Constructive trusts-trusts laws and accounts, Financial Accounting

CONSTRUCTIVE TRUSTS

A constructive trust is a trust imposed by equity regardless of the intention of the owner of the property: it arises by operation of law.  The concept has been applied in a number of situations:
 
1. It is a rule of equity that a trustee must not permit his interests to conflict with his duties: note particularly, a trustee may not profit from his trust:  where he does so he holds the gains on a constructive trust (Keech v Sandford);

2. If a person who is not a trustee obtains information with the help of a trustee which enables him to make a profit, he holds the proceeds on constructive trust: (Boardman v Phipps);

3. If a person receives trust property with knowledge (actual or constructive) that it is trust property, and it is transferred to him in breach of trust, he holds the property as trustee;

4. A person who does not actually receive trust property but assists a trustee to fraudulently dispose of it is liable as a trustee.
 
Note:
Strangers are not to be made constructive trustees merely because they act as the agents of trustees in transactions within their legal powers, e.g a solicitor who creates a fraudulent document on the instructions of the trustee. They will be liable only if:-

  • They receive the trust property; or
  • Act in a manner consistent with that of a trustee; or
  • Assist with knowledge in a dishonest and fraudulent design on the part of the trustees.
Posted Date: 12/13/2012 6:11:18 AM | Location : United States







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