My aunt suffered a stroke last year. She was able to recover but the incident resulted in the loss of her eyesight. Just recently, she sought my assistance to type and print her last will because she says she wants to secure my future and my sister’s in case anything should happen to her. She has no children of her own and was never married but she was the one who took care of us because our parents passed away when I was ten years old. Will her will be considered valid despite her being blind? What other regulations should she consider? Any advice will be appreciated. Thank you and more power.
All persons may make a last will and testament, provided that they are not expressly prohibited by law, not under 18 years of age and must be of sound mind at the time of the execution of such will (Articles 796, 797 and 798, New Civil Code of the Philippines).
To be of sound mind, the law states that 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 unshattered by disease, injury or other cause. It is only necessary that he knows, at the time of making the will, the nature of the estate to be disposed of, the proper objects of their bounty and the character of their testamentary act (Article 799, Ibid.).
Accordingly, we find nothing amiss if your aunt executes her last will and testament as long as she possesses the foregoing qualifications. The fact that she has lost her eyesight because of the stroke that you said she suffered last year will not affect her legal capacity to execute her will.
Nevertheless, we wish to emphasize that your aunt’s typewritten and printed will should be subscribed by her at the end thereof or by her name written by some other person in her presence and with her express direction, and attested and subscribed by three (3) or more credible witnesses who appear before her and of one another. The will must also be signed by your aunt or the person she requested to write her name as well as the instrumental witnesses to her will on the left margin of each and every page thereof, except the last. The pages of her will must be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page. The attestation must state the number of pages used upon which her will is written, and the fact that she signed the will and every page thereof, or caused some other person to write her name, under her express direction, in the presence of the instrumental witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of your aunt and of one another. Should the attestation clause be written in a language not known to any of the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them (Article 805, Id.).
Your aunt’s last will and testament must be acknowledged by her and her witnesses before a notary public (Article 806, Id.).In addition, her will must be read to her twice; once, by one of her subscribing witnesses, and again, by the notary public before whom she acknowledged the will (Article 808, Id.).
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 appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org