Seeking property share from parents who are still alive pointless

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Persida Acosta

Persida Acosta

Dear PAO,
I have three children. Two of them are staying abroad and my youngest son is living in the Philippines. My husband and I have always supported our youngest child who remains dependent on us. We, however, have stopped giving him support because he has been using his money for his vices. When he demanded from us his share in our property and we refused his demand, he threatened that he is going to file a case against us. Can our youngest son demand his share even if my husband and I are still alive? Can he still demand support from us?
Vilma

Dear Vilma,
One of the modes of transfer of ownership is succession. Under Article 774 of the Civil Code “succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by will or by operation of law.” Successional rights are only transmitted from the moment of death of the decedent. Thus, this is the mode of transfer of ownership of pieces of property of parents to their children upon the former’s death. As such, before their death, the parents can dispose of their pieces of property at will and without asking permission from their children. Since the right of children to their parent’s pieces of property is merely inchoate, a case that your youngest son may file against you and your husband to demand his share in your property will not prosper.

As to support for your youngest son, Article 194 of the Family Code provides that “support comprises everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family. The education of the person entitled to be supported referred to in the preceding paragraph shall include expenses in going to and from place of work.” Thus, your youngest son is only entitled to demand for support if the same is in connection with his schooling or training for some profession, trade or vocation pursuant to Article 194 of the Family Code. Again, if the support is not based on the foregoing, a complaint for support would also not prosper.

We hope that we have answered your query. Our legal opinion may vary if other facts are stated 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 dearpao@manilatimes.net

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