Dear Atty. Duran-Schulze,
My mom’s uncle passed away last year. He did not get married so he had no wife nor any kids. My mom died 4 years ago, I want to know how the portioning will be when it comes to my mom’s uncle’s property. Do we get any portions?
Since you did not mention that your mom’s uncle left a will, we will assume that the laws on intestate succession will apply. Further, assuming that you are a lone surviving heir of your great-uncle.
Under the Rule on Proximity, the relatives nearer in degree will exclude the remote ones. If he has no wife nor kids, only surviving relatives closest in degree to the uncle inherits. Under the Civil Code:
To determine the degree, proximity of relationship is determined by the number of generations. Each generation forms a degree. A series of degrees forms a line, which may be either direct or collateral.
A direct line is that constituted by the series of degrees among ascendants and descendants. A collateral line is that constituted by the series of degrees among persons who are not ascendants and descendants, but who come from a common ancestor.
In the direct line, ascent is made to the common ancestor. Thus, the child is one degree removed from the parent, two from the grandfather, and three from the great-grandparent. In the collateral line, ascent is made to the common ancestor and then descent is made to the person with whom the computation is to be made. Thus, a person is two degrees removed from his brother, three from his uncle, who is the brother of his father, four from his first cousin, and so forth.
Applying the concept above, when your uncle died the closest surviving relative he may have is your great grandparents, which is under the first degree in relation to the great-uncle. This is under the presumption that your great-grandparents are still alive when your mom’s uncle died. Thus, all properties of your mom’s uncle will be given to your great grandparents in exclusion of others.
However, if your great-grandparents predecease your mom’s uncle then the next line for inheritance is the brother and sister of your mom’s uncle (your mom’s aunties and uncles) in exclusion of others.
On the other hand, since your mother predeceased her uncle, you as the children of the decedent’s brothers and sisters, shall inherit by right of representation as a replacement to your deceased mother, who is a collateral heir.
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