In common law legal systems, a Trust is a relationship whereby property (including real, tangible and intangible) is managed by one person (or persons, or organizations) for the benefit of another. A Trust is created by a settlor, who entrusts some or all of their property to people of their choice (the Trustee). The Trustee holds legal title to the trust property but they are obliged to hold the property for the benefit of one or more individuals or organizations (the Beneficiary), usually specified be the settlor, who holds equitable title. The Trustee owes a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries, who are the “beneficial” owners of the trust property.

The Trust is governed by the terms of the Trust document, which is usually written and occasionally set out in deed form. It is also governed by local law. The Trustee is obliged to administer the Trust in accordance with both the terms of the Trust document and the governing law.