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ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2007

Civil Law
SUMMER REVIEWER



—Adviser: Dean Cynthia del Castillo Head: Joy Ponsaran, Eleanor Mateo; Understudy: Joy Tajan, John Paul Lim;
Subject Head: Polaris Rivas;

SUCCESSION


CHAPTER 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS










ELEMENTS OF SUCCESSION
1. Decedent
2. Successors

a. Heirs – those who are called to the whole or
to an aliquot portion of the inheritance either
by will or by operation on law

b. Devisees or Legatees – persons to whom
gifts of real or personal property are
respectively given by virtue of a will.

3. Death of the Person – However, a person may
be presumed dead for the purpose of opening his
succession (see rules on presumptive death). In
this case, succession is only of provisional
character because there is always the chance
that the absentee may be alive.

4. Inheritance – is the subject matter of Succession
it includes:
Property and transmissible rights and

obligations
Existing at the time of his death
AND those which have accrued thereto

since the opening of succession.

RIGHTS EXTINGUISHED BY DEATH
1. Support
2. Usufruct
3. Those arising from personal consideration
4. Personal easements
5. Partnership rights
6. Agency
7. Life Annuity


Succession Inheritance
Refers to the legal
mode by which
inheritance is
transmitted to the
persons entitled to it.

Refers to the
universality or entirety
of the property, rights
and obligations of a
person who died.



KINDS OF SUCCESSION
1. Testamentary – that which results from the

designation of an heir, made in a will executed in
the form prescribed by law

2. Legal or Intestate – that which takes place by
operation of law in the absence of a valid will SUCCESION - Is a mode of acquisition by

virtue of which the property, rights and
obligations to the extent of the value of the
inheritance, of a person are transmitted
through his death to another or others either
by his will or by operation of law (Art. 774)

3. Mixed – that which is effected partly by will and
partly by operation of law


KINDS OF HEIRS
1. Compulsory – those who succeed by force of

law to some portion of the inheritance, in an
amount predetermined by law, of which they
cannot be deprived by the testator, except by a
valid disinheritance

2. Voluntary or Testamentary – those who are
instituted by the testator in his will, to succeed to
the portion of the inheritance of which the testator
can freely dispose

3. Legal or Intestate – those who succeed to the
estate of the decedent who dies without a valid
will, or to the portion of such estate not disposed
of by will



CHAPTER 2: GENERAL PROVISIONS ON WILLS


ELEMENTS OF A WILL
1. It is an act;
2. whereby a person is permitted;
3. with the formalities prescribed by law;
4. to control to a certain degree;
5. the disposition of his estate;
6. to take effect after his death.

KINDS OF WILLS:
1. Notarial – an ordinary or attested will
2. Holographic – a handwritten will

COMMON REQUISITES BETWEEN THE TWO
WILLS:
1. must be in writing and
2. in a language or dialect known to the testator

CHARACTERISTICS OF A WILL:
1. Unilateral
2. Strictly Personal act

a. Acts which may not be left to the discretion of
third persons (Articles 785 AND 787):

i. Duration or efficacy of the designation of
heirs, devisees or legatees;

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ii. Determination of the portions which they
are to take, when referred to by name;
and

iii. Determination of whether or not the
testamentary disposition is to be
operative

b. Acts which may be entrusted to third persons
(Article 787);

i. Distribution of specific property or sums
of money that he may leave in general to
specified classes or causes; and

ii. Designation of the persons, institutions or
establishments to which such property or
sums are to be given or applied.

3. Free and voluntary act
4. Formal and solemn act
5. Act mortis causa
6. Ambulatory and revocable during the testator’s

lifetime
7. Individual act

INTERPRETATION OF WILLS

1. Animus Testandi - The testator’s intent (animus

testandi), as well as giving effect to such intent is
primordial. EXCEPT: when the intention of the
testator is contrary to law, morals or public policy.


2. In case of doubt, the interpretation by which the

disposition is to be operative or will sustain and
uphold the will in all its parts shall be adopted,
provided that it can be done consistently with the
established rules of law.


3. Ambiguities in Wills – Intrinsic or extrinsic

evidence may be used to ascertain the testatorial
intent of the testator. EXCEPT: the oral
declarations of the testator as to his intentions
must be excluded because such testimony would
be hearsay.


4. After Acquired Property - Property acquired
during the period between the execution of the
will and the death of the testator is NOT included
among the property disposed of. EXCEPT: When
a contrary intention expressly appears on the will.
NOTE: This rule applies only to legacies and
devisees and not to institution of heirs


TESTAMENTARY CAPACITY

1. All persons who are not expressly prohibited by

law
2. 18 years old and above

3. Of sound mind, at the time of its execution; A
testator is considered of sound mind if he knows
at the time of making of the will the following:
a. Nature of the estate to be disposed of
b. Proper objects of his bounty
c. Character of the testamentary act


Supervening capacity or incapacity does not

affect the will because the validity of a will is
determined at the time of the execution of the
will.


LEGAL PRESUMPTION IN FAVOR OF
SOUNDNESS OF MIND

GENERAL RULE: The law presumes that the

testator is of sound mind
EXCEPT:

a. When the testator, one month or less, before
making his will was publicly known to be
insane; or

b. Was under guardianship at the time of the
making of his will. (Torres and Lopez de
Bueno vs. Lopez, 48 Phil. 772)




CHAPTER 3: FORMS OF WILL

1. NOTARIAL WILL – a valid notarial will:

a. Must be in writing and in a language or
dialect known to the testator


b. Subscribed at the end by the testator himself

or by the testator’s name written by some
other person in his presence, and by his
express direction


c. Attested & subscribed by three or more

credible witnesses in the presence of the
testator and of one another
Mandatory Part: The signing on every

page in the witnesses’ presence
NOTE: Test of presence is not whether

they actually saw each other sign, but
whether they might have seen each other
sign had they chosen to do so
considering their mental and physical
condition and position with relation to
each other at the moment of inscription
of each signature.

Directory Part: The place of the
signature, i.e. the left margin; the
signature can be affixed anywhere on the
page.

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b. if mixed –
i. If dependent partly on chance – not

applicable
ii. If dependent partly on will of third party –

1. if 3rd party interested – applicable
2. if 3rd party not interested – not

applicable

EFFECTS OF SUSPENSIVE CONDITION OR TERM

The estate shall be placed under administration

until
1. condition is fulfilled
2. until it becomes certain condition will never be

fulfilled
3. until arrival of the term

CONDITIONS PROHIBITING MARRIAGE

1. If a first marriage is prohibited – condition

considered always as not imposed
2. If a subsequent marriage is prohibited as

imposed by the deceased spouse or by his/her
ascendants or descendants - valid

3. if a subsequent marriage is prohibited and
imposed by anyone else- considered not written


CHAPTER 10: LEGITIMES


The portion of the decedent’s estate reserved by

law is called the legitime.
The heirs for whom the law reserves such portion

are called compulsory heirs.

CLASSES OF COMPULSORY HEIRS

1. Primary – those who have precedence over and

exclude other compulsory heirs
Legitimate children and descendants

(legitimate), with respect to their legitimate
parents and ascendants

2. Secondary – those who succeed only in the
absence of the primary heirs
Legitimate parents and ascendants

(legitimate), with respect to their legitimate
children and descendants

3. Concurring – those who succeed together with
the primary or the secondary compulsory heirs
Widow or widower (legitimate) – the surviving

spouse referred to is the spouse of the
decedent.

NOTE:
a. Mere estrangement is not a ground for

the disqualification of the surviving
spouse as heir

b. Effect of decree of legal separation:

i. On the offending spouse –
disqualified

ii. On the innocent spouse – no effect
c. Death of either spouse during the

pendency of a petition for legal
separation – dismissal of the case

Illegitimate children and descendants
(legitimate or illegitimate)



Testator is a Legitimate

Person
Testator is an

Illegitimate Person
Legitimate children and
descendant

Legitimate children and
descendants

In default of the
foregoing, legitimate
parents and ascendants

Illegitimate parents and
ascendants

Surviving spouse In default of the
foregoing, illegitimate
parents only

Illegitimate children and
descendant

Surviving spouse


GENERAL RULES IN ASCERTAINING LEGITIMES

1. Direct descending line

a. Rule of preference between lines
b. Rule of proximity
c. Right of representation ad infinitum in case of

predecease, incapacity or disinheritance
2. Direct ascending line

a. Rule of division by line
b. Rule of equal division


3. Non-impairment of legitime - Any compulsory
heir who was given title less than his legitime
may demand that the same be completed (Art
906)
EXCEPTIONS:
a. If the predecessor gave the compulsory heir

a donation inter vivos and provided that it
was not charged against the legitime (Art
1062)

b. Testamentary dispositions made by the
predecessor to the compulsory heir, unless
the testator provides that it should be
considered part of the legitime.


SHARES OF COMPULSORY HEIRS

1. Legitimate Children or Descendants -

Share of legitimate children
and descendants

½ of the net estate

Free portion ½ of the net estate

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2. Legitimate Parents and Ascendants

Share of legitimate parents
and ascendants

½ of the net estate

Free portion of the estate ½ of the net estate

3. One legitimate child or descendant; Surviving

spouse;

Share of a legitimate child ½ of the net estate
Share of the surviving spouse ¼ of the net estate
Free disposable portion ¼ of the estate

4. Illegitimate children, legitimate children;

Share of children and
descendants

½ of the net estate

Share of each illegitimate
children

½ of the legitime of each
legitimate children or
ascendant

Free portion Whatever remains

5. Two or more legitimate children or descendant;

surviving spouse

Share of legitimate children ½ of the net estate
Share of the surviving
spouse

Portion equal to the legitime
of each of the legitimate
children or descendant

Free disposable portion Whatever remains

6. Legitimate parents or ascendants; Surviving

spouse

Share of legitimate parents or
ascendants

½ of the net estate

Share of the surviving spouse ¼ of the free portion
Free disposable portion ¼ of the estate

7. Illegitimate children, surviving spouse

Share of illegitimate children 1/3 of the net estate
Share of surviving spouse 1/3 of the net estate
Free portion 1/3 of the net estate


8. Legitimate parents or ascendants; Illegitimate

children

Share of legitimate parents
and ascendants

½ of the net estate

Illegitimate children ¼ of the net estate
Free portion ¼ of the estate

9. Surviving spouse; Legitimate children and

descendant; Illegitimate children

Share of legitimate children
and descendants

½ of the net estate

Surviving spouse Equal to the portion of the
legitime of each legitimate
child

Illegitimate children ½ of the share of each
legitimate child

Free portion Whatever remains

10. Surviving spouse; Legitimate parents or

ascendants; Illegitimate children

Share of legitimate parents
and ascendants

½ of the net estate

Surviving spouse 1/8 of the estate
Illegitimate children ¼ of the estate
Free portion 1/8 of the estate

11. Surviving spouse only; Exception: Marriage in

articulo mortis

Surviving spouse only ½ of the net estate
Free portion ½ of the estate

Surviving spouse only
(marriage in articulo mortis)

1/3 of the net estate

Free portion 2/3 of the estate

12. Illegitimate children only.

Share of illegitimate children ½ of the net estate
Free portion ½ of the estate

13. Illegitimate parents only; With illegitimate and

legitimate children or descendant; With surviving
spouse.


Share of illegitimate parents
only

½ of the net estate

Free portion ½ of the estate

Share of illegitimate parents ¼ of the net estate
Share of the surviving
spouse

¼ of the estate

Free portion ½ of the estate


STEPS IN DETERMINING THE LEGITIME OF
COMPULSORY HEIRS:

1. Determination of the gross value of the estate at

the time of the death of the testator;
2. Determination of all debts and charges which are

chargeable against the estate;
3. Determination of the net value of the estate by

deducting all the debts and charged from the
gross value of the estate;

4. Collation or addition of the value of all donations
inter vivos to the net value of the estate;

5. Determination of the amount of the legitime from
the total thus found;

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ii. Heir alienates some objects of the
inheritance

iii. Under Article 1057, failure to signify
acceptance or repudiation within 30 days
after an order of distribution by the
probate court.


CHARACTERISTICS OF REPUDIATION

1. Free and Voluntary Act
2. Irrevocable once made and cannot be impugned,

except in cases vitiating consent.
3. Retroactive

REQUISITES FOR A VALID REPUDIATION

1. Heir repudiating must be certain of two things

before repudiating:
a. Death of the person from whom he is to

inherit;
b. Right to the inheritance.

2. Who may repudiate? Any person having the
free disposal of his property.

3. How is repudiation made? The repudiation of
the inheritance shall be made in a public or
authentic instrument, or by a petition
presented to the court having jurisdiction over the
testamentary or intestate proceedings.
a. If the heir repudiates the inheritance to the

prejudice of his own creditors, the latter may
petition the court to authorize them to accept
it in the name of the heir.

b. If an heir is both a testate and legal heir,
repudiation of the inheritance as a testate
heir, he is understood to have repudiated in
both capacities. However, should he
repudiate as a legal heir, without knowledge
of being a testate heir, he may still accept the
inheritance as a legal heir.


NOTES: If renounced in favor of other heirs,
does it mean acceptance? It depends:


a. If specific heir – whether or not renouncing

heir receives anything, considered as
acceptance on the part of the heir. There are
two transfers.

b. If gratuitous –
i. In favor of all his co heirs indiscriminately

- there is repudiation because heir
deemed to have not accepted. Hence,
accretion takes place.

ii. In favor of all co-heirs but in proportion
different from those they would receive
by accretion: considered as tacit
acceptance.

iii. If gratuitous in favor of one or some of
his co-heirs – deemed conveyance in
favor of the co-heirs specified, hence
there is acceptance.

c. If onerously:
There is no repudiation
Transfer considered to be with

consideration
There are also tax implications because

there are two transfers.

COLLATION

Collation – is the act by virtue of which, the

persons who concur in the inheritance bring
back to the common hereditary mass the
property which they have received from him,
so that a division may be effected according to
law and the will of the testator.

To collate – is to bring back or to return to the
hereditary mass, in fact or by fiction, property
which came from the estate of the decedent,
during his lifetime, but which the law considers
as an advance from the inheritance.
















PROPERTIES OR RIGHTS RECEIVED BY
COMPULSORY HEIR NOT SUBJECT TO
COLLATION

1. Property left by will
2. Property which may have been donated by an

ascendant of the compulsory heir
3. Property donated to the spouse of the

compulsory heir
4. Expenses for support, education, medical

attendance even in extraordinary illness,
apprenticeship, ordinary equipment or customary
gifts

5. Expenses incurred by parents in giving their
children a professional, vocational, or other
career

6. Wedding gifts consisting of jewelry, clothing and
outfit, given by parents or ascendants, so long as
they do not exceed 1/10 of the disposable portion


OPERATIONS RELATED TO COLLATION

1. Collation – adding to the mass of the hereditary

estate the value of the donation or gratuitous
disposition

2. Imputing or Charging – crediting the donation
as an advance on the legitime (if the donee is a

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compulsory heir) or on the free portion (if the
donee is a stranger)

3. Reduction – determining to what extent the
donation will remain and to what extent it is
excessive or inofficious

4. Restitution – return or payment of the excess to
the mass of hereditary estate.


PERSONS OBLIGATED TO COLLATE

GENERAL RULE: compulsory heirs
EXCEPT:

a. When the testator should have so expressly
provided; and

b. When the compulsory heir should have
repudiated his inheritance




CHAPTER 17 : PARTITION AND DISTRIBUTION
OF ESTATE





WHO MAY PARTITION

1. Decedent himself during his lifetime by an act

inter vivos or by will;
2. Heir themselves;
3. Competent court; 3rd person designated by the

decedent

WHO CAN DEMAND PARTITION

1. Compulsory heir;
2. Voluntary heir
3. Legatee or devisee;
4. Any person who has acquired interest in the

estate

WHEN PARTITION CANNOT BE DEMANDED
(PAPU)

1. When expressly Prohibited by the testator himself

for a period not exceeding 20 years;
2. When the co-heirs Agreed that the estate shall

not be divided for a period not exceeding 10
years, renewable for another 10 years;

3. When Prohibited by law;
4. When to partition the estate would render it

Unserviceable for the use for which it is intended.


NOTE: Partition Inter Vivos – it is one that

merely allocates specific items or pieces of
property on the basis of the pro-indiviso shares

fixed by law or given under the will to heirs or
successors.


EFFECTS OF INCLUSION OF INTRUDER IN
PARTITION

1. Between a true heir and several mistaken heirs –

Partition is VOID
2. Between several true heirs and a mistaken heir –

transmission to mistaken heir is VOID
3. Through error or mistake; share of true heir is

allotted to mistaken heir – partition shall not be
rescinded unless there is bad faith or fraud on the
part of the other persons interested, but the latter
shall be proportionately obliged to pay the true
heir of his share


NOTE: Partition with respect to the mistaken

heir is VOID.

IMPORTANT PERIODS TO REMEMBER
Please Refer to Succession Table 4

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