Article 809 on substantial compliance

Article 809. In the absence of bad faith, forgery, or fraud, or undue and improper pressure and influence, defects and imperfections in the form of attestation or in the language used therein shall not render the will invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact executed and attested in substantial compliance with all the requirements of article 805. (Civil Code of the Philippines)While Article 809 allows substantial compliance for defects in the form of the attestation clause, Richard likewise failed in this respect. The statement in the Acknowledgment portion of the subject last will and testament that it "consists of 7 pages including the page on which the ratification and acknowledgment are written" cannot be deemed substantial compliance. The will actually consists of 8 pages including its acknowledgment which discrepancy cannot be explained by mere examination of the will itself but through the presentation of evidence aliunde. (G.R. No. 189984)

Article 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another.

The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as aforesaid, each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin, and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page.

The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written, and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof, or caused some other person to write his name, under his express direction, in the presence of the instrumental witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another.

If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them. (Civil Code of the Philippines)

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