G.R. No. L-6285, 15 February 1912, 21:461


Barut applied for the probate of the will of deceased, Maria Salomon. The testatrix stated in the will that being unable to read or write, the will was read to her by Ciriaco Concepcion and Timotea Inoselda and that she had instructed Severo Agayan to sign her name to it as testatrix. The probate was contested by a number of the relatives of the deceased on various grounds.

The probate court found that the will was not entitled to probate because “the handwriting of the person who it is alleged signed the name of the testatrix to the will for and on her behalf looked more like the handwriting of one of the other witnesses to the will than to the person whose handwriting it was alleged to be.


Was the dissimilarity in handwriting sufficient to deny probate of the will?


No. The name of a person who is unable to write may be signed by another by express direction to any instrument known to the law. There is no necessity whatever, so far as the validity of the instrument is concerned, for the person who writes the name of the principal in the document to sign his own name also. As a matter of policy it may be wise that he do so inasmuch as it would give such intimation as would enable a person proving the document to demonstrate more readily the execution by the principal. But as a matter of essential validity of the document, it is unnecessary. The main thing to be established in the execution of the will is the signature of the testator. If that signature is proved, whether it be written by himself or by another at his request, it is none the less valid, and the fact of such signature can be proved as perfectly and as completely when the person signing for the principal omits to sign his own name as it can when he actually signs. To hold a will invalid for the lack of the signature of the person signing the name of the principal is, in the particular case, a complete abrogation of the law of wills, as it rejects and destroys a will which the statute expressly declares is valid.

*Case digest by Honeyleth Luvie T. Hayag, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019