Monday, April 02, 2012

Heirs and inheritance (Part 15): Who inherits from a man or woman who died single and with no last will?

Situation 1: The man or woman who died single has living (a) legitimate parents or ascendants – grandparents, or great-grandparents, and (b) siblings, but with no illegitimate children.

Articles 985, 986, and 987 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines (NCC) are the governing laws in this situation.

Art. 985. In default of legitimate children and descendants of the deceased, his parents and ascendants shall inherit from him, to the exclusion of collateral relatives.

Art. 986. The father and mother, if living, shall inherit in equal shares.

Should one only of them survive, he or she shall succeed to the entire estate of the child.

Art. 987. In default of the father and mother, the ascendants nearest in degree shall inherit.

Should there be more than one of equal degree belonging to the same line they shall divide the inheritance per capita; should they be of different lines but of equal degree, one-half shall go to the paternal and the other half to the maternal ascendants. In each line the division shall be made per capita.
[1] Only the man or woman’s parents or ascendants (whether paternal or maternal) will inherit; the siblings (the “collateral relatives” in Art. 985) are excluded.

[2] Based on the principle “nearer excludes farther”, parents will exclude the grandparents from inheriting, and grandparents will exclude great-grandparents.

Situation 2: The man or woman who died single has no living ascendant, but is survived by (a) siblings, and (b) illegitimate children.

Articles 988, 989, and 990 NCC are the governing laws in this situation.
Art. 988. In the absence of legitimate descendants or ascendants, the illegitimate children shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased.

Art. 989. If, together with illegitimate children, there should survive descendants of another illegitimate child who is dead, the former shall succeed in their own right and the latter by right of representation.

Art. 990. The hereditary rights granted by the two preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be transmitted upon their death to their descendants, who shall inherit by right of representation from their deceased grandparent.
[1] Only the illegitimate children will inherit; the siblings are excluded from inheriting.

[2] If any of the illegitimate children had died earlier, their own children will inherit by right of representation.

Situation 3: The man or woman who died single has living (a) legitimate ascendants like parents or grandparents, (b) siblings, and (c) illegitimate children.

Article 991 NCC is the governing law in this situation.
Art. 991. If legitimate ascendants are left, the illegitimate children shall divide the inheritance with them, taking one-half of the estate, whatever be the number of the ascendants or of the illegitimate children.
[1] Only the ascendants and the illegitimate children will inherit; the siblings are excluded.

[2] Proportion: 50% of the estate to be divided among the illegitimate children; 50% to be divided among the surviving ascendants.

[3] Based on the principle “nearer excludes farther”, parents will exclude the grandparents from inheriting, and grandparents will exclude great-grandparents.

Situation 4: The man or woman who died single is illegitimate, and is survived by (a) siblings, and (b) either or both biological parents.

Article 993 NCC is the governing law in this situation.
Art. 993. If an illegitimate child should die without issue, either legitimate or illegitimate, his father or mother shall succeed to his entire estate; and if the child’s filiation is duly proved as to both parents, who are both living, they shall inherit from him share and share alike.
[1] Only the biological parents will inherit; they will exclude the man or woman’s siblings from inheriting.

[2] In a lot of situations, the illegitimate child is raised and supported by only one parent. If you are an illegitimate child, how can you prevent the other parent from inheriting under Article 993? You must execute a last will disinheriting that parent under Article 920 NCC.

Situation 5: The man or woman who died single has (a) no living ascendants, (b) no illegitimate children, but is survived by (c) brothers or sisters – whether full blood or half blood, and (d) legitimate nephews or nieces.

Articles 1003, 1004, 1005, 1006, 1009, and 1010 NCC are the governing laws in this situation.
Art. 1003. If there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the following articles.

Art. 1004. Should the only survivors be brothers and sisters of the full blood, they shall inherit in equal shares.

Art. 1005. Should brothers and sisters survive together with nephews and nieces, who are the children of the decedent’s brothers and sisters of the full blood, the former shall inherit per capita, and the latter per stirpes.

Art. 1006. Should brother and sisters of the full blood survive together with brothers and sisters of the half blood, the former shall be entitled to a share double that of the latter.

Art. 1007. In case brothers and sisters of the half blood, some on the father’s and some on the mother’s side, are the only survivors, all shall inherit in equal shares without distinction as to the origin of the property.

Art. 1008. Children of brothers and sisters of the half blood shall succeed per capita or per stirpes, in accordance with the rules laid down for the brothers and sisters of the full blood.
[1] Brother and sisters of the full blood are entitled to double the share of brothers and sisters of the half blood (Art. 1006).

[2] Please read my post titled “Can nephews and nieces inherit from their unmarried uncles or aunts?

Situation 6: The man or woman who died single has no living (a) ascendants, (b) illegitimate children, (c) brothers or sisters, (d) nephews or nieces, but is survived by (e) collateral relatives like uncles or aunts, and cousins.

Articles 1009 and 1010 NCC are the governing laws in this situation.
Art. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters nor children of brothers or sisters, the other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate.

The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by reason of relationship by the whole blood.

Art. 1010. The right to inherit ab intestato shall not extend beyond the fifth degree of relationship in the collateral line.
[1] Principle of “nearer excludes farther” applies; the relative nearer in degree will exclude the relative farther in degree.

[2] Children of first cousins are not entitled to inherit by right of representation.

Situation 7: The man or woman died single with no living parents or ascendants, siblings, nephews or nieces, or with no qualified collateral relatives.

The State will inherit the whole estate under Articles 1011 to 1014 NCC.

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