Saturday, March 31, 2012

Del Val vs. Del Val

Facts: Plaintiffs and defendant are brothers and sisters and only heirs to Gregorio Nacianceno del Val who died August 4, 1910. During his lifetime he took out insurance on his life for P40,000 payable to defendant as sole beneficiary. Defendant collected face of the policy and used P18,365.20 to redeem certain real estate through his attorney in the name of plaintiff and defendant. Defendant declares redemption under name of plaintiff was without his knowledge or consent. Plaintiffs contend that the amount of the insurance policy belonged to the estate and not to defendant personally therefore they are entitled to partition thereof. 

Issue: Did the trial court err in declaring that the proceeds of policy belong exclusively to defendant? 

HeldNo. The proceeds of an insurance policy belong exclusively to the beneficiary and not to the estate of the person whose life was insured, and that such proceeds are the separate and individual property of the beneficiary, and not of the heirs of the person whose life was insured. 

Neither can they be considered donations or gifts and therefore determined by Civil Code provisions relating to donations. The contract of life insurance is a special contract and the destination of the proceeds thereof is determined by special laws which deal exclusively with that subject. 

As regards the property repurchased, the property does not belong to the heirs in common unless it is established by evidence that it was the intention of the defendant that the other heirs enjoy with him ownership of the state.

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