Law Dictionary

Question VIII, Civil Law, 2017 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 VIII, Civil Law, 2017 Bar Exam

Pedro had worked for 15 years in Saudi Arabia when he finally decided to engage in farming in his home province where his 10- hectare farmland valued at ₱2,000,000.00 was located. He had already ₱3,000,000.00 savings from his long stint in Saudi Arabia.

Eagerly awaiting Pedro’s arrival at the NAIA were his aging parents Modesto and Jacinta, his common-law spouse Veneranda, their three children, and Alex, his child by Carol, his departed legal wife. Sadly for all of them, Pedro suffered a stroke because of his overexcitement just as the plane was about to land, and died without seeing any of them.

The farmland and the savings were all the properties he left.

(a) State who are Pedro’s legal heirs, and the shares of each legal heir to the estate? Explain your answer. (4%)

(b) Assuming that Pedro’s will is discovered soon after his funeral. In the will, he disposed of half of his estate in favor of Veneranda, and the other half in favor of his children and his parents in equal shares. Assuming also that the will is admitted to probate by the proper court. Are the testamentary dispositions valid and effective under the law on succession? Explain your answer. (4%)

Suggested Answer:

(a) Pedro’s compulsory legal heirs are as follows:

1) His child by his deceased legal wife, Carol; and

2) His three children with Alex.

Under the Civil Code, compulsory heirs include legitimate children, illegitimate children. In default of legitimate children, legitimate parents are compulsory heirs. Were a legitimate child and illegitimate children are heirs, the legitimate child receives 1/2 of the estate, while the other half will be equally divided among the illegitimate children.

In the case at bar, the child with his deceased legal wife, Carol, is a legitimate child. The children with Alex are illegitimate children. On the other hand, Modesto and Jacinta are excluded in view of the legitimate child. For the Php5 Million estate, the legitimate child will receive 1/2 of the estate or Php2.5 Million, while the legitimate children will divided the other half and will equally receive Php833,333.33 each.

(b) No. Answer

Under the Civil Code, one who has compulsory heirs may dispose of his estate provided he does not contravene or violate the legitime of said heirs. Otherwise stated, legitimes are guaranteed to compulsory heirs. Rule

In the case at bar, the testamentary disposition in favor of Venerand and the parents are invalid. These dispositions encroach upon the legitimes of Pedro’s children. Apply

Thus, the temporary dispositions are not valid and effective under the law on succession. Conclusion

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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