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Elements of Maltese Law
Usufruct – the relevant Articles are 328 to 399 of the Civil Code Chapter 16 Literally, the term Usufruct has its roots in use and the enjoyment of the fruits (ethimology). Of course we are not looking at cultivation, but at interest, rent and dividends and ground rents, in other words, the return on the investment of money or property. Socially to this date, Usufruct is very closely connected to succession, inheritance and living maintenance in families. A few examples of how Usufruct applies. This has remained important even with the existing social security system. Examples: it is connected with inheritance so imagine husband and wife have two children and saved a 100000euros in some form of interest earning (savings accounts, government bonds). Assume one of the spouses dies and therefore since this money was earned after marriage it is presumed that it is owned in two equal portions. By virtue of a will the husband and wife left as their heirs the two children subject to the Usufruct in favour of the survivor of them. Assume that husband H pass away, the resultant scenario is that the wife will have as sole owner her one half share of 50000 euro meaning that she is free to spend them and dispose of them as she considers appropriate, the other 50000euros belonging therefore to the husband are inherited by the two children but subject to the Usufruct of the surviving wife. In this situation the money is blocked in the name of the children and the interest for her life time is received by the wife. The right to receive the interest is the Usufruct that is an example of the operation of the Usufruct. Instead of this example we could have a business concern and therefore the entire profits those belonging to the wife as her share and those subject to the Usufruct go to the wife (the children may not withdraw the money it may be blocked). The profits are received by the surviving wife, those for her own share and those from the share of...
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