Trusts: Modern Taxonomy And Autonomy

Trust Law International, 2021 forthcoming

21 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2021

See all articles by Ying Khai Liew

Ying Khai Liew

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School

Date Written: March 17, 2021


It is unfortunate that judges and commentators do not all agree on what express, resulting, and constructive trusts are. This paper develops a vigorous taxonomy of these trusts by identifying the key distinctive event(s) which trigger(s) each type of trust, which establishes their respective conceptual space. Thus, express trusts respond to a unilateral, proper manifestation of positive intention to create a trust; resulting trusts respond to a unilateral, negative intention; and while constructive trusts do not bear a unitary definition, they occupy a unique conceptual space, with different groups of constructive trusts responding to events which differ from those to which express and resulting trusts respond. The paper then reflects on one significant advantage of the proposed taxonomy — that it allows us to understand and appreciate trusts law as comprehensively autonomy-enhancing.

Keywords: Trusts; Taxonomy; Autonomy

JEL Classification: K1, K10, K11, K19

Suggested Citation

Liew, Ying Khai, Trusts: Modern Taxonomy And Autonomy (March 17, 2021). Trust Law International, 2021 forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Ying Khai Liew (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )

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