A trust is very difficult to define, it is much easier to describe the essential
elements that create a trust.
Using as an example, a typical family trust. The settlors of the trust Jack & Jill transfer the family home to 2 trustees Bill and Ben on trust for Jack, Jill, Mary and Simon.
Bill and Ben will on transfer have legal ownership of the family home however Jack, Jill, Mary and Simon will have equitable or beneficial ownership in the family home.
The effect of the transaction is the creation of an equitable obligation on Bill and Ben as the trustees to deal in the family home for the benefit of the beneficiaries, Jack, Jill, Mary and Simon provided the dealings are legal.
Most family trusts are what is called an “express trust”, this is where the settlor(s) have expressed their intention to create a trust. Mostly, a Deed of Trust is used to ensure that the settlor(s) intention to create a trust is unequivocally expressed and to record the names of the settlor(s), trustees and beneficiaries, direct how the trust is to be administered and the objects of the trust. The property to be settled on the trust is then transferred.