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[SANTOS CARTAJENA v. ISAIAS LIJAUCO](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/cf32?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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[ GR No. 13153, Sep 23, 1918 ]

SANTOS CARTAJENA v. ISAIAS LIJAUCO +

DECISION

38 Phil. 620

[ G.R. No. 13153, September 23, 1918 ]

SANTOS CARTAJENA, AS EXECUTOR OF THE DECEASED TOMASA NEPOMUCENO, TEOTIMO DUQUE AND LUCIANO NEPOMUCENO, PLAINTIFFS AND APPELLANTS, VS. ISAIAS LIJAUCO AND ESPERANZA ZABALLA, IN THEIR CAPACITY OF GUARDIANS AND TUTORS OF THE MINORS, ANA CARTAJENA AND MANUEL LIJAUCO, DEFENDANTS AND APPELLEES.

D E C I S I O N

JOHNSON, J.:

The question presented by this appeal is; May an administrator of an estate of a deceased person continue to administer the estate after a will of such deceased is proved and allowed?

The facts upon which that question is based, are as follows:

(1) That Tomasa Nepomuceno died on the 9th day of April, 1913;

(2) That on the 11th day of April, 1913, two days after the death of Tomasa Nepomuceno, the defendants herein, presented a petition in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Laguna, praying for the appointment of an administrator of the estate of the deceased Tomasa Nepomuceno;

(3) That on the 14th day of April, 1913, the plaintiff herein, Santos Cartajena, presented a will in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Laguna, alleging that it was the last will and testament of Tomasa Nepomuceno, and prayed that said will be admitted to probate;

(4) That on the 12th day of July, 1913, the Honorable Vicente Jocson, judge, upon a consideration of the petition of the defendants of the 11th day of April, 1913, appointed the defendants as administrators of said estate;

(5) That on the 19th day of July, 1913, the lower court appointed commissioners to hear claims against the estate of the deceased, as it was being administered by the defendants;

(6) That on the 30th day of July, 1913, the defendants herein presented their opposition to the probation of the alleged will of Tomasa Nepomuceno which had therefore been presented for probate on the 14th day of April, 1913;

(7) That on the 30th day of October, 1913, the Honorable Vicente Jocson, judge, admitted said will to probate notwithstanding the opposition of the defendants herein;

(8) That from the decision admitting said will to probate the defendants duly appealed to the Supreme Court. The order legalizing said will was affirmed by the Supreme Court on the 15th day of December, 1914,[1] the record being returned to the trial court on the 30th day of January, 1915; and on the same day the court appointed the plaintiff as administrator of the estate of Tomasa Nepomuceno, deceased;

(9) That on the 7th day of February, 1914, the defendants, acting as administrator of the said estate, presented a report of their administration;

(10) That on the 19th day of February, 1914, the de: fendants, still continuing to act as administrators of the estate, presented a motion asking for an order of partition of the property of the estate, which motion was granted on the 27th day of February, 1914;

(11) That on the 9th day of March, 1915, the plaintiff presented a motion in the lower court asking that the court annul and set aside all the proceedings which had been taken by the defendants in the course of the administration of the estate of Tomasa Nepomuceno, after the presentation of the will, in accordance with the provisions of section 657 of Act No. 190.

From the foregoing it will be seen that two administrators were proceeding with the administration and settlement of the estate of the deceased, at the same time in the same court. It is difficult to understand, in view of the provisions of section 657 of Act No. 190, why the court permitted the two administrators to continue to act.

Section 657 (Act No. 190) provides that the appointment of an administrator shall be revoked if a will is subsequently discovered. Said section provides:

"If, after granting letters of administration by a court on the estate of a person as if he had died intestate, a will of such deceased person is proved and allowed by the court, the letters of administration shall be revoked and the powers of the administration cease, and he shall thereupon surrender the letters of administration to the court, and render his account within such time as the court directs."

The defendants cannot claim ignorance of the presentation of the will for probate, for the reason that they appeared in the probate proceedings for the legalization of the will and opposed it. The defendants had been appointed administrators on the 11th day of April, 1913. The will was presented by the plaintiff for probation on the 14th day of April, 1913, and the defendants appeared on the 30th day of July, 1913, and opposed the probation of said will. Notwithstanding the opposition of the defendants, the Honorable Vicente Jocson, judge, admitted said will to probate and appointed the plaintiff as the administrator of the estate in question under the will, of which the defendants had due notice. Notwithstanding the appointment of an administrator under the will, the defendants continued to act as administrators of the estate in accordance with the appointment of the 12th of July, 1913. Having full knowledge that a will had been presented, proved and allowed, it is difficult to understand how the defendants could have continued in good faith with the administration of the estate.

Considering that the defendants had full knowledge of the existence of the will as well as the fact that the same had been proved and allowed; and

Considering that the defendants, in disregard of the provisions of said section 657, continued in the course of the administration of said estate after such knowledge, it is hereby ordered and decreed:

(a) That the letters of administration heretofore granted to the defendants be revoked;

(b) That they render an account of their administration to the court within a time to be fixed by the lower court; and

(c) That they immediately turn over to the plaintiff, as administrators of said estate, all property and effects which came into their hands by virtue of their appointments as administrators.

It is further provided and decreed that all persons holding claims against the estate, and which were presented for allowance to the commissioners in the administration of the estate by the defendants, shall be considered to have been submitted to the commissioners appointed in the administration of the estate by the plaintiff as of the date when they were presented to the first commissioners. The claimants who presented their claims in due time should not be prejudiced by anything ordered or decreed herein.

With the foregoing modifications, the judgment of the lower court is hereby affirmed, without any finding as to costs. So ordered.

Street, Malcolm, Avanceña, and Fisher, JJ., concur.


[1] In re Estate of Nepomuceno, 28 Phil. Rep., 638.


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