CASE DIGEST: De Borja v. Vda. de Borja (G.R. No. L-28040, August 18, 1972)

CASE DIGEST: 150-B Phil. 486 [ G.R. No. L-28040, August 18, 1972 ] TESTATE ESTATE OF JOSEFA TANGCO, JOSE DE BORJA, ADMINISTRATOR AND APPELLEE, JOSE DE BORJA, AS ADMINISTRATOR, CAYETANO DE BORJA, MATILDE DE BORJA AND CRISANTO DE BORJA (DECEASED) AS CHILDREN OF JOSEFA TANGCO, APPELLEES, VS. TASIANA VDA. DE DE BORJA, SPECIAL ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE TESTATE ESTATE OF FRANCISCO DE BORJA, APPELLANT.

FACTS:
Francisco de Borja, upon the death of his wife Josefa, fi led for the probate of her will. When the will was probated, Francisco was appointed as executor and administrator and herein appellee, Jose de Borja, their son was appointed as coadministrator. Subsequently, Francisco took upon himself, a second wife, Tasiana Ongsingco (Vda. De Borja). Even before the estate of Josefa was settled, Francisco died. Tasiana instituted testate proceedings wherein she was appointed special Administratrix.

The relationship between the children of the fi rst marriage and the second wife, Tasiana had been plagued with numerous suits and counter-suits and in order to put an end to all these litigation, a compromise agreement was entered into between Jose, in his personal capacity and as administrator of the Testate Estate of Josefa, and by Tasiana, as the heir and surviving spouse of Francisco. Pursuant to the compromise agreement, Jose agreed and obligated himself to pay Tasiana the amount of Php800,000.00 as ‘”full and complete payment and settlement of her hereditary share in the estate of the late Francisco de Borja as well as the estate of Josefa, and to any properties bequeathed or devised in her favor by the late Francisco de Borja by Last Will and Testament or by Donation Inter Vivos or Mortis Causa or purportedly conveyed to her for consideration or otherwise.”

When Jose submitted the compromise agreement for Court approval with the CFI of Rizal (probate of will of fi rst wife) and the CFI of Nueva Ecija (probate of will of Francisco), Tasiana opposed in both instances. She claims among others, that the heirs cannot enter into such kind of agreement without first probating the will of Francisco de Borja.

ISSUE: Whether the compromise agreement is valid?

HELD: In assailing the validity of the agreement, Tasiana relies on this Court’s decision in Guevara v. Guevara wherein the Court held the view that presentation of a will for probate is mandatory and that the settlement and distribution of an estate on the basis of intestacy when the decedent left a will, is against the law and public policy. However, the doctrine in said case is not applicable to the case at bar. There was here no attempt to settle or to distribute the estate of Francisco among the heirs thereto before the probate of his will. The clear object of the contract was merely the conveyance by Tasiana of any and all her individual share and interest, actual or eventual, in the estate of Francisco and Josefa. Since a hereditary share in a decedent’s estate is transmitted or vested immediately from the moment of the death of such predecessor in interest, there is no legal bar to a successor disposing of her or his hereditary share immediately after such death, even if the actual extent of such share is not determined until the subsequent liquidation of the estate. Of course, the effect of such alienation is to be deemed limited to what is ultimately adjudicated to the vendor heir.

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