Talk:Trust law

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Propose merger with Living Trust[edit]

Can I propose that we merge living trust into this article? Lawdroid (talk) 17:35, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Goodwill trust[edit]

The linked page says "This type of entity was first devised by Link Egglepple Starbureiy in 2010 to describe the creation of the United Under Economy trust. Before this, there was no mention of such a statute anywhere in literature or common law.". No evidence for a statute, this may have been created to use here? Dougweller (talk) 07:30, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

For an article of this length, it has remarkably few referenced sources. I'm interested in reading more about particular topics, but don't know where this information came from. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.14.208.122 (talk) 19:27, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Scope and Context[edit]

May I suggest that this page needs a revamp because it conceives of a trust as something related to will and testaments and is situated in a particular paradigm of thought that does not represent what a trust really is. Unit trusts, for example, are widely used in funds management and can even be listed on stock exchanges. There are a number of other definitions of trust associated with the disambiguation page for the word that, in the scope of the broader meaning of the entity should probably be absorbed and explained within the context of a single page called for all Trusts. At the moment, the information on Wikipedia regarding the definition of this type of entity is incomplete. Pkearney (talk) 04:08, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't think a "unit trust" is a "trust", although I could be wrong. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 05:15, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not clear what you mean here. Do you mean that everything with the word "trust" in its name should be included, or are you just saying that this page lacks information on commercial uses of trusts? Lawdroid (talk) 12:13, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure to whom you are speaking, but I don't think a "unit trust" is a "trust" as covered by "trust law". On the other hand, trusts are a more expansive concept than just "living trusts", "testamentary trusts", "spendthrift trusts", etc. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:15, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
A unit trust is actually a very simple kind of trust, with a few specific features. It exists because under UK tax law such a trust functions as what Americans would term a "pass-through entity". I don't know what you mean by "trusts are a more expansive concept than [list of types of trusts]". Not to be offensive, but it sounds like neither you nor Pkearney know very much about trust law, and your criticisms of this page remain vague (when there are plenty of concrete problems with it). Lawdroid (talk) 12:59, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Hello all. I think that just like there's the general law of contract and specific contracts (employment, insurance, consumer, sales, etc) there's a general trust law, and then specific trusts (pensions, unit trusts, family trusts, testamentary, etc) all of which should be included in a page like this. The distinctions between the general and the specific are essentially different implied terms and compulsory regulation, which is to suit the subject matter of the transaction and the relative positions of the parties. Wikidea 02:40, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Trusts, for the most part, have much less in the way of implied terms based on their specific usage - in England there is basically one set of implied terms, applicable to all trusts, unless specifically excluded, or excluded by necessary implication of the drafting of the settlment. Most of the named types of trusts are tags for common forms of trusts, describing their express terms. Lawdroid (talk) 12:59, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Possible Historical Origin[edit]

Hello. I tried to add a bit of history in terms of the concept of a trust back in September of this year and was immediately shut down ( see history of warnings on my page and history at this article ). I'd like to reintroduce the concept and its source to show that, perhaps, this is one of the earliest concepts of the idea of what we know today termed a "trust." Aside from what only faith can believe ( verse 5 ), please look at what is depicted and the outcome in the favor of the lady whose land and property was lost. Here it is;

3 At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to appeal to the king for her house and land. 4 The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.” 5 Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land.

Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him.

Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”

- 2 Kings 8: 1-6

We see she 'appealed' to the highest ranking bureaucrat ( the king ) and there was an eye witness to substantiate her appeal. One could read in the history of this wiki entry that I only wanted to include the specific language speaking to what can be conceptualized as a 'trust' when the king restores the woman's land / property and includes income derived while she was absent. Isn't this exactly what one does when one entrusts their property into a legal entity and assigns a trustee to oversee it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by HafizHanif (talkcontribs)

Dear HafizHanif: Whether this Bible text describes "exactly what one does when one entrusts their property into a legal entity and assigns a trustee to oversee it" or not, it appears that this is your own Original Research. The Bible itself does not say that this is part of the history of the concept of a trust, etc. Instead, you would need to find a previously published third party source that claims that the Biblical text you quoted is an early example of a description of a trust, etc. Otherwise, it seems to be your own prohibited Original Research. Famspear (talk) 19:41, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for responding Famspear. I understand the need and legitimacy of a third-party source. We can read that what I'm pointing out isn't an obvious reach to form what has been centuries later termed a "trust." I would like to note that finding something published to support Original Research is itself prohibitive. It defeats the use of logic and thinking in concluding what we can read and understand for ourselves. Would you agree the framework I am pointing out is consistent with the idea of today's trust?--HafizHanif (talk) 23:24, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Just visited to see if anything else regarding the earliest concept of a trust has been added. Here is a source / citation I found and will be adding to the article page:

On the testimony of Gehazi the servant of Elisha that the woman was the owner of these lands, the king returns all her property to her. From the fact that the king orders his eunuch to return to the woman all her property and the produce of her land from the time that she left ...

[1]

-- HafizHanif (talk) 19:56, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

Merger with Trusts and estates[edit]

Easier to maintain quality with less duplication. II | (t - c) 00:11, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

I would support this. Trusts and estates appears to exist only because these subjects are lumped together in US law schools. Lawdroid (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:28, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, trusts and estates is a US term which covers more than trusts law. Take out the "estates" and put it in the relevant page on property, or wills or whatever. But this page can't be renamed or moved, I'd think. Wikidea 11:03, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Plain English[edit]

I would appreciate help with making the introduction/lead more readable. Lawdroid had reverted my edits, saying that because this is a legal topic, "It is the place for legal jargon." Based on Wikipedia standards, I disagree... especially for the lead. As such, I have restored my clarified version.

If my rewriting of the lead has removed any key information appropriate for the lead, then I would appreciate other editors helping by adding that element in plain language.

Here are key references.

  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section: "The lead should be written in a clear, accessible style."
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Legal: "Use plain language, appropriate for a lay audience. Consider Wikibooks if you want to write a textbook."
  • Jargon: "Jargon is 'the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity occupational or social group.'"
  • Wikipedia:Manual of Style: "Writing should be clear and concise. Plain English works best; avoid ambiguity, jargon, and vague or unnecessarily complex wording."
  • Wikipedia:Use plain English: "Wikipedia articles ought to be written in plain English. Jargon, buzzwords, tautologies and vague abstractions ought to be avoided to the greatest extent possible."
  • Wikipedia:Make technical articles understandable: "Articles in Wikipedia should be understandable to the widest possible audience. For most articles, this means understandable to a general audience.... If an article is written in a highly technical manner, but the material permits a more understandable explanation, then editors are strongly encouraged to rewrite it."

Wshallwshall (talk) 16:59, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

I am normally skeptical of well-intended simplifications of legal articles on Wikipedia, but after carefully reviewing the old and new versions, I feel that User:Wshallwshall's new lead for this article is much better. I concur in his/her revisions. --Coolcaesar (talk) 06:25, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. II | (t - c) 09:05, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
I haven't been following this article closely, but I also agree. As currently re-written, the lead describes the basics of the topic in a straightforward and accurate way. Famspear (talk) 18:53, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Remuneration Trusts[edit]

This section reads in part: "Trusts for the benefit of directors and employees or companies or their families or dependents". Should it not instead be: "Trusts for the benefit of directors and employees OF companies or their families or dependents"? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eponymous-Archon (talkcontribs) 23:29, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

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Blacklisted Links Found on Trust law[edit]

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Poor-quality edits by User:Burt Harris[edit]

User:Burt Harris has created a mess in this article that looks like possible vandalism. Unfortunately, User:ImperfectlyInformed reverted my revert of those edits.

If User:ImperfectlyInformed is acting in good faith and not trying to be complicit in vandalizing Wikipedia, then it is User:ImperfectlyInformed's problem to clean up a mess that is now no longer in compliance with the Manual of Style. If I don't see some improvement within a month, then I'm going to revert again back to the last good version. --Coolcaesar (talk) 04:29, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I support the changes made by Burt as improvement of the content and agree how that is less optimal in terms of style. However i strongly prefer content quality over form, so i support imperfectlyimforned's re-instatement of the content and invite everyone to furher improve on that. --L.tak (talk) 06:34, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
You made at least nine spelling and grammar errors in only two sentences. Those are just the obvious ones I counted in 20 seconds. Looks like you're not qualified to fix the mess Burt made. --Coolcaesar (talk) 06:38, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
I was working from a mobile device with a autocorrect set to Dutch. You are free to correct my edits if you wish however.L.tak (talk) 07:19, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Coolcaesar, I think the issues are fixed. This may seem rude to point out, but a lot of people have mentioned that your comments and tone violate Wikipedia's core policy of civility, which is (in my opinion, I doubt I'm the only one) more serious than making edits which don't meet the style guide. I know I dropped a comment to you about it on your talkpage probably a year ago and you never responded. I hope you can understand how that makes people feel, and treat good-faith newbies with particular kindness. II | (t - c) 20:10, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
My concern is that we must always remember this is an encyclopedia we are expounding. (Yes, I'm paraphrasing Marbury v. Madison.) In this case, the prior lead paragraph was a lucid, clean quick-and-dirty intro that gave novices a clean overview of the "big picture" concepts. Then they could scroll down to dive into the really heavy stuff. That's how you write a good article. The current lead paragraph is reasonably lucid to an attorney but will make nearly all laypersons' eyes glaze over. In general, most people find the law boring unless they're discussing their own legal problems. It's really important to get to the point, but in a way they can follow.
What is the purpose of a encyclopedia? The last time I checked it was to inform. If you've lost your audience's attention in the first paragraph, then you're already failed and everything that comes after that is wasted. That's why I was irritated when User:Burt Harris broke the article and then you countermanded my reversion of that. --Coolcaesar (talk) 02:05, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
A, so it was not the manual of style, but the content that was bothering you. That's good to know and as far as the lede is concerned, I agree. Maybe indeed we should add part of the things that were in the original lede back there. L.tak (talk) 06:05, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
I have moved most of the earlier lede-text in, but leaving the "important innovation" part out (we'd need a text book on international historical legal innovations for that as a source;-) ) and moving the Common law part (10 years ago that was true, but now there are several civil law trusts). I am not fully sure about the paragraph handling "self dealing". Can anyone indicate whether that presents an international POV, or just a few countries? I refer to this text "The trustee is given legal title to the trust property, but is obligated to act for the good of the beneficiaries. The trustee may be compensated and have expenses reimbursed, but otherwise must turn over all profits from the trust properties. Trustees who violate this fiduciary duty are self-dealing. Courts can reverse self dealing actions, order profits returned, and impose other sanctions" L.tak (talk) 16:18, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Agreed with L.tak that if the content is an issue, it would have been helpful to understand that. That self-dealing part is wound up tight into what a trust and a fiduciary duty involves. If civil law countries say they have trusts but don't have fiduciary duty, I'm not so sure common law lawyers would agree that the purported trusts are in fact trusts. I've tried to look for civil law information but it is very difficult to find, much less interpret. I think civil law "trusts" should be confined to a particular section of this article. Trusts are by definition wrapped up into a long history of common law which does not exist in the civil law world as far as I know, so it will be probably impossible to say much about trusts that applies to both. II | (t - c) 01:35, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for confirmation regarding the duty to protect, I just wanted the confirmation, because the info was removed before with the argument that -in my words- "a trust varies by country and we shouldn't simplify too much". It is good not to have the civil law trust explicitly in the lede, as they are not sufficiently relevant for that, but -as they clearly were inspired on existing trusts- I didn't think it was correct to exclude them from the lede text with the original text, "In civil law, a trust... (...)". I have checked the Curacao trust (and thus the Sint Maarten trust, as the proposal stemmed from when they were still Netherlands Antilles), and there a clear duty to protect is included, including measures to avoid conflict of interest with the trustee's own legal person. The main difference seems the in writing requirements: civil law doesn't like trusts that simply "arise" or can be concluded orally, so -consistent with the Hague Trust Convention, an "in writing" requirement is included. L.tak (talk) 06:10, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
Well, I think we can put it in the lead as long we have good sources and explain the differences clearly — ideally something at a high level of abstraction which discusses the relationships and differences. :) I imagine that the laws will be cross-fertilized over time especially with the influence of multinational corporations, although the law can change incredibly slowly. Corporate law could be a good place to look for inspiration, since corporate structures are an abstraction of the trust concept. II | (t - c) 06:37, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
That is a good idea, but it may also be very complicated. The civil law trusts clearly derive from the common law ones, but there is no single way in which they were implemented. Just as there may be very substantial differences between a Jersey trust and a Nova Scotia trust (I have no idea), there may be differences between the Liechtenstein and the Curacao trust. The text as we have it now seems to apply generally, so as far as a lede is concerned, that looks ok to me. In the mean time I will look out for generalized high level of abstraction sources that would discuss the trust development in different jurisdictions, but I am not very optimistic there is very much to be found... L.tak (talk) 07:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Purposes[edit]

I have just added two new items on the numbered list under 'Purposes'. My logic was that the trust is much more expansive and wide-reaching than most realise, and this article should reflect this. All homes subject to mortgage are owned on trust, all companies are owned on trust, credit cards, bank accounts, in fact I think I read something like 75% of the wealth in the UK is owned on trust. It is important for this article to reflect that, and not fall into the trap of a too narrow view of what a trust is. Shayday~enwiki (talk) 03:37, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

I'm taking that out because it appears to violate Wikipedia policies WP:NOR and WP:V. You can put that back in if you can locate reported, published cases from appellate courts that stands for those propositions. --Coolcaesar (talk) 09:51, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
Both statements are demonstrably wrong as a matter of English law. In Foley v Hill the House of Lords authoritatively confirmed that a bank receiving money on deposit does not hold those sums as trustee. And in relation to companies - well - take your pick. Every case from Salomon v A Salomon & Co Ltd (1896) to Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd (2013) confirms that a company is an absolute owner and not a mere trustee for the shareholders. --Legis (talk - contribs) 16:00, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Dear user Shayday~enwiki: I agree with Coolcaesar and Legis. Further, if your logic for making edits to this article is that you believe "that the trust is much more expansive and wide-reaching than most realise, and this article should reflect this", then you need to re-think your role here. You may want to review Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. And, no it is incorrect to say that "all homes subject to mortgage are owned on trust." It is incorrect to say that "all companies are owned on trust." Sounds like you may have been reading unreliable material. Famspear (talk) 02:27, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Ben-Barak, Zafrira. "Meribaal and the System of Land Grants in Ancient Israel." Biblica (1981): 73-91.