When my grandparents died in 1963 they did not leave any WILL that could aid their heirs in the partition and distribution of their estate. They left eight ( big parcels of agricultural land and one (1) residential land with an ancestral house all in Bicol. They have nine (9) legitimate children. During their passing two (2) of their children were above 18 y/o and the rest are minors. It was automatic then that since there was no WILL, the eldest son took the liberty of handling or administering all of their parent’s estate. The first three (3) years was okay. My uncle used the income of all the lands to help his siblings survive and go to school. Everything changed when he flew to Manila got married and had his own family. He also took with him all the land titles. All of the younger siblings had to work on their own to sustain their schooling.
When my uncle died in 1988, the distribution of the estate to the surviving heirs was raised. But my uncle’s wife was uncooperative. She left Manila the same year, lived in the US for so many years, returned to Manila 2011. She died 2012. Again, the issue of distributing the estate was raised by the remaining three (3) surviving siblings of my late uncle. One of the daughters (Cathy) told us that that all the properties were already disposed. She said that her mother sold some of the estate and transferred some of the land titles to her brother’s name. The other eight ( siblings of my uncle were not aware of this action. They were not informed nor did they sign any document that proves that they conformed to the selling and transferring of land titles. Cathy and all her siblings are aware that their father is not the sole heir of the estate.
These are my questions:
1. Does my mother still have claims of the estate even if some of it was already sold and some are under the name of my cousin who is now living in Switzerland?
2. Can we hold my cousins accountable for the actions of their mother since they know what their mother did and they were all on legal age when it happened? They were all adults when my uncle died.
3. Was the selling of the properties considered valid?
4. Can we still run after the sold properties?
5. Was the transfer of land title valid?
6. Can we still go after it?
7. What steps should we take for us to get our claims?
Thank you for taking time to read my inquiry. I just want some answers to my “what to do” and “how to do” questions. I will be waiting for your response. Maraming salamat po! - Jun