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In re: Will and Testament of the deceased REVEREND SANCHO ABADIA.

FACTS: On September 6, 1923, Father Sancho Abadia, parish priest of Talisay, Cebu, executed a document purporting to be his Last Will and
Testament. The parish priest was a resident of the City of Cebu, and he died on January 14, 1943, in the municipality of Aloguinsan, Cebu, where
he was an evacuee. He left properties estimated at P8,000 in value. On October 2, 1946, Andres Enriquez, one of the legatees filed a petition for
its probate in the Court of First Instance of Cebu. Some cousins and nephews who would inherit the estate of the deceased if he left no will, filed
opposition.
The learned trial court found and declared the purported Last Will and Testament of the parish priest to be a holographic will; that it was in the
handwriting of the testator and that although at the time it was executed and at the time of the testator's death, holographic wills were not
permitted by law still, because at the time of the hearing and when the case was to be decided, the new Civil Code was already in force, which
Code permitted the execution of holographic wills, under a liberal view, and to carry out the intention of the testator which according to the trial
court is the controlling factor and may override any defect in form, said trial court by order dated January 24, 1952, admitted to probate such Last
Will and Testament of Father Sancho Abadia. The oppositors are appealing from that decision.
ISSUE: Whether or not the holographic will should be allowed despite the fact that when it was executed the civil code proscribes the execution
of such wills.
RULING: The Supreme Court held that despite the effectivity of the new Civil Code allowing the execution of holographic wills, the contested
holographic will still cannot be allowed and admitted to probate. Article 795 of the new Civil Code expressly provides: "The validity of a will as
to its form depends upon the observance of the law in force at the time it is made." The above provision is but an expression or statement of the
weight of authority to the affect that the validity of a will is to be judged not by the law enforce at the time of the testator's death or at the time the
supposed will is presented in court for probate or when the petition is decided by the court but at the time the instrument was executed. In the case
at bar, since at the time that the testator executed the instrument, holographic wills were not yet permitted, the same will is considered as invalid
for failure to observe the requirements of the law at the time it was executed.

Fluemer vs. Hix


Facts: The petitioner, Fluemer is a special administrator of the estate of Edward Hix. He alleged that the latters will was executed in Elkins,
West Virginia on November 3, 1925 by Hix who had his residence in that jurisdiction, and that the laws of that state govern. To this end, the
petitioner submitted a copy of Section 3868 of Acts 1882, c.84 as found in West Virginia Code, annotated by Hogg, Charles E., vol.2 1914, p.
1690 and as certified to by the Director of National Library. The Judge of the First Instance however denied the probate of the will on the
grounds that Sec 300 and 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure were not complied with. Hence, this appeal.

Issue: Whether or not it is necessary to prove in the Philippine jurisdiction the existence of a law in West Virginia as a prerequisite to the
allowance and recording of said will.

Held: Yes. The laws of the foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. The courts of the Philippine Islands are not authorized to
take judicial notice of the laws of the various states of the American Union. Such laws must be proved as facts. Here the requirements of the law
were not met. There was no showing that the book from which an extract was taken was printed or published under the authority of the state of
West Virginia, as provided in Sec 30 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Nor was the extract from the law attested by the certificate of the officer
having charge of the original, under the seal of the State of West Virginia as provided in Sec 301. No evidence was introduced showing that the
extract from the laws of West Virginia was in force at the time alleged will was executed. The court therefore did not err in denying the probate of
the will. The existence of such law in West Virginia must be proved.

Estate of William R. Giberson


Facts: Lela G. Dalton presented on February 10, 1949 an application with the Court of First Instance of Cebu the legalization of a document, she
alleges, is holographic will of William R. Giberson, dated April 29, 1920 in San Francisco, California. Giberson was a citizen of the State of
Illinois, United States, and a resident of Cebu, and died on August 6, 1943 in the concentration camp at the University of Sto. Tomas, Manila,
Philippines. Spring Giberson, legitimate son of William R. Giberson, presented an opposition alleging that the will is apocrypha ( with
questionable authenticity), it does not represent the true will of the late Giberson, and has not been granted according to the law. On July 1, 1949,
the opponent filed a motion to dismiss the request, claiming that, before a will made in another country be legalized in the Philippines, it must be
shown that the will had been probated in that country according to Article 1 of Rule 78. The request does not allege that the will had already been

legalized in California. On June 20, 1950 the Judge dismissed the request, stating: "... under our existing rules, only wills that have previously
been PROVED and allowed in the United States, or any state or territory thereof, or any foreign country, according to the laws of Such state,
territory, or country, may be allowed, filed or recorded in the proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines...." Against this order the applicant
appeals. The opposition, in support of his theory, maintains that Article 635 of the Civil Procedure Code was repealed by Rule 78, under Section
13, Article VIII of the Constitution.
Issue: Whether wills made out of the Philippines may be legalized in the Philippines despite the fact that there was no showing that the will was
probated in the place of its execution.
Held: YES. Section 1 of Rule 78 cannot prevent legalization in the Philippines of a will made in a foreign country, if it can be certified, in
accordance with the laws of that country. Section 1 of Rule 78 is not more than a transplantation of Article 637 of the Civil Procedure Code. The
two provisions read:
RULE 78, SECTION 1. Wills proved outside Philippines may be allowed here. Wills proved and
allowed in a foreign country, according to the laws of such country, may be allowed, filed, and recorded by the
proper Court of First Instance in the Philippines.
SEC. 637. Wills proved outside islands may be allowed here. Wills proved and allowed in the United
States, or any State or Territory thereof, or in a foreign state or country, according to the laws of such State,
Territory, or country, may be allowed, filed, and recorded in the Court of First Instance of the province in
which the testator has real or personal estate on which such will may operate.
The Supreme Court held that Section 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure which provides that a will made out of the Philippine Islands which
might be proved and allowed by the laws of the state or country in which it was made, may be proved, allowed, and recorded in the Philippine
Islands, and shall have the same effect as if executed according to the laws of these Islands, is still in force and has not been abrogated by Rule
78 of the Rules of Court. In reasoning out its decision the Court opined that the provision of Section 635 of the Code of Civil Procedure is
substantive in nature for it creates rights for the beneficiaries of the will and therefore could not have been repealed by the Rules of Court for said
Rules repealed only those provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure which are procedural in nature.

Dela Cerna vs Potot


Facts: Spouses Bernabe dela Cerna and Gervasia Rebaca executed a joint will and testament, declaring that their two parcels of land acquired
during their marriage including improvements will be given to Manuela Rebaca Potot (being married to Nicolas Potot), their niece which they
nurtured since childhood. Upon Bernabes death, the will was probated and no appeal was made, hence it attains finality. Upon Gervasias death
after, another petition for the probate of the same will presented insofar as Gervasia is concerned. Petitioner opposes the probate on the ground
that the will was void for being a joint will.
Issue:
(1) Whether or not the questioned will, being a joint will, can be given due course.
(2) Whether or not the testamentary heirs of Gervasia have rights over the questioned will even if the will is joint.
Held: (1) Yes. Notwithstanding, being a joint will, the first probate attained finality already. The final decree of probate, entered in 1939 by the
CFI of Cebu has conclusive effect as to his last will and testament despite the fact that even then the Civil Code decreed the invalidity of joint
wills, whether in favor of the joint testators, reciprocally, or in favor of a third party. A final judgment rendered on a petition for the probate of a
will is binding upon the whole world; and public policy and sound practice demand that at the risk of occasional errors judgment of courts
should become final at some definite date fixed by law.
(2) No. The probate decree in 1989 could only affect the share of the deceased husband, Bernabe. It could not include the disposition of the
share of the wife, Gervasia, who was then still alive, and over whose interest in the conjugal properties the probate court acquired NO
jurisdiction, precisely because her estate could not then be in issue. Be it remembered that prior to the new Civil Code, a will could not be
probated during the testators lifetime or ANTEM MORTEM. It follows that the undivided interest of Gervasia is not affected by such prior
final probate; her share shall pass upon her death to her intestate heirs, and not exclusively to the respondent as testamentary heir,
unless some other valid will in her favor is shown to exist, or unless respondent should be the only intestate heir. Hence, it follows that
the validity of the joint will of Bernabe-Gervasia, in so far as the estate of Gervasia, is not valid, as joint will is one prohibited by the law.
Estate of Rodriguez
Facts: Several relatives of the deceased Bernabe Rodriguez opposed the filing of petition for the probate of Bernabes will, by his spouse
Martina. Among the grounds of opposition are: (1) that the will executed was creating a reciprocal benefit as that of the will of Martina, such will
being prohibited by the Civil Code; and (2) that the testator was under pressure and influence exerted by Martina.
Issue: Whether or not the will of Bernabe be void under Article 818 for the reason that in his will, the wife was instituted as his universal heir,
while in the wifes will, her husband was also declared as her universal heir, giving them some reciprocal benefits in the said two wills.
Held: NO. The will may be probated. Although the two testators, who were husband and wife, instructed the other as universal heir in their
respective wills, said wills are not conjoint because they are made in different instruments. Hence, they are valid.

Estate of Christensen
Facts: Edward Christensen, though born in New York, migrated to California where he resided. In 1913, he came to the Philippines where he
became a domiciliary until the time of his death. In his will, he acknowledged Maria Lucy Christensen as his only heir but left a legacy of sum of
money to Maria Helen Christensen. Helen is questioning the will because she should be receiving more from the estate of Edward because the
California law is clear that the matter is referred back to the law of the domicile and therefore Philippine Law is ultimately applicable and that
finally, the share of Helen must be increased in view of the successional rights of illegitimate children under the Philippine law. However, Lucy
contends that the national law of the deceased must apply hence Helen is not compulsory heir and so Edward could dispose off any property.
Issue: Whether or not Helen is entitled to legitime and not merely to the legacy of a sum of money applying the Philippine law as the domiciliary
of the deceased at the time of his death.
Held: Yes, Helen is entitled to the legitime. The California law has two rules on the matter. The internal law which should apply to Californians
domiciled in California and the conflicts rule which should apply to Californians domiciled outside of California. Edward being domiciled
outside California (in the Philippines) follows that the law of his domicile, which is the Philippines. Hence, the Philippine law must be applied.
The validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledge natural child, Helen, should be governed by the Philippine law, the domicile,
pursuant to Article 946 of the Civil Code of California (if there is no law to the contrary, in the place where personal property is situated, it is
deemed to follow the person of its owner, and is governed by the law of his domicile), not by the internal law of California. Hence, the case was
therefore remanded to the lower court for further proceedings in order to determine the successional rights of Helen under the clear provisions of
Philippine law accordingly.

Estate of Amos Bellis


Facts: Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States. By his first wife, whom he divorced, he had five legitimate
children. By his second wife, who survived him, he had three legitimate children. Then, finally, he had three illegitimate children. On August 5,
1952, Amos G. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines, in which he directed that after all taxes, obligations, and expenses of administration are
paid for, his distributable estate should be divided, in trust, in the following order and manner: (a) $240,000.00 to his first wife, Mary E. Mallen;
(b) P120,000.00 to his three illegitimate children or P40,000.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied, the remainder
shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives in equal shares. Subsequently, or on July 8, 1958, Amos G. Bellis died a
resident of San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A. His will was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15, 1958. The
People's Bank and Trust Company, as executor of the will, paid all the bequests therein. On January 8, 1964, the executor submitted and filed its
"Executor's Final Account, Report of Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E.
Mallen, the legacies of the three (3) illegitimate children, and finally, pursuant to the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and Testament,
divided the residuary estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his first and second marriages.
On January 17, 1964, two of the three illegitimate children, Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis, filed their respective oppositions to
the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and, therefore, compulsory heirs of the
deceased. After the parties filed their respective memoranda and other pertinent pleadings, the lower court, on April 30, 1964, issued an order
overruling the oppositions and approving the executor's final account, report and administration and project of partition. Relying upon Art. 16 of
the Civil Code, it applied the national law of the decedent, which in this case is Texas law, which did not provide for legitimes. Their respective
motions for reconsideration having been denied by the lower court on June 11, 1964, oppositors-appellants appealed to this Court to raise the
issue of which law must apply Texas law or Philippine law.
Issue: Whether the Texas Law should govern the successional rights of the illegitimate children and execution of the will of the testator?
Held: Yes, the Texas Law should govern the execution of the will and the successional rights of the illegitimate children. As stated in Article 16,
par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, it renders applicable the national law of the decedent, in intestate or testamentary successions, with regard
to four items: (a) the order of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights; (e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the
capacity to succeed.
In addition to this, Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills one to govern his Texas estate and the other his
Philippine estate arguing from this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate and assuming that such was the decedent's
intention in executing a separate Philippine will, it would not alter the law, for as this Court ruled in Miciano v. Brimo, 50 Phil. 867, 870, a
provision in a foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law,
is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 now Article 16 of the Civil Code states
said national law should govern.
Lastly, the parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are
no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be
determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis.

Cayetano vs Leonides
Facts: On January 31, 1977, Adoracion C. Campos died, leaving her father Hermogenes Campos and her sisters, Nenita C. Paguia, Remedios C.
Lopez and Marieta C. Medina as the surviving heirs. As Hermogenes Campos was the only compulsory heir, he executed an Affidavit of
Adjudication under Rule 74, Section I of the Rules of Court whereby he adjudicated unto himself the ownership of the entire estate of the
deceased Adoracion Campos. However, on November 25,
1977, Nenita C. Paguia filed a petition for the reprobate of a will of the deceased, Adoracion Campos, which was allegedly executed in the
United States and for her appointment as administratrix of the estate of the deceased testatrix. The last will and testament of the late Adoracion
C. Campos is hereby admitted and allowed probate in the Philippines, and Nenita Campos Paguia appointed Administratrix. When Hermogenes
Campos died, he left a will which was incidentally questioned by the respondent, his children and forced heirs, on its face, patently null and void,
appointing Polly Cayetano, as the executrix of his last will and testament. Cayetano persisted with the allegations that the respondent judge
acted without or in excess of jurisdiction stating that, the right of a forced heir to his legitime can be divested by a decree admitting a will to
probate in which no provision is made for the forced heir in complete disregard of the Law of Succession.
Issue: Whether or not the Philippine law will apply to determine the intrinsic validity of a will executed by an undisputed foreigner.
Ruling: NO. Although on its face, the will appeared to have preterited the petitioner and thus, the respondent judge should have denied its
reprobate outright, the private respondents have sufficiently established that Adoracion was, at the time of her death, an American citizen and a
permanent resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Therefore, under Article 16 par. (2) and 1039 of the Civil Code which respectively
provide that However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional
rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under
consideration, whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found.
Art. 1039. Of the present Civil Code provides that Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent.
Therefore the law which governs Adoracion Campo's will is the law of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., which is the national law of the decedent. Although
the parties admit that the Pennsylvania law does not provide for legitimes and that all the estate may be given away by the testatrix to a complete
stranger, the petitioner argues that such law should not apply because it would be contrary to the sound and established public policy and would
run counter to the specific provisions of Philippine Law.
It is a settled rule that as regards the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will, as provided for by Article 16(2) and 1039 of the Civil Code,
the national law of the decedent must apply. This was squarely applied in the case of Bellis v. Bellis (20 SCRA 358) wherein we ruled: It is
therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our system of legitimes, Congress has not intended to extend
the same to the succession of foreign nationals. For it has specifically chosen to leave, inter alia, the amount of successional rights, to the
decedent's national law. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones.

PARISH PRIEST OF VICTORIA VS RIGOR


Facts: Father Rigor, the parish priest of Pulilan, Bulacan, died on August 9, 1935, leaving a will naming as devisees the testators nearest
relatives, who are his three sisters. The will also contained a controversial bequest to be given to the nearest male relative who shall pursue an
ecclesiastical career until his ordination as priest, should not cease his studies for the priesthood, should be obligated to celebrate every year 20
masses with prayers for the repose of the souls of Father Rigor and his parents, that if should not be excommunicated. That the administration of
the Riceland would pass to the incumbent Parish priest of Victoria and his successors in the event that: (1) the devisee is excommunicated from
priesthood; and (2) during the interval of time that there is no qualified devisee as contemplated above. Inasmuch as no nephew of the testator
claimed the devise and as the administratrix and the legal heirs believed that the parish priest of Victoria had no right to administer the ricelands,
the same were not delivered to that ecclesiastic. The testate proceeding remained pending.
About thirteen years after the approval of the project of partition, or on February 19, 1954, the parish priest of Victoria filed in the pending testate
proceeding a petition praying for the appointment of a new administrator, who should deliver to the church the said ricelands on the ground that
the testator had a grandnephew named Edgardo G. Cunanan (the grandson of his first cousin) who was a seminarian in the San Jose Seminary of
the Jesuit Fathers in Quezon City. The administrator was directed to deliver the ricelands to the parish priest of Victoria as trustee. However, the
Court of Appeals reversed that order. It held that Father Rigor had created a testamentary trust for his nearest male relative who would take the
holy orders but that such trust could exist only for twenty years because to enforce it beyond that period would violate "the rule against
perpetuities. It ruled that since no legatee claimed the ricelands within twenty years after the testator's death, the same should pass to his legal
heirs, citing articles 888 and 912(2) of the old Civil Code and article 870 of the new Civil Code. The Parish priest appealed.
Issues:
1. Whether or not the testators nearest male relative who took the priesthood after the testators death falls within the intention of the testator in
providing to whom the bequest is to be given, to be administered by the Parish Priest in the interim.
2. To whom shall the ricelands be distributed?
Held:
1. NO. The Court held that the said bequest refers to the testator's nearest male relative living at the time of his death and not to any indefinite
time thereafter. "In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens, except in
case of representation, when it is proper" (Art. 1025, Civil Code).
Inasmuch as the testator was not survived by any nephew who became a priest, the unavoidable conclusion is that the bequest in question was
ineffectual or inoperative. Therefore, the administration of the ricelands by the parish priest of Victoria, as envisaged in the will was likewise
inoperative.
2. There being no substitution nor accretion as to the said ricelands, the same should be distributed among the testator's legal heirs. The effect is
as if the testator had made no disposition as to the said ricelands.
The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that this case is covered by article 888 of the old Civil Code, now article 956, which provides that if "the
bequest for any reason should be inoperative, it shall be merged into the estate, except in cases of substitution and those in which the right of
accretion exists
This case is also covered by article 912(2) of the old Civil Code, now article 960 (2), which provides that legal succession takes place when the
will "does not dispose of all that belongs to the testator."

Reyes vs. Court of Appeals


Facts: Prior to his death, Benedicto delos Reyes, he alienated some of his properties to the heirs of his executor by way of sale. The said sale was
contested by the heirs of the decedent, contending therein that said properties cannot be legally disposed by the decedent because it forms
part of his estate to be inherited by petitioners, the decedent heirs. Both the trial court upheld the validity of the sale between decedent and the
heirs of the executor having said that the sold properties were sold before the death of the decedent and can no longer be part of the inheritance,
hence, this case.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioners as heirs of the decedent may validly claim the ownership of the properties in question, notwithstanding the
fact that those properties were being alienated prior to the decedents death.
Held: Generally, the heirs cannot validly claim ownership over the properties in question if alienated prior to the decedents death. However if
proven that said alienation was done fraudulently, they can be alienated. The Court held that as a rule under the law on succession, heirs can only
claim ownership of the properties of their deceased father from the moment of his death. As heirs, they only have their rights from the moment of
death of their father. Hence, the alienation was done before the decedents death, as a general rule they have no interest over those alienated
properties. However, the rule was not absolute; exception to this rule is when such alienation was done fraudulently for the purpose of
depriving the heirs of their respective legitimes. Hence, in this case, if the alienation is proved to be fraudulent, to deprive petitioners of their
legitimes, then they can recover and claim ownership over such properties, alienation is void.

Leon Guinto vs. Santiago Medina


Facts: Leon Guinto filed an action for forcible entry against Santiago Medina alleging that he has been in possession of the said parcel of land
since 1934 and that Medina by means of force and intimidation deprived him of his possession thereof. The trial court ruled in favor of Guinto.
However, Guinto still appealed because the trial court dismissed his claim for damages. While the case was on appeal, Medina died. Medina was
substituted by his heirs.
Issue: Whether or not the heirs of Medina are liable for damages to Guinto in excess of the inheritance they received
Held: No. The heirs of Medina, having been merely substituted in his place at the time of his death, their liability for damages is only to the
extent of the value of the property they might have received, if any, from him.

USON vs DEL ROSARIO


Facts: Maria Uson was the lawful wife of Faustino Nebreda who has common law wife, Maria del Rosario where he has four illegitimate
children. It is the claim of Uson that she was deprived of the possession and ownership of the five parcels of land because Maria del Rosario
illegally took possession thereof. The lower court rendered a decision ordering del Rosario to restore Uson the ownership and possession of the
lands in dispute. The defendants appealed the said decision on the ground that Uson had already relinquished her right over the land in question
because she had expressly renounced to inherit any future property from her husband when both Maria Uson and her husband executed a public
document whereby they agreed to separate as husband and wife and in consideration of their separation, Maria Uson was given a parcel of land
by way of alimony and in return she renounced her right to inherit any other property that her husband may left upon his death. It was
alleged that Faustino Nebreda died in 1945 which was prior to the effectivity of the New Civil Code. However, Maria del Rosario claimed that
under the New Civil Code, the illegitimate children are entitled to legitime.
Issue: Whether or not the illegitimate children of the decedent are given successional rights arguing that since these successional rights were
declared for the first time in the New Code, they shall be given retroactive effect even though the event which gave rise to them may have
occurred under the prior legislation.
Held. No. The four illegitimate children of Faustino Nebreda are not entitled to have a share on the five parcels of land in question because at the
time of Faustinos death the only heir is his widow Maria Uson. The vested rights which were passed to her at the moment of death of Faustino
in 1945 are governed by the provision of the old civil code. The New Civil Code will only be given effect if no vested rights will be prejudiced.
However, the rights of the illegitimate children cannot be asserted as it would impair the vested right of Maria Uson over the lands in dispute.
Moreover, future inheritance cannot be renounced.

De Borja vs De Borja
Facts: Francisco de Borja, upon the death of his wife Josefa Tangco on 6 October 1940, filed a petition for the probate of her will. The will was
probated on 2 April 1941. In 1946, Francisco de Borja was appointed executor and administrator. In 1952, their son, Jose de Borja, was appointed
co-administrator. When Francisco died, Jose became the sole administrator of the testate estate of his mother. While a widower, Francisco
allegedly took unto himself a second wife, Tasiana Ongsingco. Upon Francisco's death, Tasiana instituted testate proceedings in the Court of First
Instance of Nueva Ecija, where, in 1955, she was appointed special administratrix. In order to put an end to all litigations and altercations as
to the estate, a compromise agreement was entered into on 12 October 1963, by and between Jose de Borja personally and as
administrator of the Testate Estate of Josefa Tangco, and Tasiana Ongsingco Vda. de Borja as heir and surviving spouse of Francisco,
assisted by her lawyer, Atty. Luis Panaguiton Jr.
On 16 May 1966, Jose de Borja submitted for Court approval the agreement of 12 October 1963 to the Court of First Instance of Rizal, in Special
Proceeding No. R-7866; and again, on 8 August 1966, to the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija, in Special Proceeding No. 832. Tasiana
opposed in both instances. The Rizal court approved the compromise agreement, but the Nueva Ecija court declared it void and unenforceable.
Tasiana appealed the Rizal Court's order of approval, while administrator Jose de Borja appealed the order of disapproval by the Court of First
Instance of Nueva Ecija. However, the compromise agreement was contested by Tasiana by reason that the heirs cannot enter into such
agreement without first probating the will of Francisco.
Issue: Whether the heirs can enter into a compromise agreement without first probating the will of Francisco de Borja.
Held: Yes, the parties herein can enter into a compromise agreement without pronating the will. Based on the said agreement, there was no
attempt to settle or distribute the estate of Francisco de Borja among the heirs thereto before the probate of his will. The clear object of
the contract was merely the conveyance by Tasiana Ongsingco of any and all her individual share and interest, actual or eventual in the
estate of Francisco de Borja and Josefa Tangco. There is no stipulation as to any other claimant, creditor or legatee. And 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. However, the aleatory character of the
contract does not affect the validity of the transaction; neither does the coetaneous agreement that the numerous litigations between the parties
are to be considered settled and should be dismissed, although such stipulation, as noted by the Rizal Court, gives the contract the character of a
compromise that the law favors, for obvious reasons, if only because it serves to avoid a multiplicity of suits.
It is likewise worthy of note in this connection that as the surviving spouse of Francisco de Borja, Tasiana Ongsingco was his compulsory heir
under article 995 et seq. of the present Civil Code. Wherefore, barring unworthiness or valid disinheritance, her successional interest existed
independent of Francisco de Borja's last will and testament and would exist even if such will were not probated at all. Thus, the prerequisite of
a previous probate of the will, as established in the Guevara and analogous cases, can not apply to the case of Tasiana Ongsingco Vda. de
de Borja.

CRUZ vs. CRUZ


Facts: Sometime in October 1993, Memoracion Z. Cruz filed with the Regional Trial Court in Manila a Complaint against her son,defendantappellee Oswaldo Z. Cruz, for "Annulment of Sale, Reconveyance and Damages.Memoracion claimed that during her union with her commonlaw husband (deceased) Architect Guido M. Cruz, she acquireda parcel of land located at Bo. Obrero, Tondo Manila, that the said lot was
registered in her name and was registered at theRegister of Deeds of Manila, that sometime in July 1992, she discovered that the title to the said
property was transferred byappellee and the latters wife in their names in August 1991 by virtue of a Deed of Sale dated February 12, 1973, that
the saiddeed 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 toreconvey to her the said property and
because of this she filed a complaint against appellee before the office of the Barangayhaving jurisdiction over the subject property and since the
matter was unsettled, the barangay issued a certification to fileaction 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, evidencedby a certificate thereof.
For his part, appellee filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiffs reconveyance action is a personal actionwhich does not survive
a partys death which was then granted without prejudice to the prosecution thereof in the properestate proceedings.Memoracions son-heir,
Edgardo Z. Cruz, manifested to the trial court that he is retaining the services of Atty. Neri for theplaintiff. Simultaneously, Atty. Neri filed a
Motion for Reconsideration of the Order. However, the said motion wassubsequently denied. And then he appealed the said decision to the CA
but likewise denied the appeal. Hence, this appeal tothe SC.
Issue: Whether or not an action which affects primarily and principally property and property rights is a transmissible right andsurvives 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 aselucidated in
Bonilla v. Barcena, the question as to whether an action survives or not depends on the nature of the action andthe damage sued for. In the causes
of action which survive, the wrong complained of affects primarily and principallyproperty and property rights, the injuries to the person being
merely incidental, while in the causes of action which do notsurvive, 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
orpetitioner. In another case, the SC held that a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Deed of Sale of Real Property is onerelating 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 petitionerMemoracion Z. Cruz.

BONILLA vs. BARCENA


Facts: Fortunata Barcena, the mother of minors Rosalio Bonilla and Savlacion Bonilla, instituted a civil action in the CFI of Abra to quiet title
over certain parcels of land located in Abra on March 31, 1975. On July 9, 1975, Fortunata died. On August 4, 1975, the defendants herein filed a
motion to dismiss on the ground that Fortunata is dead and therefore has no legal capacity to sue. The trial court dismissed the case on the ground
that a dead person cannot be a real party in interest and has no legal capacity to sue. The counsel for the deceased filed a written manifestation
praying that the minors be allowed to substitute their deceased mother but was denied. Hence, this petition for review.
Issue: Whether or not Fortunata Barcena can be substituted by the heirs upon her death in pursuing the case to quiet title for certain parcels of
land until its completion and for the latter heirs to acquire the rights over the property in question from the moment of death of their mother.
Held: Yes. While it is true that a person who is dead cannot sue in court, yet he can be substituted by his heirs in pursuing the case up to its
completion. The records of this case show that the death of Fortunata Barcena took place on July 9, 1975 while the complaint was filed on March
31, 1975. This means that when the complaint was filed on March 31, 1975, Fortunata Barcena was still alive, and therefore, the court had
acquired jurisdiction over her person. If thereafter she died, the Rules of Court prescribes the procedure whereby a party who died during the
pendency of the proceeding can be substituted. Under Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court "whenever a party to a pending case dies ... it
shall be the duty of his attorney to inform the court promptly of such death ... and to give the name and residence of his executor, administrator,
guardian or other legal representatives." 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 in Civil
Case No. 856, 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.

Bough vs. Modesto


Facts: On March 4, 1936, Bruno Modesto, Bough and Restituto Anapo executed a private document whereby Modesto agreed that he would
share to the latter-parties whatever property that he will receive by inheritance from his wife, who predeceased him eventually. It was proved in
such private document that the properties were to be divided and proportioned. Bough and Restituto instituted the present action to secure
judgment ordering Modesto to divide the properties left by his wife in the manner and form provided for in such private document.
Issue: Whether or not the contract which contains object of which is Modestos inheritance is valid and binding between the parties.
Held: Yes. The contract is valid. It is well settled that rights by inheritance are acquired and transmitted upon the death of the decedent. With
this, it follows that it is perfectly legal for an heir to enter into a contract of the nature of the document. The contract becomes effective only
when Modesto is declared as heir but his right over the inheritance accrues from the time his wife died.

Borromeo-Herrera vs Borromeo
Facts: Vito Borromeo, a widower died on March 13, 1952 at the age of 88 without forced heirs but leaving extensive properties in the province
of Cebu. Jose Junquera filed a petition for probate of the purported will of Vito Borromeo devising all his properties to Tomas, Fortunato and
Amelia, all surnamed Borromeo, in equal and undivided shares and designating him as executor. But this was denied and the testate proceeding
was converted to intestate proceeding. Fortunato claimed a portion of the legitime being an illegitimate son of the deceased, by incorporating a
Waiver of Hereditary Rights dated July 31, 1967 supposedly signed by the rest of the Borromeos. In the waiver, 5 of the 9 heirs relinquished
to Fortunato their shares in the disputed estate. The petitioners opposed this Waiver for reason that this is without force and effect because there
can be no effective waiver of hereditary rights before there has been a valid acceptance of the inheritance from the heirs who intend to transfer
the same.

Issue:
(1) Whether or not a Waiver of Hereditary Rights can be executed without a valid acceptance from the heirs in question.
(2) Whether or not the Waiver in this case is valid.
Held:
(1) Yes. The prevailing jurisprudence on waiver of hereditary rights is that "the properties included in an existing inheritance cannot be
considered as belonging to third persons with respect to the heirs, who by fiction of law continue the personality of the former. Nor do such
properties have the character of future property, because the heirs acquire a right to succession from the moment of the death of the deceased, by
principle established in article 657 and applied by article 661 of the Civil Code, according to which the heirs succeed the deceased by the mere
fact of death. More or less, time may elapse from the moment of the death of the deceased until the heirs enter into possession of the hereditary
property, but the acceptance in any event retroacts to the moment of the death, in accordance with article 989 of the Civil Code. The right is
vested, although conditioned upon the adjudication of the corresponding hereditary portion." (Osorio v. Osorio and Ynchausti Steamship Co., 41
Phil., 531). The heirs, therefore, could waive their hereditary rights in 1967 even if the order to partition the estate was issued only in 1969.
(2) No. In this case, however, the purported "Waiver of Hereditary Rights" cannot be considered to be effective. For a waiver to exist, three
elements are essential: (1) the existence of a right; (2) the knowledge of the existence thereof; and (3) an intention to relinquish such right.
(People v. Salvador, (CA) 53 O.G. No. 22, p. 8116, 8120). The intention to waive a right or advantage must be shown clearly and convincingly,
and when the only proof of intention rests in what a party does, his act should be so manifestly consistent with, and indicative of an intent to,
voluntarily relinquish the particular right or advantage that no other reasonable explanation of his conduct is possible (67 C.J., 311). (Fernandez
v. Sebido, et al., 70 Phil., 151, 159).
The circumstances of this case show that the signatories to the waiver document did not have the clear and convincing intention to relinquish
their rights.

Solla vs Ascuenta
Facts: Dona Maria Sollas will reads , I desire and hereby name Leandro Serrano, my grandson and I desire him to comply with the obligation
to give or to deliver to the parish priest of this town a sufficient sum of money necessary for a yearly novena and for an ordinary requiem mass
for the 1st 8 days thereof and on the 9th or last day, a solemn requiem mass with a vigil and a large bier or these masses are for the repose of my
soul and those of my parents, husband, children, and other relatives. I repeat and insist that my heir shall execute and comply with this request
without fail. And at the hour of his death, he will insist that his heirs comply with all that I have here ordered.
In the earlier part of the will, Dona Maria ordered the distribution of legacies to her brothers, nephew, protges and servant.
Leandro Serranos will on the other hand reads as I command my executor to put all of my property in order and I order my son Simeon not to
forget annually all the souls of the relatives of my grandmother and also of mine and to have a mass said on the 1st and 9th days of the yearly
novena and that he erect a1st class bier , I sincerely desire that the property of my deceased grandmother, Capitana Maria (Solla) be disposed
of inconformity with all the provisions of her will and of mine.
Issue: Whether or not the orders and requests of Maria Solla are interpreted as applicable to the provisions of Maria Solla's will relative to the
legacies and not to pious bequests exclusively.
Held: In order to determine the testators intention, the court should place itself as near as possible in his position, Where the language of the will
is ambiguous or doubtful, the court should take into consideration the situation of the testator and the facts and circumstances surrounding him at
the time the will was executed. Where the testators intention is manifest from the context of the will and surrounding circumstances, but is
obscured by inapt and inaccurate modes of expression, the language will be subordinated to the intention, and in order to give effect to such
intention, as far as possible, the court may depart from the strict wording and read word or phrase in a sense different from that which is
ordinarily attributed to it, and for such purpose, may mould or change the language of the will, such as restricting its application or supplying
words or phrases. In this case, it clearly appearing that it was Maria Sollas intention to insist upon compliance of her order by Leandros heirs,
that the latter Leandro named his son Simeon Serrano, as executor of his will and that he directed him to put all of his property in order and to
separate that which came from his deceased grandmother, Maria Solla. Leandro took possession of the property left by his grandmother when she
died on June 11, 1883. He continued in possession of the same until his death on August 5, 1921. The petitioners (grandnieces and
grandnephews) now assail his continued possession. The respondent is the widow of Leandro Serrano should comply with the pious orders and
that she was NOT REFERRING TO HER ORDER CONCERNING THE LEGACIES, the will should only be
Interpreted in so far as the pious orders are concerned (the prayers and masses). The trial court, therefore, committed an error in interpreting the
order to Leandro Serrano mentioned in his will as applicable to the provisions of Maria Solla's will relative to the legacies and not to pious
bequests exclusively.
Suroza v. Honrado
Facts: Mauro Suroza, US Army, married to Marcelina Salvador in 1923, they were childless but they reared a boy named Agapito who got
married to Nenita de Vera.
When Mauro died in 1942, Marcelina was able to save money coming from Mauros pension being his pensioner. Marcelina then executed a
notarial will in Manila on July 23, 1973 in English when she was 73 years old, thumb marked by her because she was illiterate and bequeathed

all her estate to her supposed granddaughter Marilyn, the supposed daughter of Agapito who also used surname Suroza. Said will was submitted
for probate.
Issue: Whether the will is valid despite the fact that the will was written in a language not known to the testator.
Held: The SC ruled that it is not. In the opening paragraph of the will, it was stated that English was a language "understood and known" to the
testatrix. But in its concluding paragraph, it was stated that the will was read to the testatrix "and translated into Filipino language". (p. 16,
Record of testate case). That could only mean that the will was written in a language not known to the illiterate testatrix and, therefore, it is void
because of the mandatory provision of article 804 of the Civil Code that every will must be executed in a language or dialect known to the
testator. Thus, a will written in English

ANTONIO B. BALTAZAR vs. LORENZO LAXA


FACTS: Paciencia was a 78 year old spinster when she made her last will and testament entitled Tauli Nang Bilin o Testamento Miss Paciencia
Regala (Will) in the Pampango dialect on September 13, 1981. The Will, executed in the house of retired Judge Ernestino G. Limpin
(JudgeLimpin), was read to Paciencia twice. After which, Paciencia expressed in the presence of the instrumental witnesses that the document is
her last will and testament. She thereafter affixed her signature at the end of the said document on page s and then on the left margin of pages 1, 2
and 4 thereof. The witnesses to the Will were Dra. Maria Lioba A. Limpin (Dra. Limpin), Francisco Garcia (Francisco) and Faustino R. Mercado
(Faustino).
The three attested to the Wills due execution by affixing their signatures below its attestation clause and on the left margin of pages 1, 2 and 4
thereof, in the presence of Paciencia and of one another and of Judge Limpin who acted as notary public. Childless and without any brothers or
sisters, Paciencia bequeathed all her properties to respondent Lorenzo R. Laxa (Lorenzo) and his wife Corazon F. Laxa and their children Luna
Lorella Laxa and Katherine Ross Laxa, The filial relationship of Lorenzo with Paciencia remains undisputed.
Lorenzo is Paciencias nephew whom she treated as her own son. Conversely, Lorenzo came to know and treated Paciencia as his own mother.
Paciencia lived with Lorenzos family in Sasmuan, Pampanga and it was she who raised and cared for Lorenzo since his birth. Six days after the
execution of the Will or on September 19, 1981, Paciencia left for the United States of America (USA). There, she resided with Lorenzo and his
family until her death on January 4, 1996. In the interim, the Will remained in the custody of Judge Limpin. More than four years after the death
of Paciencia or on April 27, 2000, Lorenzo filed a petition with the RTC of Guagua, Pampanga for the probate of the Will of Paciencia and for the
issuance of Letters of Administration in his favour. Petitioners filed an Amended Opposition asking the RTC to deny the probate of Paciencias
Will on the following grounds: the Will was not executed and attested to in accordance with the requirements of the law; that Paciencia was
mentally incapable to make a Will at the time of its execution; that she was forced to execute the Will under duress or influence of fear or threats;
that the execution of the Will had been procured by undue and improper pressure and influence by Lorenzo or by some other persons for his
benefit; that the signature of Paciencia on the Will was forged; that assuming the signature to be genuine, it was obtained through fraud or
trickery; and, that Paciencia did not intend the document to be her Will. Simultaneously, petitioners filed an Opposition and Recommendation
reiterating their opposition to the appointment of Lorenzo as administrator of the properties and requesting for the appointment of Antonio in his
stead.
ISSUE: Whether Paciencia was not of sound mind at the time the will was allegedly executed.
RULING: The state of being forgetful does not necessarily make a person mentally unsound so as to render him unfit to execute a Will.
Forgetfulness is not equivalent to being of unsound mind. Besides, Article 799 of the New Civil Code states: To be of sound mind, it is not
necessary that the testator be in full possession of all his reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly unbroken, unimpaired, or unshattered by
disease, injury or other cause. It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the time of making the will to know the nature of the estate to be
disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty, and the character of the testamentary act. Bare allegations of duress or influence of fear or threats,
undue and improper influence and pressure, fraud and trickery cannot be used as basis to deny the probate of a will. Here, there was no showing
that Paciencia was publicly known to be insane one month or less before the making of the Will. Clearly, thus, the burden to prove that Paciencia
was of unsound mind lies upon the shoulders of petitioners. However and as earlier mentioned, no substantial evidence was presented by them to
prove the same, thereby warranting the CAs finding that petitioners failed to discharge such burden. Furthermore, the Court is convinced that
Paciencia was aware of the nature of her estate to be disposed of, the proper objects of her bounty and the character of the testamentary act.
Garcia vs Lacuesta
Facts: Antero Mercado executed a will in Ilocano. It was made by Atty. Javier in his own handwriting signed by Antero placing a cross mark at
the end of his name on the left margin of the 3 pages of which will and at the end thereof, said will was testified by 3 witnesses.
Issue: Whether a cross mark is sufficient to be a signature.
Held: The cross cannot and does not have the trustworthiness of a thumbmark. Where the cross appearing on a will is not show the usual
signature of the testator or even of the ways by which he signed his name, that cross cannot be considered a valid signature. Also, when the
testator expressly caused another to sign the formers name, this fact must be recited in the attestation clause; otherwise, the will is fatally
defective. In the case at bar, the attestation clause is fatally defective for failing to state that Antero Mercado caused Atty. Florentino Javier to
write the testator's name under his express direction, as required by section 618 of the Code of Civil Procedure (now Article 805 of the NCC).

Balonan vs Abellana
Facts: It appears on record that the last Will and Testament of Anacleta Abellana (Exhibit "A"), which is sought to be probated, is
written in the Spanish language and consists of two (2) typewritten pages (pages 4 and 5 of the record) double space. The first
page is signed by Juan Bello and under his name appears typewritten "Por la testadora Anacleta Abellana, residence Certificate A1167629, Enero 20, 1951, Ciudad de Zamboanga', and on the second page appears the signature of three (3) instrumental
witnesses Blas Sebastian, Faustino Macaso and Rafael Ignacio, at the bottom of which appears the signature of T. de los Santos
and below his signature is his official designation as the notary public who notarized the said testament. On the first page on the left
margin of the said instrument also appear the signatures of the instrumental witnesses. On the second page, which is the last page
of said last Will and Testament, also appears the signature of the three (3) instrumental witnesses and on that second page on the
left margin appears the signature of Juan Bello under whose name appears handwritten the following phrase, "Por la Testadora
Anacleta Abellana'.
The will is duly acknowledged before Notary Public Attorney Timoteo de los Santos.
Issue: Whether or not the will is valid despite the fact that it was signed by another person than Anacleta Abellana.
Held: No, the will is not valid. Where a testator does not know how, or is unable for any reason, to sign the will himself, it shall be
signed in the following manner:
John Doe by the testator, Richard Doe; or in this form: "By the testator, John Doe, Richard Doe.
All this must be written by the witness signing at the request of the testator. Therefore, under the law now in force, the witness Naval
A. Vidal should have written at the bottom of the will the full name of the testator and his own name in one forms given above. He did
not do so, however, and this is failure to comply with the law is a substantial defect which affects the validity of the will and precludes
its allowance, notwithstanding the fact that no one appeared to oppose it. In the case at bar the name of the testatrix, Anacleta
Abellana, does not appear written under the will by said Abellana herself, or by Dr. Juan Abello . There is, therefore, a failure to
comply with the express requirement in the law that the testator must himself sign the will, or that his name be affixed
thereto by some other person in his presence and by his express direction. It appearing that the above provision of the law has
not been complied with, we are constrained to declare that the said will of the deceased Anacleta Abellana may not be admitted to
probate.

Nera v. Rimando
Facts: In signing the will, one of the subscribing witnesses was not in the room where the testator and other describing witnesses
signed the instrument in the inner room. The said subscribing witness was at that time at the smaller room by a doorway across
which hung a curtain which made it impossible for one of the subscribing witnesses to see testator and the other subscribing
witnesses in the act of attaching their signatures on the instrument. This because the line of vision from this witness to the testator
and the other subscribing witnesses would necessarily have been impeded by the curtain separating the inner from the outer one "at
the moment of inscription of each signature."
Issue: Whether one of the subscribing witnesses was present in the small room where it was executed at the time when the testator
and the other subscribing witnesses attached their signatures; or whether at that time he was outside, some eight or ten feet away,
in a large room connecting with the smaller room by a doorway, across which was hung a curtain which made it impossible for one
in the outside room to see the testator and the other subscribing witnesses in the act of attaching their signatures to the instrument.
Held: The true test of presence of the testator and the witnesses in the execution of a will is not whether they actually saw each
other sign, but whether they might have been seen each other sign, had they chosen to do so, considering their mental and physical
condition and position with relation to each other at the moment of inscription of each signature.
But it is especially to be noted that the position of the parties with relation to each other at the moment of the subscription of each
signature, must be such that they may see each other sign if they choose to do so. This, of course, does not mean that the testator

and the subscribing witnesses may be held to have executed the instrument in the presence of each other if it appears that they
would not have been able to see each other sign at that moment, without changing their relative positions or existing conditions. And
the decision merely laid down the doctrine that the question whether the testator and the subscribing witnesses to an alleged will
sign the instrument in the presence of each other does not depend upon proof of the fact that their eyes were actually cast upon the
paper at the moment of its subscription by each of them, but that at that moment existing conditions and their position with relation
to each other were such that by merely casting the eyes in the proper direction they could have seen each other sign. The decree
entered by the court below admitting the instrument propounded therein to probate as the last will and testament of Pedro Rimando,
deceased, is affirmed.
Taboada vs Rosal
Facts: In the petition for probate filed with the respondent court, the petitioner attached the alleged last will and testament of the late
Dorotea Perez. Written in the Cebuano-Visayan dialect, the will consists of two pages. The first page contains the entire
testamentary dispositions and is signed at the end or bottom of the page by the testatrix alone and at the left hand margin by the
three (3) instrumental witnesses. The second page which contains the attestation clause and the acknowledgment is signed at the
end of the attestation clause by the three (3) attesting witnesses and at the left hand margin by the testatrix.
Issue: Whether or not the failure of the witnesses to sign at the bottom page affects the validity of the will.
Held: The SC was liberal. The will was valid. It must be noted that the law uses the terms attested and subscribed Attestation
consists in witnessing the testator's execution of the will in order to see and take note mentally that those things are, done which the
statute requires for the execution of a will and that the signature of the testator exists as a fact. On the other hand, subscription is
the signing of the witnesses' names upon the same paper for the purpose of Identification of such paper as the will which was
executed by the testator. (Ragsdale v. Hill, 269 SW 2d 911).
The purpose of signing at the end is to prevent interpolation. The objects of attestation and of subscription were fully met and
satisfied in the present case when the instrumental witnesses signed at the left margin of the sole page which contains all
the testamentary dispositions, especially so when the will was properly Identified by subscribing witness Vicente Timkang
to be the same will executed by the testatrix. There was no question of fraud or substitution behind the questioned order.
(This concerned a 2-page will w/ the first page containing all the dispositions and the second page the attestation and
acknowledgement.) The will was signed by the witnesses at each and every page thereof.
Echaves vs Dozen Constructions
Facts: Vicente Echavez was the absolute owner of subject lots in Cebu City. On September 7, 1985, Vicente donated the subject
lots to petitioner Manuel Echavez through a Deed of Donation Mortis Causa. Manuel accepted the donation. However, in March
1986, Vicente executed a Contract to Sell over the same lots in favor of Dozen Construction and Development Corporation.
On November 6, 1986, Vicente died. Emiliano Cabanig, Vicentes nephew, filed a petition for the settlement of Vicentes intestate
estate. On the other hand, Manuel filed a petition to approve Vicentes donation mortis causa in his favor and an action to annul the
contracts of sale Vicente executed in favor of Dozen Corporation. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismissed Manuels petition in
view that the execution of a Contract to Sell in favor of Dozen Corporation, after Vicente had donated the lots to Manuel, was an
equivocal act that revoked the donation. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCs decision and held that since the donation in favor
of Manuel was a donation mortis causa, compliance with the formalities for the validity of wills should have been observed. The CA
found that the deed of donation did not contain an attestation clause and was therefore void.
Manuel argues that the CA should have applied the rule on substantial compliance in the construction of a will to Vicentes donation
mortis causa. He argues that the CA ignored the Acknowledgment portion of the deed of donation, which contains the "import and
purpose" of the attestation clause required in the execution of wills.
Issue: Whether or not the attestation and acknowledgment can merged in one statement.
Held: The CA correctly declared that a donation mortis causa must comply with the formalities prescribed by law for the validity of
wills, "otherwise, the donation is void and would produce no effect." 5 Articles 805 and 806 of the Civil Code should have been
applied.
That the requirements of attestation and acknowledgment are embodied in two separate provisions of the Civil Code (Articles 805
and 806, respectively) indicates that the law contemplates two distinct acts that serve different purposes. An acknowledgment is
made by one executing a deed, declaring before a competent officer or court that the deed or act is his own. On the other hand, the
attestation of a will refers to the act of the instrumental witnesses themselves who certify to the execution of the instrument before
them and to the manner of its execution.
Although the witnesses in the present case acknowledged the execution of the Deed of Donation Mortis Causa before the notary
public, this is not the avowal the law requires from the instrumental witnesses to the execution of a decedents will. An attestation
must state all the details the third paragraph of Article 805 requires. In the absence of the required avowal by the witnesses
themselves, no attestation clause can be deemed embodied in the Acknowledgement of the Deed of Donation Mortis Causa.

Lopez Vs Lopez
FACTS: On June 21, 1999, Enrique S. Lopez died leaving his wife, Wendy B. Lopez, and their four legitimate children as
compulsory heirs. Before Enriques death, he executed a Last Will and Testament on August 10, 1996 and constituted Richard as his
executor and administrator. On September 27, 1999, Richard filed a petition for the probate of his father's Last Will and Testament
before the RTC of Manila with prayer for the issuance of letters testamentary in his favor.
The RTC disallowed the probate of the will for failure to comply with Article 805 of the Civil Code which requires a statement in the
attestation clause of the number of pages used upon which the will is written. While the acknowledgment portion stated that the will
consists of 7 pages including the page on which the ratification and acknowledgment are written, the RTC observed that it has 8
pages including the acknowledgment portion. As such, it disallowed the will for not having been executed and attested in
accordance with law.
ISSUE: Whether or not a will may be probated where the number of pages is not metioned in the attestation clause, though it was
metioned in the acknowledgement portion but there is a discrepancy between the mentioned number of pages and the actual
number of pages of the will.
HELD:
The law is clear that the attestation must state the number of pages used upon which the will is written. The purpose of the law is to
safeguard against possible interpolation or omission of one or some of its pages and prevent any increase or decrease in the pages.
While Article 809 allows substantial compliance for defects in the form of the attestation clause, Richard likewise failed in this
respect. The statement in the Acknowledgment portion of the subject last will and testament that it "consists of 7 pages including the
page on which the ratification and acknowledgment are written" cannot be deemed substantial compliance. The will actually consists
of 8 pages including its acknowledgment which discrepancy cannot be explained by mere examination of the will itself but through
the presentation of evidence aliund.

Icasiano vs. Icasiano


Facts: Celso Icasiano filed a petition for the allowance and admission to probate of the original, Exhibit "A" as the alleged will of
Josefa Villacorte, deceased, and for the appointment of petitioner Celso Icasiano as executor thereof. Natividad, the daughter of
deceased and Enrique, the son of the deceased filed an opposition on the ground that the original of the will, which was surrendered
simultaneously with the filing of the petition and marked as Exhibit "A" consists of five pages, and while signed at the end and in
every page, it does not contain the signature of one of the attesting witnesses, Atty. Jose V. Natividad, on page three (3) thereof; but
the duplicate copy attached to the amended and supplemental petition and marked as Exhibit "A-1" is signed by the testatrix and her
three attesting witnesses in each and every page.
Issue: Whether the failure of the witnesses to affix his signature to one of the page of a testament due to the simultaneous lifting of
the two pages in the course of signing is justified to deny probate.
Held: On the question of law, we hold that the inadvertent failure of one witness to affix his signature to one page of a testament,
due to the simultaneous lifting of two pages in the course of signing, is not per se sufficient to justify denial of probate. Impossibility
of substitution of this page is assured not only the fact that the testatrix and two other witnesses did sign the defective page, but also
by its bearing the coincident imprint of the seal of the notary public before whom the testament was ratified by testatrix and all three
witnesses. The law should not be so strictly and literally interpreted as to penalize the testatrix on account of the inadvertence of a
single witness over whose conduct she had no control, where the purpose of the law to guarantee the identity of the testament and
its component pages is sufficiently attained, no intentional or deliberate deviation existed, and the evidence on record attests to the
full observance of the statutory requisites. Otherwise, as stated in Vda. de Gil. vs. Murciano, 49 Off. Gaz. 1459, at 1479 (decision on
reconsideration) "witnesses may sabotage the will by muddling or bungling it or the attestation clause".
That the failure of witness Natividad to sign page three (3) was entirely through pure oversight is shown by his own testimony as well
as by the duplicate copy of the will, which bears a complete set of signatures in every page. The text of the attestation clause and
the acknowledgment before the Notary Public likewise evidence that no one was aware of the defect at the time.

Cruz v. Villasor
Facts: Agapita Cruz, spouse of the deceased opposed the allowance of the will of Valenta Cruz on the ground that it was not in accordance with
Articles 805 and 806 of the new Civil Code, the first requiring at least three credible witnesses to attest and subscribe to the will, and the second
requiring the testator and the witnesses to acknowledge the will before a notary public. Of the three instrumental witnesses thereto, namely
Deogracias T. Jamaloas Jr., Dr. Francisco Paares and Atty. Angel H. Teves, Jr., one of them, the last named, is at the same time the Notary
Public before whom the will was supposed to have been acknowledged. Reduced to simpler terms, the question was attested and subscribed by at
least three credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of each other, considering that the three attesting witnesses must appear before
the notary public to acknowledge the same. As the third witness is the notary public himself, petitioner argues that the result is that only two
witnesses appeared before the notary public to acknowledge the will.
Issue: Whether the will maybe allowed to probate even if one of the three witnesses was the Notary Public.
Held: No, the will should not be allowed probate. To allow the notary public to act as third witness, or one the attesting and acknowledging
witnesses, would have the effect of having only two attesting witnesses to the will which would be in contravention of the provisions of Article
805 be requiring at least three credible witnesses to act as such and of Article 806 which requires that the testator and the required number of
witnesses must appear before the notary public to acknowledge the will. The result would be, as has been said, that only two witnesses appeared
before the notary public for or that purpose. In the circumstances, the law would not be duly in observed.

Gabucan v. Manta
Facts: The proceeding was dismissed because the requisite documentary stamp was not affixed to the notarial acknowledgment in the will and,
hence, according to respondent Judge, it was not admissible in evidence, citing section 238 of the Tax Code, now section 250 of the 1977 Tax
Code, which reads: SEC. 238. Effect of failure to stamp taxable document. An instrument, document, or paper which is required by law to be
stamped and which has been signed, issued, accepted, or transferred without being duly stamped, shall not be recorded, nor shall it or any copy
thereof or any record of transfer of the same be admitted or used in evidence in any court until the requisite stamp or stamps shall have been
affixed thereto and cancelled.
No notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths shall add his jurat or acknowledgment to any document subject to documentary
stamp tax unless the proper documentary stamps are affixed thereto and cancelled. The probate court assumed that the notarial acknowledgment
of the said will is subject to the thirty-centavo documentary stamp tax fixed in section 225 of the Tax Code, now section 237 of the 1977 Tax
Code.
Respondent Judge refused to reconsider the dismissal in spite of petitioner's manifestation that he had already attached the documentary stamp to
the original of the will. (See Mahilum vs. Court of Appeals, 64 O. G. 4017, 17 SCRA 482, 486.)
Issue: Whether the will should be allowed to probate despite the absence of documentary stamp.
Held: Yes, the will should be allowed to probate despite the absence of the documentary stamp. We hold that the lower court manifestly erred in
declaring that, because no documentary stamp was affixed to the will, there was "no will and testament to probate" and, consequently, the alleged
"action must of necessity be dismissed".
What the probate court should have done was to require the petitioner or proponent to affix the requisite thirty-centavo documentary stamp to the
notarial acknowledgment of the will which is the taxable portion of that document.
That procedure may be implied from the provision of section 238 that the nonadmissibility of the document, which does not bear the requisite
documentary stamp, subsists only "until the requisite stamp or stamps shall have been affixed thereto and cancelled."
Thus, it was held that the documentary stamp may be affixed at the time the taxable document is presented in evidence (Del Castillo vs.
Madrilena 49 Phil. 749). If the promissory note does not bear a documentary stamp, the court should have allowed plaintiff's tender of a stamp to
supply the deficiency. (Rodriguez vs. Martinez, 5 Phil. 67, 71. Note the holding in Azarraga vs. Rodriguez, 9 Phil. 637, that the lack of the
documentary stamp on a document does not invalidate such document. See Cia. General de Tabacos vs. Jeanjaquet 12 Phil. 195, 201-2 and
Delgado and Figueroa vs. Amenabar 16 Phil. 403, 405-6.)

Javellana v. Ledesma
Facts: The testament and codicil was duly executed by the deceased Da. Apolinaria Ledesma Vda. de Javellana, on March 30, 1950, and May 29,
1952, respectively, with Ramon Tabiana, Gloria Montinola de Tabiana and Vicente Yap as witnesses. The contestant, Da. Matea Ledesma, sister
and nearest surviving relative of said deceased, appealed from the decision, insisting that the said exhibits were not executed in conformity with
law which was premised on the fact that the Notary Public signed the Certification of Acknowledgment in the absence of the testatrix and
witnesses.
Issue: Whether a will signed by the Notary Public in the absence of testatrix and witnesses is valid.

Held: Yes, the will is valid. At any rate, as observed by the Court below, whether or not the notary signed the certification of acknowledgment in
the presence of the testatrix and the witnesses, does not affect the validity of the codicil. Unlike the Code of 1889 (Art. 699), the new Civil Code
does not require that the signing of the testator, witnesses and notary should be accomplished in one single act. A comparison of Articles 805 and
806 of the new Civil Code reveals that while testator and witnesses sign in the presence of each other, all that is thereafter required is that "every
will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses" (Art. 806); i.e., that the latter should avow to the certifying
officer the authenticity of their signatures and the voluntariness of their actions in executing the testamentary disposition. This was done in the
case before us. The subsequent signing and sealing by the notary of his certification that the testament was duly acknowledged by the participants
therein is no part of the acknowledgment itself nor of the testamentary act. Hence their separate execution out of the presence of the testatrix and
her witnesses cannot be said to violate the rule that testaments should be completed without interruption (Andalis vs. Pulgueras, 59 Phil. 643), or,
as the Roman maxim puts it, "uno codem die ac tempore in eadem loco", and no reversible error was committed by the Court in so holding. It is
noteworthy that Article 806 of the new Civil Code does not contain words requiring that the testator and the witnesses should acknowledge the
testament on the same day or occasion that it was executed.

Garcia vs. Vasquez


Facts: Gliceria A. Del Rosario died unmarried in Manila leaving no descendants or ascendants. At the time of her death, she was already 90 years
old and left an estate consisting of real properties. Thereafter, Consuelo Gonzales Vda. De Prescilla, her niece, filed a petition for probate of
Glicerias will. However, relatives of the deceased opposed the petition on the ground that the purported will was not Glicerias true will. In the
probate proceedings, it was established that during the lifetime of the deceased, she executed 2 wills, one in Spanish and one in Tagalog. That
during the execution of the second will, such was first read silently by her brother before she signed it and thereafter signed by the witnesses in
the presence of the testatrix, Notary Public and one another. That the opposition contended that during the signing of the will, the eyesight of the
testatrix was really poor and therefore it is impossible for her to have read the will.
Issue: Whether the failure to comply with Article 808 which requires that the testator if blind, the will must be read to him twice would affect the
execution of the will itself despite the fact that the testator here is not blind but with poor eyesight.
Held: Yes, where the testator is blind, the will must be read to him twice as required by Article 808 of the Civil Code. The reason for this is to
make the provisions thereof known to him so that he may be able to object if they are not in accordance with his wishes. Hence, failure to comply
with this requirement makes the will invalid because the aim of the law is also to ensure that the dispositions of the will are properly
communicated to and understood by the handicapped testator.

Gonzales vs. CA
Facts: It appears that on June 24, 1961, herein private respondent Lutgarda Santiago filed a petition with the Court of First Instance of Rizal
docketed as Special Proceedings No. 3617, for the probate of a will alleged to have been executed by the deceased Isabel Gabriel and designating
therein petitioner as the principal beneficiary and executrix. The petition was opposed by Rizalina Gabriel Gonzales, herein petitioner, assailing
the document purporting to be the will of the deceased on the following grounds, most importantly: 2. that the same was not executed and attested
as required by law.
Issue: Whether the three instrumental witnesses are credible as to allow the probate of the will.
Held: Yes, the instrumental witnesses are credible. In the strict sense, the competency of a person to be an instrumental witness to a will is
determined by the statute, that is Art. 820 and 821, Civil Code, whereas his credibility depends on the appreciation of his testimony and arises
from the belief and conclusion of the Court that said witness is telling the truth. Thus, in the case of Vda. de Aroyo v. El Beaterio del Santissimo
Rosario de Molo, No. L-22005, May 3, 1968, the Supreme Court held and ruled that: "Competency as a witness is one thing, and it is another to
be a credible witness, so credible that the Court must accept what he says. Trial courts may allow a person to testify as a witness upon a given
matter because he is competent, but may thereafter decide whether to believe or not to believe his testimony." In fine, We state the rule that the
instrumental witnesses in Order to be competent must be shown to have the qualifications under Article 820 of the Civil Code and none of the
disqualifications under Article 821 and for their testimony to be credible, that is worthy of belief and entitled to credence, it is not mandatory that
evidence be first established on record that the witnesses have a good standing in the community or that they are honest and upright or reputed to
be trustworthy and reliable, for a person is presumed to be such unless the contrary is established otherwise. In other words, the instrumental
witnesses must be competent and their testimonies must be credible before the court allows the probate of the will they have attested. We,
therefore, reject petitioner's position that it was fatal for respondent not to have introduced prior and independent proof of the fact that the
witnesses were "credible witnesses that is, that they have a good standing in the community and reputed to be trustworthy and reliable.

Roxas v. de Jesus
Facts: Petitioner Simeon R. Roxas testified that after his appointment as administrator, he found a notebook belonging to the deceased Bibiana R.
de Jesus and that on pages 21, 22, 23 and 24 thereof, a letter-win addressed to her children and entirely written and signed in the handwriting of
the deceased Bibiana R. de Jesus was found. The will is dated "FEB./61 " and states: "This is my win which I want to be respected although it is
not written by a lawyer. ...

The testimony of Simeon R. Roxas was corroborated by the testimonies of Pedro Roxas de Jesus and Manuel Roxas de Jesus who likewise
testified that the letter dated "FEB./61 " is the holographic Will of their deceased mother, Bibiana R. de Jesus. Both recognized the handwriting of
their mother and positively identified her signature. They further testified that their deceased mother understood English, the language in which
the holographic Will is written, and that the date "FEB./61 " was the date when said Will was executed by their mother.
Issue: Whether the indication of date, FEB./61 which appeared on the holographic will of the deceased is a valid compliance of Article 810 of
the NCC.
Held: Yes, there was a valid compliance of the law. Thus, the prevailing policy is to require satisfaction of the legal requirements in order to
guard against fraud and bad faith but without undue or unnecessary curtailment of testamentary privilege Icasiano v. Icasiano, 11 SCRA 422). If a
Will has been executed in substantial compliance with the formalities of the law, and the possibility of bad faith and fraud in the exercise thereof
is obviated, said Win should be admitted to probate (Rey v. Cartagena 56 Phil. 282). As a general rule, the "date" in a holographic Will should
include the day, month, and year of its execution. However, when as in the case at bar, there is no appearance of fraud, bad faith, undue influence
and pressure and the authenticity of the Will is established and the only issue is whether or not the date "FEB./61" appearing on the holographic
Will is a valid compliance with Article 810 of the Civil Code, probate of the holographic Will should be allowed under the principle of substantial
compliance.

Kalaw v. Relova
Facts: Gregorio Kalaw, sole heir of his deceased sister, Natividad Kalaw filed a petition for probate of the latters holographic will. The
holographic Will, as first written, named ROSA K. Kalaw, a sister of the testatrix as her sole heir. Hence, on November 10, 1971, petitioner
ROSA K. Kalaw opposed probate alleging, in substance, that the holographic Will contained alterations, corrections, and insertions without the
proper authentication by the full signature of the testatrix as required by Article 814 of the Civil Code reading:
Art. 814. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holographic will the testator must authenticate the same by his full
signature.
ROSA's position was that the holographic Will, as first written, should be given effect and probated so that she could be the sole heir thereunder.
Issue: Whether or not the original unaltered text after subsequent alterations and insertions were voided by the Trial Court for lack of
authentication by the full signature of the testatrix, should be probated or not, with her as sole heir.
Held: Ordinarily, when a number of erasures, corrections, and interlineations made by the testator in a holographic Will litem not been noted
under his signature, ... the Will is not thereby invalidated as a whole, but at most only as respects the particular words erased, corrected or
interlined. However, when as in this case, the holographic Will in dispute had only one substantial provision, which was altered by substituting
the original heir with another, but which alteration did not carry the requisite of full authentication by the full signature of the testator, the effect
must be that the entire Will is voided or revoked for the simple reason that nothing remains in the Will after that which could remain valid. To
state that the Will as first written should be given efficacy is to disregard the seeming change of mind of the testatrix. But that change of mind can
neither be given effect because she failed to authenticate it in the manner required by law by affixing her full signature.

Gago vs. Mamuyac


Facts: In the month of January, 1922, the said Francisco Gago presented a petition in the Court of First Instance of the Province of La Union for
the probation of that will. The probation of the same was opposed by Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina
Mamuyac (civil cause No. 1144, Province of La Union). To said petition Cornelio Mamuyac, Ambrosio Lariosa, Feliciana Bauzon, and Catalina
Mamuyac presented their oppositions, alleging (a) that the said will is a copy of the second will and testament executed by the said Miguel
Mamuyac; (b) that the same had been cancelled and revoked during the lifetime of Miguel Mamuyac and (c) that the said will was not the last
will and testament of the deceased Miguel Mamuyac. The Honorable Anastacio R. Teodoro, judge, after hearing the respective parties, denied the
probation of said will of April 16, 1919, upon the ground that the same had been cancelled and revoked in the year 1920.
Issue: Whether the will in question had been revoked and cancelled in 1920 before his death.
Held: Yes, the law does not require any evidence of the revocation or cancellation of the will to be preserved. It therefore becomes difficult at
times to prove the revocation or cancellation of wills. The fact that such cancellation or revocation has taken place must either remain unproved
of be inferred from evidence showing that after due search the original will cannot be found. Where a will which cannot be found is shown to
have been in the possession of the testator, when last seen, the presumption is, in the absence of other competent evidence, that the same was
cancelled or destroyed. The same presumption arises where it is shown that the testator had ready access to the will and it cannot be found after
his death. It will not be presumed that such will has been destroyed by any other person without the knowledge or authority of the testator. The
force of the presumption of cancellation or revocation by the testator, while varying greatly, being weak or strong according to the circumstances,
is never conclusive, but may be overcome by proof that the will was not destroyed by the testator with intent to revoke it.

Casiano vs. CA
Facts: Adriana Matato died leaving as heirs her niece and nephews, the Petitioners Aldina Matato-Casiano and Constancio Matato and private
respondents Panfilo and Felino Matato. Believing that Adriana did not leave any will, the four filed an instestate proceeding for the settlement of
deceaseds estate. While the case is pending, the heirs executed an extrajudicial settlement of deceaseds estate dividing the estate into four equal
parts. After sometime, Atty. Hervas discovered the last will and testament of Adriana which through such will Aldina and Constancio files a
Motion for Reconsideration for the Annulment of the extrajudicial settlement and allowance of will. CA dismissed said petition on the ground that
the said will was allegedly burned by the household of Adriana before revoking the will.
Issue: Whether the will maybe allowed to probate despite the fact that it was burned by the household.
Held: Yes, the will should be allowed to probate. The SC held that the physical act of destruction of the will, like burning, in this case, does not
per se constitute an effective revocation unless the destruction is coupled with animus revocandi on the part of the testator. It is not imperative
that the physical destruction be done by the testator himself. It may be performed by some other person under express direction and presence of
the testator. Of course, it goes without saying that the document destroyed is the will itself. In this case, the animus revocandi of the intent to
revoke, maybe ceded, for that is a state of mind of the testator, yet that alone will not suffice. Animus Revocandi is only one of the necessary
elements for an effective revocation. The intention to revoke must be accompanied by the overt physical act of burning, tearing, obliterating, or
canceling for the will to be carried out by the testator or by another person in his presence and under his express direction. In the given case, the
burning of the household was not done under the express direction and presence of the testator.

Molo vs Molo
Facts: Mariano Molo died without leaving any forced heir but was survived by his wife Juana Molo and his nieces and nephews. Mariano left
two wills, one being executed on August 17, 1918 and another being executed on June 20, 1939 which the latter contained clause, expressly
revoking the first will. Thereafter, Juana filed a petition to probate the second will, said will was allowed probate that his nieces and nephews
opposed on the ground that the second will was not in accordance with law. Upon the disallowance of the second will, Juana filed another petition
to probate the first will, which was also opposed on the ground that Juana is estopped from doing so and that the will was subsequently revoked.
Issue: Whether the subsequent execution of the second will which is not in accordance with the law, has revoked the first will and therefore be
not allowed probate.
Held: No, the first will has not been revoked by the subsequent execution of the second will and therefore be allowed to probate. It is universally
agreed that where the second will is invalid on account of not being executed in accordance with law, or where the testator has no sufficient
mental capacity to make a will or the will is procured through undue influence, or to such in other word, or to such in other word, the second will
is no will at all. It does not revoke the first will or affect it in any manner.

AGTARAP vsAGTARAP
Facts: Eduardo filed with the RTC a verified petition for the judicial settlement of the estate of his deceased father Joaquin Agtarap. Joaquin left
two parcels of land with improvements. During his lifetime, Joaquin contracted two marriages. The first marraiage is with Lucia Garcia with
whom he had 3 chilkdre, named Jesus, Milagros and Jose who is survived by his three children, namely, Gloria, Joseph, and Teresa. The second
marriage is with Caridad Garcia with whom he also had 3 Children named Eduardo (Petitioner), Sebastian, and MercedesThe RTC Appointed
Eduardo as special administrator and issued an order of partition. It also declared that the real estate properties belonged to the conjugal
partnership of Joaquin and Lucia. The CA affirmed RTCs decision but provided for a different partition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC, acting as an intestate court with limited jurisdiction, can determine questions of ownership, which properly
belongs to another court with general jurisdiction?
HELD: YES. The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court, either as a probate or an intestate court, relates only to matters having to
do with the probate of the will and/or settlement of the estate of deceased persons, but does not extend to the determination of questions of
ownership that arise during the proceedings. The patent rationale for this rule is that such court merely exercises special and limited jurisdiction.
As held in several cases, a probate court or one in charge of estate proceedings, whether testate or intestate, cannot adjudicate or determine title to
properties claimed to be a part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside parties, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the
deceased but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate.
All that the said court could do as regards said properties is to determine whether or not they should be included in the inventory of properties to
be administered by the administrator.

If there is no dispute, there poses no problem, but if there is, then the parties, the administrator, and the opposing parties have to resort to an
ordinary action before a court exercising general jurisdiction for a final determination of the conflicting claims of title.