USUFRUCTusufruct (yoo-z<<schwa>>-fr<<schwa>>kt), n.[fr. Latin usufructus] Roman & civil law.
Aright to use and enjoy the fruits of another's property for a periodwithout damaging or diminishing it, although the property mightnaturally deteriorate over time.
In Roman law, the usufruct was considered a personalservitude, giving a real right. In
modern civil law
owner of the usufruct is similar to a lifetenant,
the owner of the thing burdened is the naked owner
. La. Civ. Code art. 535. Cf.HABITATION(3). — Also termed perfect usufruct; usufructus; (in Scots law) liferent. [Cases: Estatesin Property 1. C.J.S. Estates §§ 2–5, 8, 15–21, 116–128, 137, 243.]
“Usufructus is ... the right of using and enjoying property belonging to another provided thesubstance of the property remained unimpaired. More exactly, a usufruct was the right grantedto a man personally to use and enjoy, usually for his life ..., the property of another which, whenthe usufruct ended, was to revert intact to the dominus or his heir.
It might be for a term of years, but even here it was ended by death, and in the case of a corporation (which never dies)
Justinianfixed the period at 100 years.
A usufruct might be in land or buildings, a slave or beast of burden,and in fact in anything except things which were destroyed by use ..., the reason, of course, beingthat it was impossible to restore such things at the end of the usufruct intact ....”R.W. Leage,Roman Private Law 181–82 (C.H. Ziegler ed., 2d ed. 1930).legal usufruct.
A usufruct established by operation of law, such as the right of a survivingspouse to property owned by the deceased spouse.
La. Civ. Code art. 890. [Cases: Dower andCurtesy 1, 29; Executors and Administrators 176; Wills 11. C.J.S. Dower §§ 2, 5–6, 41,136–138; Executors and Administrators § 353; Wills §§ 76–87, 381.]quasi-usufruct. 1. A right to consume things that cannot be used without being expended or consumed, such as money or food. • Unlike a perfect usufruct, a quasi-usufruct actually involvesalteration and diminution of the property used. — Also termed imperfect usufruct. 2.Louisiana law.A usufruct over consumable things, such as money or harvested crops. La. Civ. Code art. 538. •
The usufructuary has the right to consume or alienate the consumables and, at the end of theusufruct, to deliver to the naked owner either the value that the things had when the usufructbegan or things of the same quantity and quality.
[Cases: Executors and Administrators 176. C.J.S.Executors and Administrators § 353.]“The Roman jurists, therefore, would not acknowledge a usufruct of money; though, in their desire to carry out the wishes of testators, they came at length to recognize a quasi-usufruct. For testators, being seldom learned in the law, would often set forth as legacies in their wills theusufruct of a designated sum .... In such a case the person named as legatee was allowed to receivethe amount ... on giving security that when he died the same amount should be paid out of his ownestate to the heres, the heir of the testator. The relation here, though bearing some resemblance tothe usufruct, was really quite different; the person who received the money became absoluteowner of it; the heir had no ownership, nothing but the assurance of receiving an equal amount atsome future time.” James Hadley, Introduction to Roman Law 193 (1881).USUFRUCTUARYusufructuary (yoo-z<<schwa>>-fr<<schwa>>k-choo-er-ee), adj. Roman & civil law. Of or relating to a usufruct; of
the nature of a usufruct.
usufructuary,n. Roman & civil law. One
having the right to a usufruct;
a person whohas the right to the benefits of another's property; a life-renter
. [Cases: Estates in Property 1.