Search for Cases and Other Legal Resources
Blas et al vs Santos et al
1 SCRA 899 – Succession – Promise
Sometime before 1898, Simeon Blas married Marta Cruz with whom he had three children. He also had grandchildren from his children with Marta Cruz. In 1898, Marta Cruz died. In 1899, Blas married Maxima Santos (they had no children) but the properties he and his former wife acquired during the first marriage were not liquidated.
In 1936, Simeon Blas executed a will disposing half of his properties in favor of Maxima the other half for payment of debts, Blas also named a few devisees and legatees therein. In lieu of this, Maxima executed a document whereby she intimated that she understands the will of her husband; that she promises that she’ll be giving, upon her death, one-half of the properties she’ll be acquiring to the heirs and legatees named in the will of his husband; that she can select or choose any of them depending upon the respect, service, and treatment accorded to her by said legatees/heirs/devisees.
In 1937, Simeon Blas died. In 1956, Maxima died and Rosalina Santos became administratrix of her estate. In the same year, Maria Gervacio Blas, child of Simeon Blas in his first marriage, together with three other grandchildren of Simeon Blas (heirs of Simeon Blas), learned that Maxima did not fulfill her promise as it was learned that Maxima only disposed not even one-tenth of the properties she acquired from Simeon Blas.
The heirs are now contending that they did not partition Simeon Blas’ property precisely because Maxima promised that they’ll be receiving properties upon her death.
ISSUE: Whether or not the heirs should receive properties based on the promise of Maxima.
HELD: Yes. The promise is valid and enforceable upon her death. Though it is not a will (it lacks the formality) nor a donation, it is still enforceable because said promise was actually executed to avoid litigation (partition of Simeon Blas’ estate) hence it is a compromise.
It is not disputed that this document was prepared at the instance of Simeon Blas for the reason that the conjugal properties of his first marriage had not been liquidated. It is an obligation or promise made by the maker to transmit one-half of her share in the conjugal properties acquired with her husband, which properties are stated or declared to be conjugal properties in the will of the husband.
Justice Bautista Angelo, dissenting:
It should be noted that Maxima Santos’ promise to transmit is predicated on the condition that she can freely choose and select from among the heirs and legatees of her husband those to whom she would like to give and bequeath depending on the respect, service and companionship that they may render to her. Her commitment is not an absolute promise to give to all but only to whom she may choose and select. And here this promise has been substantially complied with when she disposed one-tenth of the property to some legatees named in Simeon’s will.
Find Uber Digests on Facebook!
Digests and other resources within this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License unless otherwise indicated.