Law Dictionary

Question VIII, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam

Notice: The following suggested answers simulate those that a bar examinee may provide as an answer to a bar exam question. Thus, specific citations (i.e., republic acts, articles/sections, jurisprudence, etc.) are not provided because it is not required in the bar exam. For purposes other than answering the bar exam, please be reminded that proper referencing or legal citation is required.

Question VIII, Civil Law, 2018 Bar Exam

Sofronio was a married father of two when he had a brief fling with Sabrina, resulting in her pregnancy and the birth of their son Sinforoso. Though his wife knew nothing of the affair, Sofronio regretted it, but secretly provided child support for Sinforoso. Unfortunately, when Sinforoso was 10 years old, Sofronio died. Only Sofronio’s father, Salumbides, knew of Sabrina and Sinforoso. For the purpose of providing support to Sinforoso, Salumbides gave Sabrina usufructruary · rights over one of his properties – a house and lot – to last until Sinforoso reaches the age of majority. Sabrina was given possession of the property on the basis of caucion juratoria. Two (2) years after the creation of the usufruct, the house accidentally burned down, and three (3) years thereafter, Sinforoso died before he could reach the age of 18.

Will the usufruct continue after the house has burned down? If yes, will it continue after Sinforoso’s death? (2.5%)

Suggested Answer:

1) On the first question:

Yes. Answer

Under the Civil Code, if the usufruct is constituted on immovable property of which a building forms part, and the latter should be destroyed in any manner whatsoever, the usufructuary shall have a right to make use of the land and the materials. Rule

In the case at bar, the usufruct was constituted on an immovable property, on house and lot. That the house was burned down will not terminate the usufruct. Apply

Thus, the usufruct will continue after the house has burned down. Conclusion

2) On the second question:

No. Answer

Under the Civil Code, a usufruct granted for the time that may elapse before a third person attains a certain age, shall subsist for the number of years specified, even if the third person should die before the period expires, unless such usufruct has been expressly granted only in consideration of the existence of such person. Rule

In the case at bar, the house and lot were for the specific purpose of providing support to Sinforoso. Otherwise stated, the usufruct was granted only in consideration of the existence of Sinforoso. Hence, the latter’s death terminates the usufurcut. Apply

Thus, the usufruct will not continue after Sinforoso’s death. Conclusion

Disclaimer: All information is for educational and general information only. These should not be taken as professional legal advice or opinion. Please consult a competent lawyer to address your specific concerns. Any statements or opinions of the author are solely his own and do not reflect that of any organization he may be connected.

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