What is a Trust?
In the UK, trusts came into vogue around the time of the Crusades. The Romans had trusts, but their were generally only after death, and this wasn’t the problem that the Crusaders had. If you want to know what could benefit from being in trust click.
Lords and knights and lesser mortals would go off on Crusades for years at a time. So they had to entrust someone to look after their land and other assets (including their wives!) whilst they were away for many years at a time.
The trouble started when they came back and found that the person they trusted to look after everything for them wasn’t that trustworthy and had taken full possession of everything (sometimes including the wife) and wouldn’t give it back!
What is a Trust? The start of modern trusts:
The Courts took the view that the usurper actually did own the land as the Crusader appeared to have given it to him. However, in those dim and distant days the Law actually did recognised the principle of “equity” – what was just and fair. But only the Lord Chancellors Court of Chancery had the ability to apply the principle: he was eventually petitioned by wronged nobles and knights and the concept of a Lifetime Trust eventually came into being. This meant that the “Trustees” legally became people who were managing things on behalf of others and whilst they might technically own the land etc, in reality they held it on Trust for the Crusader, who could demand it’s return, and an account of what had happened whilst he was away under the Trustees stewardship.
What is a trust these days?
A modern trust can have enormous flexibility – or none, depending on what the intentions are of the person creating the trust. In the UK they are primarily used for the same purposes as they were in the Crusaders time – to preserve assets for the family. But today’s bespoke trusts offer an enormous range of opportunities to protect money, assets vulnerable children or adults, those on benefits or in care and those who want to keep their hard earned money and property in the family rather than give it to the Taxman or the local council.
What is a Trust? Find out how trusts can help your family.