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PHILTRUST CO. v. BOHANAN (1960) J. Labrador FACTS: At the time of his death, the testator C. O.

Bohanan was a citizen of the United States and of the State of Nevada. He executed a will and testament and declares that his will and testament, Exhibit A, is fully in accordance with the laws of the state of Nevada and admits the same to probate. The Philippine Trust Company, was appointed the executor of the will. Philtrust filed a project of partition dated January 24, 1956, making, in accordance with the provisions of the will. Out of the total estate (after deducting administration expenses) of P211,639.33 in cash, the testator gave: his grandson P90,819.67 and of all shares of stock of several mining companies, his brother and sister the same amount his children he gave a legacy of only P6,000 each, or a total of P12,000 none to his ex-wife, Magdalena

It is argued that it was error for the trial court to have recognized the Reno divorce secured by the testator from his Filipino wife Magdalena C. Bohanan, and that said divorce should be declared a nullity in this jurisdiction. Lower Court refused to recognize the claim of the widow on the following grounds: the laws of Nevada, of which the deceased was a citizen, allow him to dispose of all of his properties without requiring him to leave any portion of his estate to his wife. A divorced wife doesnt have the right to share in the inheritance, under the laws of the State of Nevada

RULE: National law of testator shall apply. The old Civil Code, which is applicable to this case because the testator died in 1944, expressly provides that successional rights to personal property are to be earned by the national law of the person whose succession is in question. Nevertheless, legal and testamentary successions, in respect to the order of succession as well as to the extent of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is in question, whatever may be the nature of the property and the country in which it is found. (par. 2, Art. 10, old Civil Code, which is the same as par. 2 Art. 16, new Civil Code.) ISSUE/HELD: WON the testamentary dispositions, especially those for the children which are short of the legitime given them by the Civil Code of the Philippines, are valid YES It is not disputed that the laws of Nevada allow a testator to dispose of all his properties by will (Sec. 9905, Complied Nevada Laws of 1925, supra). It does not appear that at time of the hearing of the project of partition, the above-quoted provision was introduced in evidence, as it was the executor's duly to do. The law of Nevada, being a foreign law can only be proved in our courts in the form and manner provided for by our Rules, which are as follows: SEC. 41. Proof of public or official record. An official record or an entry therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy tested by the officer having the legal custody of he record, or by his deputy, and accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, with a certificate that such officer has the custody. . . . (Rule 123). HERE, the foreign law was introduced in evidence by appellant's counsel as Exhibit "2" and again said laws presented by the counsel for the executor and admitted by the Court as Exhibit "B" during the hearing of the case. In addition, the other appellants, children of the testator, do not dispute the above-quoted provision of the laws of the State of Nevada.

The SC can take judicial notice of Nevada Law Under all the above circumstances, we are constrained to hold that the pertinent law of Nevada, especially Section 9905 of the Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925, can be taken judicial notice of by us, without proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of partition. As in accordance with Article 10 of the old Civil Code, the validity of testamentary dispositions are to be governed by the national law of the testator, and as it has been decided and it is not disputed that the national law of the testator is that of the State of Nevada, already indicated above, which allows a testator to dispose of all his property according to his will, as in the case at bar, the order of the court approving the project of partition made in accordance with the testamentary provisions, must be, as it is hereby affirmed, with costs against appellants.