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Hilarion Jr. and Orendain v Trusteeship of Estate of Rodriguez | G.R. No.

168660 | June 30, 2009 |


Nachura, J.

Petitioner/s: HILARION, JR. and ENRICO ORENDAIN, represented by FE D. ORENDAIN, Petitioners,

Respondent/s: TRUSTEESHIP OF THE ESTATE OF DOA MARGARITA RODRIGUEZ,Respondent.

SUMMARY: Doa Margarita Rodriguez died and left behind a Last Will and Testament. It provided for a perpetual trust to
administer her properties/income from those properties. Petitioners were one of the mentioned beneficiaries
of this trust and moved to dissolve the trust (and subsequently have the properties given to them ata, not
explicitly stated). RTC Denied, said a perpetual trust was allowed by Art. 1013, Civil Code. SC Reversed this
and said Art. 1013 was not applicable coz no heirs were instituted by decedent.

TOPIC: Institution of Heirs

FACTS:
 Jul 19 1960 – Doa Margarita Rodriguez died in Manila, left a Last Will and Testament
o No compulsory heir left, completely free to dispose of property w/o legitimes
 Sep 23 1960 – admitted to probate by CFI Manila
 Aug 27 1962 – CFI Manila approved the project of partition presented by the executor of Doa Rodriguez’s will
 ONE OF THE CLAUSES IN HER WILL CONTEMPLATED THE CREATION OF A TRUST (to manage the income from her
properties for distribution to beneficiaries specified in the will)
 Clause 10: explicitly prohibits the alienation or mortgage of the properties specified therein
o Rodriguez v CA: the clause, insofar as the first twenty-year period is concerned, does not violate Article
870 -- The codal provision does not need any interpretation. It speaks categorically. What is declared void
is the testamentary disposition prohibiting alienation after the twenty-year period (A/N: idk why the Court
discussed this here)
 4 decades later: Hilarion Jr and Enrico Orendain Sr. mentioned in Clause 24 of decedents will, moved to dissolve
the trust on decedents estate
o In existence for more than 20 years in violation of Art 867 and 870, Civil Code
 RTC: There is no question that the testamentary disposition of Doa Margarita Rodriguez prohibiting the mortgage
or sale of properties mentioned in clause X of her Last Will and Testament forevermore is void after the lapse of
the twenty year period. However, it does not mean that the trust created by [the] testatrix in order to carry out
her wishes under clauses 12, 13 and 24 will also become void upon expiration of the twenty year period.
o Art. 1013(4), CC: the Court, at the instance of an interested party or its motion, may order the
establishment of a permanent trust so that only the income from the property shall be used.

ISSUE + RULING:
W/N The Trust can exist beyond the 20 year period? NO
 PROCEDURAL: captioned as petition for certiorari but is actually a petition for review on certiorari, only Questions
of Law (R45)  Court will disregard for now and treat as a R45 petition
 Last Will: categorical in creation of a perpetual trust for administration of the properties and income. (Clause 10)
o the decedent unequivocally forbade the alienation or mortgage of these properties. In all, the decedent
did not contemplate the disposition of these properties, but only sought to bequeath the income
derived therefrom to various sets of beneficiaries.
 Rodriguez v CA: Perpetual prohibition is only valid for 20 years
o in the interim, since the twenty-year period was then still upon us, the wishes of the testatrix ought to be
respected.
o CAB: no more argument that the trust created over the properties of the decedent should be dissolved
as the twenty-year period has, quite palpably, lapsed
 RTC ARG: (a) only the perpetual prohibition to alienate or mortgage is declared void; (b) the trust over her
properties stipulated by the testatrix in Clauses 12, 13 and 24 of the will remains valid; and (c) the trustees may
dispose of these properties in order to carry out the latters testamentary disposition
o COURT: No. Nowhere in the will can it be ascertained that the decedent intended any of the trusts
designated beneficiaries to inherit these properties
 What to do with the properties then?  Intestacy should apply since decedent did not institute an heir. Art.
782 and 960 apply:
o Art. 782. An heir is a person called to the succession either by the provision of a will or by operation of
law
o Art. 960. Legal or intestate succession takes place:
 (2) When the will does not institute an heir to, or dispose of all the property belonging to the
testator. In such case, legal succession shall take place only with respect to the property of which
the testator has not disposed
 Art. 1013 relied on by RTC is not applicable
o Applies to intestate succession, specifically on the State inheriting from a decedent, in default of
persons entitled to succeed
o CAB: The article does not cure a void testamentary provision which did not institute an heir.
Accordingly, the article cannot be applied to dispose of herein decedents properties. (A/N: I think it
means it applies only when there are heirs and in default, the State inherits instead which is NOT the case
here since no heirs instituted)
 CAB: The herein testatrixs large landholdings cannot be subjected indefinitely to a trust because the ownership
thereof would then effectively remain with her even in the afterlife.
o Palad v Governor of Quezon Province: Court allowed the trust past 20 years here because it was only to
administer 2 parcels of lands “which have not been shown to be a large landholding.” The purpose of 870
was to prevent the perpetuation of large holdings which give rise to agrarian troubles. (A/N: Parang mej
BS yung reasoning ng Court hahaha)
DISPOSITION:

● JUDGEMENT REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. TRUST IS DISSOLVED


o Remand to determine the following:
1. The properties listed in Clause 10 of the will, constituting the perpetual trust, which are still within
reach and have not been disposed of as yet; and
2. The intestate heirs of the decedent, with the nearest relative of the deceased entitled to inherit the
remaining properties.

NOTES:

 Art. 867. The following shall not take effect:


(1) Fideicommissary substitutions which are not made in an express manner, either by giving them this name, or
imposing upon the fiduciary the absolute obligation to deliver the property to a second heir;
(2) Provisions which contain a perpetual prohibition to alienate, and even a temporary one, beyond the limit fixed
in article 863;
(3) Those which impose upon the heir the charge of paying to various persons successively, beyond the limit
prescribed in article 863, a certain income or pension;
(4) Those which leave to a person the whole part of the hereditary property in order that he may apply or invest
the same according to secret instructions communicated to him by the testator. (785a)
 Art. 870. The dispositions of the testator declaring all or part of the estate inalienable for more than twenty years
are void