Trust for sale

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An equitable sleight-of-hand that allowed the settlor of a trust to dispose of land in such a way as to avoid creating a Settled Land Act settlement. Since SLA settlements were the default method by which successive interests in land were managed, and these settlements were unwieldy and expensive to implement, some way had to be found to avoid their creation. This was done by the settlor conveying the land to designated trustees 'on trust to sell and convert into money', but with a power to postpone indefinitely any such sale. There was no practical or logical benefit to the use of a trust for sale - it existed solely to defeat an inconvenient piece of legislation. One obvious problem was that the trust for sale imposed a duty to sell and only a power to postpone such a sale. As a result, any imprecision in the wording of the trust deed might very well result in a failure to produce the desired effect. This meant that where there were several trustees, all would have to continue in their agreement to postpone the selling of the land. If any single trustee were to change his mind, the land would then have to be sold. Fortunately, Tolata has now removed the need to rely on the trust for sale and has generally simplified the management of trusts involving land.

Trust Law