3 reasons why law on succession is SUPER important


There are three reasons why the law on wills and succession (under the New Civil Code of the Philippines) is a very important piece of legislation.

[1] The natural law which obliges a person to provide for those he would leave behind as a consequence of family relations; a recognition of the natural law of consanguinity, or of blood, and the natural affection of a person toward those nearest him in relationship. (In writing this, Paras [2008] cites Henry v. Thomas, 20 N.E. 519, 118 Ind. 23.)

In a person's life, he comes across people with whom he develops a certain degree of familiarity. This familiarity is often called love but, whatever it is and whatever people call it, this strong emotional connection we have with others is sufficient basis to impel us to craft rules regarding the transmission of rights over property from the dead to the living. It is but natural to expect a person to want that certain members of his family or circles of friends be left with his hard-earned property as a final act of affection.

[2] A socio-economic postulate which would prevent wealth from becoming inactive or stagnant (this is essential from an economic standpoint to enable social economy to be firm. (Paras [2008] here cites 4 Castan 148.)
The economy relies, among others, on the movement of property (especially money) from one person to another via any mode which is typically sale. Fewer movements in this aspect means slower economy. In order to keep the economy going, property should never remain unused or un-administered. Property should be utilized not only for the enjoyment of those who have ownership or possessory rights over them but also for the benefit of the country as a whole.

[3] The implicit attributes of ownership which would be imperfect, if a person is not allowed to dispose of his property, such disposal to take effect when he is already dead (this is a consequence of rights to property). (Paras [2007] cites 6 Manresa 297-298 and Guevara v. Guevara, et al., L-5405, Jan. 31, 1956.)

Among the seven aspects of ownership, jus disponendi is the one referring to the right to deprive oneself of his own property. In other words, this is a person's right to dispose. Jus disponendi, in the civil law, refers to the right of disposing (of a thing owned, i.e. it is an attribute of dominium, or ownership).

Typically, jus disponendi is cited with reference to the power of a person to sell or donate his own property. However, it is here argued that the best example is succession because, by succession, a person makes his final act of disposing his property before his rational soul leaves his body.

The discussion above is based on an outline by Paras (2008) in his book on wills and succession, available in fine bookstores nationwide. SOURCES: Justice Edgardo L. Paras (2008). The Civil Code of the Philippines Annotated. Volume III on Wills and Succession. 978-971-23-6268-2. Page 1. https://www.rexestore.com/succession-law-books/540-civil-code-iii-succession.html

Jus disponendi. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jus_disponendi

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