Law Dictionary

Question VII, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam

Notice: The following suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide as an answer to a bar exam question. Thus, specific citations (i.e., republic acts, articles/sections, jurisprudence, etc.) are not provided because it is not required in the bar exam. For purposes other than answering the bar exam, please be reminded that proper referencing or legal citation is required.

Question VII, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam

Sydney, during her lifetime, was a successful lawyer. By her own choice, she remained unmarried and devoted all her time to taking care of her nephew and two (2) nieces: Socrates, Saffinia, and Sophia. She wrote a will giving all her properties remaining upon her death to the three (3) of them. The will was admitted to probate during her lifetime. Later, she decided to make a new will giving all her remaining properties only to the two (2) girls, Saffinia and Sophia. She then tore up the previously probated will. The second will was presented for probate only after her death. However, the probate court found the second will to be void for failure to comply with formal requirements.

(a) Will the doctrine of dependent relative revocation apply? (2.5%)

(b) Will your answer be the same if the second will was found to be valid but both Saffinia and Sophia renounce their inheritance? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) No. Answer

Under jurisprudence, the doctrine of dependent relative revocation is usually applied where the act of destruction is connected with the making of another will so as fairly to raise the inference that the testator meant the revocation of the old to depend upon the efficacy of a new disposition intended to be substituted, the revocation will be conditional and dependent upon the efficacy of the new disposition; and if, for any reason, the new will intended to be made as a substitute is inoperative, the revocation fails and the original will remains in full force. Rule

In the case at bar, there is no indication of any intent on Sydney to make the revocation of the first will depend upon the efficacy of the new will. In fact, she tore up the previously probated will resulting in its complete destruction. This indicated that she no longer intended for the dispositions in the old will to apply. Apply

Thus, the doctrine of dependent relative revocation will not apply. Conclusion

(b) Yes. Under the Civil Code and jurisprudence, renunciation of inheritance is not connected nor related to the doctrine of relative revocation.Thus, the renunciation by both Saffinia and Sophia will not change the fact that Sydney intended for the complete destruction of the first will and the creation of a new one.

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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