Succession

What is succession?

Succession is the placing of one person in the place of another and defined as the transmission of rights and properties from one afterlife-1238610_640person to another.     In this sense, succession may be inter vivos or mortis causa, depending upon whether the transfer is effective during the lifetime or inter vivos of the giver, or after his death or mortiscausa.

The New Civil Code defined it as:

Art. 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. (n)

What are the elements of succession?

  1. Decedent who is the person who died and whose property is transmitted through succession. It is the general term applied to the person whose property is transmitted through succession, whether or not he left a will. The testator is the decedent whose properties are to be transferred to his successor through a written will. A transfer of property from a decedent without a will is called intestate. The law defined it as:

Art. 775. In this Title, “decedent” is the general term applied to the person whose property is transmitted through succession, whether or not he left a will. If he left a will, he is also called the testator. (n)

 Successor or the heir or person to whom the property or property rights is to be transferred. They may also be called as heirs, devisees or legatees which is defined by law as:

Art. 782. An heir is a person called to the succession either by the provision of a will or by operation of law.

Devisees and legatees are persons to whom gifts of real and personal property are respectively given by virtue of a will. (n)

Death of the decedent which causes the rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent.

Inheritance refers to the properties or property rights of a decedent, which is the subject matter of succession. Also known as Inheritance.

What are the kinds of successors?

Compulsory heirs are those for whom the legitime is reserved by law, and who succeed whether the testator likes it or not. They cannot be deprived by the testator of their legitime except by disinheritance properly effected.

They may be primary or those who have precedence over and exclude other Compulsory Heirs as in the case of Legitimate Children and Descendants (LCD); They may also be secondary or those who succeed only in the absence of the Primary Compulsory Heirs as in the cases of Legitimate Parents and Ascendants (LPA); Lastly, they may also be concurring o those who succeed together with the Primary or Secondary Heirs as in the cases of Illegitimate Children and Descendants (ICD)Surviving Spouse (SS)

 Voluntary heirs are those other than the compulsory heirs. The devisee is the person to whom a gift of real property is given by virtue of a will while a legatee is the person to whom a gift of personal property (bequest) is given by virtue of a will.

References:

Paras, E. (1999). Civil Code III (Succession). Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

Viardo v. Belmonte, et al. L-14122, Aug. 21, 1962

Settlement of Estate

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How may an estate be settled?

The estate may be settled judicially or through the aid of courts or extra-judicially or only among the parties concerned.

 

What are the requirements for a valid extra-judicial settlement of estate?

  1. The decedent left no will.
  2. The decedent left no debts, or if there were debts left, all had been paid.
  3. The heirs are all of legal age, or if they are minors, the latter are represented by their judicial guardian or legal representatives;
  4. The partition was made by means of a public instrument or affidavit duly filed with the Register of Deeds.

(The affidavit must be executed by the heirs and must contain the necessary allegations to support a valid extrajudicial settlement of estate. The affidavit shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation, once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks.)

Who are responsible for the collation of the estate?

  1. Executor or the person named in the will by the testator to carry out its contents.
  2. Administrator or the person appointed by the court to administer and distribute the estate of the decedent if there is no will, or if no executor named in the will, or if the person named in the will does not act or execute its contents.

References:

Mercado v. Santos, 66 Phil. 215

Paras, E. (1999). Civil Code III (Succession). Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

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Testamentary Succession

What is testamentary succession?

Testamentary succession is defined in this provision:

Art. 779. Testamentary succession is that which results from the designation of an heir, made in a will executed in the form prescribed by law. (n)

What are the rules in testamentary succession?

Any person who is 18 years old and above of sound mind may make a valid last will and testament.

 

What is a will?

A will is an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of his estate upon his death. It may either be a holographic will which is one entirely written, dated, and signed by the testator himself and is subject to no formalities or a notarial will which is a will other than a Holographic Will that conform to all the requirements of law.

  1. Holographic Will is one entirely written, dated, and signed by the testator himself and is subject to no formalities.
  2. Notarial Will is a will other than a Holographic Will that conform to all the requirements of law.

What is a codicil?

A codicil is a supplement or an addition to a will, made after the execution of a will and annexed to the will and to be taken as part thereof, by any disposition made in the original will is explained, added to, or altered.

References:

Johnny S. Rabadilla v. CA and Maria Marlena Coscoluella y BellezaVillacarlos, GR 113725, June 29, 2000

Paras, E. (1999). Civil Code III (Succession). Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

Disinheritance

What is disinheritance?

Disinheritance isan act by which an owner of an estate deprives a person who would otherwise be his heir, or the right to inherit it. It can be effected only through a will wherein the legal cause shall be specified. The cause must be one authorized or enumerated by law. The burden of proving the truth of the cause of the disinheritance shall rest upon the heirs of the testator, if the disinherited heir should deny it. Further, the New Civil Code has made mention of disinheritance in this article:

Art. 915. A compulsory heir may, in consequence of disinheritance, be deprived of his legitime, for causes expressly stated by law. (848a)

What are the grounds for disinheritance of a descendant?

The grounds for disinheritance is expressly stated in this article:

Art. 919. The following shall be sufficient causes for the disinheritance of children and descendants, legitimate as well as illegitimate:

(1) When a child or descendant has been found guilty of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her spouse, descendants, or ascendants;

*There should be a final judgment of conviction by a court of justice of the guilt of the descendant which however, may come before or after the execution of the will and the guilt must be established.

(2) When a child or descendant has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation has been found groundless;

*The act of accusing as understood in this paragraph may include the institution of a criminal action, or even the mere statement of the heir as a witness in a case against the testator, a statement where said heir affirms or corroborates the accusation. As a matter of fact, if the heir-witness is in possession of facts which might result in the testator’s acquittal and the heir-witness deliberately fails to reveal said facts, there is also an “accusation.”

(3) When a child or descendant has been convicted of adultery or concubinage with the spouse of the testator;

*It is essential that there must be a final judgment of conviction either in the adultery caseor in the concubinage case before this Article can be applied.

(4) When a child or descendant by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence causes the testator to make a will or to change one already made;

*No judicial demand is needed for the law does not require this. Note that when a judicial pronouncement is needed, the law says so.

(5) A refusal without justifiable cause to support the parent or ascendant who disinherits such child or descendant;

(6) Maltreatment of the testator by word or deed, by the child or descendant;

*Note that maltreatment by an ascendant of a descendant does not constitute a ground for the descendant to disinherit the ascendant, for while it may be an abuse, it is generally in the exercise of a power. The reverse is however repugnant to natural law, and is therefore a ground for disinheritance.

(7) When a child or descendant leads a dishonorable or disgraceful life;

*There need not be final judgment of conviction. The essence of the cause is that anything that brings dishonor or disgrace to the family of the testator merits correction in the form of disinheritance. However, a single act is not ordinarily sufficient, for “leading a life” implies continuity.

(8) Conviction of a crime which carries with it the penalty of civil interdiction. (756, 853,674a)

What are the grounds for disinheritance of an ascendant?

The grounds for disinheritance is expressly stated in this article:

Art. 920. The following shall be sufficient causes for the disinheritance of parents or ascendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate:

(1) When the parents have abandoned their children or induced their daughters to live a corrupt or immoral life, or attempted against their virtue;

*Abandonment is indeed physical, moral, social or educational; hence, it does not have the technical signification of “abandonment” under the Rev. Penal Code. Moreover, whether intentional or not, the negligent and careless failure to perform the duties of parenthood is a significant element of abandonment.

(2) When the parent or ascendant has been convicted of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her spouse, descendants, or ascendants;

(3) When the parent or ascendant has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation has been found to be false;

(4) When the parent or ascendant has been convicted of adultery or concubinage with the spouse of the testator;

(5) When the parent or ascendant by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence causes the testator to make a will or to change one already made;

(6) The loss of parental authority for causes specified in this Code;

(7) The refusal to support the children or descendants without justifiable cause;

(8) An attempt by one of the parents against the life of the other, unless there has been a reconciliation between them. (756, 854, 674a)

*Note well that this paragraph does not apply when the attempt is against the life of a person other than the other parent. When a father for instance attempts to kill his own father-in-law, the son of the offending father cannot disinherit him on this ground.

What are the grounds for disinheritance of a spouse?

The grounds for disinheritance is expressly stated in this article:

Art. 921. The following shall be sufficient causes for disinheriting a spouse:

(1) When the spouse has been convicted of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her descendants, or ascendants;

(2) When the spouse has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment of six years or more, and the accusation has been found to be false;

(3) When the spouse by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence cause the testator to make a will or to change one already made;

(4) When the spouse has given cause for legal separation;

(5) When the spouse has given grounds for the loss of parental authority;

(6) Unjustifiable refusal to support the children or the other spouse. (756, 855, 674a)

References:

Paras, E. (1999). Civil Code III (Succession). Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

Intestate Succession

What is legal or intestate succession?

Legal or intestate succession is a legal succession because it takes effect through the operation of law because there is no decedent’s last will and testament to dispose the estate. A person who died without leaving a will is said to have died intestate.

When is there intestate succession?

There is intestate succession when there is no written will, the will is void, the will lost its validity or no one is named as successor in the will.
What is mixed succession?

The law defined it as:

Art. 780. Mixed succession is that effected partly by will and partly by operation of law. (n)

*A testator made a will but omitted some properties, rights or has acquired some properties after the execution of his last will and testament.

References:

Paras, E. (1999). Civil Code III (Succession). Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

The New Civil Code of the Philippines

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Torrens System

What is land registration?

Land registration is a judicial or administrative proceeding whereby a person’s claim of ownership over a particular land is determined and confirmed or recognized so that such land and the ownership thereof may be recorded in a public registry.

What is Torrens title?

Torrens title is the certificate of ownership issued by the land Register of Deeds, naming and declaring the owner of the real property described therein, free from all liens and encumbrances except such as may be expressly noted thereon or otherwise reserved by law. Its effect is that it can be conclusive against the whole world, it is guaranteed to be indefeasible, unassailable, and imprescriptible. The title once registered cannot be impugned, altered, changed, modified, enlarged, or diminished except in some direct proceeding permitted by law.

What are the kinds of registration?

1. Original registrationis the first registration of the land whereby an Original Certificate of Title is entered in the Registry of Property and a duplicate owner’s copy is issued to the owner by the Register of Deeds. It can be further classified into:

a. Judicial registration which will be done through the courts. It may either be voluntary where it instituted by the applicant under the provisions of Act 496 or PD 1529 or compulsory at the instance of the State under provision of Act 2259 (Cadastral Act)

1. Voluntary -instituted by the applicant
2. Compulsory- at the instance of the State

b. Administrative registration wherein theacquisition of land patents to public agricultural lands and registration thereof under Section 107 of CA No. 141 (The Public Land Act)

What is subsequent registration?

Subsequent registration is a process where the Original Certificate of Title is cancelled and subsequently registered under a Transfer Certificate of Title in favor of the new owner in cases of land conveyance such as sale, donation or assignment.

Who may apply for original registration of title?

According to Presidential Decree 1529 “Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and for Other Purposes”, or also known as Property registration Decree, it has laid down the enumeration of who may apply for original registration of Title.

Section 14. Who may apply. The following persons may file in the proper Court of First Instance an application for registration of title to land, whether personally or through their duly authorized representatives:

(1) Those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier.

(2) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands by prescription under the provision of existing laws.

(3) Those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned river beds by right of accession or accretion under the existing laws.

(4) Those who have acquired ownership of land in any other manner provided for by law.

Where the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file the application jointly.

Where the land has been sold under pacto de retro, the vendor a retro may file an application for the original registration of the land, provided, however, that should the period for redemption expire during the pendency of the registration proceedings and ownership to the property consolidated in the vendee a retro, the latter shall be substituted for the applicant and may continue the proceedings.

A trustee on behalf of his principal may apply for original registration of any land held in trust by him, unless prohibited by the instrument creating the trust.

What are the attributes and limitations on certificates of title and registered lands?

A. Free from liens and encumbrances
B. Incontrovertible and Indefeasible
C. Certificate of title not subject to Collateral Attack

What are the parts and information on the title?

• Title Form Information- where the type of form, date of revision and serial number can be found
• Survey Information- where the parcel identity (lot, block, survey plan number), location, adjoining parcels, tie point, tie line, bearings and distances from corner to corner and the area and date of survey can be found
• Registration Information- where the name of the Register of Deeds, title number, book number, page number, place/time/date of registration, name and signature of registrar and historical information (date and place of original registration, OCT No., Volume No., Page No., Decree No., record/name of original owner, number of cancelled title for OCT) can be found
• Ownership Information- where the name/s of all persons whose interest make up the full ownership, citizenship, civil status, postal address

What is Homestead patent?

It is issued (by the Director Lands) over land not of the public domain is a nullity, devoid of force and effect against the owner whose title is covered by an OCT or TCT.

What is the Registration of title under Act 3344?

Registration of untitled lands or lands with imperfect titles is ineffective against third persons. That in case of double sale, the title registered under the Torrens System is superior than title registered under Act 3344. Registration under the Torrens System, at the Registry of Deeds is needed so that title shall be binding upon third parties.

What is a decree of registration?

It is issued by the administrator of LRA upon order of the court. It shall bind the land and quiet title thereto – the purpose of Torrens System. Land becomes registered only upon transcription of the decree in the original registration book by the Register of Deeds and not on the date of issuance of the decree. Certificate of title becomes indefeasible after ONE YEAR from issuance of the decree.

What is an assurance fund?

Sec 95 of Property Registration Decree provides that a person who, without negligence on his part sustain loss or damage or is deprived of land or any estate or interest therein in consequence of the bringing of the land under the operation of Torrens System or arising after the original registration of the land, through fraud or in consequence of any error, may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for the recovery of damages paid out of the Assurance Fund within 6 years from the time the right to bring such action accrues.
The assurance fund is intended to relive innocent persons from the harshness of the doctrine that a certificate of title is conclusive evidence of indefeasible title to the land.

What is the rule on conveyance of only a portion of a land?

The Register of Deeds shall not enter any new title in favor of the grantee until a plan indicating the portions into which the land has been subdivided shall first be presented, together with the technical descriptions thereof. Meantime, the deed of conveyance may be annotated at the owner’s certificate.

References:

Cadastral Act, Act No. 2259

Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988

Peña, N. Registration of Land Titles and Deeds. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.
Presidential Decree No. 27, “Decreeing the Emancipation of Tenants from the Bondage of theOil, Transferring to Them the Ownership of the Land They Till and Providing the Instruments and Mechanism Therefor”

Property Registration Decree 1529, “Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and for Other Purposes”

Public Land Act, Com. Act No. 141, “Title and Application of the Act, Lands to Which It Refers, and Classification, Delimitation and Survey Thereof for Concession”

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Certificate of Title

What is a certificate of title?

Certificate of title is the true copy of the decree of registration or the transcription thereof and like the decree shall also be signed by the LRA Administrator. This is the certificate of ownership issued under the Torrens system of registration by the government, thru the Register of Deeds. It names and declare who the owner in fee simple is and described the property with utmost particularity and free from all liens and encumbrances except as those noted or reserved by law. Legally defined, a certificate of title is the transcript of the decree of registration made by the Register of Deeds.

Title is not synonymous with Torrens certificate of titles. It is a generic word which means proof, evidence or muniment of ownership such as tax declaration, realty tax receipts, deed of sale and Torrens Certificate of Title (best evidence of ownership)

• Land title refers to that upon which ownership is based. It is the evidence of the right of the owner or the extent of his interest where he can maintain control and right to exclusive possession and enjoyment of property.

• Muniments of title are instruments or written evidences that the applicant hold or possesses to enable him to substantiate and prove title to his estate.

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What are the attributes and limitations on certificates of title and registered lands?

1. Free from liens and encumbrances
2. Incontrovertible and Indefeasible
3. Incontrovertible and indefeasible.
4. Certificate of title not subject to Collateral Attack

What are the parts and information on the title?

• Title Form Information- where the type of form, date of revision and serial number can be found
• Survey Information- where the parcel identity (lot, block, survey plan number), location, adjoining parcels, tie point, tie line, bearings and distances from corner to corner and the area and date of survey can be found
• Registration Information- where the name of the Register of Deeds, title number, book number, page number, place/time/date of registration, name and signature of registrar and historical information (date and place of original registration, OCT No., Volume No., Page No., Decree No., record/name of original owner, number of cancelled title for OCT) can be found
• Ownership Information- where the name/s of all persons whose interest make up the full ownership, citizenship, civil status, postal address

What are the common annotations on title?

1. Cloud on title is any condition revealed by a title search which affects the title to the property, usually relatively unimportant items but which cannot be removed without quitclaim or court action.

Quieting of title is an action brought to remove clouds on the title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title as defined in Article 476 of the New Civil Code:

Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title.
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any interest therein.

2. Notice of lispendens- LisPendens is a Latin term meaning “a pending litigation. A Notice of LisPendens, when registered with the registry of deeds where the land is recorded serves as a warning to third parties that a particular real property is in litigation. Before the final judgment, the notice of lispendens may be cancelled upon order of the court, action of the register of deeds at the instance the party who caused the registration of the notice or verified petition of the party who caused the registration thereof.

3. Section 4 Rule 74 of the Rules of Court governs the Title that is acquired through extra-judicial settlement. Title is subject to claims of third party, with interest, for a period of two (2) years.

4. Deed of restrictions refers to limitation on use of property such as in subdivision and condominium.

a. These are conditions or limitations placed in a deed by the owner when the property is transferred to another party. It is usually created by individual parties and affects a particular property.
b. Those conditions placed in the deeds by developers and usually affect the entire subdivision are called restrictive covenants
c. If restrictions placed are unreasonable or unlawful restraints on an owner’s use of a land they will be unenforceable.

5. Easement or right-of-wayrefers to right given to another property or the dominant property. The law has defined it as:

Art. 613. An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable belonging to a different owner.
The immovable in favor of which the easement is established is called the dominant estate; that which is subject thereto, the servient estate. (530)

6. Writ of preliminary attachment is a judicial order emanating from a legal action, authorizing the Sheriff or other public officer to take all the property or rights of any party so as to preserve the property to satisfy future judgment in favor of the Plaintiff. Attachment is governed by Rule 57 of the Rules of Court. There are three kinds of Attachment.

7. Writ of executionis a court order authorizing the sheriff to execute the final judgment for the sale of the property.

8. Mortgageis the property is used as collateral and security for a loan.

9. Adverse claimis whoever that claims any part or interest in registered land adverse to the registered owner, arising subsequent to the date of the original registration, may, make a statement in writing setting forth fully his alleged right or interest, and how or under whom acquired, a reference to the number of the certificate of title of the registered owner, the name of the registered owner, and a description of the land in which the right or interest is claimed. Some of the characteristics of an adverse claim includes:

a. Title cannot be defeated by an adverse claim
b. First: refers to petition of the party who claims any part or interest in registered land arising subsequent to the date of original registration
c. Second: refers to the petition filed in court by a party in interest for the cancellation of the adverse claim upon a showing that the same is invalid.
d. While the law states that the adverse claim shall be effective for a period of thirty (30) days from the date of registration, however, the cancellation is still necessary to render it ineffective otherwise the inscription will remain annotated and shall continue as a lien upon the property.

10. Encroachments are unauthorized physical intrusions of a building or other form of real property onto an adjoining property. It can mean a trespass, and the owner of the property being encroached on can take court action either to force the removal of the encroachment or to recover damages.

Encroachment of long-standing use may result to an easement right by prescription or adverse possession.

11. Liens (Money Claim) -These are claims or charges against the property to provide security for a debt or obligation. A lien allows the creditor to have the property sold to satisfy the debt in case of default. To enforce it, the creditor must take legal action and obtain a court order to have the property sold. Liens against real estate may reduce the value of the property; however, the owner can still convey title to another party. The following are the kinds of lien:

a. JUDGMENT LIENis imposed when a judgment concludes a lawsuit is issued and recorded by the court and in effect, it will be done on both the real and personal property of a defendant/debtor. It will only be cleared when after a satisfaction of judgment is recorded and issued to a debtor, say, a property is sold to satisfy a debt. This is a general, involuntary lien.

b. MORTGAGE LIEN automatically ends after payment of loan. If loan remains unpaid then the lender may foreclose and sell the property. This lien is a specific, voluntary lien created after a lender makes a loan using real estate as security. The property owner signs a mortgage document that creates a lien against the property. A specific and involuntary lien, it is used when a property owner does not pay for the work or materials provided.

c. MECHANIC’S LIEN is a protection on the part of a supplier/contractor who provides materials or services for the real estate

d. REAL ESTATE TAX LIEN which due to the is a levy on real property determined on the basis of a fixed proportion of the value of the property, it give the creditor the right to sell a property at a tax sale to satisfy outstanding tax delinquencies, plus interest and penalties. However the delinquent property owner may redeem the property so long as all obligations will be paid before (equitable redemption right) or after (statutory redemption right) the tax sale.

What are the statutory liens affecting title?

First: Claims or rights arising or existing under the laws and Constitution of the Philippines

Second: unpaid realty taxes

Third: Any public highway or private way established or recognized by law or any government irrigation canal or lateral thereof if the certificate of title does not state that the boundaries of such highway or irrigation canal or lateral thereof have been determined

Fourth: Any disposition of the property or limitation on the use thereof by virtue or pursuant to PD 27 or any other law or regulations on Agrarian reform

References:

Peña, N. Registration of Land Titles and Deeds. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Property Registration Decree 1529, “Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and for Other Purposes”

The Rules of Court of the Philippines

The New Civil Code

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Reconstitution of Certificate of Title

What is the reconstitution of certificate of title?

Reconstitution of certificate of title is the restoration of the instrument which is supposed to have been lost or destroyed in its original form and condition, under the custody of the Register of Deeds.

What are the kinds of reconstitution of certificate of title?

1. Judicial reconstitution which partakes the nature of a land registration proceeding in rem. As PD 1529 states:

Section 2. Nature of registration proceedings; jurisdiction of courts. Judicial proceedings for the registration of lands throughout the Philippines shall be in rem and shall be based on the generally accepted principles underlying the Torrens system.

2. Administrative reconstitution which may be availed of only in case of:

a) Substantial loss or destruction of the original land titles due to fire, flood, or other force majeure as determined by the Administrator of the Land Registration Authority;
b) The number of certificates of title lost or damaged should be at least 10% of the total number in the possession of the Office of the Register of Deeds;
c) In no case shall the number of Certificates of title lost or damaged be less than 500; and
d) The Petitioner must have the duplicate copy of the certificate of Title. (RA 6732)

What are the other petitions/transactions after original registration?

1. Amendment and Alteration of Certificate of Title
2. Surrender of Withheld Duplicate Certificate of Title
3. Replacement of Lost Duplicate Certificate of Title

What are the laws governing the reconstitution of title?

A. Act 496: Land Registration Act of 1903 (approved November 6, 1902, effective January 1, 1903)

1. Governs the homesteading, selling, and leasing of portions of the public domain of the country
2. The purpose of the Torrens System of Registration is to quiet title to the land
3. Perfects for the issuance of patents without compensation to certain native settlers
4. The Court of Land Registration, the Register of Deeds and the Torrens system of registration were created
5. Real estate ownership may be judicially confirmed and recorded in the archives of the government
6. The term “public land” referred to all lands of the public domain whose title still remained with the government; excluded the patrimonial property and friar lands
7. Act No. 926 is the first Public Land Act (1903)
8. Act No. 2874 is the second Public Land Act (1919) and was passed under the Jones Law

B. Act No. 2259: Cadastral Act (effective on February 11, 1913)
1. Only unregistered lands may be the subject of a cadastral survey and those already titled cannot be the subject of cadastral proceedings.
2. It aims to settle and adjudicate any lands upon order of the President to the Director of Lands to make a government survey in the interest of the public. All conflicting interests on lands shall be adjudicated (to be settled by law) through the Solicitor General who represents the Director of Lands.
3. The cadastral court over previously titled lands is only focused on correction of technical errors in the description of the land.
4. The decree was awarded to the person with better claim and shall be the basis for the insurance of certificate of title which shall have the same effect as a certificate of title granted under the Property Registration Decree

C. CA No. 141: Public Land Act (approved on November 7, 1936, effective on December 1, 1936)

1. The law governed the classification and disposition of lands of the public domain
2. It is the first law for judicial confirmation of imperfect and incomplete titles
3. Free patent under rule states that the area of the land must not exceed 24 hectares for any natural Filipino citizens and cultural minorities
4. The qualification includes: must be a natural born citizen, does not own more than 24 hectares of land since July 24, 1926, continuous occupation and cultivation for at least 30 years, pays realty tax of the property. Cultural minorities are required to have a continuous occupation and cultivation of the land since July 24, 1955 whether disposable or not for at least 30 years, not an owner of any real property.

D. PD 1529: Property Registration Decree (approved on June 11, 1978, effective on June 11, 1978)

1. Amended and codified the laws relative to registration of property
2. Included judicial confirmation of imperfect or incomplete titles which tackled cadastral, voluntary and involuntary registration proceedings and the certificate of land transfer and emancipation patents
3. The court may dismiss the application of the applicant with or without prejudice to the right to file a new application for the registration of the same land Court of First Instance was given the exclusive jurisdiction over all applications for original registration of title to lands, including improvements and interests therein and over all petitions filed after original registration of title.
4. Homestead patent Issued by the Director Lands over land not of the public domain is a nullity, devoid of force and effect against the owner whose title is covered by an OCT or TCT.
5. Registration of untitled lands or lands with imperfect titles is ineffective against third persons. That in case of double sale, the title registered under the Torrens System is superior than title registered under Act 3344. Registration under the Torrens System, at the Registry of Deeds is needed so that title shall be binding upon third parties.

E. PD 892 (issued on February 16, 1976)

1. Discontinued the system of land registration under the Spanish Mortgage Law and the use of Spanish titles as evidence in land registration proceedings
2. Holders of Spanish titles must apply for registration within 6 months or until August 16, 1976 from this decree’s effectivity or else their titles would produce no registration
3. Under this decree, Spanish titles can no longer be used as evidence of ownership

F. 1987 Constitution

1. SEC 3, ARTICLE XII refers to ownership of government lands which states that for Citizens of the Philippines they can lease not more than 500 hectares and acquire not more than 12 hectares
2. Free Patent rule under the Constitution states that any natural born citizen of the Philippines who is not the owner of more than 12 hectares and who, for at least 30 years including his predecessor-in-interest has continuously occupied the land. He shall be entitled an area not to exceed 12 hectares-Torrens title issued on the basis of the free patent becomes as indefeasible as one that was judicially secured upon the expiration of one year from date of issuance of patent.

G. RA 6732 (approved July 17, 1989)

1. Allowing administrative reconstitution of original copies of certificates of titles lost or destroyed due to fire, flood and other force majeure;
2. Administrative reconstitution available to original certificates of title lost are at least 10% of all the titles in the Registry of Deeds but not less than 500 titles whichever is higher;
3. Administrative reconstitution of titles shall be without prejudice to parties whose rights or interests may been annotated on the lost or destroyed original certificates of titles.

H. RA 6657 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program/ CARP (approved June 15, 1988)

1. Applicable to all agricultural lands regardless of produce
2. The choice of productive landholdings belongs to the owner of the land
3. Retention is 5 hectares to landowners; plus 3 hectares for each child 15 years old and above, actually tilling and managing the farm
4. Beneficiary : limited to 3 hectares only
5. Under CARP, a landless beneficiary is one who owns less than 3 hectares of agricultural land

I. RA 7042 amended by RA 8179: Foreign Investment Act (approved: March 28, 1996)

1. Allows natural-born Filipino citizen who lost their Philippine citizenship to acquire private lands subject to limitation of the law. Land limits: 5,000 square meters, in case of urban land and 3 hectares in case of rural land.

J. RA 8371: Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (approved on October 29, 1997)

1. Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997
2. Rights of ownership is limited to ancestral lands only
3. Law dealing with specific group of people

K. RA 9176 (approved November 13, 2002)

1. Extending the period until December 31, 2020 for the filing of applications for administrative legalization (free patent) and judicial confirmation of imperfect and incomplete titles to alienable and disposable lands of the public domain, amending for this purpose CA 141
2. If further, limits the area to be applied for to 12 hectares only

L. RA 9225: Citizenship Retention and Re-acquisition Act (approved August 29, 2003)

1. This law provided that natural born citizens of the Philippines, who have lost their Philippine citizenship by reason of their naturalization as citizens of foreign country, are hereby deemed to have re-acquired Philippine citizenship upon taking their oath of allegiance to the republic and shall enjoy full civil and political rights and be subject to all attendant liabilities and responsibilities under the existing laws of the Philippines. Therefore, limitation on ownership under RA 7402 as amended by RA 8179 is deemed not applicable under this law.

M. RA 9700: Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law/CARPER (approved August 7, 2009)

1. It extended the program for another 5 years
2. It is the redistribution of private and public agricultural lands to help the beneficiaries survive as small independent farmers, regardless of the tenurial arrangement
3. It covers: alienable and disposable lands of public domain suitable for agriculture
4. It awards ceiling of 3 hectares for beneficiaries and payment of beneficiaries must be 30 years at 6% interest per annum to Land Bank. Awarded lands shall not be sold to non-beneficiary of the program
5. The lands covered may be disposed before 10-year period only to the government, Land Bank or program beneficiaries and may be disposed or encumbered after 10yrs from date of registration
6. Conversion is allowed after 5 years if applicable and no conversion on irrigated lands
7. The law has laid down a penalties of either3 years imprisonment or 15k fine or both

J. RA 10023: The New Residential Free Patent Law of 2010 (approved March 9, 2010)

1. The law has made any Filipino citizen who is an actual occupant of a residential land provided that in highly urbanized cities, the land should not exceed 200sqm or 500sqm in other cities as qualified for the free patent. The land should not exceed 750sqm for first class and second class municipalities and in all other municipalities, it should not exceed 1000sqm provided further that the land is not needed for public service or public use.
2. It covers coverage: All lands that are zoned as residential areas including town sites as defined under Public Land Act provided that none of the provisions of PD 705 have been violated; zoned residential area located inside a delisted military reservation or abandoned military camp and those of local government units or town sites
3. Those special patents may be granted under the name of the national agency of local government notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary and subject to private rights, if any public land actually occupied and used for public schools, municipal halls, public plazas or parks and other government institutions for public use.
4. All lands titled under this section shall not be disposed of unless sanctioned by Congress if owned by the national agency or sanctioned by the Sanggunian concerns through an approved ordinance if owned by the local govt.

References:

Agcaoili, O. (2011). Property Registration Decree and Related Laws. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

Property Registration Decree 1529, “Amending and Codifying the Laws Relative to Registration of Property and for Other Purposes”

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Property Relations between Husband and Wife

In what order does the property relations between husband and wife governed?

Art. 74. The property relationship between husband and wife shall be governed in the following order:

(1) By marriage settlements executed before the marriage;

(2) By the provisions of this Code; and

(3) By the local custom. (118)

*Local custom may mean any rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts uniformly observed as a social rule, legally binding and obligatory. It must be proved as a fact to be binding.

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What is marriage settlement?        

Marriage settlement is defined as a contract entered into by persons who are about to be married for the purpose of fixing the condition of the conjugal partnership with regard to present and future property.The Marriage Settlement must follow certain conditions such as it must be in writing form, signed by the parties and executed before the celebration of the marriage as required by this provision of the Family Code or EO. 209.

Art. 77. The marriage settlements and any modification thereof shall be in writing, signed by the parties and executed before the celebration of the marriage. They shall not prejudice third persons unless they are registered in the local civil registry where the marriage contract is recorded as well as in the proper registries of properties. (122a)

* To be enforceable against third persons it must be registered in the local civil registry where the marriage contract is recorded as well as the registry of properties.

 

What are the systems that the future spouses may agree in the marriage settlement?

  1. The regime of ABSOLUTE COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY
  2. The CONJUGAL PARTNERSHIP OF GAINS
  3. COMPLETE SEPARATION OF PROPERTY

 

Art. 75. The future spouses may, in the marriage settlements, agree upon the regime of absolute community, conjugal partnership of gains, complete separation of property, or any other regime. In the absence of a marriage settlement, or when the regime agreed upon is void, the system of absolute community of property as established in this Code shall govern. (119a)

*The spouses may stipulate or agree on any arrangement so long as it is not contrary to law. Spouses who were married after the effectivity of the Family Code (August 03, 1988) without any pre-nuptial agreement shall be governed by the Absolute Community of Property.

 

References:

Family Code of the Philippines [Executive Order No. 209]

Sta. Maria, M. (2010). Persons and Family Relations Law. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.

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Absolute Community Property

What is the System of Absolute Community of Property (ACP)?

In ACP, the spouses are considered co-owners of all property brought into the marriage, as well as those acquired during the marriage, which are not otherwise excluded. The commencement of this regime is laid down in this article:

Art. 88. The absolute community of property between spouses shall commence at the precise moment that the marriage is celebrated. Any stipulation, express or implied, for the commencement of the community regime at any other time shall be void. (145a)

What are included in the ACP?

Community property shall consist of all the property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the marriage or acquired thereafter. The inclusions of ACP is further enumerated and explained in the following articles:

Art. 91. Unless otherwise provided in this Chapter or in the marriage settlements, the community property shall consist of all the property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the marriage or acquired thereafter. (197a)

Art. 92. The following shall be excluded from the community property:

(1) Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title by either spouse, and the fruits as well as the income thereof, if any, unless it is expressly provided by the donor, testator or grantor that they shall form part of the community property;

(2) Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. However, jewelry shall form part of the community property;

(3) Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage, and the fruits as well as the income, if any, of such property. (201a)

Art. 93. Property acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to the community, unless it is proved that it is one of those excluded therefrom. (160)

 

What are excluded in the ACP?

  1. Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title by either spouse, and the fruits as well as the income thereof, if any, unless it is expressly provided by the donor, testator or grantor that they shall form part of the community property;
  2. Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. However, jewelry shall form part of the community property;
  3. Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage, and the fruits as well as the income, if any, of such property.

 

What are the obligations chargeable to the community of property?

  1. Support;
  2. Debts and Obligations (if contracted by both spouses and if redounded to the benefit of the family);
  3. Taxes and Expenses;
  4. Expenses to enable spouse to commence or complete a professional or vocational course, or other activity for self-improvement;
  5. Value of what is donated or promised by both spouses in favor of common legitimate children for the exclusive purpose of commencing or completing a professional or vocational course;
  6. Expenses of litigation between the spouses;
  7. In case only of insufficiency or absence of exclusive property of the debtor-spouse, which shall be considered as advances to be deducted from the share of the debtor-spouse upon liquidation of the community;

The abovementioned enumeration is supported by these provisions:

Art. 94. The absolute community of property shall be liable for:

  • The support of the spouses, their common children, and legitimate children of either spouse; however, the support of illegitimate children shall be governed by the provisions of this Code on Support;
  • All debts and obligations contracted during the marriage by the designated administrator-spouse for the benefit of the community, or by both spouses, or by one spouse with the consent of the other;
  • Debts and obligations contracted by either spouse without the consent of the other to the extent that the family may have been benefited;
  • All taxes, liens, charges and expenses, including major or minor repairs, upon the community property;
  • All taxes and expenses for mere preservation made during marriage upon the separate property of either spouse used by the family;
  • Expenses to enable either spouse to commence or complete a professional or vocational course, or other activity for self-improvement;
  • Ante-nuptial debts of either spouse insofar as they have redounded to the benefit of the family;
  • The value of what is donated or promised by both spouses in favor of their common legitimate children for the exclusive purpose of commencing or completing a professional or vocational course or other activity for self-improvement;
  • Ante-nuptial debts of either spouse other than those falling under paragraph (7) of this Article, the support of illegitimate children of either spouse, and liabilities incurred by either spouse by reason of a crime or a quasi-delict, in case of absence or insufficiency of the exclusive property of the debtor-spouse, the payment of which shall be considered as advances to be deducted from the share of the debtor-spouse upon liquidation of the community; and

(10) Expenses of litigation between the spouses unless the suit is found to be groundless.

If the community property is insufficient to cover the foregoing liabilities, except those falling under paragraph (9), the spouses shall be solidarily liable for the unpaid balance with their separate properties. (161a, 162a, 163a, 202a-205a)

Art. 95. Whatever may be lost during the marriage in any game of chance, betting, sweepstakes, or any other kind of gambling, whether permitted or prohibited by law, shall be borne by the loser and shall not be charged to the community but any winnings therefrom shall form part of the community property. (164a)

 

What is the manner of administration of ACP?

The manner administration is expressly provided in these articles:

Art. 96. The administration and enjoyment of the community property shall belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the husband’s decision shall prevail, subject to recourse to the court by the wife for proper remedy, which must be availed of within five years from the date of the contract implementing such decision.

X x x

Art. 97. Either spouse may dispose by will of his or her interest in the community property. (n)

Art. 98. Neither spouse may donate any community property without the consent of the other. However, either spouse may, without the consent of the other, make moderate donations from the community property for charity or on occasions of family rejoicing or family distress. (n)

 

When is sole administration allowed?

The following are the instances when sole administration may be allowed:

  1. One spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the administration of common properties;
  2. A spouse abandons the other (there must a court order);
  3. During the pendency of a legal separation case (there must be a court order);

 

Art. 96. X x x In the event that one spouse is incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in the administration of the common properties, the other spouse may assume sole powers of administration. These powers do not include disposition or encumbrance without authority of the court or the written consent of the other spouse. In the absence of such authority or consent, the disposition or encumbrance shall be void. However, the transaction shall be construed as a continuing offer on the part of the consenting spouse and the third person, and may be perfected as a binding contract upon the acceptance by the other spouse or authorization by the court before the offer is withdrawn by either or both offerors. (206a)

*The power to administer do not include the powers of disposition or encumbrance which must have the authority of the court or written consent of the spouse. In the absence of such authority/consent, the disposition or encumbrance shall be void. Any transaction entered by the wife without the court or the husband’s authority is unenforceable in accordance with Article 1317(32) of the Civil Code. Being an unenforceable contract, the Contract to Sell is susceptible to ratification. No waiver of rights, interests, shares and effects of the absolute community during the marriage shall be allowed. All property acquired during the marriage, whether the acquisition appears to have been made, contracted, or registered in the name of one or both spouses, it is presumed to be conjugal unless the contrary is proved.

 

How is Absolute Community of Property Regime dissolved?

It can be dissolved by the instances laid down in this article:

Art. 99. The absolute community terminates:

(1) Upon the death of either spouse;

(2) When there is a decree of legal separation;

(3) When the marriage is annulled or declared void; or

(4) In case of judicial separation of property during the marriage under Articles 134 to 138. (175a)

References:

Family Code of the Philippines [Executive Order No. 209]

Matthews V. Taylor, GR No. 164584, June 22, 2009

Sta. Maria, M. (2010). Persons and Family Relations Law. Quezon City: Rex Printing Company, Inc.