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Trusts occupy a pivotal position in the Canadian legal and financial realms, acting as an indispensable tool for wealth management and asset safeguarding. Essential for individuals, families, and professionals engaged in estate planning, wealth administration, or legal affairs, understanding trust law's rudiments can be extremely beneficial. This article ventures into trust law's elemental concepts, shedding light on their origins, assorted types, and central terminologies, all backed by case laws.



The Concept of Trusts: Trusts fundamentally exist when one individual (the trustee) possesses property for the benefit of themselves or one or more other parties (the beneficiaries). The concept, with origins tracing back to the Middle Ages, essentially involves entrusting property for others' benefit. The historic ruling in Knight v. Knight (1840) 3 Beav 148 established three certainties for creating a trust: certainty of intention, certainty of subject matter, and certainty of objects.


In Canada, trust law is governed by both federal and provincial legislation, as well as case law that has established important precedents. Here are some of the key acts, regulations, and case laws related to trust law in Canada:


1.Trustee Act (federal and provincial variations): The Trustee Act sets out the general principles and rules regarding the administration and duties of trustees, including their powers, obligations, and liabilities. Each Canadian province and territory have its own version of the Trustee Act, which may vary in some aspects.


2.Income Tax Act: The Income Tax Act contains provisions related to taxation of trusts, including rules for income tax reporting, taxation of trust income, and distribution of income to beneficiaries.


3.Estate Administration Tax Act (varies by province): This act establishes the rules and procedures for the administration tax, also known as probate fees or estate taxes, which may apply when a deceased person's estate is being administered, including when trust assets are involved.

《遗产管理税法》(各省各有不同):该法规定了遗产管理税(也称为遗嘱认证费或遗产税)的规则和程序,该税可能适用于对逝者遗产的管理,包括涉及信托资产的情况。4.Wills and Succession Act (varies by province): The Wills and Succession Act governs the creation and validity of wills, including provisions related to testamentary trusts, which are trusts created under a will.《遗嘱和继承法》(各省各有不同):遗嘱和继承法管理遗嘱的制定和有效性,包括与遗嘱信托(在遗嘱下设立的信托)有关的规定。5.Charities Registration (Security Information) Act: This act regulates the registration of charitable organizations and provides guidelines for their operation, including the management of charitable trusts.《慈善机构注册(安全信息)法》:该法规定了慈善组织的注册规定,并提供其运作的指导方针,包括慈善信托的管理。6.Case law: Canadian courts have issued numerous decisions that have shaped trust law in the country. Some notable trust-related case laws include:案例法:加拿大法院发布了许多决定,塑造了该国的信托法。一些重要的与信托相关的案例法包括:1)Knight v. Knight (1840) 3 Beav 148: This historic case established the three certainties required for creating a trust: certainty of intention, certainty of subject matter, and certainty of objects.Knight v. Knight (1840) 3 Beav 148:这个历史性案件确立了创建信托所需的三个确定性:意图的确定性、标的物的确定性和受益人的确定性。2)Paul v Constance [1977] 1 WLR 527: This case emphasized the importance of intention in creating an express trust and recognized the need for a formal trust instrument in certain situations.Paul v Constance [1977] 1 WLR 527:这个案件强调了创建明示信托中意图的重要性,并承认在某些情况下需要正式的信托文件。3)Re Vandervell’s Trusts (No. 2) [1974] Ch 269: This case dealt with the presumption of resulting trust when property is transferred to another person without sufficient evidence of a trust intention.Re Vandervell’s Trusts (No. 2) [1974] Ch 269:这个案件涉及到当财产被转移给他人而没有足够的证据证明存在信托意图时的推定归因信托。4)Soulos v Korkontzilas, [1997] 2 SCR 217: This case addressed constructive trusts and their role in preventing unjust enrichment.Soulos v Korkontzilas, [1997] 2 SCR 217:这个案件讨论了建设性信托及其在防止非正当获利方面的作用。5)McInerney v MacDonald, [1992] 2 SCR 138: This case reinforced the fiduciary duty of trustees to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.McInerney v MacDonald, [1992] 2 SCR 138:这个案件强调了受托人在履行职责时应以受益人的最佳利益为考虑的受托责任。这些法规、法案和案例法为加拿大的信托法提供了法律框架和指导,有助于界定信托各方的权利、责任和义务。These regulations, acts, and case laws provide a legal framework and guidance for Canada's trust law, helping to define the rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the parties involved in a trust.01Concept of Trust信托的概念Trust essentially arises when an individual (the trustee) holds property for their own benefit or for the benefit of another individual or multiple individuals (the beneficiaries). This concept can be traced back to the medieval period, where property was entrusted to others for their benefit. The historic case of Knight v. Knight (1840) 3 Beav 148 established the three essential elements for creating a trust: certainty of intention, certainty of subject matter, and certainty of beneficiaries.信托基本上存在于当一方个人(受托人)为自己或一方或多方他人(受益人)的利益而拥有财产时。这个概念可以追溯到中世纪,基本上是将财产托付给他人以供其受益。Knight v. Knight (1840) 3 Beav 148的历史判例确立了创建信托的三个确定要素:意图的确定性、标的物的确定性和受益人的确定性。02Types of Trusts 信托的类型1)Express Trust: An express trust materializes when an individual consciously intends to create a trust, typically through a written or legal instrument, as illustrated in the case of Milroy v Lord (1862) 4 De GF & J 264. A trust can be formed in a will, wherein an individual mandates specific property to be held in trust for particular beneficiaries.明示信托:明示信托是指当一个人有意识地通过书面或法律文件创建信托时形成的信托,正如Milroy v Lord (1862) 4 De GF & J 264案例所示。信托可以通过遗嘱创建,其中一个人要求将特定财产委托给特定受益人。2)Automatic Resulting Trust: In some instances, a trust is inherently created without an explicit intention, like in Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale v Islington London Borough Council [1996] AC 669. If a person establishes a fund to benefit their child, and the child doesn't have children of their own, the remaining capital reverts to the original owner's estate.自动产生的归因信托:在某些情况下,信托在没有明确意图的情况下自动形成,就像Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale v Islington London Borough Council [1996] AC 669案例中所示。如果一个人建立一个基金来为他们的孩子提供利益,并且该孩子没有自己的孩子,剩余的资金将归还给原始所有者的遗产。3)Presumptive Resulting Trust: A presumptive resulting trust arises when it is ambiguous whether a trust was intended. According to the case law, Re Vandervell’s Trusts (No. 2) [1974] Ch 269, it's presumed that the person having the property in their name holds it in trust for the person who funded it. However, this presumption can be countered with contrary evidence.推定的归因信托:当是否有意创建信托存在歧义时,会出现推定的归因信托。根据案例法,Re Vandervell’s Trusts (No. 2) [1974] Ch 269,人们推定将财产登记在自己名下的人持有该财产,是为了代表资金提供者保管。然而,这个推定可以通过相反的证据予以反驳。4)Constructive Trust: A constructive trust is enforced by the court to rectify or prevent unjust enrichment, as per the case of Pettkus v. Becker, [1980] 2 SCR 834. It's created when a person holds property on behalf of others, even without express trust intent. The court imposes the trust to ensure fairness and to prevent someone from unduly benefiting at others' expense.建设性信托:建设性信托由法院强制执行,以纠正或防止非正当获利,就像Pettkus v. Becker, [1980] 2 SCR 834案例所示。它是在没有明确的信托意图的情况下,当一个人代表他人持有财产时创建的。法院强制实施信托以确保公平,并防止某人不当地从他人获益。03Key Terminology核心术语1)Settlor: The settlor is the person who forms an express trust by transferring property or assets to a trustee. Once transferred, the settlor forfeits control over the assets, as established in the Re Hain’s Settlement case [1966] Ch 555.委托人:委托人通过将财产或资产转移给受托人来创建明示信托。一旦转移完成,委托人失去对财产的控制权,正如Re Hain’s Settlement案例 [1966] Ch 555所确定的。2)Trustee: The trustee, as highlighted in the case of Fales v. Canada Permanent Trust Co., [1977] 2 SCR 302, is the person or entity responsible for holding the legal title to the trust property and managing it for the beneficiaries' benefit. They have a fiduciary duty to act in the beneficiaries' best interests.受托人:受托人,正如Fales v. Canada Permanent Trust Co.案例 [1977] 2 SCR 302所强调的,是负责持有信托财产的法定所有人,并为受益人的利益进行管理的个人或实体。他们有义务以受益人的最佳利益为考虑行事。3)Trust Objects: Trust objects include both beneficiaries and purposes. Beneficiaries are those entitled to the trust's benefits, while purposes refer to the trust's goals or objectives. Trusts can be formed for charitable or non-charitable purposes.信托对象:信托对象包括受益人和目的。受益人是享有信托利益的人,而目的则指信托的目标或目的。信托可以为慈善目的或非慈善目的而创建。4)Trust Property: Trust property denotes the assets or property within the trust. It can comprise real estate, investments, cash, intellectual property, or other valuable assets.信托财产:信托财产指的是信托中的资产或财产。它可以包括房地产、投资、现金、知识产权或其他有价值的资产。5)Trust Instrument: While not always necessary for creating an express trust, many trusts are formedthrough a trust instrument or trust deed, as per the ruling in Paul v Constance [1977] 1 WLR 527. This document specifies the trust's terms and conditions, including the settlor, trustee, and beneficiaries' roles and responsibilities.信托文件:虽然创建明示信托并不总是必需的,但许多信托是通过信托文件或信托契约来形成的,正如Paul v Constance案例 [1977] 1 WLR 527所裁定的。该文件规定了信托的条款和条件,包括委托人、受托人和受益人的角色和责任。Resulting trusts, both automatic and presumptive, emerge in scenarios where the trust's creation intention is vague or implied. Automatic resulting trusts happen when the original property owner doesn't dispose of the remaining capital or assets in certain circumstances. The property automatically reverts to the original owner or their estate. Conversely, presumptive resulting trusts arise when property is transferred to another person without adequate evidence of a trust creation intention. In such cases, as evidenced in Dyer v Dyer (1788) 2 Cox Eq Cas 92, the law presumes the recipient holds the property in trust for the person who provided the funds.归因信托,包括自动归因信托和推定归因信托,在信托创建意图模糊或暗示的情况下出现。自动归因信托发生在原始财产所有人在特定情况下没有处置剩余资本或财产的情况下。财产自动归还给原始所有人或其遗产。相反,推定归因信托发生在财产转移给他人时没有足够证据证明存在信托创建意图的情况下。在这种情况下,正如Dyer v Dyer (1788) 2 Cox Eq Cas 92所证明的那样,法律推定接收人代表提供资金的人持有财产。Constructive trusts, court-imposed, serve to prevent unjust enrichment or rectify unfair situations. They follow the principle that a person holding a property's legal title should hold it in trust for others' benefit, regardless of original intent. Constructive trusts often address fraud cases, fiduciary duty breaches, or assets obtained via unconscionable conduct, as seen in Soulos v Korkontzilas, [1997] 2 SCR 217. The court imposes a constructive trust, ensuring rightful beneficiaries receive their due entitlement.建设性信托是法院强制实施的信托,旨在防止非正当获利或纠正不公平的情况。它遵循这样一个原则,即持有财产法定所有权的人应该将其作为受益人的利益进行信托,而不考虑最初的意图。建设性信托通常涉及欺诈案件、违反受托责任或通过不合理行为获得的资产,正如Soulos v Korkontzilas, [1997] 2 SCR 217案例所示。法院实施建设性信托,确保合法受益人获得他们应得的权益。Understanding trusts' key terminologies is vital to comprehend trust law intricacies. The settlor, as the trust's creator, transfers property or assets to a trustee. The trustee, in turn, holds legal title to the trust property, managing it per the trust instrument's terms. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the beneficiaries' best interests, guaranteeing the correct administration and distribution of trust assets.了解信托的核心术语对于理解信托法的复杂性至关重要。委托人作为信托的创立者将财产或资产转移给受托人。受托人持有信托财产的法定所有权,并根据信托文件的条款进行管理。受托人有义务以受益人的最佳利益行事,确保正确管理和分配信托资产。Beneficiaries are those entitled to the trust's benefits. They can include family members, charities, organizations, or even the settlor. Trust objects encompass both beneficiaries and purposes. While beneficiaries receive trust benefits, purposes refer to the broader objectives or goals for which the trust is established. Charitable trusts, for instance, aim to advance charitable causes, while non-charitable trusts serve various purposes, such as education, healthcare, or specific individual support.受益人是享有信托利益的人。他们可以包括家庭成员、慈善机构、组织,甚至委托人自己。信托对象包括受益人和目的。受益人享受信托的利益,而目的则指设立信托的更广泛目标或目的。例如,慈善信托旨在推动慈善事业的发展,而非慈善信托则可以服务于各种目的,如教育、医疗保健或特定个人支持。In conclusion, trust law offers a sturdy framework for asset protection, estate planning, and philanthropic endeavors fulfillment. By understanding basic concepts and trust-related terminologies, individuals and professionals can make informed decisions and effectively navigate the legal landscape. Be it an express trust, resulting trust, or constructive trust, trust law principles continue to play an indispensable role in shaping our modern legal system. Trust law, since its inception in the feudal period, has evolved and adapted to meet the changing needs of society. It provides a structure that accommodates the varying needs of individuals, families, and entities and allows for strategic planning, management, and protection of assets.总结起来,信托法为资产保护、遗产规划和慈善事业的实现提供了坚实的框架。通过理解基本概念和与信托相关的术语,个人和专业人士可以做出明智的决策,并有效地应对法律环境。无论是明示信托、归因信托还是建设性信托,信托法的原则在塑造我们现代法律制度中起着不可或缺的作用。信托法自封建时期开始以来已经发展和适应了社会的变化需求。它提供了一个结构,以满足个人、家庭和实体的不同需求,并允许对资产进行战略性规划、管理和保护。Express trusts, for instance, have become a common tool for estate planning. It allows for efficient distribution of wealth as per the settlor's desires, thereby avoiding potential conflicts and ensuring smooth transfer of property upon death. In the case of presumptive or automatic resulting trusts, the law steps in to ensure that fairness is upheld in situations where intentions might be unclear or unfulfilled, thereby preventing unjust enrichment or misuse of property.例如,明示信托已成为遗产规划中常用的工具。它允许按照委托人的意愿高效地分配财富,从而避免潜在的冲突,并确保在死亡时财产的顺利转移。在推定或自动产生的归因信托中,法律介入以确保在意图可能不明确或未实现的情况下维护公平,从而防止不正当获利或财产的滥用。Constructive trusts serve as a corrective measure enforced by the courts in situations where unjust enrichment occurs, or an individual benefits unfairly at the expense of others. They demonstrate the judiciary's proactive role in preserving fairness and justice, thus maintaining trust in the legal system.建设性信托是法院在发生不当受益或个人不公平地从他人获利的情况下,采取的一种修正措施。它展示了司法机构在维护公平正义、保持对法律体系的信任方面的积极作用。Trustees bear a significant responsibility in the execution of trust. Their role is not just managerial; they are bound by a fiduciary duty, a legal obligation to act in the best interest of beneficiaries. This duty, reinforced in cases such as McInerney v MacDonald, [1992] 2 SCR 138, adds an extra layer of protection for beneficiaries and ensures that their interests are safeguarded.受托人在信托的执行中承担着重要责任。他们的角色不仅是管理者,还有法定的受托责任,即在受益人的最佳利益下行事的法律义务。这一责任在McInerney v MacDonald案例 [1992] 2 SCR 138中得到了加强,为受益人增加了额外的保护,确保他们的利益得到保护。The introduction and use of trust instruments have standardized the creation and execution of trusts, providing clarity to all parties involved and ensuring that all legal requirements are met. While not all trusts require a formal instrument, such as certain resulting trusts, it's a crucial component in most trust formations. Trust instruments lay out the terms of the trust and detail the powers and duties of the trustee, the rights of the beneficiaries, and the circumstances under which the trust may be terminated or altered.信托文件的引入和使用已经标准化了信托的创建和执行,为涉及各方提供了清晰度,并确保满足所有法律要求。虽然并非所有的信托都需要正式的文件,如某些归因信托,但在大多数信托形成中,它是一个关键组成部分。信托文件规定了信托的条款,详细说明了受托人的权力和责任、受益人的权利,以及终止或修改信托的情况。Trust law's comprehensive and versatile nature accommodates a broad spectrum of individual needs and societal structures, from providing for family members, furthering educational or medical research, to safeguarding an artist's legacy. With a robust understanding of trust law, individuals and professionals alike can employ these versatile tools to create a lasting impact tailored to their unique situations and goals.信托法的全面和灵活的性质适应了广泛的个人需求和社会结构,包括为家庭成员提供资助、促进教育或医疗研究,以及保护艺术家的遗产。凭借对信托法的深入了解,无论是个人还是专业人士,都可以利用这些多功能工具,为自己独特的情况和目标创造持久的影响。In sum, trust law's core principles, along with the various types of trusts, provide a robust framework that ensures the fair management and distribution of wealth. By understanding these elements and the associated key terminologies, one can navigate the complex landscape of trust law and utilize it effectively for various purposes.总之,信托法的核心原则以及各种类型的信托提供了一个坚实的框架,确保财富的公平管理和分配。通过理解这些要素和相关的关键术语,人们可以在信托法的复杂环境中进行有效的操作,实现各种目的。
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