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Disinheritance vs.

Preterition (1993) youngest son wanted to file intestate proceedings before the
Maria, to spite her husband Jorge, whom she suspected was Regional Trial Court of Cebu City. Two other siblings
having an affair with another woman, executed a will, objected, arguing that it should be in Jolo before a Sharia
unknown to him, bequeathing all the properties she inherited mother, in favor of another sister, with their mother not
from her parents, to her sister Miguela. Upon her death, the court since his lands are in Sulu. But Adils sisters in
will was presented for probate. Jorge opposed probate of the Pakistan want the proceedings held in Lahore before a
will on the ground that the will was executed by his wife Pakistani court. Which court has jurisdiction and is the
without his knowledge, much less consent, and that it proper venue for the intestate proceedings? The law of
deprived him of his legitime. After all, he had given her no which country shall govern succession to his estate? (5%)
cause for disinheritance, added Jorge in his opposition. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Maria's will. If you were the Judge? In so far as the properties of the decedent located in the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Philippines are concerned, they are governed by Philippine
As Judge, I shall rule as follows: Jorge's opposition should be law (Article 16, Civil Code). Under Philippine law, the proper
sustained in part and denied in part. Jorge's omission as venue for the settlement of the estate is the domicile of the
spouse of Maria is not preterition of a compulsory heir in the decedent at the time of his death. Since the decedent last
direct line. Hence, Art. 854 of the Civil Code does not apply, resided in Cebu City, that is the proper venue for the intestate
and the institution of Miguela as heir is valid, but only to the settlement of his estate.
extent of the free portion of one-half. Jorge is still entitled to However, the successional rights to the estate of ADIL are
one-half of the estate as his legitime. (Art. 1001, Civil Code) governed by Pakistani law, his national law, under Article 16
of the Civil Code.

Preterition (2001)
Because her eldest son Juan had been pestering her for Wills; Formalities (1990)
capital to start a business, Josefa gave him P100,000. Five (1) If a will is executed by a testator who is a Filipino citizen,
years later, Josefa died, leaving a last will and testament in what law will govern if the will is executed in the Philippines?
which she instituted only her four younger children as her What law will govern if the will is executed in another
sole heirs. At the time of her death, her only properly left was country? Explain your answers.
P900,000.00 in a bank. Juan opposed the will on the ground (2) If a will is executed by a foreigner, for instance, a
of preterition. How should Josefa's estate be divided among Japanese, residing in the Philippines, what law will govern if
her heirs? State briefly the reason(s) for your answer. (5%) the will is executed in the Philippines? And what law will
SUGGESTED ANSWER: govern if the will is executed in Japan, or some other country,
There was no preterition of the oldest son because the for instance, the U.S.A.? Explain your answers.
testatrix donated 100,000 pesos to him. This donation is SUGGESTED ANSWER:
considered an advance on the son's inheritance. There being (1) a. If the testator who is a Filipino citizen executes his will
no preterition, the institutions in the will shall be respected in the Philippines, Philippine law will govern the formalities.
but the legitime of the oldest son has to be completed if he b. If said Filipino testator executes his will in another country,
received less. the law of the country where he maybe or Philippine law will
After collating the donation of P100.000 to the remaining govern the formalities. (Article 815, Civil Code}
property of P900,000, the estate of the testatrix is P1,000,000. SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Of this amount, one-half or P500,000, is the (2) a. If the testator is a foreigner residing in the Philippines
legitime of one legitimate child is P100,000. The legitime, and he executes his will in the Philippines, the law of the
therefore, of the oldest son is P100,000. However, since the country of which he is a citizen or Philippine law will govern
donation given him was P100,000, he has already received in the formalities.
full his legitime and he will not receive anything anymore b. If the testator is a foreigner and executes his will in a
from the decedent. The remaining P900,000, therefore, shall foreign country, the law of his place of residence or the law of
go to the four younger children by institution in the will, to the country of which he is a citizen or the law of the place of
be divided equally among them. Each will receive P225,000. execution, or Philippine law will govern the formalities
(Articles 17. 816. 817. Civil Code).
Proceedings; Intestate Proceedings; Jurisdiction (2004) a. In the case of a Filipino citizen, Philippine law shall
In his lifetime, a Pakistani citizen, ADIL, married three times govern substantive validity whether he executes his will in the
under Pakistani law. When he died an old widower, he left Philippines or in a foreign country.
behind six children, two sisters, three homes, and an estate b. In the case of a foreigner, his national law shall govern
worth at least 30 million pesos in the Philippines. He was substantive validity whether he executes his will in the
born in Lahore but last resided in Cebu City, where he had a Philippines or in a foreign country.
mansion and where two of his youngest children now live
and work. Two of his oldest children are farmers in Sulu,
while the two middle-aged children are employees in
Zamboanga City. Finding that the deceased left no will, the
Wills; Holographic Wills; Insertions & Cancellations (1996) (b) Is the said devise to X valid?
Vanessa died on April 14, 1980, leaving behind a holographic
will which is entirely written, dated and signed in her own SUGGESTED ANSWER:
handwriting. However, it contains insertions and cancellations (a) Yes, the will may be probated if executed according to the
which are not authenticated by her signature. For this reason, formalities prescribed by law.
the probate of Vanessa's will was opposed by her relatives (b) The institution giving X the free portion is not valid,
who stood to inherit by her intestacy. May Vanessa's because the prohibitions under Art. 739 of the Civil Code on
holographic will be probated? Explain. donations also apply to testamentary dispositions (Article
SUGGESTED ANSWER: 1028, Civil Code), Among donations which are considered
Yes, the will as originally written may be probated. The void are those made between persons who were guilty of
insertions and alterations were void since they were not adultery or concubinage at the time of the donation.
authenticated by the full signature of Vanessa, under Art. 814,
NCC. The original will, however, remains valid because a Wills; Probate; Notarial and Holographic Wills (1997)
holographic will is not invalidated by the unauthenticated Johnny, with no known living relatives, executed a notarial
insertions or alterations (Ajero v. CA, 236 SCRA 468]. will giving all his estate to his sweetheart. One day, he had a
serious altercation with his sweetheart. A few days later, he
Wills; Holographic Wills; Witnesses (1994) was introduced to a charming lady who later became a dear
On his deathbed, Vicente was executing a will. In the room friend. Soon after, he executed a holographic will expressly
were Carissa, Carmela, Comelio and Atty. Cimpo, a notary revoking the notarial will and so designating his new friend as
public. Suddenly, there was a street brawl which caught sole heir. One day when he was clearing up his desk, Johnny
Comelio's attention, prompting him to look out the window. mistakenly burned, along with other papers, the only copy of
Cornelio did not see Vicente sign a will. Is the will valid? his holographic will. His business associate, Eduardo knew
SUGGESTED ANSWERS: well the contents of the will which was shown to him by
a) Yes, The will is valid. The law does not require a witness to Johnny the day it was executed. A few days after the burning
actually see the testator sign the will. It is sufficient if the incident, Johnny died. Both wills were sought to be probated
witness could have seen the act of signing had he chosen to in two separate petitions. Will either or both petitions
do so by casting his eyes to the proper direction. prosper?
Wills; Joint Wills (2000) The probate of the notarial will will prosper. The holographic
Manuel, a Filipino, and his American wife Eleanor, executed will cannot be admitted to probate because a holographic will
a Joint Will in Boston, Massachusetts when they were residing can only be probated upon evidence of the will itself unless
in said city. The law of Massachusetts allows the execution of there is a photographic copy. But since the holographic will
joint wills. Shortly thereafter, Eleanor died. Can the said Will was lost and there was no other copy, it cannot be probated
be probated in the Philippines for the settlement of her and therefore the notarial will will be admitted to probate
estate? (3%) because there is no revoking will.
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: 1. In the case of Gan vs. Yap (104 Phil 509), the execution
The will cannot be probated in the Philippines, even though and the contents of a lost or destroyed holographic will
valid where executed, because it is prohibited under Article may not be proved by the bare testimony of witnesses
818 of the Civil Code and declared void under Article 819, who have seen or read such will. The will itself must be
The prohibition should apply even to the American wife presented otherwise it shall produce no effect. The law
because the Joint will is offensive to public policy. Moreover, regards the document itself as material proof of
it is a single juridical act which cannot be valid as to one authenticity. Moreover, in order that a will may be
testator and void as to the other. revoked by a subsequent will, it is necessary that the
Wills; Probate; Intrinsic Validity (1990) latter will be valid and executed with the formalities
H died leaving a last will and testament wherein it is stated required for the making of a will. The latter should
that he was legally married to W by whom he had two possess all the requisites of a valid will whether it be
legitimate children A and B. H devised to his said forced ordinary or a holographic will, and should be probated in
heirs the entire estate except the free portion which he gave order that the revocatory clause thereof may produce
to X who was living with him at the time of his death. effect. In the case at bar, since the holographic will itself
In said will he explained that he had been estranged from his cannot be presented, it cannot therefore be probated.
wife W for more than 20 years and he has been living with X Since it cannot be probated, it cannot revoke the notarial
as man and wife since his separation from his legitimate will previously written by the decedent.
family. 2. On the basis of the Rules of Court, Rule 76, Sec. 6,
In the probate proceedings, X asked for the issuance of provides that no will shall be proved as a lost or
letters testamentary in accordance with the will wherein she is destroyed will unless its provisions are clearly and
named sole executor. This was opposed by W and her distinctly proved by at least two (2) credible witnesses.
children. Hence, if we abide strictly by the two-witness rule to
(a) Should the will be admitted in said probate proceedings? prove a lost or destroyed will, the holographic will which
Johnny allegedly mistakenly burned, cannot be probated,
since there is only one witness, Eduardo, who can be properties acquired, which should be by intestate succession.
called to testify as to the existence of the will. If the Manuel claims otherwise. Who is correct? Explain.
holographic will, which purportedly, revoked the earlier
notarial will cannot be proved because of the absence of
the required witness, then the petition for the probate of
Manuel is correct because under Art. 793, NCC, property
the notarial will should prosper.
acquired after the making of a will shall only pass thereby, as
if the testator had possessed it at the time of making the will,
should it expressly appear by the will that such was his
Wills; Revocation of Wills; Dependent Relative Revocation
intention. Since Alfonso's intention to devise all properties he
owned at the time of his death expressly appears on the will,
Mr. Reyes executed a will completely valid as to form. A week
then all the 20 parcels of land are included in the devise.
later, however, he executed another will which expressly
revoked his first will, which he tore his first will to pieces.
Upon the death of Mr. Reyes, his second will was presented
for probate by his heirs, but it was denied probate ) Heirs; Fideicommissary Substitution
due to formal defects. Assuming that a copy of the first will (2008)
excluded by a legitimate son of the decedent [Art. 887, New No. XIII. Raymond, single, named his sister
is available, may it now be admitted to probate and given Ruffa in his will as a devisee of a parcel of
effect? Why? land which he owned. The will imposed
upon Ruffa the obligation of preseving the
SUGGESTED ANSWER: land and transferring it, upon her death, to
Yes, the first will may be admitted to probate and given her illegitimate daughter Scarlet who was
effect. When the testator tore first will, he was under the then only one year old. Raymond later died,
mistaken belief that the second will was perfectly valid and he leaving behind his widowed mother, Ruffa
would not have destroyed the first will had he known that the and Scarlet.
second will is not valid. The revocation by destruction
therefore is dependent on the validity of the second will. (A). Is the condition imposed upon Ruffa, to
Since it turned out that the second will was invalid, the tearing preserve the property and to transmit it
of the first will did not produce the effect of revocation. This upon her death to Scarlet, valid? (1%)
is known as the doctrine of dependent relative revocation SUGGESTED ANSWER:
(Molo v. Molo, 90 Phil 37.)
Yes, the condition imposed upon Ruffa
Wills; Testamentary Disposition (2006) to preserve the property and to transmit
Don died after executing a Last Will and Testament leaving it upon her death to Scarlet is valid
his estate valued at P12 Million to his common-law wife because it is tantamount to
Roshelle. He is survived by his brother Ronie and his fideicommissary substitution under Art.
half-sister Michelle. 863 of the Civil Code.
(1) Was Don's testamentary disposition of his estate in (B). If Scarlet predeceases Ruffa, who
accordance with the law on succession? Whether you agree or inherits the property? (2%)
not, explain your answer. Explain.
SUGGESTED ANSWER: Yes, Don's testamentary disposition
Ruffa will inherit the property as
of his estate is in accordance with the law on succession. Don
Scarlet's heir. Scarlet acquires a right to
has no compulsory heirs not having ascendants, descendants
the succession from the time of
nor a spouse [Art. 887, New Civil Code]. Brothers and sisters
Raymond's death, even though she
are not compulsory heirs. Thus, he can bequeath his entire
estate to anyone who is not otherwise incapacitated to inherit should predecease Ruffa (Art. 866, Civil
from him. A common-law wife is not incapacitated under the Code).
law, as Don is not married to anyone. (C). If Ruffa predeceases Raymond, can
Scarlet inherit the property directly from
Raymond? (2%)
Wills; Testamentary Intent (1996) SUGGESTED ANSWER:
Alfonso, a bachelor without any descendant or ascendant, If Ruffa predeceases Raymond,
wrote a last will and testament in which he devised." all the Raymond's widowed mother will be
properties of which I may be possessed at the time of my entitled to the inheritance. Scarlet, an
death" to his favorite brother Manuel. At the time he wrote illegitimate child, cannot inherit the
the will, he owned only one parcel of land. But by the time he property by intestate succession from
died, he owned twenty parcels of land. His other brothers and Raymond who is a legitimate relative of
sisters insist that his will should pass only the parcel of land
Ruffa (Art. 992, Civil Code). Moreover,
he owned at the time it was written, and did not cover his
Scarlet is not a compulsory heir of
Raymond, hence she can inherit only by
testamentary succession. Since
Raymond executed a will in the case at
bar, Scarlet may inherit from Raymond. Wills; Holographic Wills; Probate (2009)
No.VI. On December 1, 2000, Dr. Juanito
Fuentes executed a holographic will,
wherein he gave nothing to his recognized
No.X. Arthur executed a will which
illegitimate son, Jay. Dr. Fuentes left for the
contained only: (i) a provision disinheriting
United States, passed the New York medical
his daughter Bernica for running off with a
licensure examinations, resided therein,
married man, and (ii) a provision disposing
and became a naturalized American citizen.
of his share in the family house and lot in
He died in New York in 2007. The laws of
favor of his other children Connie and Dora.
New York do not recognize holographic wills
He did not make any provisions in favor of
or compulsory heirs.
his wife Erica, because as the will stated,
(A). Can the holographic will of Dr. Fuentes
she would anyway get of the house and
be admitted to probate in the Philippines?
lot as her conjugal share. The will was very
Why or why not? (3%)
brief and straightforward and both the
above provisions were contained in page 1,
Yes, the holographic will of Dr. Fuentes
which Arthur and his instrumental witness,
may be admitted to probate in the
signed at the bottom. Page 2 contained the
Philippines because there is no public
attestation clause and the signatures, at
policy violated by such probate. The only
the bottom thereof, of the 3 instrumental
issue at probate is the due execution of
witnesses which included Lambert, the
the will which includes the formal
driver of Arthur; Yoly, the family cook, and
validity of the will. As regards formal
Attorney Zorba, the lawyer who prepared
validity, the only issue the court will
the will. There was a 3rd page, but this only
resolve at probate is whether or not the
contained the notarial acknowledgement.
will was executed in accordance with the
The attestation clause stated the will was
form prescribed by the law observed by
signed on the same occasion by Arthur and
the testator in the execution of his will.
his instrumental witnesses who all signed
For purposes of probate in the
in the presence of each other, and the
Philippines, an alien testator may
notary public who notarized the will. There
observe the law of the place where the
are no marginal signatures or pagination
will was executed (Art 17, NCC), or the
appearing on any of the 3 pages. Upon his
formalities of the law of the place where
death, it was discovered that apart from the
he resides, or according to the
house and lot, he had a P 1 million account
formalities of the law of his own country,
deposited with ABC bank.
or in accordance with the Philippine
Civil Code (Art. 816, NCC). Since Dr.
(B). What other defects of the will, if any, Fuentes executed his will in accordance
can cause denial of probate? (2%) with the Philippine law, the Philippine
SUGGESTED ANSWER: court shall apply the New Civil Code in
The other defects of the will that can determining the formal validity of the
cause its denial are as follows: (a) Atty. holographic will. The subsequent change
Zorba, the one who prepared the will was in the citizenship of Dr. Fuentes did not
one of the three witnesses, violating the affect the law governing the validity of
three-witnesses rule; (b) no marginal his will. Under the new Civil Code, which
signature at the last page; (c ) the was the law used by Dr. Fuentes, the law
attestation did not state the number of enforced at the time of execution of the
pages upon which the will is written; will shall govern the formal validity of
and, (d) no pagination appearing the will (Art. 795, NCC).
correlatively in letters on the upper part (B). Assuming that the will is probated in
of the three pages (Azuela v. C.A., G.R. the Philippines, can Jay validly insist that
No. 122880, 12 Apr 2006 and cited cases he be given his legitime? Why or why not?
therein, Art 805 and 806, Civil Code). (3%)
No, Jay cannot insist because under New
York law he is not a compulsory heir Blind Testator; Requisites (2008)
entitled to a legitime. No. XIV. Stevie was born blind. He went to
The national law of the testator school for the blind, and learned to read in
determines who his heirs are, the order Baille Language. He Speaks English
that they succeed, how much their fluently. Can he:
successional rights are, and whether or (A). Make a will? (1%)
not a testamentary disposition in his will SUGGESTED ANSWER:
is valid (Art 16, NCC). Since, Dr. Fuentes Assuming that he is of legal age (Art.
was a US citizen, the laws of the New 797, Civil Code) and of sound mind at
York determines who his heirs are. And the time of execution of the will (Art.
since the New York law does not 798, Civil Code), Stevie, a blind person,
recognize the concept of compulsory can make a notarial will, subject to
heirs, Jay is not a compulsory heir of Dr. compliance with the "two-reading rule"
Fuentes entitled to a legitime. (Art. 808, Civil Code) and the provisions
of Arts. 804, 805 and 806 of the Civil
Wills; Joint Wills (2008) Code.
No. XI. John and Paula, British citizens at (B). Act as a witness to a will? (1%)
birth, acquired Philippine citizenship by SUGGESTED ANSWER:
naturalization after their marriage. During Stevie cannot be a witness to a will. Art.
their marriage the couple acquired 820 of the Civil Code provides that "any
substanial landholdings in London and in person of sound mind and of the age of
Makati. Paula bore John three children, eighteen years or more, and not blind,
Peter, Paul and Mary. In one of their trips deaf or dumb, and able to read and write,
to London, the couple executed a joint will may be a witness to the execution of a
appointing each other as their heirs and will.
providing that upon the death of the (C). In either of the above instances, must
survivor between them the entire estate the will be read to him? (1%)
would go to Peter and Paul only but the two SUGGESTED ANSWER:
could not dispose of nor divide the London If Stevie makes a will, the will must be
estate as long as they live. John and Paul read to him twice, once by one of the
died tragically in the London Subway subscribing witnesses, and again, by the
terrorist attack in 2005. Peter and Paul notary public before whom the will is
filed a petition for probate of their parent's acknowledged (Art. 808, Civil Code).
will before a Makati Regional Trial Court.
(A). Should the will be admitted to probate?
No. The will cannot be admitted to
probate because a joint will is expressly
prohibited under Art. 818 of the Civil
Code. This provision applies John and
Paula became Filipino citizens after their
(B). Are the testamentary dispositions
valid? (2%)
No. The testamentary dispositions are
not valid because (a) omission of Mary, a
legitimate child, is tantamount to
preterition which shall annul the
institution of Peter and Paul as heirs
(Art. 854, Civil Code); and, (b) the
disposition that Peter and Paul could not
dispose of nor divide the London estate
for more than 20 years is void (Art. 870,
Civil Code).