Maintenance for Life

Maintenance for Life

 

in the USSR, a civil-law contract by which a person who is unable to work by reason of age or health (the transferer) transfers his residence or part of it and other property to the ownership of another person. As payment for the property, the transferee binds himself to provide the disabled person with material support in kind, that is, housing, food, care, and other necessary assistance. Contracts of maintenance for life are regulated by the civil codes of the Union republics. For example, relevant legislation is found in the Civil Code of the RSFSR (arts. 253 and 254) and the Civil Code of the Ukrainian SSR (arts. 425–429). Contracts can only be concluded between citizens and are made out according to the rules for a contract of sale of a residence. As long as the contract of maintenance for life is in effect, the transferee may not sell the residence and other property. The person who is being maintained for life has the right to dissolve the contract in cases where the transferee violates his contract obligations and in certain other cases. In the event that the contract is dissolved, the residence and all property are returned to the former owner.

The issue of what becomes of a contract of maintenance for life if the transferee dies is handled differently under the laws of the various Union republics. For example, in the RSFSR, the contract is terminated, while in the Ukrainian SSR the contract obligations pass to the persons who have inherited the residence.

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