Succession Cases

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  • Topic: Will, Inheritance, Marriage
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In Re Summary Settlement of the Estate of Melodia Ferraris
Filomena ABELLANA DE BACAYO, petitioner-appellant, vs.
Gaudencia FERRARIS, et al., oppositors-appellants.
G.R. No. L-19382, August 31, 1965
FACTS:
Melodia Ferraris left properties in Cebu City consisting of 1/3 share in the estate of her aunt Rosa Ferraris. Ten years have elapsed since the last time she was known to be alive, she was declared presumptively dead for purposes of opening her succession and distribute her estate among heirs. Hence, a petition for the summary settlement of her estate was filed. Melodia left no surviving descendant, ascendant or spouse, but was survived only by collateral relatives: 1) an aunt and half-sister of decedent’s father; and 2) her nieces and nephews who were children of Melodia’s only brother of full blood who predeceased her. In the settlement proceeding, Filomena Abellana de Bacayo, who is the decedent’s half-sister, was excluded as an heir pursuant to a resolution issued by the lower court. A motion for reconsideration was denied hence this action. ISSUE:

Who should inherit the intestate estate of a deceased person when he or she is survived only by collateral relatives, to wit an aunt and the children of a brother who predeceased him? Or will the aunt concur with the children of the decedent’s brother or will the former be excluded by the latter. RULING:

As an aunt of the deceased she is as far distant as the nephews from the decedent (three degrees) since in the collateral line to which both kinds of relatives belong, degrees are counted by first ascending to the common ancestor and descending to the heir (Art. 966, Civil Code). Appellant is likewise right in her contention that nephews and nieces alone do not inherit by right of representation unless concurring with brothers or sisters of the deceased, as provided expressly by Art. 975. Nevertheless, the trial court was correct when it held that, in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces exclude all other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the succession. This is readily apparent from articles 1001, 1004, 1005, and 1009 of the Civil Code.  

Constantino C. ACAIN, petitioner vs.
Hon. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
G.R. No. 72706, October 27, 1987
FACTS:
Constantino Acain filed on the Regional Trial Court a petition for the probate of the will of his late Uncle, Nemesio Acain, on the premise that the latter died leaving a will in which the former and his brothers and sisters were instituted as heirs. After the petition was set for hearing in the lower court, Virginia Fernandez and Rosa Diongson, a legally adopted daughter and the widow of the deceased respectively, filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that: (1) Constantino Acain has no legal capacity to institute the proceedings; (2) he is merely a universal heir; and (3) the widow and the adopted daughter have been pretirited. Said motion was denied as well as the subsequent motion for reconsideration. Consequently, Fernandez and Diongson filed with the Supreme Court a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction which was subsequently referred to the Intermediate Appellate Court. IAC granted Fernandez and Diongson’s petition and ordered the trial court to dismiss the petition for probate of the will. Due to the denial of Acain’s motion for reconsideration, he then filed a petition for review on certiorari before the Supreme Court. ISSUE:

Whether or not Virginia Fernandez and Rosa Diongson have been pretirited. RULING:
Article 854 of the Civil Code:
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 devisees and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious. If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be effectual, without...
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