(Question B.14, Civil Law, 2019 Bar Exam)
Prior to his death, H, married to W, with children X, Y, and Z, executed a holographic will entirely written, dated, and signed by him. In his will, H instituted W, X, and Y as his heirs, and consequently, made testamentary dispositions in their favor. H, however, expressly disinherited Z on the ground that the latter once filed a civil case against him in order to collect a particular sum of money he previously owed Z.
(a) Was the disinheritance of Z proper? Explain. (3%)
(b) Assuming that the disinheritance of Z was improper, how will it affect the institution of heirs and testamentary dispositions made in H’s will? Explain. (3%)
(a) No. Answer
Under the Civil Code, there are grounds provided for the disinheritance of a child, such as when a child or descendant has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation has been found groundless. Filing a civil case is not one of them. Rule
In the case at bar, H expressly disinherited Z on the ground that the latter filed a civil case against H to collect a sum of money. This cause is not one of the grounds specified under the law resulting in the nullity of the disinheritance. Apply
Thus, the disinheritance of Z was not proper. Conclusion
(b) If Z’s disinheritance was improper, he will be reinstated as a compulsory heir as a child or descendant of H. This will result in the equal reduction of the inheritance of X and Y to cover Z’s legitime.
(Notice: The suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide, and thus specific citations are not provided. Notwithstanding, in the reviewers, the bar exam question is answered under the appropriate topic which discusses the concepts and principles, as well as provide for specific citations. Accordingly, please refer to it on the reviewer or in the Library.)
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