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portugal usufruct

Discussion in 'Portugal Property' started by sabres, May 1, 2008.

  1. sabres

    sabres New Member

    Portugal has a legal device called a usufruct where there is a beneficial ownership given to someone over a property but legal title to the property is in the names of one or more people.Anyone with experience with usufruct?
     
  2. f_ribeiro

    f_ribeiro New Member

    Hello sabres

    The right term is "usufruto". The basic idea to retain, and I'm not a lawyer, is that person A as the right, for example, to use a piece of land for building or planting trees, for a determined period of time, but the land doesn't belong to her.

    An example is the Câmara giving the right of "usufruto" for 20 years to a private company to build on a plot of land. After the 20 years, the building will go the Câmara and during all the time the owner of the land is the Câmara.
     
  3. sabres

    sabres New Member

    Usufructo

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. From what I know of this concept, it is sometimes used for estate planning purposes. That is, the person who purchased the property can register the legal title to one or more children but continue to have full usage of the property under the usufructo agreement. My question is who can sell the property at a later date, the original owner or the legally registered children or does the original owner lose that right once the usufructo is put in place through a lawyer? Thank you.
     
  4. f_ribeiro

    f_ribeiro New Member

    Let me see if a got it.

    You by a piece of land. You donate it to your children. They become the legal owners. You keep the right to use it for a determined period of time or until you die (it's just an example).

    The legal owner of the land, in this example the children, will be able to sell it but you don't lose the right to use it since they're different rights over the same property, no matter how many times it changes owners.

    Imagine that you have a plot and your house is on it. Your leaving the country in one year and you need money. You can sell the land but keep the right of use of the land for another year. You get the money now for the land (lower value that you you sell the land with full use of it) and the buyer makes an investment that will only be profitable after one year. The house is included in the business.

    Or imagine you have a plot where you can build a factory. You not interested in building that but some company is. You keep the land and give them the right to build and use the land for 20 years. After that period, the right of use reverts to you. But the land as always yours. It's similar to renting a store or an apartment, with necessary adjustments.

    But my advice is to consult a lawyer, preferably with a specific situation, since they are best qualified to help you on this matters.
     
  5. sabres

    sabres New Member

    Usufruto

    You are right, a lawyer's opinion would seem to be essential here. Thank you again.
     
  6. l.a.a.s

    l.a.a.s New Member

    Hi!

    When you go to " Conservatòria do Registo Predial" to register your property, you can do it ,puting the "raiz" in your name and the "usufruto" in other`s name. But then you can only sell or negotiate the "raiz"

    Best regards

    luis
     
  7. sabres

    sabres New Member

    Usufruto

    Luis, thank you for your reply. Do I understand correctly that if I purchase a Portugal property and want my two children to be registered on the title as owners with me enjoying a usufruto, then even though I originally purchased the property, once my children are on title then I cannot sell the property if I wanted? Only they can? Thank you.
     
  8. l.a.a.s

    l.a.a.s New Member


    Hi sabres!

    In my family we have a similar case.
    My mother has "usufruto" and my sister has "raiz" of a flat in lisbon, the situation is the following:

    _ if my sister and my mother agree to sell they both have to sign the "escritura publica"

    _if my sister wants to sell and my mother does not , then my sister can only sell the "raiz" and the person that buys the flat will not have access to the flat because the "usufruto" belongs to my mother.

    _the value of the "usufruto" is not constant, depending on the age of the owner of the "usufruto

    _the value of the property is the value of the "usofruto" + the value of the "raiz"

    In your case if your childreen are not yet 18 years old then you rather see a lawyer

    Best regards

    luis
    Quinta dos Casais
     
  9. sabres

    sabres New Member

    Usufruto

    l.a.a.s, thank you for clarifying a bit more. Here in Canada we have no such an agreement as a usufruto. Putting a property in trust with one person owning it and another person allowed to freely use the property is the closest we get to a usufruto.

    One critical aspect of the usufruto arrangement that you might help with is how the title to the property is registered in Portugal. For example if I own the property and I want the the raiz in the names of both my children who are adults, in North America title can be registered "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or "tenants in common" with no right of survivorship. Either choice can have very different consequences in estate planning as to what happens to the property should I die. Thank you.
     
  10. l.a.a.s

    l.a.a.s New Member

    Hi Sabres

    You can always register the "raiz" in the names of your children, going to a "notàrio" for a "escritura publica" and then you go to the "Conservatòria do Registo Predial" to register it. The "usufruto" can not exced the life time of the owner or 30 years if the owner is a company.
    We also have the "Uso e habitação" , but that is diferent,it has nothing to see with "usufruto", however, i`m not a lawyer . Before you take any decision you rather see a lawyer.

    Best regards

    luis
    Quinta dos Casais
     
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