A Trust arises when an individual (the Settlor) transfers cash or assets (the Trust Fund) to other individuals or a corporation (the Trustees) on the understanding (the Trust expressed in writing by way of Trust Deed) that the Trustees will invest, administer and distribute the income and capital of the Trust Fund for the benefit of specified parties, or a class of persons (the Beneficiaries); the Settlor and spouse are often members of the class of Beneficiaries. The Trustee is usually a Corporate Trustee to ensure continuity.
Trusts have been used in English influenced jurisdictions for many hundreds of years. Their origin is believed to lie in attempts to avoid legal restrictions imposed by Common Law. This was achieved by the legal ownership of an asset being vested in an individual, who undertook orally or in writing to use the asset for the benefit of persons other than himself. The same principle exists today although its uses have developed far beyond those for which it was originally created.