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Attorneys of the Philippines Legal News

Welcome to our legal news pages. Here is where we provide updates about what's happening in Philippines legal news, and publish helpful articles and tips for Pinoys researching legal matters.

Partition Of Co-Owned Property

If you and your siblings have inherited a land from your parents and all of you are named as co-owners, there will come a time when one of you will decide to divide the property as a way of claiming the portion you co-owned.

In this case, siblings must know the provisions of  partitioning the property. Problems arise due to an undivided property. While this can be a classic example of sibling rivalry, such conflict may end up in court if not settled. Article 494 to 501 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides the provision with regard to the partition of the property you co-owned.

Article 494-501 of the Civil Code of the Philippines

Art. 494. No co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the thing owned in common, insofar as his share is concerned.

Nevertheless, an agreement to keep the thing undivided for a certain period of time, not exceeding ten years, shall be valid. This term may be extended by a new agreement.

A donor or testator may prohibit partition for a period which shall not exceed twenty years.

Neither shall there be any partition when it is prohibited by law.

No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. (400a)

Art. 495. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding article, the co-owners cannot demand a physical division of the thing owned in common, when to do so would render it unserviceable for the use for which it is intended. But the co-ownership may be terminated in accordance with Article 498. (401a)

Art. 496. Partition may be made by agreement between the parties or by judicial proceedings. Partition shall be governed by the Rules of Court insofar as they are consistent with this Code. (402)

Art. 497. The creditors or assignees of the co-owners may take part in the division of the thing owned in common and object to its being effected without their concurrence. But they cannot impugn any partition already executed, unless there has been fraud, or in case it was made notwithstanding a formal opposition presented to prevent it, without prejudice to the right of the debtor or assignor to maintain its validity. (403)

Art. 498. Whenever the thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds distributed. (404)

Art. 499. The partition of a thing owned in common shall not prejudice third persons, who shall retain the rights of mortgage, servitude or any other real rights belonging to them before the division was made. Personal rights pertaining to third persons against the co-ownership shall also remain in force, notwithstanding the partition. (405)

Art. 500. Upon partition, there shall be a mutual accounting for benefits received and reimbursements for expenses made. Likewise, each co-owner shall pay for damages caused by reason of his negligence or fraud. (n)

Art. 501. Every co-owner shall, after partition, be liable for defects of title and quality of the portion assigned to each of the other co-owners.

I Can't Pay My Rent: 3 Proven Tips To Prevent Tenant Eviction

You lost your job.

A family member got hospitalized causing you to use the money intended for paying rent.

You will certainly agree that being faced with financial issues is stressful. Every tenant has encountered problems with paying rent on time or in full. It is no secret. The mere fact that your landlord will penalize you for paying late is enough to cause panic.

The good news is, you can still deal with late rent payments.

Arrange A Partial Rent Payment

Being evicted is the last thing you want to happen, but rules are rules. There is still something you can do to avoid eviction and that is to negotiate a partial or delayed rent payment. Do not wait for your landlord to remind you of the payment you failed to make. Be proactive and inform your landlord that can't afford to pay rent this month. The mere fact that you made an effort to inform them is a sign of your willingness to settle delayed rent payment.

Keep in mind that delayed payment can also affect your landlord in more ways than one. What if the payment will be used for paying the utility bills? What if the payment will be intended for paying their kids' tuition fees? Giving your landlord a written assurance that you are going to pay the full rent will give both parties peace of mind.

First, you need to ask your landlord in writing to give you a few extra days or weeks to settle the payment. You will need to explain why you are having difficulties making a timely payment.

If it is possible, you can offer to pay at least some of the rent on time. Your landlord also needs an assurance that you will deliver what you have promised so a written agreement will be deemed necessary. Be sure to indicate the date and keep your promise. As a rule of thumb, late payment will also incur late fee. Be sure to be prepared for it.

The Problem Will Not Go Away Unless You Do Something About it

If you are tempted to ignore the problem, thinking that it will just go away, you may have to think twice.

Your landlord keeps a record of the payment tenants made. This means they can easily track late payments. You will not solve the problem if you will develop a habit of ignoring reminders through emails or phone calls. Not cool.

Sending A Check You Know Will Bounce Is A Big No-No!

If you are toying with the idea of sending a bad check, it is estafa hiding in plain sight, a lawsuit that is waiting to happen. Instead of solving the problem, you are only fueling your landlord's anger. A bounced check only worsens your problem as the landlord may be left with no choice but to terminate your tenancy.

If you have been a good tenant, asking a small favor from your landlord won't hurt. Once you have made a rent payment, make it a habit to pay on time.

Is Inherited Estate Considered Conjugal Property?

The inherited estate is one of the most talked about topics concerning property relation. While it is often said that when two people get married, anything acquired during marriage is deemed conjugal property, there are still some exceptions to the rule and this is where issues become complex. What if the property at the time of marriage has been inherited by one of the spouses? This is an interesting question because the problem usually arises when couples decide to call it quits due to irreconcilable differences. As a result, all of the properties acquired will be divided equally. What makes a property exclusive?

Section 2. Exclusive Property of Each Spouse

"Art. 109. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:

    (1) That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own;

    (2) That which each acquires during the marriage by gratuitous title;

    (3) That which is acquired by right of redemption, by barter or by exchange with property belonging to only one of the spouses; and

    (4) That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband. (148a)

Art. 110. The spouses retain the ownership, possession, administration and enjoyment of their exclusive properties.

Either spouse may, during the marriage, transfer the administration of his or her exclusive property to the other by means of a public instrument, which shall be recorded in the registry of property of the place the property is located. (137a, 168a, 169a)

Art. 111. A spouse of age may mortgage, encumber, alienate or otherwise dispose of his or her exclusive property, without the consent of the other spouse, and appear alone in court to litigate with regard to the same. (n)

Art. 112. The alienation of any exclusive property of a spouse administered by the other automatically terminates the administration over such property and the proceeds of the alienation shall be turned over to the owner-spouse. (n)

Art. 113. Property donated or left by will to the spouses, jointly and with designation of determinate shares, shall pertain to the donee-spouses as his or her own exclusive property, and in the absence of designation, share and share alike, without prejudice to the right of accretion when proper. (150a)

Art. 114. If the donations are onerous, the amount of the charges shall be borne by the exclusive property of the donee spouse, whenever they have been advanced by the conjugal partnership of gains. (151a)

Art. 115. Retirement benefits, pensions, annuities, gratuities, usufructs and similar benefits shall be governed by the rules on gratuitous or onerous acquisitions as may be proper in each case. (n)"

Things You Need To Check Before Signing A Tenancy Agreement

Renting a property is indeed very challenging especially when it comes to following rules. Due to excitement, the tenant may immediately sign the contract without reading the content of the tenancy agreement. It is important to ask questions before you consider signing the lease agreement to prevent problems from arising in the future.

1. Mode of payment

Before you sign the lease agreement, be sure you find out about the mode of payment accepted. More often than not, the landlord will prefer cash but check or bank transfer may also be an option. Aside from the mode of payment, you should also ask about the specific date that the payment should be made.

2. Utilities you are responsible for

Some landlords include utilities like water and electricity to the rental payment while others may also consider paying the utilities separately. Make sure you settle issues of utilities so confusion can be avoided.

3. Repair and Renovation of the Property

It is important to know whether or not it is allowed to make changes to the property. Some landlords allow repair and renovation while others may not agree with it. The landlord's policy regarding re-designing the rental space is usually specified on the contract.

4. Guest Policy

You have to keep in mind that the policy when renting an apartment or other types of rental property may vary from landlord to landlord. There are landlords who prefer to set specific visiting hours and prohibit tenants from accepting visitors in the middle of the night due to security issues. Before you move in, ask the time you can accept or bring a guest.

5. Bringing Pets

Again, some landlords do not mind bringing your furry friends, but there are owners that either prohibit pets in the property or expect a pet deposit. Ask in advance to find out.

6. Maintenance Problem

It can be inevitable to encounter maintenance emergency when you are supposed to have a good night's sleep. The landlord must be quick to respond to maintenance problems. You should know if the landlord has a reliable repairman who will come to the rescue in case of maintenance emergency.

7. Damage and Security Deposit

The security deposit serves as your bond in the event you have incurred damage in the property. However, if you choose to not renew your contract and there are no damages in the property, you need to get a refund of your security deposit. Ask the landlord if they allow documenting current damage in the rental property for future reference.

8.Non-Refundable Security Deposit

Normal wear and tear can be an issue that may cause the landlord to hold the deposit. Be sure to arm yourself with sufficient knowledge about the reasons for not getting your security deposit back.

How Do You Settle The Estate Of A Dead Person

It is a known fact that some properties for sale are still registered in the names of the deceased parent or next of kin. If the property owner passed away, the estate must be settled before the name of the buyer can be transferred. More often than not, this is a complicated process if you do not know the steps. When you settle the estate of a deceased person, it means you should declare the properties of the deceased whether it is real or personal estate. The name of another person cannot be successfully transferred if the estate has not been settled. The rule applies to both testate and intestate.

6 Steps To Settling The Estate Of A Deceased Person

1. Secure and fill out BIR Form 1904. The form is intended for application for registration. It is important to apply for a valid Tax Identification Number (TIN) when you transact with the BIR. The purpose of Form 1904 is to verify the seller's and the buyer's TIN. When it comes to the payment of estate taxes, it is important to secure a separate TIN for the estate of the deceased. 

2. Prepare the mandatory documentary requirements and submit them to the BIR so the estate of a deceased person will be settled.

3. Secure BIR Form 1801. This form refers to the Estate Tax Return Form. Fill out the form with the necessary information such as the name and the TIN of the Estate. The ONETT officer of the Day will help you in filling out the rest of the form based on the computation and review of the documents you have presented. You will need to consult a certified public accountant if the estate of the deceased person is more than P3 million. The accountant will help to determine the taxable estate's initial computation.

4. Pay the estate tax based on the computation. Settle the estate tax with an Authorized Agent Bank (AAB) of the RDO, which has the jurisdiction over the place of residence of the deceased person. You can pay the computed estate tax by cash, manager's or cashier's check. If you are going to settle the estate tax through a Manager's or Cashier's Check, make sure that the following is written as payee:" (Bank, Branch) FAO BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE IFO (Taxpayer's Name) (Tin of Taxpayer)." If you choose to pay the estate tax using a AAB, which is a government financial institution such as Landbank of the Philippines, the payee will be the BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE.

5. The documentary requirements must be submitted including the proof of payment to the RDO, which has the jurisdiction over the decedent's place of residence.

6. Wait for the Certificate Authorizing Registration to be released. Once CAR is released, the property can be sold to a buyer. When paying the capital gains, the CAR along with Affidavit of Self-Adjudication, Extra-judicial Settlement of Estate, Tax Clearance Certificate and other requirements should presented.

Dos And Don'ts For Landlords And Tenants

The key to the success of renting out your property is ensuring that you keep your tenants happy. However, this rule does not only apply to landlords as tenants also have their own responsibilities. More often than not, tenants and landlords end up dealing with complaints and problems because there was no complete closure of the responsibilities each party needs to fulfill.

Dos (Landlords)

-Screen your tenants
It is not enough that your tenants have the ability to pay the rent because there are also other factors that you need to take into consideration. Incurring damages to your property is often inevitable. This is where comparing good apples to bad apples come into play. Make sure you pick the best tenant by putting them through a series of interviews as part of the screening process.

-Ensure tenant's safety
It is your responsibility as a landlord to ensure that your property is a livable and safe place. Make sure you check anything for repairs. If there are fixtures in need of attention, consider having a maintenance schedule. Electrical and gas equipment must be regularly checked by trusted technicians.

-Respect tenants' privacy
Tenants should enjoy their privacy even when they are renting your property. If you need to inspect the property, be sure to schedule your visits. You can freak your tenants out if you show up in the wee hours of the morning for inspection. Tenants surely appreciate if landlords value their privacy.

-Prepare a contract
Verbal agreements may appear to be the easiest way to bind a tenant into a commitment. However, if problems arise, both parties will be in a no-win situation. Even if the occupant is a friend or an acquaintance, it still pays to prepare a lease contract that is notarized as much as possible. Both parties will be protected when there is a written contract.

Don'ts (Landlords)

-Overcharge
Renting out your place is such a big step to make, but this should not be used as an excuse for overcharging tenants. Be sure to learn about the rental market so you will know the reasonable price range. You will have difficulties finding a lessee if you attempt to overcharge. The rate must be reasonable for both parties.

-Forget about the rent due date
Non-paying tenants have always been the bane of every landlord's existence. This is why you need to encourage them to pay their rent on time. You need to be stern but respectful at the same time. While it can be frustrating to deal with tenants who always fail to make timely payments, you should avoid nagging them.

-Ignore problems with the property
If a landlord is employed full-time, it is easy to slack off in maintenance. It is necessary that you check your property from time to time to know if it needs improvement. If your tenants are making timely payments, they also deserve to live in a safe and problem-free place.

Dos (Tenants)

-Inspect the property

There might be some instances that you prefer to do your transactions online and searching for a property or place to rent is no exception. While the place may look nice in the picture, nothing beats inspecting the property in person to know whether or not you are getting a good deal.

-Read and sign a contract
A written contract protects you from any disputes due to not fulfilling the agreements that the landlord has promised. If you have a contract both parties will know if the conditions have been performed. Never sign a contract without reading the terms and conditions thoroughly. Ask questions if there is something in the contract you need to clarify.

-Pay on time
Rent payment is used for maintenance or paying the utility bills. Delayed payments may also result in a series of inconveniences ranging from lack of electricity, water supply, interrupted internet connectivity and many others.

Don'ts (Tenants)

-Damage the property
As a tenant, it is your responsibility to take care of the landlord's property you rented. In the event of property damage, you should make it a point to shoulder the cost for repair or maintenance.

-Violate lease contract agreement
Once you have signed the contract, it is an indicator that you have agreed to its terms and conditions. If you violate any of the agreements, the landlord has the right to evict you. Make sure you follow rules including making timely payments.

The Process Of Evicting A Non-Paying Tenant

While you may try to do everything to ensure renting out your property runs smoothly, there are still instances when you need to deal with a non-paying tenant. There might be other grounds for tenant eviction, but non-payment is the most common. Some prefer to create a verbal agreement while others secure a contract. With or without a contract, a tenant who fails to pay for a maximum of three months can be subject for ejectment. However, things are always easier said than done. Here's what you need to know about ejectment:

Grounds and process of ejectment

"Sec.  5.  Grounds for Judicial Ejectment. — Ejectment shall be allowed on the following grounds:

    a.  Subleasing or assignment of lease of residential units in whole or in part, without the written consent of the owner/lessor: Provided, That in case of subleases or assignments executed prior to the approval of this Act, the sublessor/assignor shall have sixty days from the effectivity of this Act within which to obtain the written approval of the owner/lessor or terminate the sublease or assignment.

    b.  Arrears in payment of rent for three (3) months at any one time: Provided, That in case of refusal by the lessor to accept payment of the rental agreed upon, the lessee shall either deposit, by way of consignation, the amount in court, or in a bank in the name of and with notice to the lessor.

    c.  Need of owner/lessor to repossess his property for his own use for the use of any immediate member of his family as a residential unit, such owner or immediate member not being the owner of any other available residential unit: Provided, however, That the period of lease has expired: Provided, further, That the lessor has given the lessee notice three months in advance of the lessor's intention to repossess the property: and Provided, finally, That the owner/lessor or immediate member stays in the residential unit for at least one year, except for justifiable cause.

    d.  Ownership by the lessee of another residential unit which he may use as his residence: Provided, That the lessee shall have been notified by the lessor of the intended ejectment three months in advance.

    e.  Need of the lessor to make necessary repairs of the leased premises which is the subject of an existing order of condemnation by the appropriate administrative authorities concerned in order to make the said premises safe and habitable: Provided, That after said repair, the lessee ejected shall have the right of first refusal of the lease of the same premises.

    f.  Expiration of the period of a written lease contract. "

Where Should You Verify The Authenticity Of Land Titles?

There are five places you can go to if you want to verify the authenticity of property titles.

1. Registry of Deeds

Your local Registry of Deeds is the place for verifying the authenticity of your property title. While you may have the option to check the records from the Registry of Deeds' official website, it is important that you personally visit the office of the locality where your property is located as a way of doing the initial verification.

2. Municipal or City Assessor's & Treasurer's Offices

If you want to find the property's accurate technical description, the Assessor's office will be able to help you with it. This is also the place where you can request for vicinity map of the subject property for DAR clearance or BIR clearance. When it comes to checking the property's record for arrears, tax payments and delinquencies, the Treasurer's offices will be the place you should go to.

3. Land Registration Authority (LRA)

LRA is responsible for issuing certificates of title, decrees of registration and register documents, patents and awards. In fact, this agency of the government is the repository of all titles in the Philippines. You can also trace the property's history in this agency.

4. Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB)

HLURB is a place where you seek submit complaints or seek consultation for subdivision or condominium developments. So, before you decide on selling or advertising your property, make sure you secure approvals and permits from HLURB. Aside from granting permits and approvals, HLURB is also responsible for dealing with the following matters:

-Revise or update guidelines, rules and standards on real estate and housing;
-Registration and licenses of condominium and subdivision projects, memorial parks, farm lots and columbaria, including the issuance of licenses when developers sell properties;
-Supervises and registers Home Owners' Association activities;
-Serves as adjudication body of disputes between developers and buyers, appeals from decisions of local zoning bodies, intra (inter) homeowners associations conflicts;
-Requires the mandatory registration of real estate brokers, dealers and salesmen engaged in selling developments under the jurisdiction of HLURB.
-Evaluates and approve Master Deed and Declaration of Restrictions of condominium projects and any amendments.

5. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Bases conversion and development authority (BCDA), National Housing Authority (NHA)

These government agencies are responsible for the issuance of special awards or grants to the qualified beneficiaries. DENR approves or disapproves the application of public land patents such as homestead, sales patent and free patent.

BCDA transforms former military bases into more productive civilian use such as the Pamayanang Diego Silang Condominiums.

NHA is also an agency owned by the government, which is known for spearheading housing programs for the lowest 30% of the urban population.

Problems With Property Buyers Encounter

Do you know your legal rights as a buyer? You may not know its importance until you decide on buying a real estate property. There is quite a good number of laws that can protect the homebuyer against unlicensed agents and scammers. Due to the prevalence of scams, more and more buyers are making an effort to equip themselves with knowledge about real estate laws.

Real Estate Agent Insists On A Contract To Sell Instead Of Issuing A Deed Of Sale

More often than not developers issue a Contract to Sell (CTS) when payment has not yet been completed. CTS signifies that the buyer and seller are bound to an exclusive agreement. There are some cases when the buyer can obtain the property's physical possession from the seller and gain full ownership and title once the payment has been completed.

Legal Options For Homebuyers Victimized By Unlicensed Real Estate Agent

These days, buyers gain protection from being duped by unlicensed real estate agents through the Real Estate Service Act. This act requires homebuyers to buy properties from licensed real estate agents only. Licensed real estate agents are registered with the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service.

In the event you have been victimized by scammers, your only recourse is to file fraud-related charges against the broker or agent. For cases when a buyer dealt with registered agents who did not perform their duties, the buyer can report the incident to the Professional Regulation Commission.

Your Rights As A Buyer

For first-time homebuyers, it is important that you demand the developer the property's title once payment has been completed. You also have the right to receive a reimbursement of the amount you have paid in relation to the agreement including the payment for amortization. A developer cannot forfeit any installment payments in favor of the owner or developer.

Miss Paying Monthly Amortization

In case you miss paying your monthly amortization, your developer should allow you to pay the unpaid amount of installment without additional interest if grace period is one month for every year-worth of installments. It is also your developer's obligation to issue a refund in the event the contract was cancelled.

The buyer has the right to sell the rights or assign the payment to another person if they no longer have the capacity to make a payment to the property. The buyer can aso ask a reinstatement of the contract so the account will be updated within the grace period or before the cancellation of contract takes place. These processes must be done by notarial act.

Selling A Property In The Philippines

If you are planning to sell your real estate property in the Philippines, you need to follow the correct procedures to avoid putting yourself into a nightmarish situation. While it does not take rocket science to sell a property, familiarizing yourself with the procedures is a must as there are some legal documents that you need to secure.

1. Sign A Contract of Agreement

The owner or broker will first discuss the terms of the sale, the commission and the fees. It is also necessary to scrutinize the documents to make sure that the land title meets the condition and free from encumbrances, liens and loans.

2. Issue an Authority to Sell

The purpose of the agreement or contract is to bind the broker as the agent of the owner providing the essential information and the amount of commission of the property that will be sold. The contract will also indicate if the owner will bestow upon the exclusive rights of the broker or a non-exclusive authorization to sell the property. The broker will secure the necessary documents before selling the property to ensure that there are no problems concerning the property. The broker will also check if the property is free from encumbrances. An encumbrance means that another person has interest in, right to, or legal liability on the property that either deter the process of transferring the title or diminish the value of the property.

3. Assessment of property by the broker

The broker will check the property as a way of assessing its current market value. It is important for the property to be appraised to determine its actual price. There are several factors that will be taken into account in determining the asset's value such as the area and location of the property.

4. Broker will offer and sell the property

Before a broker can market the property, it is important that the owner agrees on how to market the property. There are also some limitations that should be taken into consideration such as privacy when realising photos or disclosing the location online. Both parties must also decide on how to split the marketing costs such as communication and transportation expenses. Nowadays, the common practice is that the broker shoulders the expenses depend on the amount of the commission.

5. Viewing of the Property

Once the buyers get in touch with the broker or owner, they will proceed with viewing the property. The owner needs to make sure that the property is presentable to add value to the property.

6. Write a Letter of Intent or Offer to Buy

The buyer will also offer a Letter of Intent to the property owner declaring the intention to purchase. More often than not, the Letter of Intent is given at the first stage in documenting a sale of real property.

7. Acceptance of Owner

The owner accepts the Letter of Intent once signed. This indicates acceptance of the terms given by the buyer. Upon acceptance, the seller will be bound to promist not to offer the property to other buyers so long as the buyer does not breach the conditions in the letter.

8. Provide Earnest Money

The earnest money is provided as means of holding the property subject to the buyer's due diligence. It can be forfeited when there is default on the buyer's part. The money can also be used as refundable subject to deductions depending on the agreement that both parties made.

9. Preparation of Legal Documents

The legal documents must be secured in preparation of the transfer of ownership to the buyer.

These documents must be obtained from the Register of Deeds:
•    Certified True Copy of Transfer Certificate of Title ( Land )
•    Certified True Copy of Condominium Certificate of Title ( Unit )
•    Certified True Copy of Condominium ( Parking – if applicable )

The owner or broker must procure these documents from the Assessor's Office:
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Land )
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Improvement / Building )
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Condominium )
•    Certified True Copy of Tax Declaration ( Condominium parking, if applicable )
•    Real Estate Tax Clearance for Current Year
•    Certificate of Non-Improvement if property is bare and without structures such as a house or a building

The Property Owner should also secure the following documents"
•    Certificate Authorizing Registration from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
•    Original Real Estate Tax Receipts – Current Year
•    Lot Plan / Subdivision Plan

A Deed of Absolute sale will be prepared and signed. The seller transfers ownerships of the property to the buyer. The Deed of Absolute Sale should be signed by both parties so it will be considered to be the absolute owner of the property. After which, both parties will proceed with the payment of expenses such as capital gains tax, documentary stamps tax, registration fees and transfer tax. Upon full payment of the purchase price and other expenses, the contact will be signed and ownership will be legally transferred to the buyer. It is important to notarize Deed of Absolute Sale so it will become a public document.

The seller will turn over the original copies of Transfer of Certificate, Condominium Certificate of Title, Tax Declaration, Tax Clearance for both land and improvement, Tax Clearance for condominium unit and parking. The buyer must also obtain a new tax declaration and when the new tax declaration has been released, the former owner's full obligation will be terminated.

What Is Extrajudicial Settlement Of Estate?

Many individuals encounter problems when a property is divided between legal heirs. The most common reason is the lack of basic understanding of the process of extrajudicial settlement of estate. While it cannot be denied that the process of buying and selling of property has been in existence for so long, there are still sellers or buyers who still fall prey to scams because they do not know the process. The process might be as simple as selling the property to the buyer and dealing with legal formalities, but there are processes that can be a bit complicated especially when the property owner passes away. When the transfer of ownership has not been completed, there is a great chance of selling the property to another person later on. An extrajudicial settlement is a simple fix when the property owner dies.

How does extrajudicial settlement of estate work?

The settlement involves drafting a contract, which specifies how a deceased owner's properties will be divided among individuals considered as heirs. The properties indicated in the contract are referred to as estate. It is called extrajudicial or out of court settlement because the heirs no longer go to trial to divide the properties, which the deceased property owner left.

The requirement for the process

1. Absolute absence of a will;
2. Proof that the decendent's estate has no existing debts;
3. A legal representative or judicial for heirs who are minors;
4. Affidavit of self adjudication;
5. Deed of extrajudicial settlement of estate and adjudication of estate
6. A bond from a reputable company.

"Summary Settlement of Estate

Section 1.    Extrajudicial settlement by agreement between heirs. — If the decedent left no will and no debts and the heirs are all of age, or the minors are represented by their judicial or legal representatives duly authorized for the purpose, the parties may without securing letters of administration, divide the estate among themselves as they see fit by means of a public instrument filed in the office of the register of deeds, and should they disagree, they may do so in an ordinary action of partition. If there is only one heir, he may adjudicate to himself the entire estate by means of an affidavit filled in the office of the register of deeds. The parties to an extrajudicial settlement, whether by public instrument or by stipulation in a pending action for partition, or the sole heir who adjudicates the entire estate to himself by means of an affidavit shall file, simultaneously with and as a condition precedent to the filing of the public instrument, or stipulation in the action for partition, or of the affidavit in the office of the register of deeds, a bond with the said register of deeds, in an amount equivalent to the value of the personal property involved as certified to under oath by the parties concerned and conditioned upon the payment of any just claim that may be filed under section 4 of this rule. It shall be presumed that the decedent left no debts if no creditor files a petition for letters of administration within two (2) years after the death of the decedent.

The fact of the extrajudicial settlement or administration shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the manner provided in the nest succeeding section; but no extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has not participated therein or had no notice thereof.

Section 2.    Summary settlement of estate of small value. — Whenever the gross value of the estate of a deceased person, whether he died testate or intestate, does not exceed ten thousand pesos, and that fact is made to appear to the Court of First Instance having jurisdiction of the estate by the petition of an interested person and upon hearing, which shall be held not less than one (1) month nor more than three (3) months from the date of the last publication of a notice which shall be published once a week for three (3) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the province, and after such other notice to interest persons as the court may direct, the court may proceed summarily, without the appointment of an executor or administrator, and without delay, to grant, if proper, allowance of the will, if any there be, to determine who are the persons legally entitled to participate in the estate, and to apportion and divide it among them after the payment of such debts of the estate as the court shall then find to be due; and such persons, in their own right, if they are of lawful age and legal capacity, or by their

guardians or trustees legally appointed and qualified, if otherwise, shall thereupon be entitled to receive and enter into the possession of the portions of the estate so awarded to them respectively. The court shall make such order as may be just respecting the costs of the proceedings, and all orders and judgments made or rendered in the course thereof shall be recorded in the office of the clerk, and the order of partition or award, if it involves real estate, shall be recorded in the proper register's office.

Section 3.    Bond to be filed by distributees. — The court, before allowing a partition in accordance with the provisions of the preceding section, my require the distributees, if property other than real is to be distributed, to file a bond in an amount to be fixed by court, conditioned for the payment of any just claim which may be filed under the next succeeding section.

Section 4.    Liability of distributees and estate. — If it shall appear at any time within two (2) years after the settlement and distribution of an estate in accordance with the provisions of either of the first two sections of this rule, that an heir or other person has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation in the estate, such heir or such other person may compel the settlement of the estate in the courts in the manner hereinafter provided for the purpose of satisfying such lawful participation. And if within the same time of two (2) years, it shall appear that there are debts outstanding against the estate which have not been paid, or that an heir or other person has been unduly deprived of his lawful participation payable in money, the court having jurisdiction of the estate may, by order for that purpose, after hearing, settle the amount of such debts or lawful participation and order how much and in what manner each distributee shall contribute in the payment thereof, and may issue execution, if circumstances require, against the bond provided in the preceding section or against the real estate belonging to the deceased, or both. Such bond and such real estate shall remain charged with a liability to creditors, heirs, or other persons for the full period of two (2) years after such distribution, notwithstanding any transfers of real estate that may have been made.

Section 5.    Period for claim of minor or incapacitated person. — If on the date of the expiration of the period of two (2) years prescribed in the preceding section the person authorized to file a claim is a minor or mentally incapacitated, or is in prison or outside the Philippines, he may present his claim within one (1) year after such disability is removed."



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