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Case Digest - Civil Law

SUCCESSION

Solano vs. CA, Bienvenido/Emeteria Garcia

GR L 41971 November 29, 1983

FACTS:

Bienvenido and Emeteria filed an action for recognition against Melita Solano Meliton died during the pendency of the petition and his daughter substituted him while asking for the probate of the will of the decedent. RTC specified the legal issues as 1) the recognition of Garcias, 2) correct status of Zonia, 3) the hereditary share of each of them in view of the probated will. In deciding, RTC declared Garcias as illegitimate children of late Meliton.; the institution of Sonia as sole heir declared null and void, the 3 children shall share equally the estate CA affirmed.

ISSUE:

Whether or not total intestacy resulted from the declaration that the institution of sole heir from decedent’s will.

RULING:

That being compulsory heirs, the Garcias were preterited from Meliton’s will, and as a result, Sonia’s institution as sole heir is null and void pursuant to Art. 854

“The preterition or omission of one, some or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir, but the devises and legacies shall be valid…

The intention of the decedent is to favor Sonia with certain portions of his property which the testator had the right to such so that it should be upheld as to the one-half portion of the property that the testator could freely dispose of Sonia’s share is hereby declared to be 4/6 of the estate and Garcias 1/6 each. The usufruct in favor of will should not be invalidated all together.

Seangio vs. Hon. Amor A. Reyes

G.R. November 27, 2006

Azcuna, J.:

FACTS:

On September 1988, private respondents filed a petition for the settlement of the intestate estate of the late Segundo. Petitioners opposed assailing among others that Segundo left a holographic will which is entirely a declaration of disinheritance affecting Alfredo, one of the private respondents. Private respondents opposed the probate on the ground that the holographic will did not contain any disposition of the estate of the deceased. RTC dismissed the petition for probate easoning that the holographic will clearly shows preterition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the document executed by Segundo can be considered as a holographic will.

RULING:

A holographic will must be written, dated and signed by the testator himself. An intent to dispose mortis causa can be clearly deducted from the terms of the instrument, and while it does not make an affirmative deposition of the latter’s property, the disinheritance of Alfredo, is an act of disposition in itself. The disinheritance results in the disposition of the property in favor of those who would succeed in the absence of Alfredo.

With regard to the issue on preterition, the court believes that the compulsory heirs in the direct line were not preterited in the will. It was Segundo’s last expression bequeath his estate to all his compulsory heirs, with the sole exception of Alfredo.

Bonilla vs. Leon Barcena

G.R. No. L-41715 June 18, 1976

Martin, J.:

FACTS:

On March 31, 1975 Fortunata Bonilla, mother of minors Rosalio and Salvacion, wife of Ponciano Bonilla (petitioner) instituted a civil action to quiet title over certain parcles of land located in Abra. Respondents opposed and when Fortunata died, moved to dismiss the same since a dead person has no legal capacity to sue. CFI dismissed the civil action earlier instituted and although counsel for the plaintiff prayed that Rosalio and Salvacion be allowed to substitute their deceased mother, the same was dismissed.

ISSUE:

Whether or not children of the deceased be allowed to substitute the deceased plaintiff.

RULING:

If the plaintiff dies, the Rules of Court prescribes the procedure whereby a party who died during the pendency of the proceeding can be substituted.

Rule 16, Sec 3 ROC states, “whenever a party to a pending case dies… it shall be the duty of his attorney to inform the court promptly of such death… and to give the name and residence of his executor, administrator, guardian or other legal representative.”

This duty was complained with by the counsel for the deceased plaintiff but the court, instead of allowing the substitution, dismissed the petition on the ground that a dead person has no legal personality to sue. Art 777 NCC provides “the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent.

When Fortunata therefore died, her claim or right to the parcels of land in litigation was not extinguished but was transferred to her heirs upon death.

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