G.R. No. 108581, 8 December 1999, 320 SCRA 12
Aniceta Reyes died in 1969 without her estate being settled. Thereafter, her husband Alejandro also died. In 1977, Lourdes Dorotheo filed a special proceeding for the probate of Alejandro’s last will and testament. The children of spouses filed their opposition. The RTC ruled that Lourdes being not the wife of Alejandro the will is intrinsically void; the oppositors are the only heir entitled to the estate. Lourdes filed a Motion for Consideration arguing that she is entitled to some compensation since she took care of Alejandro prior to his death although they were not legally married to each other. This was denied by the trial court. The CA dismissed her appeal for her failure to wile the same within the extended period.
May a last will and testament admitted to probate but declared intrinsically void in an order that has become final and executor still be given effect?
No. A final and executor decision or order can no longer be disturbed or reopened no matter how erroneous it may be.
The Supreme Court ruled that the will of Alejandro was extrinsically valid but the intrinsic provisions thereof are void. Alejandro gave all the property to the concubine. Such is invalid because one cannot dispose what he does not own. In this case, the whole property is the conjugal property of Alejandro and Aniceta. Such has become final and executor. The only instance where a party interested in probate proceeding may have a final liquidation set aside is when he is left out by reason of circumstances beyond his control or through mistake or inadvertence not imputable to negligence with circumstances do not concur herein.
*Case digest by Maria Novie Taruc, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019