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Buot vs Dujali

GR 199885

Facts: Buot filed before the RTC a petition for letters of administration of the estate of deceased
Gregorio Dujali, alleging that she was a surviving heir, along with several other heirs of Gregorio who
died intestate. Roque Dujali purportedly continued to manage and control the properties to the
exclusion of all the other heirs and for no justifiable reason, he denied Buot’s request to settle the
estate.Thus, Buot asked that an administrator be appointed to preserve Gregorio's estate. Dujali filed an
opposition with motion to dismiss, arguing that Buot had no legal capacity to institute the proceedings
because she failed to attach any document to prove her filiation. Buot argues that only ultimate facts
should be included in an initiatory pleading. Nevertheless, to answer Dujali's allegations, Buot attached
to her comment a copy of the necrological services program where she was listed as one of Gregorio's
heirs, a certification from the municipal mayor that she is Gregorio's child, and a copy of the Amended
Extrajudicial Settlement. RTC denied Dujali's motion to dismiss. Dujali filed a motion for reconsideration,
arguing that a party's lack of legal capacity to sue should be raised in a motion to dismiss. Further, he
took issue with the existence of the Amended Extrajudicial Settlement. According to him, when an
estate has no debts, recourse to administration proceedings is allowed only when there are good and
compelling reasons. Where an action for partition (whether in or out of court) is possible, the estate
should not be burdened with an administration proceeding. RTC dismissed the petition for
administration was proper.

Issue: Whether or not the dismissal of the petition for administration was proper

Held: Yes. When a person dies intestate, his or her estate may generally be subject to judicial
administration proceedings. But when the deceased left no will and no debts and the heirs are all of age,
the heirs may divide the estate among themselves without judicial administration. The heirs may do so
extrajudicially through a public instrument filed in the office of the Register of Deeds. In case of
disagreement, they also have the option to file an action for partition. However, the rules of court does
not prevent the heirs from instituting administration proceedings if they have good reasons for choosing
not to file an action for partition. What constitutes good reason depends on the circumstances of each
case. In the case at bar, Buot’s claim that the extrajudicial settlement in this case did not cover
Gregorio's entire estate is, by no means, a sufficient reason to order the administration of the estate.

Pereira vs. CA

GR L-81147
Facts: Andres de Guzman Pereira, an employee of the Philippine Airlines, passed away without a will. He
is survived by his legitimate spouse of 10 months, the herein petitioner Victoria Bringas Pereira, and his
sister Rita Pereira Nagac, the herein private respondent. Nagac filed before the RTC for the issuance of
letters of administration in her favor pertaining to the estate of the deceased Andres de Guzman Pereira
for the reasons that Andres and Victoria Bringas Pereira are the only surviving heirs of the deceased, he
left no will, there are no creditors of the deceased, deceased left several properties, the spouse of the
deceased had been working in London as an auxiliary nurse and as such, one-half of her salary forms
part of the estate of the deceased. Victoria opposed arguing that there exists no estate of the deceased
for the purpose of administration and praying in the alternative that if an estate does exist, the letters of
administration relating to the said estate be issued in her favor as the surviving spous. Court ruled that
Rita Pereira Nagac shall be administratrix of the intestate estate. CA affirmed.

Issue: Is a judicial administration proceeding necessary when the decedent dies intestate without
leaving any debt?

Held: No. The general rule is: when a person dies leaving property, the same should be judicially
administered and the competent court should appoint a qualified administrator. The exception is when
all the heirs are of lawful age and there are no debts due from the estate, they may agree in writing to
partition the property without instituting the judicial administration or applying for the appointment of
and administrator. Questions as to what property belonged to the deceased may properly be ventilated
in the partition proceedings, especially where such property is in the hands of one heir. It is not a
compelling reason to order judicial administration where the only reason why the appointment of an
administrator was sought so that one heir can take possession of the estate from the other heir.