G.R. No. L-23445, 23 June 1966, 17 SCRA 449


Petitioner Remedios Nuguid filed a holographic will allegedly executed by Rosario Nuguid on November 17, 1951, some 11 years before her demise. Petitioner prayed that said will be admitted to probate and that letters of administration with the will annexed be issued to her.

On June 25, 1963, Felix Nuguid and Paz Salonga Nuguid, concededly the legitimate father and mother of the deceased Rosario Nuguid, entered their opposition to the probate of her will. Ground therefor is that by the institution of petitioner Remedios Nuguid as universal heir of the deceased, oppositors — who are compulsory heirs of the deceased in the direct ascending line — were illegally preterited and that in consequence the institution is void.

RTC ruled the will in question is a complete nullity and will perforce create intestacy of the estate of the deceased Rosario Nuguid” and dismissed the petition on the ground of


Whether there is preterition


Yes. Preterition “consists in the omission in the testator’s will of the forced heirs or anyone of them, either because they are not mentioned therein, or, though mentioned, they are neither instituted as heirs nor are expressly disinherited.” Disinheritance, in turn, “is a testamentary disposition depriving any compulsory heir of his share in the legitime for a cause authorized by law. The will here does not explicitly disinherit the testatrix’s parents, the forced heirs. It simply omits their names altogether. Said will rather than be labeled ineffective disinheritance is clearly one in which the said forced heirs suffer from preterition.

On top of this is the fact that the effects flowing from preterition are totally different from those of disinheritance. Preterition under Article 854 of the Civil Code, we repeat, “shall annul the institution of heir”. This annulment is in toto, unless in the will there are, in addition, testamentary dispositions in the form of devises or legacies. In ineffective disinheritance under Article 918 of the same Code, such disinheritance shall also “annul the institution of heirs”, put only “insofar as it may prejudice the person disinherited”, which last phrase was omitted in the case of preterition. Better stated yet, in disinheritance the nullity is limited to that portion of the estate of which the disinherited heirs have been illegally deprived.

*Case digest by Em Epsan Batoon, LLB-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019