Bar Q and A #4

The donation is valid and binding, being an act favorable to the unborn child, but only if the baby had an intra uterine life of not less than seven months and provided there was due acceptance of the donation by the proper person representing said child. If the child had less than seven months of intra-uterine life, it is not deemed born since it died less than 24 hours following its delivery, in which case the donation never became effective since the donee never became a person, birth being determinative of personality.

a) No, the claim of both parents is not valid. When Mr. Cruz died, he was succeeded by his wife and his parents as his intestate heirs who will share his estate equally. His estate was 0.5 Million pesos which is his half share in the absolute community amounting to 1 Million Pesos. His wife, will, therefore, inherit O.25 Million Pesos and his parents will inherit 0.25 Million Pesos.

When Mrs. Cruz died, she was succeeded by her parents as her intestate heirs. They will inherit all of her estate consisting of her 0.5 Million half share in the absolute community and her 0.25 Million inheritance from her husband, or a total of 0.750 Million Pesos.

In sum, the parents of Mr. Cruz will inherit 250,000 Pesos while the parents of Mrs. Cruz will inherit 750,000 Pesos.

b) This being a case of succession, in the absence of proof as to the time of death of each of the spouses, it is presumed they died at the same time and no transmission of rights from one to the other is deemed to have taken place. Therefore, each of them is deemed to have an estate valued at P500,000, or one-half of their conjugal property of P1 million. Their respective parents will thus inherit the entire P1 million in equal shares, orP500,000.00 per set of parents.

Half of the estate of Mr. Luna will go to the parents of Mrs. Luna as their inheritance from Mrs. Luna, while the other half will be inherited by the parents of Mr. Luna as the reservatarios of the reserved property inherited by Mrs. Luna from her child.

When Mr. Luna died, his heirs were his wife and the unborn child. The unborn child inherited because the inheritance was favorable to it and it was born alive later though it lived only for five hours. Mrs. Luna inherited half of the 10 Million estate while the unborn child inherited the other half. When the child died, it was survived by its mother, Mrs. Luna. As the only heir, Mrs. Luna inherited, by operation of law, the estate of the child consisting of its 5 Million inheritance from Mr. Luna. In the hands of Mrs. Luna, what she inherited from her child was subject to reserva troncal for the benefit of the relatives of the child within the third degree of consanguinity and who belong to the family of Mr. Luna, the line where the property came from.

When Mrs. Luna died, she was survived by her parents as her only heirs. Her parents will inherit her estate consisting of the 5 Million she inherited from Mr. Luna. The other 5 Million she inherited from her child will be delivered to the parents of Mr. Luna as beneficiaries of the reservedproperty.

In sum, 5 Million Pesos of Mr. Luna's estate will go to the parents of Mrs. Luna, while the other 5 Million Pesos will go to the parents of Mr. Luna as reservatarios.

No, the spouses cannot recover actual damages in the form of indemnity for the loss of life of the unborn child. This is because the unborn child is not yet considered a person and the law allows indemnity only for loss of life of person. The mother, however, may recover damages for the bodily injury she suffered from the loss of the fetus which is considered part of her internal organ. The parents may also recover damages for injuries that are inflicted directly upon them, e.g., moral damages for mental anguish that attended the loss of the unborn child. Since there is gross negligence, exemplary damages can also be recovered. (Geluz v. CA, G.R. No. L-16439, July 20, 1961)

a) Yes, the baby can be the beneficiary of the life insurance of Marian. Art. 40 of the FC provides that "birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it,provided that it be born later with the conditions specified in Art. 41. Article 41 states that "for civil purposes, the fetus shall be considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother's womb. However, if the fetus had an intra- uterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty- four (24) hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb. The act of naming the unborn child as sole beneficiary in the insurance is favorable to the conceived child and therefore the fetus acquires presumptive or provisional personality. However, said presumptive personality only becomes conclusive if the child is born alive. The child need not survive for twenty-four
(24) hours as required under Art. 41 of the Code because "Marian was already due to give birth," indicating that the child was more than seven months old.

b) If the baby was not alive when completely delivered from the mother’s womb, it was not born as a person, then the question of who between two persons survived will not be an issue. Since the baby had an intra- uterine life of more than 7 months, it would be considered born if it was alive, at the time of its complete delivery from the mother’s womb. We can gather from the facts that the baby was completely delivered. But whether or not it was alive has to be proven by evidence.

If the baby was alive when completely delivered from the mother’s womb, then it was born as a person and the question of who survived as between the baby and the mother shall be resolved by the provisions of the Rules of Court on survivorship. This is because the question has nothing to do with succession. Obviously, the resolution of the question is needed just for the implementation of an insurance contract. Under Rule 13, Sec. 3, (jj), (5) as between the baby who was under 15 years old and Marian who was 18 years old, Marian is presumed to have survived.

In both cases, therefore, the baby never acquired any right under the insurance policy. The proceeds of the insurance will then go to the estate of Marian.

c) Since the baby did not acquire any right under the insurance contract, there is nothing for Pietro to inherit.

As to the estate of Dr. Lopez:

 

Marilyn is not entitled to a share in the estate of Dr. Lopez. For purposes of succession, Dr. Lopez and his son Roberto are presumed to have died at the same time, there being no evidence to prove otherwise, and there shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other. (Article 43) Hence, Roberto inherited nothing from his father that Marilyn would in turn inherit from Roberto. The children of Roberto, however, will succeed their grandfather, Dr. Lopez, in representation of their father Roberto and together will receive 1/3 of the estate of Dr. Lopez since their father Roberto was one of the three children of Dr. Lopez. Marilyn cannot represent her husband Roberto because the right is not given by law to a surviving spouse.

 

As to the proceeds of the insurance on the life of Dr. Lopez:

 

Since succession is not involved as regards the insurance contract, the provisions of the Rules of Court on survivorship shall apply. Under the Rules, Dr. Lopez, who was 70 years old, is presumed to have died ahead of Roberto, who is presumably between the ages of 15 and 60. Having survived the insured, Roberto’s right as a beneficiary became vested upon the death of Dr. Lopez. When Roberto died after Dr. Lopez, his right to receive the insurance proceeds became part of his hereditary estate, which in turn was inherited in equal shares by his legal heirs, namely, his spouse and children. Therefore, Roberto’s children and his spouse are entitled to Roberto’s one-third share in the insurance proceeds.

1. I will grant the petition for judicial declaration of nullity of Brad and Angelina’s marriage on the ground that there is a lack of marriage Article 3 of the Family Code provides that one of the formal requisites of marriage is a valid marriage license and Article 4 of the same Code states that absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. In Abbas v. Abbas [689 SCRA 646 (2013)], the Supreme Court declared the marriage as void ab initio because there is proof of lack of record of marriage license. The certification by the Civil Registrar of Manila that, after diligent and exhaustive search, the alleged marriage license indicated in the marriage certificate does not appear in the records and cannot be found proves that the marriage of Brad and Angelina was solemnized without the requisite marriage license and is therefore void ab initio. The absence of the marriage license was certified to by the local civil registrar who is the official custodian of these documents and who is in the best position to certify as to the existence of these records. Also, there is a presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty. (Republic v. CA and Castro, 236 SCRA 257 [1994])

 

2.No, it is not required that a judicial petition be filed to declare the marriage null and void when said marriage was solemnized before the effectivity of the Family Code. As stated in the cases of People v. Mendoza, 95 Phil. 845 (1954) and People v. Aragon 100 Phil. 1033 (1957), the old rule is that where a marriage is illegal and void from its performance, no judicial is necessary to establish its invalidity.