The matriarch of the Yanson group of bus companies, Olivia V. Yanson, disinherited four of her children.
The Bacolod City Regional Trial Court Branch 44, under presiding Judge Ana Celeste P. Bernad, in its decision dated August 31 has allowed the last will and testament of Olivia as it complied with the formalities required by law.
“It should be emphasized that in probate proceedings the court’s area of inquiry is limited to an examination and resolution of the extrinsic validity of the will. By extrinsic validity, the testamentary capacity and the compliance with formal requirements or solemnities prescribed by law are the only questions presented for the resolution of the court,” the court said.
“Due execution of the will or its extrinsic validity pertains to whether the testator being of sound mind, freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by Articles 805 and 806 of the New Civil Code,” it said.
Olivia named her children Leo Rey and Ginnette as the universal heirs in her will, while Roy, Emily, Ma. Lourdes Celina and Ricardo Jr., who are collectively known as the Yanson 4, were left out.
In April 15, 2019, Olivia filed a petition for probate of her last will and testament.
The Yanson 4 has opposed the probate of her will, saying their mother was under due and improper influence and pressure from Leo Rey and Ginnette.
Judge Bernad, in her proclamation, said the oppositors, the Yanson 4, to the probate process had not presented any evidence to the court that would show that there was undue influence or pressure exerted on the petitioner before or during the execution of her last will and testament.
“That there are several cases between petitioner and oppositors does not, to the court’s mind, show undue influence or pressure made upon petitioner. The other testimonies of oppositors’ witnesses also did not show any how any undue influence or pressure was exerted on the petitioner,” the court said.
The court said Olivia has shown to the court and proved that it was her personal decision to make a last will and testament and that she asked her lawyers to prepare a draft containing all the provisions she wanted.
Olivia was 85 years old when she made her last will and testament and proved she was in full possession of all her reasoning faculties or her mind was “unbroken, unimpaired or unshattered by disease, injury or other cause at that time.”
The petitioner said she knew the nature and extent of her estate and she clearly understood the importance and consequences of making a last will and testament.
Bernad said that in considering the petition and the opposition, the court kept the pronouncements of the Supreme Court in mind and only looked at the issue of the extrinsic validity of the last will and testament of Olivia Yanson.