Previous: Registered title conveyancing

Throughout previous pages, reference has been made to some of the different types of estate. Estates can be both legal or equitable, express or implied, or successive or concurrent. It has also been noted that the concept of the ‘trust’ arose from the crusades, where it was found that a property could be held on trust for a knight/soldier. To have his estate held on trust, a knight (the grantor) would surrender legal title to his trusted friend (the trustee). At common law, it would then be said that the trustee owned the property and had the right to dispose of it contrary to the knight’s intentions. However, the court of equity decided that in such an arrangement, the trustee would then hold the estate on trust for the grantor (also the beneficiary), such that although legally the house belonged to the trustee, the benefit of the estate was vested in the knight.

Historically, land could be held on trust in the form of a trust for sale under the Law of Property Act (LPA) 1925, or as part of a strict settlement under the Settled Land Act 1925. Trusts for sale will be considered later, however, the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TOLATA) 1996 almost entirely replaced these trusts with the concept of a trust of land. Today, wherever a legal estate can be found, an accompanying equitable estate can be said to exist...

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