REPUBLIC ACT NO. 386
AN ACT TO ORDAIN AND INSTITUTE TH E CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
PRELIMINARY TITLE CHAPTER 1
Effect and Application of Laws
Article 1. This Act shall be known as the “Civil Code of the Philippines.” (n)
Article 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise
provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication. (1a)
Article 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. (2)
Article 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. (3)
Article 5. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity.
Article 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudici al to a third
person with a right recognized by law. (4a)
Article 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or
practice to the contrary.
When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Cons titution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern.
Administrative or executive acts, orders a nd regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Cons titution. (5a)
Article 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines. (n)
Article 9. No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. (6)
Article 10. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws , it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justi ce to prevail.
Article 11. Customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be countenanced. (n)
Article 12. A custom must be proved as a fact, ac cording to the rules of evidence. (n)
Article 13. When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it s hall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days e ach;
months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise.
If months are designated by their name, they shall be com puted by the number of days which they respectively have.
In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included. (7a)
Article 14. Penal laws and those of public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to
the principles of public international law and to treaty stipulations. (8a)
Article 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the
Philippines, even though living abroad. (9a)
Article 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is stipulated.
However, intestate and testamentary succession s, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the
intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions , shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under c onsideration,
whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. (10a)
Article 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they
When the acts referred to are executed befor e the diplomatic or consular
officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a fore ign country, the
solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, public policy and good customs
shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated , or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. (11a)
Article 18. In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws, their deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions o f this
Human Relations (n)
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of hi s rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due , and
observe honesty and good faith.
Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Article 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy s hall
compensate the latter for the damage.
Article 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or an y other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at
the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Article 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another’s property was not due to the fault or negligence of the defendant, the la tter
shall be liable for indemnity if through the act or event he was benefited.
Article 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral dependen ce,
ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other hand icap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.
Article 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by
order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.
Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The followi ng and
similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:
Civil personality is extinguished by death.
The effect of death upon the rights and obligations of the deceased is determined by law, by contract and by will. (32a)
Article 43. If there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are ca lled to succeed each other, as to which of them died first,
whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, it is presumed that they died at
the same time and there shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other. (33)
Article 44. The following are juridical persons:
nor mother and is under the age of twenty years, if a male, or eighteen years if a female. (7a)
Article 60. The local civil registrar, upon receiving such application, shall require the exhibition of the original baptismal or birth
certificates of the contracting parties or copies of such documents duly attested by the persons having custody of the original s.
These certificates or certified copies of the documents required by this article need no t to be sworn to and shall be exempt from the
documentary stamp tax. The signature and of ficial title of the person issuing the certificate shall be sufficient proof of its authenticity.
If either of the contracting parties is unable to produce his bapt ismal or birth certificate or a certified copy of either because of the
destruction or loss of the original, or if it is shown by an affidavit of such party or of any other person that such baptismal or birth
certificate has not yet been received though the same has been r equested of the person having custody thereof at least fifteen days
prior to the date of the application, such party may furnish in lieu thereof his resi dence certificate for the current year or any
previous years, to show the age stated in his application or, in the absence thereof, an instru ment drawn up and sworn to before the
local civil registrar concerned or any pub lic official authorized to solemnize marriage. Such instrument shall contain the sworn
declaration of two witnesses, of lawful age, of either sex, se tting forth the full name, profession, and residence of such cont racting
party and of his or her parents, if known, and the place and date of birth of such party. The nearest of kin of the contracting parties
shall be preferred as witnesses, and in their default, persons well known in the province or the locality for their honesty and good
The exhibition of baptismal or birth certif icates shall not be required if the parents of the contracting parties appear person ally
before the local civil registrar concerned and swear to the correct ness of the lawful age of said parties, as stated in the application,
or when the local civil registrar shall, by merely looking at the applicants upon their personally appearing before him, be con vinced
that either or both of them have the required age. (8a)
Article 61. In case either of the contracting parties is a widowed or di vorced person, the same shall be required to furnish, instead
of the baptismal or birth certificate required in the last precedi ng article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the decree
of the divorce court, as the case may be. In case the death certificate cannot be found, the party shall make an affidavit sett ing forth
this circumstance and his or her actual civil status and the name and the date of the death of the deceased spouse.
In case either or both of the contracting parties, being neither widowed nor divorced, are less than twenty years of age as reg ards
the male and less than eighteen years as re gards the female, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding artic les,
exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marri age, of their father, mother or guardian, or persons having leg al charge of
them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be in writing, under oath taken with the appearance of the interested parties
before the proper local civil registrar or in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested befor e any
official authorized by law to administer oaths. (9a)
Article 62. Males above twenty but under twenty-five years of age, or females above eighteen but under twenty-three years of age,
shall be obliged to ask their parents or guardian for advice upon the intended marriage. If they do not obtain such advice, or if it be
unfavorable, the marriage shall not take place till after three months following the completion of the publication of the appli cation for
marriage license. A sworn statement by the contracting parties to the effect that such advice has been sought, together with the
written advice given, if any, shall accompany the application for marriage license. Should the parents or guardian refuse to give any
advice, this fact shall be stated in the sworn declaration. (n)
A rticle 63. The local civil registrar shall post during ten consecutive days at the main door of the building where he has his office a
notice, the location of which shall not be changed once it has been placed, setting forth the full names and domiciles of the
applicants for a marriage license and other information given in the application. This notice shall request all persons having
knowledge of any impediment to the marriage to advise the local registrar thereof. The license shall be issued after the comple tion
of the publication, unless the local civil registrar receives information upon any alleged impediment to the marriage. (10a)
Article 64. Upon being advised of any alleged impediment to the ma rriage, the local civil registrar shall forthwith make an
investigation, examining persons under oath. If he is convicted that there is an impediment to the marriage, it shall be his duty to
withhold the marriage license, unless he is otherwise ordered by a competent court. (n)
Article 65. The local civil registrar shall demand the previous payment of fees required by law or regulations for each license
issued. No other sum shall be collected, in the nature of a fee or tax of any kind, for the issuance of a marriage license. Marriage
licenses shall be issued free of charge to indigent parties, when both male and female do not each own assessed real property in
excess of five hundred pesos, a fact certif ied to, without cost, by the provincial treasurer, or in the absence thereof, by a statement
duly sworn to by the contracting parties before the local civ il registrar. The license shall be valid in any part of the Philip pines; but it
shall be good for no more than one hundred and twenty days from th e date on which it is issued and shall be deemed cancelled at
the expiration of said period if the interested parties have not made use of it. (11a)
Article 66. When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens or subjects of a foreign country, it shall be necessary, before a
marriage license can be obtained, to provide themselves with a ce rtificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, to be issued by
their respective diplomatic or consular officials. (13a)
Article 67. The marriage certificate in which the contra cting parties shall state that they take each other as husband and wife, shall
party regarding the solemnization of the marriage in a place othe
r than those mentioned in article 57 if there be any such affi davit, in
the files that he must keep. (16a)
Article 69. It shall be the duty of the local civil r egistrar to prepare the documents required by this Title, and to administer oaths to
all interested parties without any charge in both cases.
The documents and affidavits filed in connec tion with applications for marriage licenses shall be exempt from the documentary
stamp tax. (17a)
Article 70. The local civil registrar concerned shall enter all applications for marriage licenses filed with him in a register book
strictly in the order in which the same shall be received. He s hall enter in said register the names of the applicants, the dat e on
which the marriage license was issued, and such other data as may be necessary. (18a)
Article 71. All marriages performed outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were
performed, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous marriages a s
determined by Philippine law. (19a)
Marriages of Exceptional Character
Article 72. In case either of the contracting parties is on the point of death or the female has her habitual residence at a place more
than fifteen kilometers distant from the m unicipal building and there is no communication by railroad or by provincial or local
highways between the former and the latter, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license; but in such
cases the official, priest, or minister so lemnizing it shall state in an affidavit made before the local civil registrar or any person
authorized by law to administer oaths that the marriage was performed in articulo mortis or at a place more than fifteen kilome ters
distant from the municipal building concerned, in which latter case he shall give the name of the barrio where the marriage was
solemnized. The person who solemnized the marriage shall also stat e, in either case, that he took the necessary steps to ascert ain
the ages and relationship of the contracting parties and that there was in his opinion no legal impediment to the marriage at t he time
that it was solemnized. (20)
Article 73. The original of the affidavit required in the last preceding ar ticle, together with a copy of the marriage contract, shall be
sent by the person solemnizing the marriage to the local civil registrar of the municipality where it was performed within the period
of thirty days, after the performance of the marriage. The local civil registrar shall, however, before filing the papers, requ ire the
payment into the municipal treasury of the legal fees required in article 65. (21)
Article 74. A marriage in articulo mortis may also be solemnized by the captain of a ship or chief of an airplane during a voyage, or
by the commanding officer of a military unit, in the absence of a chaplain, during war. The duties mentioned in the two precedi ng
articles shall be complied with by the ship ca ptain, airplane chief or commanding officer. (n)
Article 75. Marriages between Filipino citizens abroad may be solemnized by consuls and vice-consuls of the Republic of the
Philippines. The duties of the local civil registrar and of a judge or justice of the peace or mayor with regard to the celebration of
marriage shall be performed by such consuls and vice-consuls. (n)
Article 76. No marriage license shall be necessary when a man and a woman who have attained the age of majority and who,
being unmarried, have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years, desire to marry each other. The contracting parties
shall state the foregoing facts in an affi davit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The official, priest o r minister
who solemnized the marriage shall also state in an affidavit that he took steps to ascertain the ages and other qualifications of the
contracting parties and that he found no legal impediment to the marriage. (n)
Article 77. In case two persons married in accordance with law desire to rati fy their union in conformity with the regulations, rites, or
practices of any church, sect, or religion it shall no longer be ne
cessary to comply with the requirements of Chapter 1 of this Title
and any ratification so made shall merely be considered as a purely religious ceremony. (23)
Article 78. Marriages between Mohammedans or pagans who live in the non- Christian provinces may be performed in accordance
with their customs, rites or practices. No marriage license or formal requisites shall be necessary. Nor shall the persons sole mnizing
these marriages be obliged to comply with article 92.
However, twenty years after approval of this Code, all marr iages performed between Mohammedans or pagans shall be solemnized
in accordance with the provisions of this Code. But the Pres ident of the Philippines, upon recommendation of the Secretary of t he
Interior, may at any time before the expiration of said period, by proclamation, make any of said provisions applicable to the
Mohammedan and non-Christian inhabitants of any of the non-Christian provinces. (25a)
Article 79. Mixed marriages between a Christian male and a Mohamm edan or pagan female shall be governed by the general
provision of this Title and not by those of the last precedi ng article, but mixed marriages between a Mohammedan or pagan male
and a Christian female may be performed under the provisions of the last preceding article if so desired by the contracting parties,
subject, however, in the latter case to the provisions of the second paragraph of said article. (26)
Void and Voidable Marriages
Article 80. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:
Article 96. The existing laws which punish acts or omissions concerni ng the marriage license, solemnization of marriage, authority
to solemnize marriages, and other acts or omissions relative to the celebration of marriage shall remain and continue to be in force.
Article 97. A petition for legal separation may be filed:
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE
Article 109. The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and
Article 110. The husband shall fix the residence of the family. But the court may exempt the wife from living with the husband if he
should live abroad unless in the service of the Republic. (58a)
Article 111. The husband is responsible for the support of the wife and the rest of the family. These expenses shall be met first
from the conjugal property, then from the husband’s capital, and lastly from the wife’s paraphernal property. In case there is a
separation of property, by stipulation in the marriage settlements, the husband and wife shall contribute proportionately to th e family
Article 112. The husband is the administrator of the conjugal proper ty, unless there is a stipulation in the marriage settlements
conferring the administration upon the wife. She may also adminis ter the conjugal partnership in other cases specified in this Code.
Article 113. The husband must be joined in all suits by or against the wife, except:
Donations during the marriage by one of the spouses to the children whom the other spouse had by another marriage,
or to persons of whom the other spouse is a presumptive heir at the time of the donation are voidable, at the instance of the d onor’s
heirs after his death. (1335a)
Article 135. All property brought by the wife to the marriage, as well as all property she acquires during the marriage, in accordance
with article 148, is paraphernal. (1381a)
Article 136. The wife retains the ownership of the paraphernal property. (1382)
Article 137. The wife shall have the administration of the paraphernal property, unless she delivers the same to the husband by
means of a public instrument em powering him to administer it.
In this case, the public instrument shall be recorded in the Registry of Property. As for the movables, the husband shall give
adequate security. (1384a)
Article 138. The fruits of the paraphernal property form part of the as sets of the conjugal partnership, and shall be subject to the
payment of the expenses of the marriage.
The property itself shall also be subject to the daily expenses of the family, if t he property of the conjugal partnership and the
husband’s capital are not sufficient therefor. (1385a)
Article 139. The personal obligations of the husband can not be enforced against the fruits of the paraphernal property, unless it be
proved that they redounded to the benefit of the family. (1386)
Article 140. A married woman of age may mortgage, encumber, alienate or otherwise dispose of her paraphernal property, without
the permission of the husband, and appear alone in court to litigate with regard to the same. (n)
Article 141. The alienation of any paraphernal property administered by the husband gives a right to the wife to require the
constitution of a mortgage or any other security for the amount of the price which the husband may have received. (1390a)
Conjugal Partnership of Gains
Article 142. By means of the conjugal partnership of gains the husband and wife place in a common fund the fruits of their separate
property and the income from their work or industry, and divi de equally, upon the dissolution of the marriage or of the partner ship,
the net gains or benefits obtained indiscriminately by either spouse during the marriage. (1392a)
Article 143. All property of the conjugal partnership of ga ins is owned in common by the husband and wife. (n)
Article 144. When a man and a woman live together as husband and wife, but they are not married, or their marriage is void from
the beginning, the property acquired by either or both of them through their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be
governed by the rules on co-ownership. (n)
Article 145. The conjugal partnership shall commence precisely on the date of the celebration of the marriage. Any stipulation to
the contrary shall be void. (1393)
Article 146. Waiver of the gains or of the effects of this partnership during marriage cannot be made except in case of judicial
When the waiver takes place by reason of separation, or after the marriage has been dissolved or annulled, the same shall appea r
in a public instrument, and the creditors shall have the right which article 1052 grants them. (1394a)
Article 147. The conjugal partnership shall be governed by the rules on the co ntract of partnership in all that is not in conflict with
what is expressly determined in this Chapter. (1395)
Exclusive Property of Each Spouse
Article 148. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:
her share of the conjugal partnership profits. The pr
ovision of the preceding article shall govern. (n)
Article 178. The separation in fact between husband and wife without ju dicial approval, shall not affect the conjugal partnership,
judicial approval or the voluntary dissolution of the conjugal
partnership, so that any such creditors may appear at the hearin g to
safeguard his interests. Upon approval of t he petition for dissolution of the conjugal partnership, the court shall take such measures
as may protect the creditors and other third persons.
After dissolution of the conjugal partnership, the provisions of articles 214 and 215 shall apply. The provisions of this Code
concerning the effect of partition stated in articles 498 to 501 shall be applicable. (1433a)
Article 192. Once the separation of property has been ordered, the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved, and its liquidation shall
be made in conformity with what has been established by this Code.
However, without prejudice to the provisions of article 292, th e husband and the wife shall be reciprocally liable for their support
during the separation, and for the support and education of their ch ildren; all in proportion to their respective property.
The share of the spouse who is under civil interdiction or absent shall be administered in accordance with the Rules of Court.
Article 193. The complaint for separation and the final judgment declaring the same, shall be noted and recorded in the proper
registers of property, if the judgment should refer to immovable property. (1437)
Article 194. The separation of property shall not prejudice the rights previously acquired by creditors. (1438)
Article 195. The separation of property ceases:
officials shall foster this mutual assistance.
In case of doubt, all presumptions favo r the solidarity of the family. Thus, every intendment of law or facts leans toward
the validity of marriage, the indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of children, the community of property during
marriage, the authority of parents over their children, and the valid ity of defense for any member of the family in case of unlawful
Article 221. The following shall be vo id and of no effect:
The family home, after its creation by virtue of judicial approval, shall be exempt from execution, forced sale, or
grounds to believe that the family home of
the judgment debtor is worth more than the amount mentioned in article 231, he may
apply to the Court of First Instance for an order dire cting the sale of the property under execution.
Article 248. The hearing on the petition, appraisal of the value of the family home, the sale under execution and other matters
relative to the proceedings shall be governed by such provisions in the Rules of Court as the Supreme Court shall promulgate on
the subject, provided they are not inconsistent with this Code.
Article 249. At the sale under execution referred to in the two preceding articles, no bid shall be considered unless it exceeds the
amount specified in article 231. The proceeds of the sale shall be applied in the following order:
Article 273. Legitimation shall take effect from the time of the child’s birth. (123a)
Article 274. The legitimation of children who died before the celebratio n of the marriage shall benefit their descendants. (124)
Article 275. Legitimation may be impugned by those who are prejudiced in their rights, when it takes place in favor of those who do
not have the legal condition of natural children or when the requisites laid down in this Chapter are not complied with. (128a)
Recognition of Natural Children
Article 276. A natural child may be recognized by the father and mother jointly, or by only one of them. (129)
Article 277. In case the recognition is made by only one of the parents, it shall be presumed that the child is natural, if the parent
recognizing it had legal capacity to contract marriage at the time of the conception. (130)
Article 278. Recognition shall be made in the record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing.
Article 279. A minor who may not contract marriage without parental consent cannot acknowledge a natural child, unless the
parent or guardian approves the acknowledgment or unl ess the recognition is made in a will. (n)
Article 280. When the father or the mother makes the recognition separat ely, he or she shall not reveal the name of the person with
whom he or she had the child; neither shall he or she state any circumstance whereby the other parent may be identified. (132a)
Article 281. A child who is of age cannot be recognized without his consent.
When the recognition of a minor does not take place in a record of birth or in a will, judicial approval shall be necessary.
A minor can in any case impugn the recognition within four years following the attainment of his majority. (133a)
Article 282. A recognized natural child has the right:
Other Illegitimate Children
Article 287. Illegitimate children other than natural in accordance with ar ticle 269 and other than natural children by legal fiction are
entitled to support and such successional righ ts as are granted in this Code. (n)
Article 288. Minor children mentioned in the preceding article ar e under the parental authority of the mother. (n)
Article 289. Investigation of the paternity or maternity of children mentioned in the two preceding articles is permitted under the
circumstances specified in articles 283 and 284. (n)
Article 290. Support is everything that is indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing and medical attendance, according to the
social position of the family.
Support also includes the education of the person entitled to be supported until he completes his education or training for some
profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. (142a)
Article 291. The following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:
The person obliged to give support may, at his option, fulfi ll his obligation either by paying the allowance fixed, or by
receiving and maintaining in his house the person who has a right to receive support. The latter alternative cannot be availed of in
case there is a moral or legal obstacle thereto. (149a)
Article 300. The obligation to furnish support ceases upon the death of the obligor, even if he may be bound to give it in
compliance with a final judgment. (150)
Article 301. The right to receive support cannot be renounced; nor can it be transmitted to a third person. Neither can it be
compensated with what the recipient owes the obligor.
However, support in arrears may be compensated and renounced, and the right to demand the same may be transmitted by
onerous or gratuitous title. (151)
Article 302. Neither the right to receive legal support nor any money or property obtained as such support or any pension or
gratuity from the government is subjec t to attachment or execution. (n)
Article 303. The obligation to give support shall also cease:
Parental authority cannot be renounced or transferred, except in cases of guardianship or adoption approved by the
courts, or emancipati on by concession.
The courts may, in cases specified by la w, deprive parents of their authority. (n)
Article 314. A foundling shall be under the parental authority of th e person or institution that has reared the same. (n)
Article 315. No descendant can be compelled, in a criminal case, to testify against his parents and ascendants. (n)
Effect of Parental Authority Upon the Persons of the Children
Article 316. The father and the mother have, with respect to their unemancipated children:
she should keep and exercise parental authority over their children.
The court may also appoint a guardian of the child’s property in
case the father should contract a subsequent marriage. (168a)
Article 329. When the mother of an illegitimate child marries a man other than its father, the court may appoint a guardian for the
Article 330. The father and in a proper case the mother, shall lose authority over their children:
Administration of the Property of the Absentee
Article 387. An administrator of the absentee’s property shall be appointed in accordance with article 383. (187a)
Article 388. The wife who is appointed as an administratrix of th e husband’s property cannot alienate or encumber the husband’s
property, or that of the conjugal partnership, without judicial authority. (188a)
Article 389. The administration shall cease in any of the following cases:
PROPERTY, OWNERSHIP, AND ITS MODIFICATIONS
CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY
Article 414. All things which are or may be the object of appropriation are considered either:
laws and ordinances. He cannot complain of the re
asonable requirements of aerial navigation. (350a)
Article 438. Hidden treasure belongs to the owner of the land, build ing, or other property on which it is found.
Nevertheless, when the discovery is made on the property of another, or of the St ate or any of its subdivisions, and by chance, one-
half thereof shall be allowed to the finder. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be entitled to any share of the treasu re.
If the things found be of interest to science or the arts, the St ate may acquire them at their just price, which shall be divided in
conformity with the rule stated. (351a)
Article 439. By treasure is understood, for legal purposes, any hidden and unknown deposit of money, jewelry, or other precious
objects, the lawful ownership of which does not appear. (352)
Right of Accession
Article 440. The ownership of property gives the right by accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is
incorporated or attached thereto, eit her naturally or artificially. (353)
Right of Accession with Respect to What is Produced by Property
Article 441. To the owner belongs:
In the cases of the two preceding articles, the landowner is entitled to damages from the builder, planter or sower. (n)
Article 452. The builder, planter or sower in bad faith is entitled to reimbursement for the necessary expenses of preservation of the
Article 453. If there was bad faith, not only on the part of the person who built, planted or sowed on the land of another, but also on
the part of the owner of such land, the rights of one and the ot her shall be the same as though both had acted in good faith.
It is understood that there is bad faith on the part of the landowner whenever the act was done with his knowledge and without
opposition on his part. (364a)
Article 454. When the landowner acted in bad faith and the builder, planter or sower proceeded in good faith, the provisions of
article 447 shall apply. (n)
Article 455. If the materials, plants or seeds belong to a third person who has not acted in bad faith, the owner of the land shall
answer subsidiarily for their value and only in the event that the one who made use of them has no property with which to pay.
This provision shall not apply if the owner makes use of the right granted by ar ticle 450. If the owner of the materials, plants or
seeds has been paid by the builder, planter or sower, the latter may demand from the landowner the value of the materials and
Article 456. In the cases regulated in the preceding articles, good faith does not necessarily exclude negligence, which gives right
to damages under article 2176. (n)
Article 457. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects
of the current of the waters. (336)
Article 458. The owners of estates adjoining ponds or lagoons do not acquire the land left dry by the natural decrease of the
waters, or lose that inundated by them in extraordinary floods. (367)
Article 459. Whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known portion of land and
transfers it to another estate, the owner of the land to whic h the segregated portion belonged retains the ownership of it, pro vided
that he removes the same within two years. (368a)
Article 460. Trees uprooted and carried away by the current of the wa ters belong to the owner of the land upon which they may be
cast, if the owners do not claim them with in six months. If such owners claim them, they shall pay the expenses incurred in
gathering them or putting them in a safe place. (369a)
Article 461. River beds which are abandoned through the natural change in the course of the waters ipso facto belong to the
owners whose lands are occupied by the new course in proportion to the area lost. However, the owners of the lands adjoining the
old bed shall have the right to acquire the same by paying the va lue thereof, which value shall not exceed the value of the are a
occupied by the new bed. (370a)
Article 462. Whenever a river, changing its course by natural causes, opens a new bed through a private estate, this bed shall
become of public dominion. (372a)
Article 463. Whenever the current of a river divides itself into branches, leaving a piece of land or part thereof isolated, the owner of
the land retains his ownership. He also retains it if a portion of land is separated from the estate by the current. (374)
Article 464. Islands which may be formed on the seas within the juri sdiction of the Philippines, on lakes, and on navigable or
floatable rivers belong to the State. (371a)
Article 465. Islands which through successive accumulation of alluvial deposits are formed in non-navigable and non-floatable
rivers, belong to the owners of the margins or banks nearest to each of them, or to the owners of both margins if the island is in the
middle of the river, in which case it shall be divided longitudinally in halves. If a single island thus formed be more distant from one
margin than from the other, the owner of the nearer margin shall be the sole owner thereof. (373a)
Right of Accession with Respect to Movable Property
Article 466. Whenever two movable things belonging to different owners ar e, without bad faith, united in such a way that they form
a single object, the owner of the principal thing acquires the accessory, indemnifying the former owner thereof for its value. (375)
Article 467. The principal thing, as between two things incorporated, is de
emed to be that to which the other has been united as an
ornament, or for its use or perfection. (376)
Article 468. If it cannot be determined by the rule given in the preceding ar ticle which of the two things incorporated is the principal
one, the thing of the greater value shall be so considered, and as between two things of equal value, that of the greater volume.
In painting and sculpture, writings, printed matter, engraving and lithographs, the board, metal, stone, canvas, paper or parchment
shall be deemed the accessory thing. (377)
Article 469. Whenever the things united can be separated without injury, their respective owners may demand their separation.
Nevertheless, in case the thing united for the use, embellishment or perfection of the other, is much more precious than the
principal thing, the owner of the former may demand its separation, even though the thing to whic h it has been incorporated may
suffer some injury. (378)
Whenever the owner of the accessory thing has made the incorporation in bad faith, he shall lose the thing
incorporated and shall have the obligation to indemnify the owner of the principal thing for the damages he may have suffered.
If the one who has acted in bad faith is the owner of the prin cipal thing, the owner of the accessory thing shall have a right to
choose between the former paying him its value or that the th ing belonging to him be separated, even though for this purpose it be
necessary to destroy the principal thing; and in both ca ses, furthermore, there shall be indemnity for damages.
If either one of the owners has made the incorporation with the knowledge and without the objection of the other, their respect ive
rights shall be determined as though both acted in good faith. (379a)
Article 471. Whenever the owner of the material employed without hi s consent has a right to an indemnity, he may demand that
this consist in the delivery of a thing equal in kind and value, and in all other respects, to that employed, or else in the pr ice thereof,
according to expert appraisal. (380)
Article 472. If by the will of their owners two things of the same or different kinds are mixed, or if the mixture occurs by chance, and
in the latter case the things are not se parable without injury, each owner shall acquire a right proportional to the part belon ging to
him, bearing in mind the value of the things mixed or confused. (381)
Article 473. If by the will of only one owner, but in good faith, two things of the same or different kinds are mixed or confused, the
rights of the owners shall be determined by the provisions of the preceding article.
If the one who caused the mixture or confus ion acted in bad faith, he shall lose the thing belonging to him thus mixed or confu sed,
besides being obliged to pay indemnity for t he damages caused to the owner of the other thing with which his own was mixed. (38 2)
Article 474. One who in good faith employs the material of another in whol e or in part in order to make a thing of a different kind,
shall appropriate the thing thus transformed as his own, indemnifying the owner of the material for its value.
If the material is more precious than the transformed thing or is of more value, its owner may, at his option, appropriate the new
thing to himself, after first paying indemnity for the value of the work, or demand indemnity for the material.
If in the making of the thing bad faith in tervened, the owner of the material shall have the right to appropriate the work to h imself
without paying anything to the maker, or to demand of the latter that he indemnify him for the value of the material and the damages
he may have suffered. However, the owner of the material cannot app ropriate the work in case the value of the latter, for artistic or
scientific reasons, is considerably more than that of the material. (383a)
Article 475. In the preceding articles, sentimental value shall be duly appreciated. (n)
Quieting of Title (n)
Article 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim,
encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or
unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title.
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any interest therein.
Article 477. The plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in the real property which is the subject matter of the action.
He need not be in possession of said property.
Article 478. There may also be an action to quiet title or remove a cl oud therefrom when the contract, instrument or other obligation
has been extinguished or has terminated, or has been barred by extinctive prescription.
Article 479. The plaintiff must return to the defendant all benefits he may have received from the latter, or reimburse him for
expenses that may have redounded to the plaintiff’s benefit.
Article 480. The principles of the general law on the quieting of title are hereby adopted insofar as they are not in conflict with this
Article 481. The procedure for the quieting of title or the removal of a cloud therefrom shall be governed by such rules of court as
the Supreme Court shall promulgated.
Ruinous Buildings and Trees in Danger of Falling
Article 482. If a building, wall, column, or any other construction is in danger of falling, the owner shall be obliged to demolish it or
to execute the necessary work in or der to prevent it from falling.
If the proprietor does not comply with this obligation, the ad ministrative authorities may order the demolition of the structure at the
expense of the owner, or take measures to insure public safety. (389a)
Article 483. Whenever a large tree threatens to fall in such a way as to cause damage to the land or tenement of another or to
travelers over a public or private road, the owner of the tree shall be obliged to fell and remove it; and should he not do so, it shall
be done at his expense by order of the administrative authorities. (390a)
There is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons.
In default of contracts, or of special provisions, co-ownership shall be governed by the provisions of this Title. (392)
Article 485. The share of the co-owners, in the benefits as well as in th e charges, shall be proportional to their respective interests.
Any stipulation in a contract to the contrary shall be void.
The portions belonging to the co-owners in the co-ownership s hall be presumed equal, unless the contrary is proved. (393a)
Article 486. Each co-owner may use the thing owned in common, provided he does so in accordance with the purpose for which it
is intended and in such a way as not to injure the interest of the co-ownership or prevent the other co-owners from using it
according to their rights. The purpose of the co-ownersh ip may be changed by agreement, express or implied. (394a)
Article 487. Any one of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment. (n)
Article 488. Each co-owner shall have a right to compel the other co-o wners to contribute to the expenses of preservation of the
thing or right owned in common and to the taxes. Any one of the latter may exempt himself from this obligation by renouncing so
much of his undivided interest as may be equivalent to his share of the expenses and taxes. No such waiver shall be made if it is
prejudicial to the co-ownership. (395a)
Article 489. Repairs for preservation may be made at the will of one of the co-owners, but he must, if practicable, first notify his co-
owners of the necessity for such repairs. Expenses to improve or embellish the thing shall be decided upon by a majority as
determined in article 492. (n)
Article 490. Whenever the different stories of a house belong to different owners, if the titles of ownership do not specify the terms
under which they should contribute to the necessary expenses an d there exists no agreement on the subject, the following rules
shall be observed:
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 frau d, or
in case it was made notwithstanding a formal opposition presente d to prevent it, without prejudice to the right of the debtor or
assignor to maintain its validity. (403)
Article 498. Whenever the thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owner s cannot agree that it be allotted to one of them who shall
indemnify the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds distributed. (404)
Article 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)
Article 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)
Article 501. Every co-owner shall, after partition, be liable for defects of title and quality of the portion assigned to each of the other
SOME SPECIAL PROPERTIES
Ownership of Waters
Article 502. The following are of public dominion:
The extent of the rights and obligations of
the use shall be that established, in the first case, by the terms of the concessio n, and, in
the second case, by the manner and form in which the waters have been used. (409a)
Article 505. Every concession for the use of waters is understood to be without prejudice to third persons. (410)
Article 506. The right to make use of public waters is extinguished by the lapse of the concession and by non-user for five years.
The Use of Waters of Private Ownership
Article 507. The owner of a piece of land on which a spring or brook rises, be it continuous or intermittent, may use its waters while
they run through the same, but after the waters leave the land they shall become public, and their use shall be governed by the
Special Law of Waters of August 3, 1866, and by the Irrigation Law. (412a)
Article 508. The private ownership of the beds of rain waters does no t give a right to make works or constructions which may
change their course to the damage of third per sons, or whose destruction, by the force of floods, may cause such damage. (413)
Article 509. No one may enter private property to search waters or ma ke use of them without permission from the owners, except
as provided by the Mining Law. (414a)
Article 510. The ownership which the proprietor of a piece of land has ov er the waters rising thereon does not prejudice the rights
which the owners of lower estates may have legally acquired to the use thereof. (415)
Article 511. Every owner of a piece of land has the right to construct within his property, reservoirs for rain waters, provided he
causes no damage to the public or to third persons. (416)
Article 512. Only the owner of a piece of land, or another person with his permission, may make explorations thereon for
subterranean waters, except as provided by the Mining Law.
Explorations for subterranean waters on lands of public dominion may be made only with the permission of the administrative
Article 513. Waters artificially brought forth in accordance with the S pecial Law of Waters of August 3, 1866, belong to the person
who brought them up. (418)
Article 514. When the owner of waters artificially brought to the surfac e abandons them to their natural course, they shall become
of public dominion. (419)
Article 515. The owner of a piece of land on which there are defensive wo rks to check waters, or on which, due to a change of their
course, it may be necessary to reconstruct su ch works, shall be obliged, at his election, either to make the necessary repairs or
construction himself, or to permit them to be done, without damage to him, by the ow ners of the lands which suffer or are clearly
exposed to suffer injury. (420)
Article 516. The provisions of the preceding article are applicable to the case in which it may be necessary to clear a piece of land
of matter, whose accumulation or fall may obstruct the course of the waters, to the damage or peril of third persons. (421)
Article 517. All the owners who participate in the benefits arising from th e works referred to in the two preceding articles, shall be
obliged to contribute to the expenses of constr uction in proportion to their respective interests. Those who by their fault may have
caused the damage shall be liable for the expenses. (422)
Article 518. All matters not expressly determined by the provisions of this Chapter shall be governed by the Special Law of Waters
of August 3, 1866, and by the Irrigation Law. (425a)
Article 519. Mining claims and rights and other matters concerning minerals and mineral lands are governed by special laws.
Trade-ma rks and Trade-names
Article 520. A trade-mark or trade-name duly registered in the proper government bureau or office is owned by and pertains to the
person, corporation, or firm registering the same, subject to the provisions of special laws. (n)
Article 521. The goodwill of a business is property, and may be transferre d together with the right to use the name under which the
business is conducted. (n)
Trade-marks and trade-names are governed by special laws. (n)
Possession and the Kinds Thereof
Article 523. Possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. (430a)
Article 524. Possession may be exercised in one’s own name or in that of another. (413a)
Article 525. The possession of things or rights may be had in one of two concepts: either in the concept of owner, or in that of the
holder of the thing or right to keep or enjoy it, the ownership pertaining to another person. (432)
Article 526. He is deemed a possessor in good faith who is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw
which invalidates it.
He is deemed a possessor in bad faith who possesse s in any case contrary to the foregoing.
Mistake upon a doubtful or difficult question of law may be the basis of good faith. (433a)
Article 527. Good faith is always presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a possessor rests the burden of
Article 528. Possession acquired in good faith does not lose this charac ter except in the case and from the moment facts exist
which show that the possessor is not unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or wrongfully. (435a)
Article 529. It is presumed that possession continues to be enjoyed in the same character in which it was acquired, until the
contrary is proved. (436)
Article 530. Only things and rights which are susceptible of be ing appropriated may be the object of possession. (437)
Acquisition of Possession
Article 531. Possession is acquired by the material occupation of a thing or t he exercise of a right, or by the fact that it is subject to
the action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for acquiring such right. (438a)
Article 532. Possession may be acquired by the same person who is to enjoy it, by his legal representative, by his agent, or by any
person without any power whatever: but in the last case, the possession shall not be considered as acquired until the person in
whose name the act of possession was executed has ratified t he same, without prejudice to the juridical consequences of
negotiorum gestio in a proper case. (439a)
Article 533. The possession of hereditary property is deemed transmitted to the heir without interruption and from the moment of
the death of the decedent, in case the inheritance is accepted.
One who validly renounces an inheritance is deemed never to have possessed the same. (440)
Article 534. On who succeeds by hereditary title shall not suffer the cons equences of the wrongful possession of the decedent, if it
is not shown that he was aware of the fl aws affecting it; but the effects of possession in good faith shall not benefit him except from
the date of death of the decedent. (442)
Article 535. Minors and incapacitated persons may acquire the possession of things; but they need the assistance of their legal
representatives in order to exercise the rights whic h from the possession arise in their favor. (443)
Article 536. In no case may possession be acquired through force or in timidation as long as there is a possessor who objects
thereto. He who believes that he has an action or a right to deprive another of the holding of a thing, must invoke the aid of the
competent court, if the holder should refuse to deliver the thing. (441a)
Article 537. Acts merely tolerated, and those executed clandestinely and without the knowledge of the possessor of a thing, or by
violence, do not affect possession. (444)
Article 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the cases of co-
possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possess ion, the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two
possessors, the one longer in possession; if the dates of the po
ssession are the same, the one who presents a title; and if all these
conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial depos it pending determination of its possession or ownership through
proper proceedings. (445)
Effects of Possession
Article 539. Every possessor has a right to be respected in his poss ession; and should he be disturbed therein he shall be
protected in or restored to said possession by the me ans established by the laws and the Rules of Court.
A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry may
within ten days from the filing of the complaint present a motion
to secure from the competent c ourt, in the action for forcible entry, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his
possession. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from the filing thereof. (446a)
Article 540. Only the possession acquired and enjoyed in the concept of owner can serve as a title for acquiring dominion. (447)
Article 541. A possessor in the concept of owner has in his favor the l egal presumption that he possesses with a just title and he
cannot be obliged to show or prove it. (448a)
Article 542. The possession of real property presumes that of the movabl es therein, so long as it is not shown or proved that they
should be excluded. (449)
Article 543. Each one of the participants of a thing possessed in common shall be deemed to have exclusively possessed the part
which may be allotted to him upon the division thereof, for the entire period during which the co-possession lasted. Interrupti on in
the possession of the whole or a part of a thing possessed in common shall be to the prejudice of all the possessors. However, in
case of civil interruption, the Rules of Court shall apply. (450a)
Article 544. A possessor in good faith is entitled to the fruits received before the possession is legally interrupted.
Natural and industrial fruits are considered received from the time they are gathered or severed.
Civil fruits are deemed to accrue daily and belong to the possessor in good faith in that proportion. (451)
Article 545. If at the time the good faith ceases, there should be any natur al or industrial fruits, the possessor shall have a right to a
part of the expenses of cultivation, and to a part of the net harvest, both in proportion to the time of the possession.
The charges shall be divided on the sa me basis by the two possessors.
The owner of the thing may, should he so des ire, give the possessor in good faith the right to finish the cultivation and gathe ring of
the growing fruits, as an indemnity for his part of the expenses of cultivation and the net proceeds; the possessor in good faith who
for any reason whatever should refuse to a ccept this concession, shall lose the right to be indemnified in any other manner. (4 52a)
Article 546. Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every possessor; but only the possessor in good faith may retain the thing
until he has been reimbursed therefor.
Useful expenses shall be refunded only to the possessor in good faith with the same right of retention, the person who has defe ated
him in the possession having the option of refunding the amount of the expenses or of paying the increase in value which the thing
may have acquired by reason thereof. (453a)
Article 547. If the useful improvements can be re moved without damage to the principal thing, the possessor in good faith may
remove them, unless the person who recovers the possession exercises the option under paragraph 2 of the preceding article. (n)
ARTICLE 548. Expenses for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to the possessor in good faith; but he may remove
the ornaments with which he has embellished the principal thing if it suffers no injury thereby, and if his successor in the po ssession
does not prefer to refund the amount expended. (454)
Article 549. The possessor in bad faith shall reimburse the fruits received and those which the legitimate possessor could have
received, and shall have a right only to the expenses mentioned in paragraph 1 of ar ticle 546 and in article 443. The expenses
incurred in improvements for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to the possessor in bad faith, but he may remove
the objects for which such expenses have been incurred, provided th at the thing suffers no injury thereby, and that the lawful
possessor does not prefer to retain them by paying the value t hey may have at the time he enters into possession. (445a)
Article 550. The costs of litigation over the property shall be borne by every possessor. (n)
Article 551. Improvements caused by nature or time shall always inure to the benefit of the person who has succeeded in
recovering possession. (456)
A rticle 552. A possessor in good faith shall not be liable for the deterior ation or loss of the thing possessed, except in cases in
which it is proved that he has acted with fraudulent intent or negligence, after the judicial summons.
A possessor in bad faith shall be liable for deterioration or loss in every case, even if caused by a fortuitous event. (457a)
Article 553. One who recovers possession shall not be obliged to pay fo r improvements which have ceased to exist at the time he
takes possession of the thing. (458)
Article 554. A present possessor who shows his possession at some previous time, is presumed to have held possession also
during the intermediate period, in the ab sence of proof to the contrary. (459)
Article 555. A possessor may lose his possession:
though for the time being he may not know their whereabouts. (461)
The possession of immovables and of re al rights is not deemed lost, or transferred for purposes of prescription to the
prejudice of third persons, except in a ccordance with the provisions of the Mortgage Law and the Land Registration laws. (462a)
Article 558. Acts relating to possession, executed or agreed to by one who possesses a thing belonging to another as a mere
holder to enjoy or keep it, in any character, do not bind or prejudice the owner, unless he gave said holder express authority to do
such acts, or ratifies them subsequently. (463)
Article 559. The possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any
movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof, may recover it from the person in possession of the same.
If the possessor of a movable lost or which the owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in good faith at a public s ale,
the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor. (464a)
Article 560. Wild animals are possessed only while they are under one’s control; domesticated or tamed animals are considered
domestic or tame if they retain the habit of retu rning to the premises of the possessor. (465)
Article 561. One who recovers, according to law, possession unjustly lost, shall be deemed for all purposes which may redound to
his benefit, to have enjoyed it without interruption. (466)
Usufruct in General
Article 562. Usufruct gives a right to enjoy the property of another wi th the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless
the title constituting it or the law otherwise provides. (467)
Article 563. Usufruct is constituted by law, by the will of private persons expressed in acts inter vivos or in a last will and testament,
and by prescription. (468)
Article 564. Usufruct may be constituted on the whole or a part of th e fruits of the thing, in favor of one more persons,
simultaneously or successively, and in every case from or to a ce rtain day, purely or conditionally. It may also be constituted on a
right, provided it is not strictly personal or intransmissible. (469)
Article 565. The rights and obligations of the usufructuary shall be those provided in the title constituting the usufruct; in default of
such title, or in case it is deficien t, the provisions contained in the two following Chapters shall be observed. (470)
Rights of the Usufructuary
Article 566. The usufructuary shall be entitled to all the natural, industrial and civil fruits of the property in usufruct. With respect to
hidden treasure which may be found on the land or t enement, he shall be considered a stranger. (471)
Article 567. Natural or industrial fruits growing at the time the usufruct begins, belong to the usufructuary.
Those growing at the time the usufru ct terminates, belong to the owner.
In the preceding cases, the usufructuary, at the beginning of t he usufruct, has no obligation to refund to the owner any expens es
incurred; but the owner shall be obliged to reimburse at the termination of the usufruct, from the proceeds of the growing frui ts, the
ordinary expenses of cultivation, for seed, and other similar expenses incurred by the usufructuary.
The provisions of this article shall not pr ejudice the rights of third persons, acquired either at the beginning or at the term ination of
the usufruct. (472)
Article 568. If the usufructuary has leased the l ands or tenements given in usufruct, and the usufruct should expire before the
termination of the lease, he or his heirs and successors shall receive only the proport ionate share of the rent that must be paid by
the lessee. (473)
Article 569. Civil fruits are deemed to accrue daily, and belong to the usufructuary in proportion to the time the usufruct may last.
A rticle 570.
Whenever a usufruct is constituted on the right to receive a rent or periodical pension, whether in money or in fruits, or
in the interest on bonds or securities payable to bearer, each payment due shall be considered as the proceeds or fruits of suc h
Whenever it consists in the enjoyment of benefits accruing from a participation in any industrial or commercial enterprise, the date
of the distribution of which is not fixed, su ch benefits shall have the same character.
In either case they shall be distributed as civil fruits, and shall be applied in the manner prescribed in the preceding article. (475)
Article 571. The usufructuary shall have the right to enjoy any increase which the thing in usufruct may acquire through accession,
the servitudes established in its favor, and, in general, all the benefits inherent therein. (479)
Article 572. The usufructuary may personally enjoy the thing in usufruct, lease it to another, or alienate his right of usufruct, even
by a gratuitous title; but all the contracts he may enter into as such usufructuary shall terminate upon the expiration of the
saving leases of rural lands, which shall be considered as subsisting during the agricultural year. (480)
Article 573. Whenever the usufruct includes things which, without be ing consumed, gradually deteriorate through wear and tear,
the usufructuary shall have the right to make use thereof in acco rdance with the purpose for which they are intended, and shall not
be obliged to return them at the termination of the usufruct exc ept in their condition at that time; but he shall be obliged to indemnify
the owner for any deterioration they may have suffered by reason of his fraud or negligence. (481)
Article 574. Whenever the usufruct includes things which cannot be used without being consumed, the usufructuary shall have the
right to make use of them under the obligation of paying their app raised value at the termination of the usufruct, if they were
appraised when delivered. In case they were not appraised, he shal l have the right to return the same quantity and quality, or pay
their current price at the time the usufruct ceases. (482)
Article 575. The usufructuary of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs may make use of the dead trunks, and even of those cut off or
uprooted by accident, under the obligation to replace them with new plants. (483a)
Article 576. If in consequence of a calamity or extraordinary event, th e trees or shrubs shall have disappeared in such considerable
number that it would not be possible or it would be too bur densome to replace them, the usufructuary may leave the dead, fallen or
uprooted trunks at the disposal of the owner, and demand that the latter remove them and clear the land. (484a)
Article 577. The usufructuary of woodland may enjoy all the benefi ts which it may produce according to its nature.
If the woodland is a copse or consists of timber for building, the usufructuary may do such ordinary cutting or felling as the owner
was in the habit of doing, and in default of this, he may do so in accordance with the custom of the place, as to the manner, amount
In any case the felling or cutting of trees shall be made in su ch manner as not to prejudice the preservation of the land.
In nurseries, the usufructuary may make the necessary thinnings in order that the remaining trees may properly grow.
With the exception of the provisions of the preceding paragraph s, the usufructuary cannot cut down trees unless it be to restore or
improve some of the things in usufruct, and in such case shall first inform the owner of the necessity for the work. (485) ARTI CLE
578. The usufructuary of an action to recover real property or a real right, or any movable property, has the right to bring the action
and to oblige the owner thereof to give him the authority for this purpose and to furnish him whatever proof he may have. If in
consequence of the enforcement of the action he acquires the thin g claimed, the usufruct shall be limited to the fruits, the dominion
remaining with the owner. (486)
Article 579. The usufructuary may make on the property held in usufruct such useful improvements or expenses for mere pleasure
as he may deem proper, provided he does not alter its form or subs tance; but he shall have no right to be indemnified therefor. He
may, however, remove such improvements, should it be possible to do so without damage to the property. (487)
Article 580. The usufructuary may set off the improvements he ma y have made on the property against any damage to the same.
Article 581. The owner of property the usufruct of which is held by another, may alienate it, but he cannot alter its form or
substance, or do anything thereon which may be prejudicial to the usufructuary. (489)
Article 582. The usufructuary of a part of a thing held in common shall ex ercise all the rights pertaining to the owner thereof with
respect to the administration and the collection of fruits or inte rest. Should the co-ownership cease by reason of the division of the
thing held in common, the usufruct of the part allotted to the co-owner shall belong to the usufructuary. (490)
Obligations of the Usufructuary
Article 583. The usufructuary, before entering upon the enjoyment of the property, is obliged:
If the usufructuary who has not given se curity claims, by virtue of a promise under oath, the delivery of the furniture
necessary for his use, and that he and his family be allowed to live in a house included in the usufruct, the court may grant this
petition, after due consideration of the facts of the case.
The same rule shall be observed with respect to implements, t ools and other movable property necessary for an industry or
vocation in which he is engaged.
If the owner does not wish that certain articles be sold because of their artistic worth or because they have a sentimental val ue, he
may demand their delivery to him upon his giving security for the pay ment of the legal interest on their appraised value. (495)
Article 588. After the security has been given by the usufructuary, he shall have a right to all the proceeds and benefits from the
day on which, in accordance with the title constituting t he usufruct, he should have commenced to receive them. (496)
Article 589. The usufructuary shall take care of the things giv en in usufruct as a good father of a family. (497)
Article 590. A usufructuary who alienates or leases his right of usufru ct shall answer for any damage which the things in usufruct
may suffer through the fault or negligence of the person who substitutes him. (498)
Article 591. If the usufruct be constituted on a fl ock or herd of livestock, the usufructuary shall be obliged to replace with the young
thereof the animals that die each year from natural causes , or are lost due to the rapacity of beasts of prey.
If the animals on which the usufruct is constituted should all perish, without the fault of the usufructuary, on account of som e
contagious disease or any other uncommon event, the usufructuary shall fulfill his obligation by delivering to the owner the re mains
which may have been saved from the misfortune.
Should the herd or flock perish in part, also by accident and wit hout the fault of the usufructuary, the usufruct shall continue on the
Should the usufruct be on sterile animals, it shall be considered, with respect to its effects, as though constituted on fungible things.
Article 592. The usufructuary is obliged to make the ordina ry repairs needed by the thing given in usufruct.
By ordinary repairs are understood such as are required by t he wear and tear due to the natural use of the thing and are
indispensable for its preservation. Should the usufructuary fail to make them after demand by the owner, the latter may make th em
at the expense of the usufructuary. (500)
Article 593. Extraordinary repairs shall be at the expense of the owner. The usufructuary is obliged to notify the owner when the
need for such repairs is urgent. (501)
Article 594. If the owner should make the extraordinary repairs, he s hall have a right to demand of the usufructuary the legal
interest on the amount expended for th e time that the usufruct lasts.
Should he not make them when they are indispensable for the preser vation of the thing, the usufructuary may make them; but he
shall have a right to demand of the owner, at the termination of the usufruct, the increase in value which the immovable may ha ve
acquired by reason of the repairs. (502a)
Article 595. The owner may construct any works and make any improvements of which the immovable in usufruct is susceptible, or
make new plantings thereon if it be rural, provided that such ac ts do not cause a diminution in the value of the usufruct or prejudice
the right of the usufructuary. (503)
Article 596. The payment of annual charges and taxes and of those cons idered as a lien on the fruits, shall be at the expense of
the usufructuary for all the time that the usufruct lasts. (504)
Article 597. The taxes which, during the usufruct, may be imposed direct ly on the capital, shall be at the expense of the owner.
If the latter has paid them, the usufructuary shall pay him t he proper interest on the sums which may have been paid in that
character; and, if the said sums have been advanced by the usufructuary, he shall recover the amount thereof at the termination of
the usufruct. (505)
Article 598. If the usufruct be constituted on the whole o f a patrimony, and if at the time of
its constitution the owner has debts, the
provisions of articles 758 and 759 relating to donations shall be applied, both with respect to the maintenance of the usufruct and to
the obligation of the usufructuary to pay such debts.
The same rule shall be applied in case the owner is obliged, at th e time the usufruct is constituted, to make periodical payments,
even if there should be no known capital. (506)
Article 599. The usufructuary may claim any matured credits which form a part of the usufruct if he has given or gives the proper
security. If he has been excused from giving security or has not been able to give it, or if that given is not sufficient, he s hall need
the authorization of the owner, or of the court in default thereof, to collect such credits.
The usufructuary who has given security may use the capi tal he has collected in any manner he may deem proper. The
usufructuary who has not given security shall invest the said capital at interest upon agreement with the owner; in default of such
agreement, with judicial authorization; and, in every case, with security sufficient to preserve the integrity of the capital i n usufruct.
Article 600. The usufructuary of a mortgaged immovable shall not be obliged to pay the debt for the security of which the mortgage
Should the immovable be attached or sold judicially for the pay
ment of the debt, the owner shall be liable to the usufructuary for
whatever the latter may lose by reason thereof. (509)
Article 601. The usufructuary shall be obliged to notify the owner of any act of a third person, of which he may have knowledge,
that may be prejudicial to the rights of ownership, and he shall be liable should he not do so, for damages, as if they had bee n
caused through his own fault. (511)
Article 602. The expenses, costs and liabilities in suits brought with regard to the usufruct shall be borne by the usufructuary. (512)
Extinguishment of Usufruct
Article 603. Usufruct is extinguished:
Different Kinds of Easements
Article 613. An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable
belonging to a different owner.
The immovable in favor of which the easement is established is called the dominant estate; that which is subject thereto, the
servient estate. (530)
Article 614. Servitudes may also be established for the benefit of a community, or of one or more persons to whom the
encumbered estate does not belong. (531)
Article 615. Easements may be continuous or discontinuous, apparent or nonapparent.
Continuous easements are those th e use of which is or may be incessant, without the intervention of any act of man.
Discontinuous easements are those which are used at intervals and depend upon the acts of man.
Apparent easements are those which are made known and are continually kept in view by external signs that reveal the use and
enjoyment of the same.
Nonapparent easements are those which show no exte rnal indication of their existence. (532)
Article 616. Easements are also positive or negative.
A positive easement is one which imposes upon the owner of the se rvient estate the obligation of allowing something to be done or
of doing it himself, and a negative easement, that which prohibits the owner of the servient estate from doing something which he
could lawfully do if the easement did not exist. (533)
Article 617. Easements are inseparable from the estate to which they actively or passively belong. (534)
Article 618. Easements are indivisible. If the servient estate is di vided between two or more persons, the easement is not modified,
and each of them must bear it on t he part which corresponds to him.
If it is the dominant estate t hat is divided between two or more persons, each of them may use the easement in its entirety, wi thout
changing the place of its use, or making it more burdensome in any other way. (535)
Article 619. Easements are established either by law or by the will of the owners. The former are called legal and the latter
voluntary easements. (536)
Modes of Acquiring Easements
Article 620. Continuous and apparent easements are acquired either by virt ue of a title or by prescription of ten years. (537a)
Article 621. In order to acquire by prescription the easements referred to in the preceding article, the time of possession shall be
computed thus: in positive easements, from the day on which the owner of the dominant estate, or the person who may have made
use of the easement, commenced to exercise it upon the servi ent estate; and in negative easements, from the day on which the
owner of the dominant estate forbade, by an instrument acknowl edged before a notary public, the owner of the servient estate, from
executing an act which would be lawful without the easement. (538a)
Article 622. Continuous nonapparent easements, and discontinuous ones, whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue
of a title. (539)
Article 623. The absence of a document or proof showing the origin of an easement which cannot be acquired by prescription may
be cured by a deed of recognition by the owner of the servient estate or by a final judgment. (540a)
Article 624. The existence of an apparent sign of easement between two estates, established or maintained by the owner of both,
shall be considered, should either of them be alienated, as a ti tle in order that the easement may continue actively and passively,
unless, at the time the ownership of the tw o estates is divided, the contrary should be provided in the title of conveyance of either of
them, or the sign aforesaid should be remo ved before the execution of the deed. This provision shall also apply in case of the
division of a thing owned in common by two or more persons. (541a)
Article 625. Upon the establishment of an easement, all the rights necessary for its use are considered granted. (542)
Article 626. The owner of the dominant estate cannot use the easement except for the benefit of the immovable originally
contemplated. Neither can he exercise the easement in any other manner than
that previously established. (n)
Rights and Obligations of the Owners of the Dominant and Servient Estates
Article 627. The owner of the dominant estate may make, at his own ex pense, on the servient estate any works necessary for the
use and preservation of the servitude, but without altering it or rendering it more burdensome.
For this purpose he shall notify the owner of the servient es tate, and shall choose the most convenient time and manner so as t o
cause the least inconvenience to the owner of the servient estate. (543a)
Should there be several dominant estate s, the owners of all of them shall be obliged to contribute to the expenses
referred to in the preceding article, in proportion to the benefits which each may derive from the work. Any one who does not w ish to
contribute may exempt himself by renouncing t he easement for the benefit of the others.
If the owner of the servient estate should make use of the easement in any manner whatsoever, he shall also be obliged to
contribute to the expenses in the proportion stated, saving an agreement to the contrary. (544)
Article 629. The owner of the servient estate cannot impair, in any manner what soever, the use of the servitude.
Nevertheless, if by reason of the place originally assigned, or of the manner established for the use of the easement, the same
should become very inconvenient to the owner of the servient es tate, or should prevent him from making any important works,
repairs or improvements thereon, it may be changed at his expense, provided he offers another place or manner equally convenient
and in such a way that no injury is caused thereby to the owner of the dominant estate or to those who may have a right to the use
of the easement. (545)
Article 630. The owner of the servient estate retains the ownership of the portion on which the easement is established, and may
use the same in such a manner as not to a ffect the exercise of the easement. (n)
Modes of Extinguishment of Easements
Article 631. Easements are extinguished:
service of river navigation and floatage.
If it be necessary for such purpose to
occupy lands of private ownership, the proper indemnity shall first be paid. (553a)
Article 639. Whenever for the diversion or taking of water from a ri ver or brook, or for the use of any other continuous or
discontinuous stream, it should be necessary to build a dam, and the person who is to construct it is not the owner of the banks, or
lands which must support it, he may establish the easement of abutment of a dam, after payment of the proper indemnity. (554)
Article 640. Compulsory easements for drawing water or for watering ani mals can be imposed only for reasons of public use in
favor of a town or village, after paym ent of the proper indemnity. (555)
Article 641. Easements for drawing water and for watering animals carry with them the obligation of the owners of the servient
estates to allow passage to persons and animals to the place w here such easements are to be used, and the indemnity shall
include this service. (556)
Article 642. Any person who may wish to use upon his own estate any water of which he can dispose shall have the right to make it
flow through the intervening estates, with the obligation to indemnify their owners, as well as the owners of the lower estates upon
which the waters may filter or descend. (557)
Article 643. One desiring to make use of the right granted in the preceding article is obliged:
If the right of way granted to a surrounded estate ceases to be necessary because its owner has joined it to another
abutting on a public road, the owner of the se rvient estate may demand that the easement be extinguished, returning what he may
have received by way of indemnity. The interest on the indemnity shall be deemed to be in payment of rent for the use of the
The same rule shall be applied in case a new road is opened giving access to the isolated estate.
In both cases, the public highway must substantially meet the needs of the dominant estate in order that the easement may be
Article 656. If it be indispensable for the construction, repair, improvement, alteration or beautification of a building, to carry
materials through the estate of another, or to raise therein sc affolding or other objects necessary for the work, the owner of such
estate shall be obliged to permit the act, after receiving payment of the proper indem nity for the damage caused him. (569a)
Article 657. Easements of the right of way for the passage of livestock known as animal path, animal trail or any other, and those
for watering places, resting places and animal folds, shall be gov erned by the ordinances and regulations relating thereto, and, in
the absence thereof, by the usages and customs of the place.
Without prejudice to rights legally acquired, the animal path shall not exceed in any case the width of 75 meters, and the anim al trail
that of 37 meters and 50 centimeters.
Whenever it is necessary to establish a compulsory easement of the right of way or for a watering place for animals, the provis ions
of this Section and those of articles 640 and 641 shall be observ ed. In this case the width shall not exceed 10 meters. (570a)
Easement of Party Wall
Article 658. The easement of party wall shall be governed by the provis ions of this Title, by the local ordinances and customs
insofar as they do not conflict with the same , and by the rules of co-ownership. (571a)
Article 659. The existence of an easement of party wall is presumed, unless there is a title, or exterior sign, or proof to the contrary:
party wall, on this occasion only, shall be borne by him. (576)
Every owner may increase the height of the party wall, doing so at his own expense and paying for any damage which
may be caused by the work, even though such damage be temporary.
The expenses of maintaining the wall in the part newly raised or deepened at its foundation shall also be paid for by him; and, in
addition, the indemnity for the increased expenses which may be neces sary for the preservation of the party wall by reason of the
greater height or depth which has been given it.
If the party wall cannot bear the increased height, the owner desiring to raise it shall be obliged to reconstruct it at his ow n expense
and, if for this purpose it be necessary to make it thicker, he shall give the space required from his own land. (577)
Article 665. The other owners who have not contributed in giving in creased height, depth or thickness to the wall may,
nevertheless, acquire the right of part-ownership therein, by pa ying proportionally the value of the work at the time of the acquisition
and of the land used for its increased thickness. (578a)
Article 666. Every part-owner of a party wall may use it in proportion to the right he may have in the co-ownership, without
interfering with the common and respective uses by the other co-owners. (579a)
Easement of Light and View
Article 667. No part-owner may, without the consent of the others, open through the party wall any window or aperture of any kind.
Article 668. The period of prescription for the acquisition of an easement of light and view shall be counted:
the drainage in such manner as to cause the least damage to the
servient estate, after payment of the property indemnity. (583)
Intermediate Distances and Works for Certain Constructions and Plantings
Article 677. No constructions can be built or plantings made near fort ified places or fortresses without compliance with the
conditions required in special laws, ordinances, and regulations relating thereto. (589)
Article 678. No person shall build any aqueduct, well, sewer, furnace, forge, chimney, stable, depositor y of corrosive substances,
machinery, or factory which by reason of its nature or prod ucts is dangerous or noxious, without observing the distances prescr ibed
by the regulations and customs of the place, and without making the necessary protective works, subject, in regard to the manner
thereof, to the conditions prescribed by such regulations. These prohibitions cannot be altered or renounced by stipulation on the
part of the adjoining proprietors.
In the absence of regulations, such precautions shall be taken as may be considered necessary, in order to avoid any damage to
the neighboring lands or tenements. (590a)
Article 679. No trees shall be planted near a tenement or piece of land belonging to another except at the distance authorized by
the ordinances or customs of the place, and, in the absence thereof, at a distance of at least two meters from the dividing lin e of the
estates if tall trees are planted and at a distance of at leas t fifty centimeters if shrubs or small trees are planted.
Every landowner shall have the right to demand that trees hereafter planted at a shorter distance from his land or tenement be
The provisions of this article also apply to trees which have grown spontaneously. (591a)
Article 680. If the branches of any tree should extend over a neighboring estate, tenement, garden or yard, the owner of the latter
shall have the right to demand that they be cut off insofar as they may spread over his property, and, if it be the roots of a
neighboring tree which should penetrate into the land of another, the latter may cut them off himself within his property. (592 )
Article 681. Fruits naturally falling upon adjacent land belong to the owner of said land. (n)
Easement Against Nuisance (n)
Article 682. Every building or piece of land is subject to the easement which prohibits the proprietor or possessor from committing
nuisance through noise, jarring, offensive odor, smok e, heat, dust, water, glare and other causes.
Article 683. Subject to zoning, health, police and other laws and regula tions, factories and shops may be maintained provided the
least possible annoyance is caused to the neighborhood.
Lateral and Subjacent Support (n)
Article 684. No proprietor shall make such excavations upon his land as to deprive any adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral
or subjacent support.
Article 685. Any stipulation or testamentary provision allowing excava tions that cause danger to an adjacent land or building shall
Article 686. The legal easement of lateral and subjacent support is not on ly for buildings standing at the time the excavations are
made but also for constructi ons that may be erected.
Article 687. Any proprietor intending to make any excavation contemplated in the three preceding articles shall notify all owners of
Article 688. Every owner of a tenement or piece of land may establis h thereon the easements which he may deem suitable, and in
the manner and form which he may deem best, provided he does not contravene the laws, public policy or public order. (594)
Article 689. The owner of a tenement or piece of land, the usufruct of which belongs to another, may impose thereon, without the
consent of the usufructuary, any servitudes which will not injure the right of usufruct. (595)
Article 690. Whenever the naked ownership of a tenement or piece of land belongs to one person and the beneficial ownership to
another, no perpetual voluntary easement may be established thereon without the consent of both owners. (596)
Article 691. In order to impose an easement on an und ivided tenement, or piece of land, the consent of all the co-owners shall be
The consent given by some only, must be held in abeyance until the last one of all the co-owners shall have expressed his
But the consent given by one of the co-owner s separately from the others shall bind the grantor and his successors not to prevent
the exercise of the right granted. (597a)
The title and, in a proper case, the possession of an easeme nt acquired by prescription shall determine the rights of
the dominant estate and the obligations of the servient estate . In default thereof, the easement shall be governed by such
provisions of this Title as are applicable thereto. (598)
Article 693. If the owner of the servient estate should have bound himself, upon the establishment of the easement, to bear the
cost of the work required for the use and preservation thereof, he may free himself from this obligation by renouncing his property to
the owner of the dominant estate. (599)
Article 694. A nuisance is any act, om ission, establishment, business, condition of property, or anything else which:
A private person or a public official extrajudicially abating a nuisance shall be liable for damages:
donees are living at the time of the donation. (640a)
Reversion may be validly established in favor of only the donor for any case and circumstances, but not in favor of
other persons unless they are all liv ing at the time of the donation.
Any reversion stipulated by the donor in favor of a third person in violation of what is provided in the preceding paragraph shall be
void, but shall not nullify the donation. (614a)
Article 758. When the donation imposes upon the donee the obligation to pay the debts of the donor, if the clause does not contain
any declaration to the contrary, the former is understood to be liable to pay only the debts which appear to have been previous ly
contracted. In no case shall the donee be responsible for the debts exceeding the value of the property donated, unless a contr ary
intention clearly appears. (642a)
Article 759. There being no stipulation regarding the payment of deb ts, the donee shall be responsible therefor only when the
donation has been made in fraud of creditors.
The donation is always presumed to be in fraud of creditors, when at the time thereof the donor did not reserve sufficient prop erty to
pay his debts prior to the donation. (643)
Revocation and Reduction of Donations
Article 760. Every donation inter vivos, made by a person having no children or descendants, legitimate or legitimated by
subsequent marriage, or illegitimate, may be revoked or reduced as provided in the next article, by the happening of any of these
Article 767. In the case referred to in the first paragraph of the preceding article, the donor shall hav e a right to demand from the
donee the value of property alienated which he cannot recover from third persons, or the sum for which the same has been
The value of said property shall be fixed as of the time of the donation. (650)
Article 768. When the donation is revoked for any of the causes stated in article 760, or by reason of ingratitude, or when it is
reduced because it is inofficious, t he donee shall not return the fruits except from the filing of the complaint.
If the revocation is based upon noncompliance with any of the conditions imposed in the donation, the donee shall return not on ly
the property but also the fruits thereof which he may have re ceived after having failed to fulfill the condition. (651)
Article 769. The action granted to the donor by reason of ingratitude cannot be renounced in advance. This action prescribes within
one year, to be counted from the time the donor had knowledge of th e fact and it was possible for him to bring the action. (652)
Article 770. This action shall not be transmitted to the heirs of the do nor, if the latter did not institute the same, although he could
have done so, and even if he should die before the expiration of one year.
Neither can this action be brought against the heir of the d onee, unless upon the latter’s death the complaint has been filed. (653)
Article 771. Donations which in accordance with the provisions of article 752, are inofficious, bearing in mind the estimated net
value of the donor’s property at the time of his death, shall be reduced with regard to the excess; but this reduction shall not prevent
the donations from taking effect during the life of the donor, nor shall it bar the donee from appropriating the fruits.
For the reduction of donations the provisions of this Chapter and of articles 911 and 912 of this Code shall govern. (654)
Article 772. Only those who at the time of the donor’s death have a right to the legitime and their heirs and successors in interest
may ask for the reduction or inofficious donations.
Those referred to in the preceding paragraph cannot renounce thei r right during the lifetime of the donor, either by express
declaration, or by consenting to the donation.
The donees, devisees and legatees, who are not entitled to the legi time and the creditors of the deceased can neither ask for the
reduction nor avail themselves thereof. (655a)
Article 773. If, there being two or more donations, the disposable portion is not sufficient to cover all of them, those of the more
recent date shall be suppressed or reduced with regard to the excess. (656)
Article 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the pr operty, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of
the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to ano ther or others either by his will or by operation of law. (n)
Article 775. In this Title, “decedent” is the general term applied to the person whose property is transmitted through succession,
whether or not he left a will. If he left a will, he is also called the testator. (n)
Article 776. The inheritance includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by his death.
Article 777. The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. (657a)
Article 778. Succession may be:
SUBSECTION 1. Wills in General
Article 783. A will is an act whereby a person is permitted, with the form alities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the
disposition of this estate, to take effect after his death. (667a)
Article 784. The making of a will is a strictly personal act; it cannot be left in whole or in part to the discretion of a third person, or
accomplished through the instrumentality of an agent or attorney. (670a)
Article 785. The duration or efficacy of the designation of heirs, devis ees or legatees, or the determination of the portions which
they are to take, when referred to by name, cannot be left to the discretion of a third person. (670a)
Article 786. The testator may entrust to a third person the distribution of specific property or sums of money that he may leave in
general to specified classes or causes, and also the designation of the persons, institutions or establishments to which such
property or sums are to be given or applied. (671a)
Article 787. The testator may not make a testamentary disposition in such manner that another person has to determine whether or
not it is to be operative. (n)
Article 788. If a testamentary disposition admits of different interpretations, in case of doubt, that interpretation by which the
disposition is to be operative shall be preferred. (n)
Article 789. When there is an imperfect descripti on, or when no person or property exactl y answers the description, mistakes and
omissions must be corrected, if the error appears from the context of the will or from extrinsic evidence, excluding the oral
declarations of the testator as to his intention; and when an un certainty arises upon the face of the will, as to the application of any
of its provisions, the testator’s intention is to be ascertained from the word s of the will, taking into consideration the circ umstances
under which it was made, excluding such oral declarations. (n)
Article 790. The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and gr ammatical sense, unless a clear intention to use them in
another sense can be gathered, and that other can be ascertained.
Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense, unless the context clearly i ndicates a contrary intention, or unless
it satisfactorily appears that the will was drawn solely by the te stator, and that he was unacquainted with such technical sense.
Article 791. The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect, rather than one
which will render any of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of interpreting a will, that is to be preferred which wi ll
prevent intestacy. (n)
Article 792. The invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will does not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions,
unless it is to be presum ed that the testator would not have made such othe r dispositions if the first invalid disposition had not been
Article 793. Property acquired after the making of a will shall only pass ther eby, as if the testator had possessed it at the time of
making the will, should it expressly appear by the will that such was his intention. (n)
Article 794. Every devise or legacy shall cover all the interest which th e testator could device or bequeath in the property disposed
of, unless it clearly appears from the will that he intended to convey a less interest. (n)
Article 795. The validity of a will as to its form depends upon the observ ance of the law in force at the time it is made. (n)
SUBSECTION 2. Testamentary Capacity and Intent
Article 796. All persons who are not expressly prohibited by law may make a will. (662)
Article 797. Persons of either sex under eighteen years of age cannot make a will. (n)
Article 798. In order to make a will it is essential that the testat or be of sound mind at the time of its execution. (n)
Article 799. To be of sound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in full possession of
all his reasoning faculties, or that his
mind be wholly unbroken, unimpaired, or unshatte red by disease, injury or other cause.
It shall be sufficient if t he testator was able at the time of making the will to know the nature of the estate to be disposed of, the
proper objects of his bounty, and the character of the test amentary act. (n)
Article 800. The law presumes that every person is of sound mind, in the absence of proof to the contrary.
The burden of proof that the testator was not of sound mind at the time of making his dispositions is on the person who opposes the
probate of the will; but if the testator, one month, or less, before making his will was publicly known to be insane, the perso n who
maintains the validity of the will must prove that th e testator made it during a lucid interval. (n)
Article 801. Supervening incapacity does not invalidate an effective will, nor is the will of an incapable validated by the supervening
of capacity. (n)
A married woman may make a will without the consent of her husband, and without the authority of the court. (n)
Article 803. A married woman may dispose by will of all her separate pr operty as well as her share of the conjugal partnership or
absolute community property. (n)
SUBSECTION 3. Forms of Wills
Article 804. Every will must be in writing and executed in a language or dialect known to the testator. (n)
Article 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the
testator’s name written by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by thre e or
more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another.
The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as
aforesaid, each and every page thereof, except the last, on t he left margin, and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in
letters placed on the upper part of each page.
The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which th e will is written, and the fact that the testator signed the will and
every page thereof, or caused some other person to write his name, under his express direction, in the presence of the instrume ntal
witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages ther eof in the presence of the testator and of one
If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them. (n)
Article 806. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. The notary public shall not
be required to retain a copy of the will, or file another with the office of the Clerk of Court.(n)
Article 807. If the testator be deaf, or a deaf-mute , he must personally read the will, if able to do so; otherwise, he shall designate
two persons to read it and communicate to him, in some practicable manner, the contents thereof. (n)
Article 808. If the testator is blind, the will shall be read to him twice; once, by one of the subscribing witnesses, and again, by the
notary public before whom the will is acknowledged. (n)
Article 809. In the absence of bad faith, forgery, or fraud, or undue and improper pressure and influence, defects and imperfections
in the form of atte station or in the language used therein shall not render the will invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact
executed and attested in substantial compliance wi th all the requirements of article 805. (n)
Article 810. A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator
himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines , and need not be witnessed. (678, 688a)
Article 811. In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessar y that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and
signature of the testator explicitly decla re that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the wil l is contested,
at least three of such wit nesses shall be required.
In the absence of any competent witness referred to in the preceding paragraph, and if the court deem it necessary, expert
testimony may be resorted to. (619a)
Article 812. In holographic wills, the dispositions of the testator written below his signature must be dated and signed by him in
order to make them valid as testamentary dispositions. (n)
Article 813. When a number of dispositions appearing in a holographic will are signed without being dated, and the last disposition
has a signature and a date, such date validates the dispositions preceding it, whatever be the time of prior dispositions. (n)
Article 814. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alterati on in a holographic will, the testator must authenticate the
same by his full signature. (n)
Article 815. When a Filipino is in a foreign country, he is authorized to make a will in any of the forms established by the law of the
country in which he may be. Such will may be probated in the Philippines. (n)
Article 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Ph ilippines if made with the formalities prescribed by the law
of the place in which he resides, or acco rding to the formalities observed in his coun try, or in conformity with those which this Code
Article 817. A will made in the Philippines by a citizen or subject of a nother country, which is executed in accordance with the law
of the country of which he is a citizen or subject, and which might be proved and allowed by the law of his own country, shall have
the same effect as if executed accordin g to the laws of the Philippines. (n)
Article 818. Two or more persons cannot make a will jointly, or in the sa me instrument, either for their reciprocal benefit or for the
benefit of a third person. (669)
Article 819. Wills, prohibited by the preceding article, executed by Filipinos in a foreign country shall not be valid in the Philippines,
even though authorized by the laws of the coun try where they may have been executed. (733a)
SUBSECTION 4. – Witnesses to Wills
Article 820. Any person of sound mind and of the age of eighteen year s or more, and not blind, deaf or dumb, and able to read and
write, may be a witness to the execution of a w ill mentioned in article 805 of this Code. (n)
Article 821. The following are disqualified from being witnesses to a will:
The testator himself may, during his lifetime, petition the cour
t having jurisdiction for the allowance of his will. In such case, the
pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court for the allowance of wills after the testator’s a death shall govern.
The Supreme Court shall formulate such additional Rules of Court as may be necessary for the allowance of wills on petition of the
Subject to the right of appeal, the allowance of the will, either during the lifetime of the testator or after his death, shall be conclusive
as to its due execution. (n)
Article 839. The will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases:
The same rule applies if the testator has instituted several heirs, each being limited to an aliquot part, and all the parts do
the whole inheritance. (n)
Article 852. If it was the intention of the testator that the instituted heirs should become sole heirs to the whole estate, or the whole
free portion, as the case may be, and each of them has been instituted to an aliquot part of the inheritance and their aliquot parts
together do not cover the whole inheritance, or the whole fr ee portion, each part shall be increased proportionally. (n)
Article 853. If each of the instituted hei rs has been given an aliquot part of the inheritance, and the parts together exceed the whole
inheritance, or the whole free portion, as the case may be, each part shall be reduced proportionally. (n)
Article 854. The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the comp ulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of
the execution of the will or born after the death of the testat or, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and leg acies shall
be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.
If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be effectual, without prejudice to the right of
Article 855. The share of a child or descendant omitted in a will must firs t be taken from the part of the estate not disposed of by
the will, if any; if that is not sufficient, so much as may be necessary must be taken proportionally from the shares of the ot her
compulsory heirs. (1080a)
Article 856. A voluntary heir who dies before the testator transmits nothing to his heirs.
A compulsory heir who dies before the testator, a person incapa citated to succeed, and one who renounces the inheritance, shall
transmit no right to his own heirs except in ca ses expressly provided for in this Code. (766a)
Substitution of Heirs
Article 857. Substitution is the appointment of another heir so that he ma y enter into the inheritance in default of the heir originally
Article 858. Substitution of heirs may be:
Conditions imposed by the testat or upon the heirs shall be governed by the rules established for conditional obligations
in all matters not provided for by this Section. (791a)
Article 885. The designation of the day or time when the effects of the institution of an heir shall commence or cease shall be valid.
In both cases, the legal heir shall be considered as called to the succession until the arrival of the period or its expiration. But in the
first case he shall not enter into possess ion of the property until after having given sufficient security, with the intervention of the
instituted heir. (805)
Article 886. Legitime is that part of the testator’s property which he cannot dispos e of because the law has reserved it for certain
heirs who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs. (806)
Article 887. The following are compulsory heirs:
of one-half of the legitime of each of
the legitimate children or descendants.
The legitime of an illegitimate child who is neither an acknowledged natural, nor a natural child by legal fiction, shall be eq ual in
every case to four-fifths of the legitime of an acknowledged natural child.
The legitime of the illegitimate children shall be taken from t he portion of the estate at the free disposal of the testator, provided that
in no case shall the total legitime of such illegitimate child ren exceed that free portion, and that the legitime of the surviv ing spouse
must first be fully satisfied. (840a)
Article 896. Illegitimate children who may survive with legitimate par ents or ascendants of the deceased shall be entitled to one-
fourth of the hereditary estate to be taken from the portion at the free disposal of the testator. (841a)
Article 897. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate children or descendants, and acknowledged natural children, or
natural children by legal fiction, such surviving spouse shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate
children which must be taken from that part of the es tate which the testator can freely dispose of. (n)
Article 898. If the widow or widower survives with legitimate children or descendants, and with illegitimate children other than
acknowledged natural, or natural children by legal fiction, the share of the surviving spouse shall be the same as that provide d in
the preceding article. (n)
Article 899. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate par ents or ascendants and with illegitimate children, such
surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-eighth of the hereditary estate of the deceased which must be taken from the free portion,
and the illegitimate children shall be entitled to one-fourth of the estate which shall be taken also from the disposable porti on. The
testator may freely dispose of the remaining one-eighth of the estate. (n)
Article 900. If the only survivor is the widow or widower, she or he shall be entitled to one-half of the hereditary estate of the
deceased spouse, and the testator may freel y dispose of the other half. (837a)
If the marriage between the surviving spouse and the testator was so lemnized in articulo mortis, and the testator died within three
months from the time of the marriage, the legitime of the surviving spouse as the sole heir shall be one-third of the hereditar y
estate, except when they have been living as husband and wife for mo re than five years. In the latter case, the legitime of the
surviving spouse shall be that specified in the preceding paragraph. (n)
Article 901. When the testator dies leaving illegitimate children and no other compulsory heirs, such illegitimate children shall have
a right to one-half of the hereditary estate of the deceased.
The other half shall be at the free disposal of the testator. (842a)
Article 902. The rights of illegitimate children set forth in the pr eceding articles are transmitted upon their death to their
descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate. (843a)
Article 903. The legitime of the parents who have an illegitimate child, when such child leaves neither legitimate descendants, nor a
surviving spouse, nor illegitimate children, is one-half of the hereditary estate of such illegitimate child. If only legitimate or
illegitimate children are left, the parents are not entitled to any legitime whatsoever. If only the widow or widower survives with
parents of the illegitimate child, the legitime of the parents is one-fourth of the hereditary estate of the child, and that of the surviving
spouse also one-fourth of the estate. (n)
Article 904. The testator cannot deprive his compulso ry heirs of their legitime, except in cases expressly specified by law.
Neither can he impose upon the same any burden, encumbrance, condition, or substitution of any kind whatsoever. (813a)
Article 905. Every renunciation or compromise as regards a future legi time between the person owing it and his compulsory heirs is
void, and the latter may claim the same upon the death of the form er; but they must bring to collation whatever they may have
received by virtue of the renunciation or compromise. (816)
Article 906. Any compulsory heir to whom the testator has left by any title less than the legitime belonging to him may demand that
the same be fully satisfied. (815)
Article 907. Testamentary dispositions that impair or diminish the legi time of the compulsory heirs shall be reduced on petition of
the same, insofar as they may be inofficious or excessive. (817)
Article 908. To determine the legitime, the value of the property left at the death of the testator shall be considered, deducting all
debts and charges, which shall not include those imposed in the will.
To the net value of the hereditary estate, shall be added the val ue of all donations by the testator that are subject to collat
ion, at the
time he made them. (818a)
Article 909. Donations given to children shall be charged to their legitime.
Donations made to strangers shall be charged to that part of the es tate of which the testator could have disposed by his last will.
Insofar as they may be inofficious or may exceed the disposable portion, they shall be reduced according to the rules established
by this Code. (819a)
Article 910. Donations which an illegitimate child may have received during the lifetime of his father or mother, shall be charged to
Should they exceed the portion that can be freely disposed of, they shall be reduced in the manner prescribed by this Code. (84 7a)
Article 911. After the legitime has been determined in accordance with the three preceding articles, the reduction shall be made as
If the testator should bequeath or devise something pledged or mortgaged to secure a recoverable debt before the
execution of the will, the estate is obliged to pay the debt, unless the contrary intention appears.
The same rule applies when the thing is pledged or mortgaged after the execution of the will.
Any other charge, perpetual or temporary, with which the thi ng bequeathed is burdened, passes with it to the legatee or devisee .
Article 935. The legacy of a credit against a third person or of the remission or release of a debt of the legatee shall be effective
only as regards that part of the credit or debt ex isting at the time of the death of the testator.
In the first case, the estate shall comply with the legacy by assigning to the legatee all rights of action it may have against the
debtor. In the second case, by giving the lega tee an acquittance, should he request one.
In both cases, the legacy shall comprise all interests on the cr edit or debt which may be due the testator at the time of his death.
Article 936. The legacy referred to in the preceding article shall lapse if the testator, after having made it, should bring an action
against the debtor for the payment of his d ebt, even if such payment should not have been effected at the time of his death.
The legacy to the debtor of the thing pledged by him is understood to discharge only the right of pledge. (871)
Article 937. A generic legacy of release or remissio n of debts comprises those existing at the time of the execution of the will, but
not subsequent ones. (872)
Article 938. A legacy or devise made to a creditor shall not be applied to his credit, unless the testator so expressly declares.
In the latter case, the creditor shall have the right to collect t he excess, if any, of the credit or of the legacy or devise. (837a)
Article 939. If the testator orders the payment of what he believes he owes but does not in fact owe, the disposition shall be
considered as not written. If as regards a specified debt more than the amount thereof is ordered paid, the excess is not due, unless
a contrary intention appears.
The foregoing provisions are without prejudice to the fulfillment of natural obligations. (n)
Article 940. In alternative legacies or devises, the choice is presumed to be left to the heir upon whom the obligation to give the
legacy or devise may be imposed, or the executor or administr ator of the estate if no particular heir is so obliged.
If the heir, legatee or devisee, who may have been given the choice , dies before making it, this right shall pass to the respective
Once made, the choice is irrevocable.
In the alternative legacies or devises, except as herein provi ded, the provisions of this Code regulating obligations of the same kind
shall be observed, save such modifications as may appear from the intention expressed by the testator. (874a)
Article 941. A legacy of generic personal property shall be valid ev en if there be no things of the same kind in the estate.
A devise of indeterminate real property shall be valid only if there be immovable property of its kind in the estate.
The right of choice shall belong to the executor or administrator who shall comply with the legacy by the delivery of a thing w hich is
neither of inferior nor of superior quality. (875a)
Article 942. Whenever the testator expressly leaves th e right of choice to the heir, or to the legatee or devisee, the former may give
or the latter may choose whichever he may prefer. (876a)
Article 943. If the heir, legatee or devisee cannot make the choice, in ca se it has been granted him, his right shall pass to his heirs;
but a choice once made shall be irrevocable. (877a)
Article 944. A legacy for education lasts until the legatee is of age, or beyond the age of majority in order that the legatee may
finish some professional, vocational or general course, provided he pursues his course diligently.
A legacy for support lasts during the lifetime of the lega tee, if the testator has not otherwise provided.
If the testator has not fixed the amount of such legacies, it shall be fixed in accordance with the social standing and the
circumstances of the legatee and the value of the estate.
If the testator or during his lifetime used to give the legatee a certain sum of money or other things by way of support, the s ame
amount sha ll be deemed bequeathed, unles
s it be markedly disproportionate to the value of the estate. (879a)
Article 945. If a periodical pension, or a certain annual, monthly, or weekly amount is bequeathed, the legatee may petition the
court for the first installment upon the death of the testator, and for the following ones which shall be due at the beginning of each
period; such payment shall not be returned, even though the legate e should die before the expiration of the period which has
Article 946. If the thing bequeathed should be subject to a usufruct, the lega tee or devisee shall respect such right until it is legally
Article 947. The legatee or devisee acquires a right to the pure and simple legacies or devises from the death of the testator, and
transmits it to his heirs. (881a)
If the legacy or devise is of a specific and determinate thing pertaining to the testator, the legatee or devisee acquires
the ownership thereof upon the death of th e testator, as well as any growing fruits, or unborn offspring of animals, or uncolle cted
income; but not the income which was due and unpaid before the latter’s death.
From the moment of the testator’s death, th e thing bequeathed shall be at the risk of the legatee or devisee, who shall, theref ore,
bear its loss or deterioration, and shall be benefited by its in crease or improvement, without prejudice to the responsibility of the
executor or administrator. (882a)
Article 949. If the bequest should not be of a specific and determinate thing, but is generic or of quantity, its fruits and interests
from the time of the death of the testator shall pertain to t he legatee or devisee if the testator has expressly so ordered. (8 84a)
Article 950. If the estate should not be sufficient to cover all the legac ies or devises, their payment shall be made in the following
nearest in degree. (751)
Legal or Intestate Succession
Article 960. Legal or intestate succession takes place:
The right of representation takes place in the di rect descending line, but never in the ascending.
In the collateral line, it takes place only in favor of the childr en of brothers or sisters, whether they be of the full or half blood. (925)
Article 973. In order that representation may take place, it is nece ssary that the representative himself be capable of succeeding
the decedent. (n)
Article 974. Whenever there is succession by representation, the divisi on of the estate shall be made per stirpes, in such manner
that the representative or representatives shall not inherit more than what the person they represent would inherit, if he were living
or could inherit. (926a)
Article 975. When children of one or more brothers or sisters of t he deceased survive, they shall inherit from the latter by
representation, if they survive with their uncles or aunts. But if they alone survive, they shall inherit in equal portions. (927)
Article 976. A person may represent him whose inheritance he has renounced. (928a)
Article 977. Heirs who repudiate their share may not be represented. (929a)
Order of Intestate Succession
SUBSECTION 1. Desce nding Direct Line
Article 978. Succession pertains, in the first place, to the descending direct line. (930)
Article 979. Legitimate children and their descendants succeed the parents and other ascendants, without distinction as to sex or
age, and even if they should come from different marriages.
An adopted child succeeds to the property of the adopting parents in the same manner as a legitimate child. (931a)
Article 980. The children of the deceased shall always inherit from him in their own right, dividing the inheritance in equal shares.
Article 981. Should children of the deceased and descendants of other ch ildren who are dead, survive, the former shall inherit in
their own right, and the latter by right of representation. (934a)
Article 982. The grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation, and if any one of them should have
died, leaving several heirs, the portion pertaining to him s hall be divided among the latter in equal portions. (933)
Article 983. If illegitimate children survive with legitimate children, the shares of the former shall be in the proportions prescribed by
article 895. (n)
Article 984. In case of the death of an adopted child, leaving no children or descendants, his parents and relatives by
consanguinity and not by adoption, shall be his legal heirs. (n)
SUBSECTION 2. Ascending Direct Line
Article 985. In default of legitimate children and descendants of the dece ased, his parents and ascendants shall inherit from him, to
the exclusion of collateral relatives. (935a)
Article 986. The father and mother, if living, shall inherit in equal shares.
Should one only of them survive, he or she shall succ eed to the entire estate of the child. (936)
Article 987. In default of the father and mother, the ascendants nearest in degree shall inherit.
Should there be more than one of equal degree belonging to the same line they shall divide the inheritance per capita; should they
be of different lines but of equal degree, one-half shall go to th e paternal and the other half to the maternal ascendants. In each line
the division shall be made per capita. (937)
SUBSECTION 3. Ille gitimate Children
Article 988. In the absence of legitimate descendants or ascendants, the illegitimate children shall succeed to the entire estate of
the deceased. (939a)
Article 989. If, together with i