The Usufruct Revisions: The Power to Dispose of Nonconsumables Now Expressly Includes Alienation, Lease, and Encumbrance; Has the Louisiana Legislature Fundamentally Altered the Nature of Usufruct?

This Comment discusses the 2010 Louisiana Civil Code revisions to the law of usufruct and critically analyzes whether the revisions to the power to dispose of nonconsumables upset the usufructuary's and naked owner's perilous balance of rights inherent in the law of usufruct. It begins by laying out the foundations of ownership and usufruct in the Louisiana civil law system. After exploring the contours of these general principles, the Comment tracks the development of the power to dispose of nonconsumables from jurisprudential beginnings, through initial legislative codification, and up to the 2010 revision under Act 881. Delving deeper, this Comment examines Act 881's division of former article 568 into articles 568, 568.1, 568.2, and 568.3 and explores the issues of whether the revision expands the power to dispose and whether such an expansion constitutes a substantive or procedural change in the law. Lastly, the Comment raises several legal complications brought about by the recent revision and argues that further legislative action is necessary to retain the equitable division of rights that the Louisiana Civil Code seeks to instill in its default approach the law of usufruct.