What Is a Trust?

What Is a Trust?

Society of Notaries Public Bc v The Law Society BC 2016 BCSC 1558 provides a definition of what is a trust that has been approved by innumerable courts.

What Is a Trust?

In Waters’ Law of Trusts in Canada (4th ed. Waters, Gillen and Smith, Carswell: Toronto 2012), the authors write the definition of trust emerges from principles in equity:

Another familiar definition, and one that has been cited with judicial approval, is:

A trust is an equitable obligation, binding a person (called a trustee) to deal with property owned by him (called trust property) as a separate fund, distinct from his own private property, for the benefit of persons (called beneficiaries, or, in old cases, cestuis que trust), of whom he may himself be one, and any one of whom may enforce the obligation.

Approved by Romer L.J. in Green v. Russell, [1959] 2 Q.B. 226, [1959] 2 All E.R. 525 (Eng. C.A.) at 226 [Q.B.], by Cohen J. in Re Marshall’s Will Trusts, [1945] Ch.217, [1945] 1 All E.R. 550 at 219 [Ch.], and approved in Canada in several decisions such as Tobin Tractor (1957) Ltd. v. Western Surety Co. (1963), 42 W.W.R. 532, 40 D.L.R. (2d) 231 (Sask. Q.B.) at 542 [W.W.R.]; Zeidler v. Campbell (1988), 88 A.R. 321, 29 E.T.R. 113 (Alta. Q.B.), affirmed (1998), 91 A.R. 394, 53 D.L.R. (4th) 350 (Alta. C.A.); Ford v. Laidlaw Carriers Inc. (1993), 1 E.T.R. (2d) 117 (Ont. Gen.Div.), varied on other grounds (1994), 12 C.C.P.B. 179 (Ont. C.A.), leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused (1995), [1995] S.C.C.A. No. 34, 191 N.R. 400 (note) (S.C.C.); Boulos v. Boulos (1986), 57 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 181, 24 E.T.R. 56 (Nfld. T.D.); and by both the trial judge and LeDain J. in the Federal Court of Appeal in Guerin v. R. (1981), [1982] 2 F.C. 385 (Fed. T.D.), reversed (1982), [1983] 2 F.C. 656, 143 D.L.R. (3d) 416 (Fed. C.A.), reversed [1984] 2 S.C.R. 335, 20 E.T.R. 6 (S.C.C.); Goreki v. Canada (Attorney General), 2005 CarswellOnt. 3683, [2005] O.T.C. 712 (Ont. S.C.J.) at para. 56, reversed 2006 CarswellOnt. 1745, 265 D.L.R. (4th) 206 (Ont. C.A.); Alessandro v. R., 2007 CarswellNat. 2019, 2007 CarswellNat 6036, [2007] 5 C.T.C. 2172, 2007 D.T.C. 1373 (T.C.C. [General Procedure]) at para. 62; General Motors of Canada Ltd. v. R., 2008 T.C.C. 117, 2008 Carswellnat 3153, 2008 CarswellNat 454 (T.C.C. [General Procedure]), at para. 39, (affirmed 2009 FCA 114, 2009 CarswellNat 880, 2009 CarswellNat 3282 (F.C.A.); VanDenBussche, supra, note 3, at para. 8.

Trevor Todd

Trevor Todd is one of the province’s most esteemed estate litigation lawyers. He has spent more than 40 years helping the disinherited contest wills and transfers – and win. From his Kerrisdale office, which looks more like an eclectic art gallery than a lawyer’s office, Trevor empowers claimants and restores dignity to families across BC. He is a mentor to young entrepreneurs and an art buff who supports starving artists the world over. He has an eye for talent and a heart for giving back.

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