Lifelong Usufruct in Panama


The usufruct is a temporary right of a person to enjoy the property of others. In other words, to be able to enjoy the benefits and uses of the property, without having the ownership.

In a lifelong usufruct, there must be two parties: the bare owner, who is the one who is limited to exercise his right of ownership, and the usufructuary, who is the one who has the right of possession of a real estate property. In this case, the usufructuary is responsible for keeping the property for life, i.e. until his death.

Usufruct characteristics

  • It is a real right of use and enjoyment.
  • It can be movable or immovable.
  • It is a patrimonial and attachable right.

A usufruct can be constituted in different ways: by the will of the owner, by law, or by prescription.

Some usufructuary rights

  • Property possession.
  • Right to the use and enjoyment of the usufructuary’s property.
  • Right to manage and make improvements to the usufructuary’s property.
  • Claim action.

Some obligations of the usufructuary

The usufructuary, before having the enjoyment of the goods, is obliged to the following:

  • Form an inventory of goods.
  • Provide a guarantee of conservation of the usufructuary’s property.
  • Keep the property in good condition.
  • Make necessary repairs.
  • Cover expenses, costs, and sentences of lawsuits related to the usufructuary property.

Usufruct constitution

The usufruct can be constituted in three ways: by law, by the owner’s will, or by prescription (by the passage of time).

To constitute it, the following documents are required:

  • To present peace and bond from the Instituto de Acueductos y Alcantarillados Nacionales (National Water and Sewage Institute).
  • To present Paz y Salvo of the real estate.

This constitution is made through the Public Registry of Panama.

Usufruct termination

The usufruct may be terminated in the event of any of the following:

  • Total loss of the usufruited property.
  • Renunciation of the usufructuary.
  • Death of the sole usufructuary or of the last surviving usufructuary in case there are several.

Usufruct benefits

Usually, the benefit of a usufruct is given in case of inheritance. This process allows to leave usufructuaries in the will, allowing the heirs to use and enjoy the property without the right to sell or alienate it.

Contact us

The Kraemer & Kraemer team can provide legal assistance in usufruct matters. Send us a message to so that our team can provide you with the appropriate legal advice.