Teotico v. Del Val

GR No. L18753, 26 March 1965

FACTS:

Maria Mortera died on July 1955 leaving properties worth P600,000. She executed a will written in Spanish, affixed her signature and acknowledged before Notary Public by her and the witnesses. Among the legacies made in the will was the P20,000 for Rene Teotico who was married to the testatrix’s niece, Josefina Mortera. The usufruct of Maria’s interest in the Calvo Building were left to the said spouses and the ownership thereof was left in equal parts to her grandchildren, the legitimate children of said spouses. Josefina was likewise instituted, as sole and universal heir to all the remainder of her properties not otherwise disposed by will. Vicente Teotico filed a petition for the probate of the will but was opposed by Ana del Val Chan, claiming that she was an adopted child of Francisca (deceased sister of Maria) and an acknowledged natural child of Jose (deceased brother of Maria), that said will was not executed as required by law and that Maria as physically and mentally incapable to execute the will at the time of its execution and was executed under duress, threat, or influence of fear.

ISSUE:

WON defendant has right to intervene in this proceeding.

RULING:

It is a well-settled rule that in order that a person may be allowed to intervene in a probate proceeding is that he must have an interest in the estate, will or in the property to be affected by either as executor or as a claimant of the estate and be benefited by such as an heir or one who has a claim against it as creditor. Under the terms of the will, defendant has no right to intervene because she has no such interest in the estate either as heir, executor or administrator because it did not appear therein any provision designating her as heir/ legatee in any portion of the estate. She could have acquired such right if she was a legal heir of the deceased but she is not under the CIVIL CODE. Even if her allegations were true, the law does not give her any right to succeed the estate of the deceased sister of both Jose and Francisca because being an illegitimate child she is prohibited by law from succeeding to the legitimate relatives of her natural father and that relationship established by adoption is limited solely to the adopter and adopted and does not extend to the relatives of the adopting parents except only as expressly provided by law. As a consequence, she is an heir of the adopter but not of the relatives of the adopter.

“The relationship established by the adoption, however, is limited to the adopting parent, and does not extend to his other relatives, except as expressly provided by law. Thus, the adopted child cannot be considered as a relative of the ascendants and collaterals of the adopting parents, nor of the legitimate children which they may have after the adoption, except that the law imposes certain impediments to marriage by reason of adoption. Neither are the children of the adopted considered as descendants of the adopter. The relationship created is exclusively between the adopter and the adopted, and do not extend to the relatives of either.”

Hence, defendant has no right to intervene either as testamentary or as legal heir in the probate proceeding.

* Case digest by Neah Hope L. Bato, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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