Article 895: The Property Rights Of A Legitimate Child Versus An Illegitimate Child
George Ryan Sarmago
Article 895: Property Rights of a legitimate child versus the illegitimate child
Do illegitimate children have right to inherit property? What are the property rights between a legitimate child versus the illegitimate child? Can the family of the of legitimate child refuse to give anything to the legitimate child? Is there a general rule when it comes to the percentage of inheritance each heir is entitled to? And what if I have no idea of the assets my parents, are there ways to inquire about their properties?
So, what is an illegitimate child? Article 164 of the Family Code defined an “illegitimate” child as one conceived and born outside of a valid marriage or outside lawful wedlock.
And a “Legitimate" child is that those whose parents are married.
To answer these questions, let’s go to what is stipulated in the law and our Philippine laws provide for the rights of children, both legitimate and illegitimate, to inherit from their parents.
This is where the term legitime comes in. Legitime is the portion of the property left by a deceased parent for their children. This is stipulated under Article 886 of the Civil Code of the Philippines that a “Legitime is that part of the testator’s property which he cannot dispose of because the law has reserved it for certain heirs, who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs”.
Article 887 of the Civil Code of the Philippines enumerates the list of compulsory heirs:
(1) Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their legitimate parents and ascendants;
(2) In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, with respect to their legitimate children and descendants;
(3) The widow or widower;
(4) Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal fiction. A legal fiction is a fact assumed or created by courts, which is then used in order to help reach a decision or to apply a legal rule.
(5) Other illegitimate children referred to in Article 287.
Thus, there is no basis if the family of the legitimate child will refuse to give inheritance to the illegitimate child because an illegitimate child is part of the compulsory heir.
With regard to the percentage of inheritance, it is important to note that the law also provides for the size of the share to be received by an illegitimate child compared to the share of a legitimate child.
Article 895 states that an illegitimate child shall receive a share equivalent to half of the share that will be received by a legitimate child who in turn shall receive a share of half of the value of the whole legitime. Example, if the total value of the legitime left by a deceased is ten million pesos, a legitimate child shall receive five million pesos from it, while an illegitimate child is entitled to only 2.5 million pesos, which is half of the value received by the legitimate child.
As a general rule, illegitimate children get one-half of the share of a legitimate child. However, Article 895 of the Civil Code also specifically provides that “the legitime of the surviving spouse must first be fully satisfied” before the share of the illegitimate children can be given.
Now that we have established the division and percentage of heirs, your next step is to determine the real estate properties of the deceased parent. So, you start by requesting information from the Register of Deeds. You need to have basic information such as the Transfer Certificate of Title number and its location.
Now these are just basic scenarios that I raised, and I know there are more complex and deeply rooted situations in real life that would need professional advice. And if you have a legal question regarding the rights of a legitimate child versus and illegitimate child, I suggest you hire a lawyer to guide you in every step of the way.
So, there you have it and I hope you learn something. Once again this is George Ryan Sarmago, unit manager for Filipino Homes. Thank you for watching, stay safe, stay at home and peace.
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