Case Digest - Succession


GRN 72706

OCTOBER 27, 1987



Constantitno filed for probate of the will of his decased brother Nemesio. The spouse and adopted child of the decedent opposed the probate of will because of preterition. RTC dismissed the petition of the wife. CA reversed and the probate thus was dismissed


Whether or not there was preterition of “compulsory heirs in the direct line” thus their omission shall not annul the institution of heirs.


Preterition consists in the omission of the forced heirs because they are not mentioned there in, or trough mentioned they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited. As for the widow there is no preterit ion because she is not in the direct line. However, the same cannot be said for the adopted child whose legal adoption has not been questioned by the petitioner. Adoption gives to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he where a legitimate child of the adopter and makes the adopted person a legal heir hence, this is a clear case of preterition.

The universal institution of petitioner together with his brothers and sisters to the entire inheritance of the testator results in totally abrogating the will because the nullification of such institution of universal heirs without any other testamentary disposition in the will amounts to a declaration that nothing was written. No legacies and devisees having been provided in the will, the whole property of the deceased has been left by universal title to petitioner and his brothers and sisters.

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