Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of trust


  1. Property given by a person called the donor or settlor, to a trustee, for the benefit of another person (the beneficiary or donee). The trustee manages and administers the property, actual ownership is shared between the trustee and the beneficiary and all the profits go to the beneficiary. The word "fiduciary" can be used to describe the responsibilities of the trustee towards the beneficiary. A will is a form of trust but trusts can be formed during the lifetime of the settlor in which case it is called an inter vivos or living trust.

Related terms

Definition of trust



trust (plural trusts)

  1. Confidence in or reliance on some person or quality.

    * 1671, O ever-failing trust / In mortal strength! - John Milton, Samson Agonistes
    He needs to regain her trust if he is ever going to let her back.

  2. Dependence upon something in the future; hope.

    * 1611, Such trust have we through Christ. - Authorised Version, 2 Corinthians iii:4.

  3. Confidence in the future payment for goods or services supplied; credit.

    I was out of cash, but the landlady let me have it on trust.

  4. (rare) Trustworthiness, reliability.
  5. (law) The confidence vested in a person who has legal ownership of a property to manage for the benefit of another.

    I put the house into my sister's trust.

  6. A group of businessmen or traders organised for mutual benefit to produce and distribute specific commodities or services, and managed by a central body of trustees.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     warrant
2.     tampering
3.     emtio
4.     amnesty law
5.     magistrates court
6.     lex fori
7.     landed property
8.     lex situs
9.     lex causae
10.     ownership