations, has
the authority:
(1) to grant an allowance from the funds of the estate for the support of the testators grandchildren;
(2) to order the release of the titles to certain heirs;
(3) to grant possession of all properties of the estate to the executor of the will.

RULING:

1. NO.

Sec. 3. Allowance to widow and family. - The widow and minor or incapacitated children of a deceased person, during
the settlement of the estate, shall receive therefrom under the direction of the court, such allowance as are provided
by law.

The law clearly limits the allowance to widow and children and does not extend it to the deceaseds grandchildren,
regardless of their minority or incapacity.

2. Respondent courts also erred when they ordered the release of the titles of the bequeathed properties to private
respondents six months after the date of first publication of notice to creditors. An order releasing titles to properties of
the estate amounts to an advance distribution of the estate which is allowed only under certain conditions:
In settlement of estate proceedings, the distribution of the estate properties can only be made:
(1) after all the debts, funeral charges, expenses of administration, allowance to the widow, and estate tax have been
paid;
(2) before payment of said obligations only if the distributees or any of them gives a bond in a sum fixed by the court
conditioned upon the payment of said obligations within such time as the court directs, or when provision is made to
meet those obligations.

In the case at bar, the probate court ordered the release of the titles after the lapse of six months from the date of first
publication of the notice to creditors, not payment of debts and obligations. The Testator allegedly left with no debt but
the taxes on his estate have not been paid. The estate tax is one of those obligations that must be paid before
distribution of the estate. If not yet paid, the rule requires that the distributees post a bond or make such provisions as
to meet the said tax obligation in proportion to their respective shares in the inheritance.

3. Petitioners contention that the assailed order deprived him of his right to take possession of all the real and personal
properties of the estate is wrong. The right of an executor or administrator to the possession and management
of the real and personal properties of the deceased is not absolute and can only be exercised so long as it is
necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses of administration.

An executor is a mere trustee. The funds of the estate in his hands are trust funds and he is held to the duties and
responsibilities of a trustee of the highest order. He cannot unilaterally assign to himself and possess all without first
submitting an inventory and appraisal of all real and personal properties of the deceased, rendering a true account of
his administration, the expenses of administration, the amount of the obligations and estate tax, all of which are subject
to a determination by the court as to their veracity, propriety and justness

NOTE: THIS CASE IS AN IMPROPER DISTRIBUTION OF ALLOWANCE TO GRANDAUGHTERS

12. MANANQUIL VS VILLEGAS

FACTS:

1. This is a disbarment case against VILLEGAS.

2. It turns out that VILLEGAS was counsel of record of one Felix LEONG, the administrator for the testate
estate of one Felomina Zerna.

3. In 1963, LEONG, as administrator of Zernas estate, entered into a lease contract with the partnership of
HIJOS DE VILLEGAS over several lots included in Zernas estate.

4. The said lease contract was renewed several times henceforth.

5. It is important to note at this point that VILLEGAS was both counsel of LEONG and a partner in the
partnership of HIJOS DE VILLEGAS.

6. When LEONG died, this disbarment suit was filed by MANANQUIL, the appointed administrator for
LEONGs estate. MANANQUIL alleged that the lease contracts were made under iniquitous terms and conditions.
Also, MANANQUIL alleged that VILLEGAS should have first notified and secured the approval of the probate court in
Zernas estate before the contracts were renewed, VILLEGAS being counsel of that estates administrator.

ISSUES:

1 Whether VILLEGAS should have first secured the probate courts approval regarding the lease.

2 Whether VILLEGAS should be disbarred.


RULING:

1 NO. Pursuant to Section 3 of Rule 84 of the Revised Rules of Court, a judicial executor or administrator has
the right to the possession and management of the real as well as the personal estate of the deceased so long as it is
necessary for the payment of the debts and the expenses of administration. He may, therefore, exercise acts of
administration without special authority from the court having jurisdiction of the estate. For instance, it has long been
settled that an administrator has the power to enter into lease contracts involving the properties of the estate even
without prior judicial authority and approval.

Thus, considering that administrator LEONG was not required under the law and prevailing jurisprudence to seek
prior authority from the probate court in order to validly lease real properties of the estate, VILLEGAS, as counsel of
LEONG, cannot be taken to task for failing to notify the probate court of the various lease contracts involved herein
and to secure its judicial approval thereto.

2 NO. There is no evidence to warrant disbarment, although VILLEGAS should be suspended from practice of
law because he participated in the renewals of the lease contracts involving properties of Zernas estate in favor of
the partnership of HIJOS DE VILLEGAS. Under Art. 1646 of the Civil Code, lawyers, with respect to the property and
rights which may be the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession are prohibited
fro leasing, either in person or through the mediation of another, the properties or things mentioned. Such act
constituted gross misconduct, hence, suspension for four months.

Is there a need for probate court? Section 3, Rule 84

To avoid sanction, what would the lawyer have done?

13. KALAW VS IAC

Facts: Administrator of the estate failed to render an accounting of the administered properties.

RULING:

The rendering of an accounting by an administrator of his administration within one year from his appointment is
mandatory, as shown by the use of the word "shall" in said rule. The only exception is when the Court otherwise
directs because of extensions of time for presenting claims against the estate or for paying the debts or disposing the
assets of the estate, which do not exist in the case at bar.

subsequent compliance in rendering an accounting report did not purge her of her negligence in not rendering an
accounting for more than six years, which justifies petitioners removal as administratrix and the appointment of
private respondent in her place as mandated by Section 2 of Rule 82 of the Rules of Court. As correctly stated by the
appellate court: "The settled rule is that the removal of an administrator under Section 2 of Rule 82 lies within the
discretion of the Court appointing him.

In the case at bar, the removal of petitioner as administratrix was on the ground of her failure for 6 years and 3
months from the time she was appointed as administratrix to render an accounting of her administration as required
by Section 8 of Rule 85 of the Rules of Court."

14. DE GUZMAN VS CARILLO