How Do You Divide Property Among Heirs in the Philippines

Oct 19, 2022

Nowadays, it makes perfect sense to be ready for any circumstance, regardless of how unlikely it may occur. Partition of property among family members in the Philippines may be a touchy subject for many. It may even be something that is avoided, but there is no denying that this is one of the most important things to arrange for in a family.

It is one of the most typical disputes among Filipino families, especially regarding inheritance from deceased parents or other relatives. Most often, this occurs when a decedent fails to leave a will outlining who will receive what or fails to divide their possessions fairly. The situation becomes much more complicated when real estate property in the Philippines is going to be divided among half-siblings since there are cases when the rights of legitimate and illegitimate children are ambiguous. 

The division of property among family members in the Philippines and other beneficiaries is part of the estate settlement process. The estate's properties must all be disclosed, and the necessary taxes must be paid for the real estate property in the Philippines to be given to any heir or beneficiary.

Thus, preparing a last will at any time is a good idea. However, what would happen if you passed away unexpectedly without one? How do you divide the heir property?

There are two ways to settle an estate in the Philippines: judicial and extrajudicial.

A will or testament is a legal document that enables a person to, subject to specific legal requirements, have some control over how their assets are distributed after passing away. A testator must write a will to avoid disagreements about how the support they will leave behind should be distributed.

As leaving a will is not customary, judicial estate settlement is more usual in the Philippines. In this settlement, the heirs and beneficiaries of the deceased agree on the estate division without a will and the court being involved. The heirs shall submit to the Register of Deeds a certified affidavit setting forth the partition of the estate.

Whether or not a person leaves a will, the distribution of their inheritance must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Philippine Inheritance Law. Your compulsory heirs are listed in Article 887 of the Philippine Civil Code as follows:
  • Primary – The deceased's legitimate children and/or descendants
  • Secondary – The deceased's legitimate parents and/or ascendants, as well as illegitimate parents
  • Concurring – The deceased's surviving spouse, illegitimate children and/or descendants
If the deceased leaves a will, the following rules are typically followed when distributing their assets:
  • Legitimate children are entitled to receive half of the estate, which will be split equally. The remaining half of the estate is called the "free portion."
  • The surviving spouse is entitled to one-fourth of the estate if there is just one legitimate child. The spouse is entitled to the same amount as each legitimate child if there are multiple. The spouse's inheritance is taken from the estate's free portion.
  • Each illegitimate child has a right to receive the free portion of the estate, which equates to half the inheritance of a legitimate child. The remaining free part of the estate is split equally among them if the number of illegitimate children exceeds it.
  • The deceased's parents or ascendants are entitled to half of the estate if there are no legitimate children and descendants.
  • Following these legitimate claims, whatever remains of the estate's free portion may be distributed per the deceased's will.
If the deceased doesn't leave a will, the following rules are typically followed when distributing their assets:
  • The surviving spouse and legitimate children will receive an equal share of the estate, which leaves no free portion.
  • Illegitimate children have a right to receive half of what legitimate children receive. However, the spouse's and legitimate children's share must be met first.
  • The remaining estate must be split equally among all of the illegitimate children if it is less than half of the portion of the legitimate children.

A will may be written by anyone at least 18 years old, of sound mind, and not barred by law.

Here are the requirements for writing a will:

  • Notarial Will – A notarial will must be written in a language that the testator is familiar with. Second, it needs to be signed in front of each other by the testator and three credible witnesses. It should be typewritten and signed in the left margin of each page. Credible witnesses must be above 18 years old, a resident of the Philippines, able to read and write, and must not be blind or deaf. They also cannot be a successor. Finally, a notary public must certify it.
  • Holographic will – A holographic will is a handwritten will signed by the testator. The following conditions must be met for holographic wills to be recognized by Philippine law: evidence that the testator wrote the will, evidence that the testator had the mental capacity to write the will, and evidence that the choice expresses the testator's desire to distribute assets. This kind of will is legally required to be written by hand and does not need to be witnessed or notarized. However, if the will is typewritten, it needs to be witnessed.

Now that the question of "how do you divide the heir property" has been addressed, you can feel more at ease about buying properties and ensuring that they will always be given to your selected heir.

One of the country's leading developers of condo units, Vista Residences, is worth checking out if you're considering investing in condos in the Philippines. Their condos in the Philippines may be found in cities like Manila, Mandaluyong, Makati, Ortigas, Taguig, and Quezon City, as well as in Baguio, Cebu, and Cagayan De Oro.

For more information on Vista Residences, email [email protected], follow @VistaResidencesOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, or call the Marketing Office at 0999 886 4262 / 0917 582 5167.

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