Search for Cases and Other Legal Resources
Beatriz Nera vs Narcisa Rimando
18 Phil 450 – Succession – What “In the presence of each other” means
When a certain will was being signed, it was alleged that the testator and some subscribing witnesses were in the inner room while the other subscribing witnesses were in the outer room. What separates the inner room from the outer room was a curtain. The trial court ignored this fact in its determination of the case as it ruled that the determination of this specific fact will not affect the outcome of the case.
ISSUE: What is the true test of the testator’s or the witness’ presence in the signing of a will?
HELD: The Supreme Court emphasized that the true test of presence of the testator and the witnesses in the execution of a will is not whether they actually saw each other sign, but whether they might have seen each other sign, had they chosen to do so, considering their mental and physical condition and position with relation to each other at the moment of inscription of each signature.
The position of the parties with relation to each other at the moment of the subscription of each signature, must be such that they may see each other sign if they choose to do so.
The Supreme Court, in this case, determined that all the parties were in the same small room when each other signed. Hence, they were in each other’s presence (though the facts of the case didn’t elaborate – the SC just ruled so). The SC ruled that if some of the witnesses were really in the outer room (a fact which was not established according to the SC) separated by a curtain, then the will is invalid, the attaching of those signatures under circumstances not being done “in the presence” of the witness in the outer room.
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.