Usufructuaries and naked ownership

Usufructuaries and naked ownership

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2018 | Successions And Probate |

Sometimes, after a person in Louisiana dies, an asset left to a beneficiary does not immediately transfer to that person’s possession. If you find yourself in this position as the new owner of the asset, you may be wondering what will happen next. The legal team at Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law, often advises clients who have questions about Louisiana inheritance laws.

The Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs explains that a usufructuary is someone who inherits the rights to use a property or to receive the income the property generates. This person does not inherit the property itself, but the usufruct. 

For example, say your older brother has been living in your parents’ home as their caretaker for the past five years. When your parents created their estate plan, they did not want your brother to have to find a new place to live after they died. However, they passed the ownership of the home to you. You cannot evict your brother, even though you own the house: You have the underlying right of ownership, also known as naked ownership.

You do not necessarily have to wait for your brother to die to benefit from your naked ownership. You may have the option to sell your rights to the house, or mortgage it, as long as you do not compromise your brother’s usufruct. His rights regarding the use of the house may not be straightforward, depending on the circumstances of the usufruct. 

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