My siblings and I inherited from our parents a parcel of land. We are four in all but one of our siblings is already dead. He died single and without any children. What shall happen to his share? Also, the land that we inherited is covered only by a tax declaration. How can we apply for a title?
Upon your parents’ death, you and your siblings shall succeed to all their properties, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance (Article 774, Civil Code of the Philippines). Since one of your siblings died without a compulsory heir, his share in the inheritance shall accrue to you and your other siblings. Hence, the whole estate of your parents shall be equally divided among the three (3) of you only.
As regards your second question, application for registration of title shall be filed before the Regional Trial Court of the place where the land to be registered is situated (Section 17, Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1529). The following persons may file an application for registration whether personally or though their duly authorized representatives: 1) those who by themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest have been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious possession and occupation of alienable and disposable lands of the public domain under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or earlier; 2) those who have acquired ownership of private lands under the provisions of existing laws; 3) those who have acquired ownership of private lands or abandoned river beds by right of accession or accretion under existing laws; 4) those who have acquired ownership of land in any manner provided for by law. If the land is owned in common, all the co-owners shall file the application jointly (Section 14, PD No.1529).
The application for land registration shall be accompanied by all original muniments of titles or copies thereof and a survey plan of the land approved by the Land Management Bureau. The applicant shall also furnish the Director of Lands with a copy of his application and all its annexes (Section 17, PD No. 1529). After hearing and publication, the court shall issue a judgment confirming the title to the applicant if it was satisfied with the application and all the evidence submitted in support thereto (Section 29, PD No. 1529). Once the judgment has become final and executory, the court shall issue an order in accordance with Section 39 of PD No. 1529 to the Administrator for the issuance of a decree of registration and the corres-ponding certificate of title in favor of the person adjudged entitled to registration (Section 30, PD No. 1529).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appre-ciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.