G.R. No. L-19382, 31 August 1965, 145 SCRA 986


Melodia Ferraris was declared presumptively dead for purposes of opening her succession and distributing her estate among her heirs. She left properties in Cebu City, consisting of one-third share in the estate of her aunt, Rosa Ferraris, valued at P6,000.00, more or less. The deceased Melodia Ferraris left no surviving direct descendant, ascendant, or spouse, but was survived only by collateral relatives, namely, Filomena Abellana de Bacayo, an aunt and half-sister of decedent’s father, Anacleto Ferraris; and by Gaudencia, Catalina, Conchita, and Juanito, all surnamed Ferraris, her nieces and nephew, who were the children of Melodia’s only brother of full blood, Arturo Ferraris, who pre-deceased her. These two classes of heirs claim to be the nearest intestate heirs and seek to participate in the estate of said Melodia Ferraris.


WON a decedent’s uncles and aunts may succeed ab intestato while nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are willing and qualified to succeed.


No. in case of intestacy, nephews and nieces of the de cujus exclude all other collaterals from the succession. This is readily apparent from articles 1001, 1004, 1005, and 1009 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Under Art. 1009, the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession. The last of the relatives of the decedent to succeed in intestate succession are the collaterals other than brothers or sisters or children of brothers or sisters. They are, however, limited to relatives within the fifth degree. Beyond this, we can safely say there is hardly any affection to merit the succession of collaterals. Under the law, therefore, relatives beyond the fifth degree are no longer considered as relatives, for successional purposes. Article 1009 does not state any order of preference. However, this article should be understood in connection with the general rule that the nearest relatives exclude the farther. Collaterals of the same degree inherit in equal parts, there being no right of representation. They succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them on account of the whole blood relationship.

*Case digest by Mark Milan, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019