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TRUSTS
MEMORY AID
ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001

DEFINITION OF TRUST
Trust is the legal relationship between one person having an equitable ownership in
property and another person owning the legal title to such property, the equitable ownership of
the former entitling him to the performance of certain duties and the exercise of certain powers by
the latter.
It is a right, enforceable in equity, to the beneficial enjoyment of property the legal title to
which is in another. As it is founded in equity, it can never result from act violative of law.

CHARACTERISTICS OF TRUST
1. It is a relationship;
2. It is a relationship of fiduciary character;
3. It is a relationship with respect to property, not one involving merely personal duties;
4. It involves the existence of equitable duties, imposed upon the holder of the title of the
property to deal with it for the benefit of another;
5. It arises as a result of a manifestation of intention to create the relationship.

DISTINGUISHED FROM BAILMENT
A delivery of property in trust necessarily involves a transfer of legal title, or at least a
separation of equitable interest and legal title, with the legal title in the trustee, whereas it is a
characteristic of a bailment that the bailee has possession of, without legal title to the property
subject to the bailment.

DISTINGUISHED FROM DONATION
A trust is an existing legal relationship and involves the separation of legal and equitable
title, whereas a gift is a transfer of property and, except in the case of a gift in trust, involves a
disposition of both legal and equitable ownership.
A trust constituted between two contracting parties for the benefit of a third person is not
subject to the rules governing donations of real property. The beneficiary of a trust may demand
performance of the obligation without having formally accepted the benefit of the trust in a public
document, upon mere acquiescence in the formation of the trust and acceptance under the second
paragraph of Article 1311 of the Civil Code.

DISTINGUISHED FROM CONTRACT
A trust always involves an ownership, embracing a set of rights and duties fiduciary in
character which may be created by a declaration without consideration, whereas a contract is a
legal obligation based on an undertaking supported by a consideration, which obligation may or
may not be fiduciary in character.

DISTINGUISHED FROM GUARDIANSHIP OR EXECUTORSHIP
In trust, the trustee or holder has the legal title to the property; a guardian, administrator,
or executor does not have legal title to the property.

2 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 DISTINGUISHED FROM STIPULATION POUR AUTRUI A trust may exist because of a legal provision or because of an agreement. . a stipulation pour autrui refers to specific property or to other things. A trust refers to specific property. a stipulation pour autrui can arise only in the case of contracts.

As fiduciary – A trustee. whereas those of trustee of an express trust are usually governed by the intention of the trustor or of the parties. 3. Trustor or the person who creates or established the trust. CO-OWNERSHIP AS A TRUST A co-ownership is a form of a trust. PARTIES TO A TRUST 1. 2. like an executor or administrator. 2. 3. with certain powers and subject to certain duties. 3 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 DISTINGUISHED FROM AGENCY A trust and an agency are distinguishable on the basis of the non-representative role of the trustee and the representative role of the agent. Beneficiary or cestui que trust or the person has an equitable interest in the property and enjoys the benefit of the administration of the trust by the trustee CHARACTER OF OFFICE OF TRUSTEE 1. such as for the purpose of imputing to the beneficiaries of the trust notice given to the trustee. although subject to the terms of the trust and law of trusts. if established by contract. Implied trust – which comes into existence either through implication of an intention to create a trust as a matter of law or through the imposition of the trust irrespective of and even contrary to any such intention. The duties of the latter are. CLASSIFICATION OF TRUST From the viewpoint of whether it becomes effective after the death of the trustor or during his life: 1. As principal – The trustee is not an agent of the trust estate or of the cestui que trust. holds an office of trust. however. Express trust – which can come into existence only by the manifestation of an intention to create it by the one having legal and equitable dominion over the property made subject to it. it may either be: . however. fixed and/or limited by law. 2. Trustee or the person who takes and holds the legal tile to the trust property. As agent – In some cases. with each co-owner being a trustee for each of the others. Trust inter vivos (sometimes called “living trusts”) From the viewpoint of the creative force bringing it into existence: 1. but he acts for himself in the administration of the trust estate. a trustee has been regarded as an agent of beneficiaries of the trust at least for certain purposes. Testamentary trust 2. for the benefit of another.

OR b. CREATION 1. or through the wrongful disposition of another’s property. hence. By conveyance to the trustee by an act inter vivos or mortis causa . Article 1443 may. The requirement that the express trust be written is only for enforceability. Sufficiently certain beneficiaries Therefore: 1. undue influence. and 3. be included under the Statute of Frauds. 2. A constructive trust – which is imposed where a person holding title to property is subject to an equitable duty to convey it to another on the ground that he would be unjustly enriched if he were permitted to retain it. duress. VALDEZ VS. EXPRESS TRUSTS REQUISITES There must be: 1. and oral agreement is valid and enforceable between the parties. By implication. 2. and 3. not for validity between the parties. That the trustee has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting to ouster of the cestui que trust. Thus. 3. or through breach of a fiduciary duty. 2. A resulting trust – which arises where a person makes or causes to be made a disposition of property under circumstances which raise an inference that he does not intend that the person taking or holding the property should have the beneficial interest in the property. is founded on the presumed intention of the parties. A competent trustor and trustee. That the evidence thereon should be clear and conclusive. Regarding third persons. 4 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 a. the duty to convey the property arises because it was acquired through fraud. OLARGA (51 SCRA 71) It has been held in numerous decisions involving fiduciary relations such as those occupied by a trustee with respect to the cestui que trust that as a general rule the former’s possession is not adverse and therefore cannot ripen into a title by prescription. adverse possession in such a case requires the concurrence of the following circumstances: 1. An ascertainable trust res. the trust must be in public instrument registered in the Registry of Property if it concerns real property. for a trust over personal property. mistake. That such positive acts of repudiation have been made known to the cestui que trust. by analogy.

DECLINATION. However. this operates as renunciation of the . Thus. Renunciation of a trust after its acceptance can only be by resignation or retirement with court approval. the trustee is liable in its individual capacity. The trustee must file a bond 2. Q: WHEN MAY A TRUSTEE SUE AS SUCH? A: Before a trustee may sue or be sued alone as such. nor does it operate to vest legal as well as equitable title in the beneficiary. CAPACITY 1. The beneficiary must be capacitated to receive gratuitously from the trustor ADMINISTRATION OF THE TRUST 1. his acceptance of the trust is not necessary to its existence and validity. 5 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 2. declination or refusal or disqualification of a trustee does not operate to defeat or void the trust. The trustee cannot acquire the property held in trust by prescription as long as the trust is admitted (if he repudiates and this is made known to the party involved. OR RENUNCIATION BY THE TRUSTEE In the case of an express trust. The trustee must be capacitated to hold property and to enter into contract 3. acceptance of trust by a trustee is necessary to charge him with the office of the trustee and the administration of the trust and to vest the legal title in him. the courts will appoint a trustee to fill the office that he declines. By admission of the trustee that he holds the property only as a trustee  There must be a clear intent to create a trust. it is essential that his trust be express. The trustee must manage and dispose of the estate and faithfully discharge his trust in relation thereto according to law or according to the terms of the trust instrument as long as they are legal and possible 4. The trustee must render a true and clear account 5. The trustee must make an inventory of the real and personal property in trust 3. with agreement of beneficiaries. One designated or appointed as trustee may decline the responsibility and thereby be free from any legal or equitable duty or liability in the matter. and on satisfaction of all legal liabilities growing out of the acceptance of the trust. no particular or technical words are required. Unless a contrary intention appears in the instrument constituting the trust. ACCEPTANCE. When a person administering property in the character of a trustee inconsistently assumes to be holding in his own right. since if he declines the trust. The trustor must be capacitated to convey property 2. prescription is permitted) Q: MAY A TRUSTEE OF A TRUST ESTATE BE PERSONALLY LIABLE? A: In the absence of an express stipulation in a contract entered into by a trustee for a corporation that the trust estate and not the trustee should be liable on the contract.

when it does not appear when the trustee repudiated existence of the fiduciary relation. it is raised by implication of law and presumed always to have been . Fulfillment of the resolutory condition 4. Accomplishment of the purpose of the trust EFFECT OF LACHES Cestui que trust is entitled to rely upon the fidelity of the trustee. Physical loss or legal impossibility of the subject matter of the trust 6. Resulting trust – a trust whish is raised or created by the act or construction of law. Order of the court 7. 6 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 trust and the beneficiaries of the property are entitled to maintain an action to declare their right and remove the unfaithful trustee. Mutual agreement of all the parties 2. without being expressed. Rescission or annulment 5. Acceptance is presumed if the granting of benefit is purely gratuitous (no onerous condition) EXCEPT if there is proof that he really did not accept. KINDS 1. TERMINATION 1. Acceptance by the beneficiary of a gratuitous trust is not subject to the rules for the formalities of donations. trust can never result from acts violative of the law. As such. Merger 8. ACCEPTANCE OF TRUST BY THE BENEFICIARY This is essential to the creation and validity of a trust. On the other hand. are deducible from the nature of the transactions as matter of intent. The doctrine of implied trusts is founded upon equity. or which are super induced on the transaction by operation of law. the same shall be taken to have been made only upon the filing of his answer to the complaint. or in its more restricted sense. is matters of equity. independently of the particular intention of the parties. or is otherwise plainly put on guard against the trustee. IMPLIED TRUST CONCEPT Implied trusts are those which. Laches applies from the trustee openly denies or repudiates the trust and the beneficiary is notified thereof. Expiration of the term 3.

it does not arise by agreement or intention but by operation of law DISTINCTION BETWEEN EXPRESS AND IMPLIED TRUSTS Express Trust Implied Trust Created by the intention (through direct Comes into being by operation of law and positive acts) of the parties independent of the particular intention of the parties Cannot be proved by parol evidence when it Can be proved by oral evidence when it concerns an immovable or any interest therein concerns an immovable or any interest therein In order that laches or acquisitive prescription Laches constitutes a bar to actions to may bar an action to enforce it. Constructive trust – a trust raised by construction of law. and . the intention as to which is to be found in the nature of their transaction. 7 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 contemplated by the parties. expressly or impliedly evincing a direct intention to create a trust by the construction of equity in order to satisfy the demands of justice. in a more restricted sense and as contra-distinguished from a resulting trust. ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY THROUGH PRESCRIPTION By trustee: 1. No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner against his co-owners or co-heirs as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership 3. Express trusts disable the trustee from acquiring for his own benefit the property committed to his management or custody at least while he does not openly repudiate the trust and makes such repudiation known to the beneficiary 4. The possession of a trustee is in law possession of the cestui que trust and. unless there is concealment repudiation made known to the beneficiary is of the fact giving rise to the trust required Q: WHEN IS AN IMPLIED TRUST CONVERTED TO EXPRESS TRUST? A: An implied trust may be converted to an express trust by the recognition by the implied trustee of the right to the property of the owner. it cannot be a good ground for title by prescription 2. Trustee may claim title by prescription founded on adverse possession where it appears that: a. Such positive acts of repudiation have been made known to the cestui que trust c. therefore. it is a trust not created by words. Examples are those found in Articles 1448 to 1455 of the NCC 2. but not expressed in the deed or instrument of conveyance. The evidence thereon should be clear and conclusive. He has performed open and unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting to an ouster of the cestui que trust b. an express enforce it.

In another case. The period fixed by law has prescribed (the period commences to run from and after said repudiation and the knowledge thereof by the cestui que trust. Continuous recognition of a resulting trust precludes any defense of prescription or laches in a suit to declare and enforce the trust. where the ownership of the land was sold fictitiously to avoid a foreclosure of mortgage. but from the date of recording of the release of the mortgage. or when he registers the deed of assignment of property to him and secures the cancellation of the certificate of title in the name of the former owner and the issuance of new certificate of title in his own name. it does not run between the trust and third persons. open. the action is imprescriptible. The issuance of said certificate of title constitutes constructive notice to the public. and continuous possession of a land adversely to the trust. PRESCRIPTIBILITY OF ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE BASED ON IMPLIED TRUST 1. public. which was fraudulently registered in the name of another.  Some doctrines: Where the action for conveyance of real property is based on constructive trust resulting from its fraudulent registration in the name of another (see Article 1456). that is. But if the legitimate owner of the subject property. from the moment the law creates the trust because the so-called trustee does not recognize any trust and has no intention to hold for the beneficiary. Thus. (See Article 1456). on which date the cestui que trust was charged with the knowledge of the settlement of the mortgage obligation. a third person who holds actual. or when he sells portions of the property. the constructive notice rule cannot be applied. as when the trustee files an ejectment suit against the beneficiary. had always been in possession thereof. By third persons: Though the statute of limitations does not run between trustee cestui que trust as long as the trust relation subsists. which is deemed to have taken place from the inscription of the instrument and/or issuance of the new certificate of title by virtue thereof. the ten-year prescriptive period commences to run from the time the trustee begins to assert his title or to hold adversely. An action for reconveyance of property (real or personal) to enforce an implied trust in one’s favor prescribed in ten (10) years from the time the right of action 2. the law creates a constructive trust in favor of the defrauded party. . 3. When a person through fraud succeeds in registering a land in his name. the attainment of the purpose for which the trust was created. the action may be filed from the discovery of the fraud or notice thereof. Accrues (the action being based upon an obligation created by law). acquires title to the land by prescription as against such trust. it was ruled that the ten-year prescriptive period should be counted not from the registration of the simulated sale. therefore. 4. however. But where the rights of the beneficiary are recognized by the trustee. 8 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 d. The action for reconveyance is in reality an action to quiet title.

express repudiation is not required. Laches constitutes a defense to a suit to declare and enforce an implied trust. but the trust is rebuttable by proof of a contrary intention of the persons from whom the consideration comes.  Articles 1450. however. The doctrine of laches. unless the trustee fraudulently and successfully conceals the facts giving rise to the trust. applies only where there is privity between successive possessors. the latter is not justified in delaying the action to recover his property. The only limitation upon the right of the beneficiary to recover title over the property held in trust is that the same must not have been transferred to an innocent purchaser for value in which event. The reason is there is a presumption that a gift or donation was intended in favor of the child. The latter is granted the right to recover the property fraudulently registered within a period of ten years. But according to Paras. 1451 and 1453 are resulting trusts.  Article 1455 The general rule is that where trust money cannot be applied either immediately or within a short time to the purpose of the trust. however. the action should be filed within four (4) years from the discovery of the fraud. 6. his remedy is to ask for damages. When an actual contrary intention is proved. 2. 1454. and such proof may be by parol evidence. But trustees must . 1449. It is his fault if he delays. Inasmuch as the trustee in an implied trust does not recognize any trust and has no intent to hold for the beneficiary. it is the duty of the trustee to make the fund productive to the beneficiary by investment of it in some proper security. EXCEPTIONS 1. 9 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 5. GENERAL RULE UNDER ARTICLE 1448 A resulting trust arises in favor of a person from whom a consideration comes for a reconveyance of property (real or personal) to another. No trust is implied if the person to whom the legal estate is conveyed is a legitimate or illegitimate child of the payor. The trust results only in favor of one advancing the consideration. and for the purpose of the rule. In the computation of time necessary for prescription. EFFECT OF LACHES Implied trust may be barred not only by prescription but also by laches. citing two 1950’s cases. 1455 and 1456 are constructive trusts. This rule.  Articles 1448. and not in favor of one for whose benefit the purchase may have been made. the present possessor may complete the period necessary for prescription by tacking his possession to that of his grantor. is less strictly applied between near relatives than when the parties are strangers to each other.

 Article 1456 The mistake referred to in this article is a mistake made by a third person. or other person holding a fiduciary relationship. no trust is created. guardian. Similarly. This article applies to any trustee. not that made by a party to the contract. the fraud referred to is extra-contractual. . 10 TRUSTS MEMORY AID ATENEO CENTRAL BAR OPERATIONS 2001 not make investment of funds in their own names but always indicate that they are made in trust capacities. For if made by a party.