Wills and Succession in the Philippines

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  1 XIX. DISINHERITANCE   CHING VS. HON JANSSEN RODRIGUEZ  Ramon S Ching v Hon Jansen Rodriguez(with Joseph Cheng, Jaime Cheng, Mercedes Igne, and Lucina Santos) Facts:    Case is about a review under rule 45 of ROC wherein Petition for motion of reconsideration of appeal were denied and RTC decision was affirmed    Sometime between Nov to Dec 2002, respondents filed a complain against stronghold Insurance company and Global business bank and all persons claiming rights or titles from Ramon Ching and his successors in interest.    In the complaint for disinheritance, respondents allege the following as causes of action: o   1 st : They are the heirs of Lim San also known as Antonio Ching o   Joseph Ching an Jaime Ching, allegedly are the children of Antonio from his common law wife, respondent, Mercedes Igne and Lucina Ramon o   Ramon misrepresented himself as his son and when he was in fact adopted and his birth certificate was simulated o   Ramon is a primary suspect for Antonio’s murder    o   According to respondents: he may be disinherited under Art919 of CC: o   2 nd : Respondents allege that Ramon illegally transferred to his names 6 real estate properties left by Antonio. Also, there are 2 lots, cash and Jewelries in Possession of Antonio o   3 rd : Mercedes was sweet talked by Ramon to surrender to him Global Business bank, time deposit of PHP4,000,000 and condo in Binondo o   40000 shares in Po Wing were illegally transferred to Ramon to his own name o   5 th : Ramon Executed an affidavit of Extra Judicial Settlement of estate, adjudicating only to himself prejudicing the heirs o   6 th : Ramon’s selling of Navotas lots are void since he lacks authority to dispose them    Ramon’s wife Belen Dy Tan Ching manages Antonio’s estate with no intent to convey to the respondents    Defendants prayed that; Ramon Ching be disinherited since he murdered his father, nullity of all transactions mentioned above since it was illegally procured    Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss: alleging forum shopping, and respondents are not real parties in interest.    RTC: dismissed the petition of motion to dismiss    CA: affirmed RTC, action of private respondents should be threshed out in a special proceeding, allegations were substantially for the enforcement of their rights against fraudulent acts of Ramon Ching Issue: WON there can be disinheritance in intestate succession? WON Ramon Ching can be disinherited from the estate of his father. WON RTC should have granted the motion to dismiss filed by petitioners on the ground that RTCs lack of jurisdiction Held:    Petition denied since they failed to comply with a lawful order, prescribed period has expired.    No reversible errors were committed by the RTC and CA    Under Art 916; disinheritance can be effected through the will wherein the legal cause therefore shall be specified XX. INTESTATE SUCCESSION   A. INTESTATE HEIRS   RODRIGUEZ ET AL VS. BORJA   Rodriguez v. De Borja  Facts: 1. Fr. Rodriguez died in the City of Manila. Both parties in this case stipulated that Fr. Rodriguez was born in Paranaque, that he was a parish priest of the Catholic Church in Hagonoy from 1930 to 1963 and that he left real properties in Rizal, Cavite, QC and Bulacan 2. March 4, 1963 = Apolonia Pangilinan and Adelaida Jacalan delivered to Clerk of Court (Bulacan) a purported last will and testament of Fr. Rodriguez 3. March 8, 1963 = Maria and Angela Rodriguez (petitioners), filed a petition to examine the alleged will however it was withdrawn 4. Petitioners filed a petition for the settlement of intestate estate of Fr. Rodriguez alleging that the latter left no will. They also prayed that Maria Rodriguez be appointed as Special Administratrix of the estate 5. On the other hand, Apolonia and Adelaida filed a petition for the probation of the will. 6. Maria and Angela’s claim : that CFI Rizal has no jurisdiction to entertain the petition for probate since the intestate proceedings was filed at 8 AM (March 12, 1963) while the petition for probate was filed in the CFI Bulacan at 11 AM  2 7.  Apolonia and Adelaida’s claim : CFI Bulacan acquired jurisdiction over the case upon delivery by them of the will to the Clerk of Court and that the case in this court has precedence over the case filed in Rizal 8. CFI denied the motion to dismiss filed by Maria and Angela saying that time difference did not entitle one proceeding to preference over the other. That they are aware of the existence of the will of Fr. Rodriguez since they filed a petition to examine the same, and that movants filed the intestate proceedings in Rizal ―for no other purpose than to prevent the trial court from exercising jurisdiction over the probate proceedings Issue: Whether the CFI Bulacan has jurisdiction to entertain the petition for probate filed by Apolinia and Adelaida despite there was an existing intestate estate case that was filed by Maria and Angela. Held: No. 1. The jurisdiction of CFI of Bulacan became vested upon the delivery of the will of late Fr. Rodriguez even if no petition for its allowance was filed until later, because upon the will being deposited the court could, motu propio have taken steps to fix the time and place for proving the will, and issued the corresponding notices conformably to what is prescribed by Sec. 3, Rule 76 of ROC. 2. In the aforementioned rule of Civil Procedure, the use of disjunctive words ―when a will is delivered OR a petition for the allowance of a will is filed‖ indicates that the court may act upon the mere deposit there of a decendent’s testament, even if no petition for its allowance is as yet filed. Where the petition for probate is made after the deposit of the will, the petition is deemed to relate back to the time when the will was delivered. o Since the testament of Fr. Rodriguez was submitted and delivered to the Court of Bulacan March 4, while petitioners initiated intestate proceedings in CFI Rizal only on March 12, the precedence and exclusive jurisdiction of the Bulacan court is incontenstable. 3. On the petitioner’s objection that Bulacan court has no jurisdiction since the decedent was domiciled in the province of Rizal: the Court cannot disregard Fr. Rodriguez’s 33 years of residence as parish priest in Hagonoy and even if there is an animus revertendi to the place of his birth in Paranaque, that detail would not imply that the Bulacan court lacked jur  isdiction (law: the power to settle decedents’ estates is conferred by law upon all courts of first instance, and the domicile of testator only affects the venue but not the jurisdiction of the Court) o The estate proceedings having been initiated in the Bulacan court, that court is entitled to assume jurisdiction to the exclusion of all other courts, even if it were a case of wrong venue by express provisions of Rule 73 4. Another reason that militate against the success of petitioners: in our system of civil law, intestate succession is only subsidiary or subordinate to the testate, since intestacy only takes place in the absence of a valid operative will. o Castro v. Martinez: only after final decision as to the nullity of testate succession could an intestate succession be instituted in the form of pre-established action. So, the institution of intestacy proceedings in Rizal may not thus proceed while the probate of the will of Fr. Rodriguez is pending 5. Ruling: the Bulacan court was entitled to priority in the settlement of the estate in question, and that in refusing to dismiss the probate proceedings, said court did not commit any abuse of discretion. It is the proceedings in the Rizal court that should be dismissed.   MADARCOS VS . DE LA MERCED  Madaracos v. Dela Merced Facts · In this case, the issue is the construction of the phrase ―Legal Heirs‖ in P.D. 119 which states: o Every conveyance of land acquired under the free patent homestead provisions when proper shall be subject to repurchase by the applicant, his widow, or legal heirs w/in a period of 5 years at the date of conveyance. · Madaracos was the Niece of the decedent. o she is seeking the repurchase of the property she sold for 4,800 pesos of Lot B. of the estate of the decedent under the same law. · Sta. Maria said that this is no longer possible because under the law, she is not a ―legal heir‖ as contemplated by 119.  Issue · W/N Madaracos is a legal heir as contemplated in 119. Held · The SC first discussed legal heirs according to intestacy 1. Legitimate children and their descendants 2. Parents and Ascendants 3. Illegitimate children and their descendants 4. Spouse without prejudice to the rights of brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces. 5. Collateral Relatives within the 5 th  degree. 6. The state · In this case, there Is a right to repurchase by madacaros. · The law is to be interpreted in favor of liberal construction.  3 ROSALES VS. ROSALES  Rosales v Rosales Facts: 1. Mrs Petra Rosales died intestate 2. The survivors are: a. Her husband b. Two children Magna Acebes and Antonio 3. Carterio Rosales, married to Irenea Rosales, was also the child of the deceased but predeceased his mother, Petra. 4. Macikequerox was the child of Carterio and Irenea 5. Magna instituted the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of the decasesd. 6. The trial court issued an order declaring the shares as follows: a. Husband Fortunato ¼ b. Magna Acebes (daughter) ¼ c. Macikequerox (grandson) ¼ d. Antonio (son) ¼ 7. Irenea insists on getting a claim for the estate in her capacity as the surviving spouse of the late Carterio using Article 887 of the civil code and that his husband had an inchoate right to the estate of Petra as compulsory heir Issue: WON, the widow is an heir to her mother-in-law Held: A - No. L - There is no law which gives a right to the widow to represent his husband in the estate of his mother or father in law - 887 in referring to the widow refer to the widow of the deceased spouse whose heir is in question. - 999 confirm that the estate contemplated therein is the estate of the deceased spouse. - 970-971 Essence and nature of right of representation. The representative does not succeed the person he represented but instead takes the place of the one represented. A - in the case at bar, the person being referred to in Article 970,971 and 982 is Macikequerox. - Since Macikequerox already took the place of his deceased father, the widow cannot take the place of his husband. - in Fact as stated earlier, there is no provision which gives her right. - The defense of the widow that she represents the inchoate right of her husband is unmeritorious because such inchoate right has been extinguished by death of the husband. B. EXCLUSION AND CONCURRENCE   DELOS SANTOS VS. DELA CRUZ  G.R. No. L-29192 February 22, 1971 GERTRUDES DE LOS SANTOS, plaintiff-appellee, vs.   MAXIMO DE LA CRUZ, defendant-appellant. Facts: On May 21, 1965, Gertrudes de los Santos filed a complaint for specific performance against Maximo de la Cruz alleging that: · August 24, 1963, she and several co-heirs, including the defendant, executed an extrajudicial partition · parties thereto had agreed to adjudicate three (3) lots to the defendant on condition that the latter would undertake the development and subdivision of the estate which was the subject matter of the agreement, all expenses in connection therewith to be defrayed from the proceeds of the sale of the aforementioned three (3) lots; · the defendant refused to perform his aforesaid obligation although he had already sold the aforesaid lots. In his answer, the defendant admitted the due execution of the extrajudicial partition agreement, but set up the affirmative defenses that the plaintiff had no cause of action against him · the said agreement was void with respect to her, for the reason that the plaintiff was not an heir of Pelagia de la Cruz, and was included in the extrajudicial partition agreement by mistake; · although he had disposed of the three lots adjudicated to him, nevertheless the proceeds of the sale were not sufficient to develop and improve properly the subdivided estate. · The answer contained a counterclaim wherein the defendant alleged that the plaintiff had likewise sold her share in the estate for P10,000.00, and that the extrajudicial partition agreement being void insofar as the latter was concerned, he was entitled to one-fourth (1/4) of the proceeds as his share by way of reversion. The defendant prayed that the complaint be dismissed; that the extrajudicial partition agreement be declared void with respect to the plaintiff; and, on his counterclaim, that the plaintiff be ordered to pay him the sum of P2,500.00. On July 6, 1966, the case was submitted for decision on the following stipulation of facts:  4 · That the parties agree that the defendant is the nephew of the deceased Pelagia de la Cruz aforementioned, who was the owner and predecessor in interest of the land which was the subject matter of the extra-judicial partition agreement; · That the parties agree that the plaintiff is the grandniece of the said Pelagia de la Cruz; · That Pelagia de la Cruz died intestate and without issue on October 16, 1962. · That Marciana de la Cruz is the mother of the plaintiff and the niece of the said Pelagia de la Cruz, and that the said Marciana de la Cruz died on September 22, 1935. TC Held that the extrajudicial partition is VALID and plaintiff can INHERIT by representing the mother ISSUE: Whether the plaintiff is an heir (NO) Ruling: ART. 962. In every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the more distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes place. ... . In the present case, the relatives nearest in degree to Pelagia de la Cruz are her nephews and nieces, one of whom is defendant-appellant. Necessarily, plaintiff-appellee, a grandniece is excluded by law from the inheritance. But what is the legal effect of plaintiff-appellee's inclusion and participation in the extrajudicial partition agreement insofar as her right to bring the present action is concerned? She was included in the partition. It is quite apparent that in executing the partition agreement, the parties thereto were laboring under the erroneous belief that plaintiff-appellee was one of the legal heirs of Pelagia de la Cruz. Plaintiff-appellee not being such a heir, the partition is void with respect to her, pursuant to Article 1105 of the Civil Code, which reads: ART. 1105. A partition which includes a person believed to be a heir, but who is not, shall be void only with respect to such person. Partition of property affected between a person entitled to inherit from the deceased owner thereof and another person who thought he was an heir, when he was not really and lawfully such, to the prejudice of the rights of the true heir designated by law to succeed the deceased, is null and void (De Torres vs. De Torres, et al., 28 Phil. 49). A fortiori, plaintiff-appellee could hardly derive from the agreement the right to have its terms enforced. side issue: can the defendant recover the said property by way of reversion? No, pag wala pang buyer in good faith.  Remote relatives or unrelated person who unduly received and took possession of the property of a deceased person without any right, by virtue of a null and void partition, must restore it to the legitimate successor in the inheritance (De Torres vs. De Torres, et al., supra). Of course, if such share has already been disposed of by appellee to a bona fide purchaser, as seems to be indicated in the unproven allegations of the counterclaim, We cannot render judgment awarding any specific amount to defendant-appellant as his proportionate share of the proceeds of such sale for the reason that, as already stated above, this aspect of the counterclaim has not been touched upon in the stipulation of facts nor has it been supported by evidence which appellant should have presented in the lower court but did not. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, the judgment appealed from is hereby reversed and set aside; the defendant-appellant is absolved from any ability to and in favor of plaintiff-appellee; and, on appellant's counterclaim, appellee is hereby sentenced to restore or reconvey to him his corresponding share of the property she has received under the extrajudicial partition hereinbefore mentioned if the same has not already been disposed of as alleged. Costs in both instance against plaintiff-appellee. BAGUNU VS. PIEDAD   BAGUNU V. PIEDAD   FACTS:  Petitioner Ofelia Hernando Bagunu moved to intervene in Special Proceedings No. 3652, entitled In the Matter of the Intestate Proceedings of the Estate of Augusto H. Piedad. Asserting entitlement to a share of the estate of the late Augusto H. Piedad, she assailed the finality of the order of the trial court awarding the entire estate to respondent Pastora Piedad contending that the proceedings were tainted with procedural infirmities, including an incomplete publication of the notice of hearing, lack of personal notice to the heirs and creditors, and irregularity in the disbursements of allowances and withdrawals by the administrator of the estate. Augusto H. Piedad died without any direct descendants or ascendants. Respondent is the maternal aunt of the decedent, a third-degree relative of the decedent, while petitioner is the daughter of a first cousin of the deceased, or a fifth-degree relative of the decedent. Admitted are the facts that intervenor-appellant is a collateral relative within the fifth degree of Augusto H. Piedad; that she is the daughter of the first cousin of Augusto H. Piedad; that as such, intervenor-appellant seek to inherit from the estate of Augusto H. Piedad; that the notice of hearing was published for three
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