What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement where a person (known as the settlor or grantor) transfers assets, such as money, property, or investments, to another person or entity (known as the trustee) to hold and manage for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to manage the assets in the best interest of the beneficiaries, and the beneficiaries have a beneficial interest in the trust assets.

There are different types of trusts, but the basic elements of a trust include:
  1. The settlor: The person who creates the trust and transfers assets into it.
  2. The trustee: The person or entity responsible for managing the assets held in the trust.
  3. The beneficiaries: The individuals or entities who are entitled to benefit from the assets held in the trust.

Trusts can be used for a variety of purposes, such as estate planning, asset protection, or charitable giving. They can be created during the settlor's lifetime (known as a living trust or inter vivos trust) or through a will (known as a testamentary trust).

Trusts can be revocable, meaning the settlor retains the right to change or cancel the trust, or irrevocable, meaning the trust cannot be changed or revoked once it has been created.

Trusts can also be discretionary, where the trustee has discretion over how and when to distribute the trust assets to the beneficiaries, or fixed, where the beneficiaries have a set entitlement to the trust assets.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.