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Constitution of Trusts


I.e. the making of a trust

Milroy v Lord

Turner LJ, there are three ways you can give property away:

  1. Outright gift
  2. Transfer property to trust

Constitution= refers to the giving or transfer of legal title from one person to another

1. Trust property must be vested in trustee

Either:       (a) Settlor wishes to be trustee:


(b) Settlor wishes another to be trustee.

(a) Inter vivos transfers of legal interests

Three examples:

  1. Land- s52(1) must be made by deed, s1 of LMPA tells us of the requirements of a deed
  2. Chattels- by deed or by an intention to make a gift AND delivery (Re Corp)

LPA 1925, ss 52, 136

Copyright Act 1988, s 90(3)

Bills of Exchange Act 1882

Companies Act 2006, Pt 21

Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989, s 2

(b) Equity will not assist a volunteer

Milroy v Lord (1862) 4 De GF & J 264 (HM 231)

When does this not count:

Pullan v Koe

Richards v Delbridge (1874) LR 18 Eq 11

(c) Exceptions to the rule that Equity will not assist a volunteer

  1. Proprietary estoppel(don’t need to know)
  2. Rule in Re Rose
  1. Doctrine of donation mortis causa

(i) The rule in Re Rose

Re Rose [1952] Ch 499

Re Fry [1946] 1 Ch 312,

Mascall v Mascall (1984) 50 P & CR 119

Pennington v Waine [2002] 1 WLR 2075 (HM 232)

(but cf Zeital v Kaye [2010] EWCA Civ 159)

T Choithram International SA v Pagarani [2000] 1 WLR 1

(ii) The rule in Strong v Bird

Strong v Bird (1874) LR 18 Eq 315

Re Stewart [1908] 2 Ch 251

Re James [1935] Ch 449

Re Gonin [1979] Ch 16

Whether or not the rule in Strong v Bird can be extended to the constitution of trusts:

Re Brooks’s ST [1939] 1 Ch 993

Re Ralli’s WT [1964] 1 Ch 288

(iii) Donationes mortis causa (in outline)

Death bed gifts:

Essential requirements for DMC to apply:

  1. The donor must have made the gift in contemplation though not necessarily in expectation of death
  2. He must have delivered the subject matter of the gift to the donee or transferred to him the means or part of the means of getting at the subject matter. E.g. delivering a key, like car key, or a key to a box containing essential indicia of title, intending to part with dominion over the property to which the key relates

Kane v Moon

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