Chapter 5: Effect of Absence Upon the Contingent Rights of the Absentee (Title XIV, Book I, Civil Code)

Article 393. Whoever claims a right pertaining to a person whose existence is not recognized must prove that he was living at the time his existence was necessary in order to acquire said right. (195)

Article 394. Without prejudice to the provision of the preceding article, upon the opening of a succession to which an absentee is called, his share shall accrue to his coheirs, unless he has heirs, assigns, or a representative. They shall all, as the case may be, make an inventory of the property. (196a)


1) Rules on rights contingent on the absentee being alive or dead.

a. Claimants. Claimants who have rights pertaining to an absentee has to prove that the absentee was alive at the time that was necessary to acquire such rights. The part concerning the absentee “whose existence is not recognized” may relate to those who are presumed dead. If they are presumed dead, then their existence in terms of being alive, is not recognized. That’s why claimants whose rights are contingent on absentees must prove that the absentees were alive at that critical point to acquire rights.

b. Co-heirs.

General Rule: If there are no claimants, the shares of the absentee shall accrue to the co-heirs.

Exception: The absentee has heirs, assigns, or a representative.

NB: Claimants take precedence over co-heirs should the absentee’s estate be opened for succession.

2) Duty to make inventory. The ones who are required to make an inventory are all of the foregoing, name...

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