Succession, generally and technically (Paras)

SOURCE: 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.

Succession is understood in two senses: the general or broad sense and the technical or strict sense. Generally, succession simple means transfer of rights. Strictly, however, it refers to a mode of acquiring ownership.

The Civil Code defines succession. "Article 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law."

In its generic or general sense, succession (from the Latin “sub” and “cedere,” meaning the placing of one person in the place of another) is defined as the transmission of rights and properties from one person to another. In this sense, succession may be inter vivos or mortis causa, depending upon whether the transfer is effective during the lifetime (inter vivos) of the giver, or after his death (mortis causa). An example of succession inter vivos occurs in an ordinary donation. (See 6 Manresa, 5th Ed., pp. 188-189). Succession mortis causa is what is discussed in this Title.

In its technical signification, succession is restricted to succession mortis causa. The succession referred to in our Civil Code, in this Title (Title IV) and in Art. 774 is succession mortis causa. It is in this limited sense that succession denotes the transfer of title to property under the laws of descent and distribution, taking place as it does, only on the death of a person. (Ibid.).