DEFINITION of 'Usufruct'

A legal right accorded to a person or party that confers the temporary right to use and derive income or benefit from someone else's property. Usufruct is usually conferred for a limited time period or until death. While the usufructuary has the right to use the property, he or she cannot damage or destroy it, or dispose of the property.


For example, if a party has a usufruct in a real estate property, he or she has the full right to use it or rent it out and collect the rental income without sharing it with the actual owner, as long as the usufruct is in effect.

Usufruct is recognized only in a few jurisdictions in North America, such as Louisiana.

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