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José M.
José M., Attorney
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5290
Experience:  Spanish Attorney
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My father who had died has left a document that is drawn up

Resolved Question:

My father who had died has left a document that is drawn up by a Spanish lawyer, I believe this is a will
In this will she bequeath the universal and for life interest(usufruct) of a third share of his property he owns , empowering her to take posession by herself of this legacy , to his partner "named person"
My question is what is the meaning of a life interest of a third share and how is this to be managed by the remaining 2 thirds beneficiaries.
Kind regards
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Spain Law
Expert:  José M. replied 2 years ago.

Attorney3044 :

Hi Sir

Attorney3044 :

I am going to explain what its usufructo

Customer: Hello
Attorney3044 :

please let me five minutes

Customer: Ok I will wait
Attorney3044 :

What it means is a person or persons have a cast iron right to live in a house or piece of land for life. It also allows the named person to live, farm the land and to harvest the land for the rest of his life without charge. However, the named person does not own the land or can sell the land. Once the named person becomes deceased the land reverts to the owner or is passed on to his heirs.


The legal arrangement in Spain is signed and witnessed with a local a notary and is stated in the property deeds (escrituro). The legal owner and his heirs are powerless to sell the property until the person named as ‘usufructo vitalicio’ has died. In order for the legal owner to sell the property he will need to have the named person’s death certificate. The name will in most cases need to be removed from the deeds and this will incur a charge.


This arrangement may seem a very odd thing to happen, but there are circumstances where such a legal definition is advantageous. For example: to enable someone a legal right of way across the property or a right to graze cattle on the land but without right of ownership.


In some instances, it will allow a common in law partner to remain living in a property after the death of the other for life without it affecting the legal ownership of the premises. Once the remaining partner has died the property will go to the original partner’s estate.


In Spanish law, one can force the sell of a jointly owned property should one of the joint owners wish it. If the other owner resists selling the property can still be sold after the matter has been settled in court. With a usufructo vitalicio arrangement, the property cannot be sold under any circumstances whilst the named person on the deeds remains alive. In practice, the named person may not have legal ownership but has more security than a joint owner.


Under usufructo vitalicio agreement, the named person has full right of use of the property in every regard except one. He is not permitted to cause damage to the property in any way. There may be an additional agreement regarding upkeep expenses but no charge for rent.

Attorney3044 :

Also I am going to give you the link to the spanissh civil code

Attorney3044 :

Attorney3044 :

Read articles 467 and more

Attorney3044 :

471 and more gives you the rights of each part

Attorney3044 :

live interest its that the usufructuario has the right to use the goods for all his live

Customer: So the named person has a third share to use the property for life and we cannot sell it , or can we sell it with their agreement, if we sold with their agreement would they have a right to the monies from any sale?
Attorney3044 :

Thats right

Attorney3044 :

The owner, called nudo propietario, can no sell

Attorney3044 :

The usufructuario could rent the propiety ank keep the money for him

Attorney3044 :

All the rights and obligations are in the civil code 471 and more

Attorney3044 :

In the link I have provided you

Attorney3044 :

Attorney3044 :

Its in english

Customer: Thank you very much I will check the link
José M., Attorney
Category: Spain Law
Satisfied Customers: 5290
Experience: Spanish Attorney
José M. and other Spain Law Specialists are ready to help you

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