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Cover An Introduction to the Law of Trusts

4. Promises to Make Trusts  

Celebrated for their conceptual clarity, titles in the Clarendon Law Series offer concise, accessible overviews of major fields of law and legal thought. A settlor will generally want the trusts he makes to come into effect immediately. Sometimes, however, a settlor may plan to make a trust, but, despite being able to do so immediately, decide not actually to do so, perhaps because the circumstances are not quite right. Or he may not yet have the property that he plans to put on trust. In such cases, the settlor might want to bind himself to make the trust if and when things improve. This chapter looks at the ways in which settlors might go about making such commitments. One possibility is for the settlor to have a document drawn up containing the terms of his intended trust and saying that the trust is to come into effect on receipt of the property in question, and then to arrange for the property, when it materializes, to be sent directly to the trustee. A would-be settlor may also want positively to commit himself to make a trust of property when he gets it in the future by making a contract to that effect. The enforceability of contracts to make trusts and the unenforceability of covenants to make trusts for volunteers are discussed.