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Succession of Knighton

Supreme Court of Louisiana

June 30, 2015

SUCCESSION OF OLEAVA K. KNIGHTON

IN RE: Frank Granger; Kevin Knighton; - Other(s); Applying For Writ of Certiorari and/or Review, Parish of Calcasieu, 14th Judicial District Court Div. H, No. 50559; to the Court of Appeal, Third Circuit, No. CW 15-00056.

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF APPEAL, THIRD CIRCUIT, PARISH OF CALCASIEU.

Granted.

Marcus R. Clark, Bernette J. Johnson, Jeannette Theriot Knoll, John L. Weimer, Greg G. Guidry, Jefferson D. Hughes, III, Scott J. Crichton.

OPINION

[2015-0777 La. 1] PER CURIAM

Granted. Oleava K. Knighton died intestate, survived by her spouse, Weldon Knighton, and her grandson, Kevin Knighton, born to her son from a previous marriage.[1] Upon her death, Weldon was granted " a usufruct over decedent's share of the community." La. C.C. art. 890.

Page 618

Kevin, decedent's sole heir, acquired the naked ownership. La. C.C. arts. 880, 882, & 935. On motion of the succession administrator and Kevin, the District Court ordered Weldon turn over to the administrator $174,416.74, decedent's share of community funds Weldon removed from four bank accounts after her death. The Third Circuit Court of Appeal reversed. Succession of Oleava K. Knighton, 15-00056 (La.App. 3 Cir. 3/18/15)(unpub).

Unless dispensed with, a usufructuary is obligated " to give security" that he will prudently administer the property subject to the usufruct and faithfully fulfill all the obligations imposed by law. La. C.C. art. 571.[2] When " security is required, [2015-0777 La. 2] the court may order it be provided." Id. The court may also order " the property be delivered to an administrator" if the usufructuary fails to give security. La. C.C. art. 575. Because security has not been dispensed with herein, it is within the discretion of the court to order security be provided and the property be delivered to the administrator until such security is given. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeal is reversed, and this matter is remanded to the District Court to determine the amount of security due in accordance with La. C.C. art. 572 and, if security is not timely given, to order the property be delivered to the administrator pursuant to La. C.C. art. 575 until security is provided.


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