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 person 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?
- 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.
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