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ARANZ vs GALING

RULE 76 - ALLOWANCE OR DISALLOWANCE OF WILL


Facts:
On 3 March 1986, private respondent filed a petition for the probate and allowance of the last will and
testament of the late Montserrat R-Infante y G-Pola. The petition specified the names and addresses of
the petitioners as legatees and devisees. On 12 March 1986, the probate court issued an order setting
the petition for hearing on 5 May 1986 at 8:30 o'clock in the morning. Said order was published in the
"Nueva Era" A newspaper of general circulation in Metro Manila once a week for three (3) consecutive
weeks. On the date of the hearing, no oppositor appeared. The hearing was then reset to 12 May 1986,
but still no oppositor appeared.
On 14 May 1986, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of 12 May 1986 alleging
that, as named legatees, no notices were sent to them as required by Sec. 4, Rule 76 of the Rules of
Court and they prayed that they be given a period of ten (10) days within which to file their opposition
to the probate of the will. It was elevated to the Court of Appeals but was dismissed.
Issue:
Whether or not the CA erred in holding that personal notice of probate proceedings to the known
legatees and devisees is not a jurisdictional requirement in the probate of a will.
Held:
No, it is clear from Sec. 4, Rule 76 of the Rules of Court, that notice of the time and place of the hearing
for the allowance of a will shall be forwarded to the designated or other known heirs, legatees, and
devisees residing in the Philippines at their places of residence, if such places of residence be known.
There is no question that the residences of herein petitioners legatees and devisees were known to the
probate court. The petition for the allowance of the wig itself indicated the names and addresses of the
legatees and devisees of the testator. But despite such knowledge, the probate court did not cause
copies of the notice to be sent to petitioners. The requirement of the law for the allowance of the will
was not satisfied by mere publication of the notice of hearing for three (3) weeks in a newspaper of
general circulation in the province.