Last will and testament is one of the vital pieces of information that will give our loved ones their share of our fortune in any case we dwindle the road. With that said, it is essential that we need to know the processes involved in passing down our inheritance to our remaining family members.

Article 887 of the Civil Code of the Philippines states that there’s a compulsory list when it comes to our heirs and that includes legitimate and illegitimate children of their deceased parents, are entitled to a piece of inheritance, and all of their investments.

Let’s do a proper rundown of the hierarchy of surviving heirs, and they are the following:

●Primary – Just like the name suggests, they are the primary branch of the deceased. In most cases, they are known as legitimate children or the direct descendants of the person in question.
●Secondary – These are people who are considered legitimate parents or ascendants of the deceased. Illegitimate parents also fall into this category in cases where the primary defaults their inheritance.
●Concurring – Surviving spouse falls into this list. The same can be said for illegitimate children and/or their descendants.

We don’t need any lawyer to understand how things work, but if we want smoother processes, it is always not a bad idea to get one. Now that we left that on the way, let’s get down to the more serious part, dividing the estate left by the deceased.

Family Code of the Philippines states that inheritance should be divided based on the structure of the law, which gives us half of the deceased person’s total estate. That first half is what we called “hereditary estate.” This half would be the focus of our lawyer when dividing our overall inheritance.

Half of the hereditary estate of the deceased will go directly to the entitled, legitimate child. In cases where there are two or more legitimate children, the ancestral estate will be divided into the number of legitimate children of the deceased.

The surviving spouse, on the other hand, is entitled to a quarter of the overall hereditary estate of the deceased person if there’s only a single name listed as a legitimate child. In cases where there are two or more legitimate children listed, the widow or the widower would get the same amount of inheritance of a legitimate child, which will be taken from the other half of the deceased person’s estate and overall investments.

The other half of the total estate in question is called the “free portion,” and this is where the inheritance of the illegitimate child or children will be pulled from. The Philippines’ Family Code states that the portion of the illegitimate child would be half of what a legitimate child would get.

If the deceased person didn’t have any legitimate children, family attorneys need to give the widow or the widower would get half of the amount of the hereditary estate.

The “free portion” of the estate is subject to disposal once the widow or widower and all parties involved already got their share. In cases where the testator provides additional beneficiaries in his or her last will, it will be taken from the free portion.

With all that said, it is still best if we could get a hold of our trusted family attorney so they can clarify all the bits and pieces of the will of the deceased person and to process the division of inheritance smoothly. We all know that estates, heritage, and the passing of our loved ones are serious discussions, and our trusted family lawyers will provide us the necessary information about our overall claims from an inheritance.

Based on Materials from Real Living