chapter  5
18 Pages

Formalities for the creation of express trusts

ByMohamed Ramjohn

As a general rule, equity does not insist on special formal requirements in order to create an express trust: Equity looks at the intent rather than the form. However, occasionally Parliament has intervened and has imposed a number of formal requirements. A declaration of trust respecting any land or any interest therein must be manifested and proved by some writing signed by some person who is able to declare such trust or by his will. The trust is merely required to be evidenced in writing for the purposes of enforcement. The trust may validly be declared orally, but it simply would not be enforceable in a court. Thus, the writing need not be contemporaneous with the declaration but may be adduced sometime after the declaration of trust and may enforce the trust retrospectively. 'Writing' for these purposes does not assume any special mode and has taken the most diverse set of forms.