G.R. No. L-10751, 23 June 1958
The CFI denied probate of the will of Gabina Raquel. It must be noted that Gabina Raquel was suffering from herpes zoster that afflicted the right arm and shoulder of the testatrix, which made writing difficult and a painful act. Thus, upon the insistence of the attorney, Gabina attempted to sign, but since it was so painful she just managed to thumb marked the foot of the document and the left margin at each page. The parties opposing the probate of the will contended that the will was void due to the irregularities in the execution thereof.
One of the points raised by the oppositors was that the fingermark cannot be regarded as the decedent’s valid signature as it does not show distinct identifying ridgelines. And since the fingermark was an invalid signature, there must appear in the attestation clause that another person wrote the testator’s name at his request.
Whether or not the will was valid.
YES. As to the clarity of the ridge impressions, it is so dependent on aleatory requirements as to require dexterity that can be expected of very few persons; testators should not be required to possess the skill of trained officers.
And as to the validity of the thumbprints as a signature, the SC held that it has been held in a long line of cases that a thumbprint is always a valid and sufficient signature for the purpose of complying with the requirement of the article.
Furthermore, the validity of thumbprints should not be limited in cases of illness or infirmity. A thumbprint is considered as a valid and sufficient signature in complying with the requirements of the article.
*Case digest by Allain Jay Gumela, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019