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DIGEST: Maloto v. Court of Appeals

Maloto v. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 76464 February 29, 1988


1. Petitioners and respondents are the nieces/nephews or Adriana Maloto who died in 1963. The four heirs believed that the deceased did not leave a will, hence they filed an intestate proceeding. However, the parties executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate dividing it into four equal parts.

2. In 1967, Atty. Sulpicio Palma, ex-associate of the deceased's counsel allegedly discovered her last will which was purportedly dated 1940, inside a cabinet. Hence the annulment of the proceedings and a probate petition was filed by the devisees and legatees. The said will was allegedly burned by the house help under the   instruction of the deceased

3. The lower court denied the probate on the ground that the animus revocandi in the burning of the will was sufficiently proven.

Issue: Whether or not there was valid revocation of the will

RULING: No, there was no revocation. For a valid revocation to occur,the 'corpus' and 'animus' must concur, one without the other will not produce a valid revocation. The physical act of destruction of a will must come with an intention to revoke (animus revocandi). In this case, there's paucity of evidence to comply with the said requirement. The paper burned was not established to be the will and the burning though done under her express direction was not done in her presence.

Under Art. 830, the physical act of destruction, in this case the burning of the will, does not constitute an effective revocation, unless it is coupled with animus revocandi on the part of the testator. Since animus is a state of mind, it has to be accompanied by an overt physical act of burning, tearing, obliterating or cancelling done by the testator himself or by another under his express direction and presence.

Source: http://lawsandfound.blogspot.com/2013/02/maloto-v-ca-digest.html

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