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Usufruct is the right to use and benefit from a property, while the ownership of which belongs to another person. The person who enjoys the usufruct is called the usufructuary. The usufructuary shall maintain the property as a responsible owner and shall not cause damage to or diminution of the property, except where the property is subject to natural depletion over time. In modern civil law, the usufruct is divided into perfect usufruct and imperfect usufruct or quasi-usufruct, depending on whether the property is subject to depletion. For perfect usufruct, the property is used without changing its nature. In the latter, the property cannot be used without being consumed, such as money, food, etc., and the usufructuary shall deliver to the owner at the end of the usufruct the same value or the same quantity and quality as at the beginning of the usufruct.

[Last updated in October of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]