Right to Inherit – Illegitimate Child (Iron Curtain Rule)

Dear Atty. Duran-Schulze,

I would like to ask for assistance, my mother is an illegitimate child, and her father (my grandfather) left no last will and testament to the land where he divided with his 2 legitimate children. My mother was below 18 then, so she was not included in the will, and at that time, the land was under CARP. We are currently living in the ancestral house my late grandfather left to us, and my two aunties (my mom’s half-siblings) want to kick her out because they do not want to share the property since she is an illegitimate child of my grandfather. Does my mother have any right to contest this? What if it is my grandfather’s spouse that has left the property?


Dear Annie, 

Being an illegitimate child, as a rule, your mother is entitled to 1/2 share of the 1 share legitime of a legitimate child (half-siblings). For illustration purposes, assuming that your grandfather has two (2) legitimate children and one (1) illegitimate being your mother, your mother is entitled to 1/2 of whatever the legitimate child will have (assuming that the spouse of your grandfather is not in the picture).

As to your second question about whether your mother has a right to contest the property owned by the original wife of her father. The answer is no. Your mother can only inherit from his father (your grandfather). However, if the legitimate wife of the grandfather has died first and has passed on the properties to your grandfather, this means any share that your grandfather has inherited from the legitimate wife can be passed upon to his compulsory heirs, i.e. children (legitimate and illegitimate).

Do you know, however, whether your mother was acknowledged by her father (your grandfather) as his child? The question will revolve around what particular remedy your mother can file.

If your mother is acknowledged by her father (your grandfather), she can file a petition for the declaration of intestate succession before the Regional Trial Court where her deceased father last resided at the time of his death. In these proceedings, the Court will determine the respective shares of the compulsory heirs, i.e. legitimate or illegitimate child/ren. 

On the other hand, if your mother is not acknowledged by her father (your grandfather), there is a need for her to file for a petition for declaration of heirship first before she can file for a petition for the declaration of intestate succession. This is to determine whether your mother is indeed an illegitimate child of her father (your grandfather). 

Need further information and assistance?  Talk to our Legal team at Duran & Duran-Schulze Law. Call us today at (+632) 478 5826 or send an email to info@duranschulze.com for more information.

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