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Cover Equity & Trusts Law Directions

2. Understanding trusts  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. There are many kinds of trusts performing different functions. Private family trusts of the orthodox type are different from special trusts such as pension trusts and charitable trusts, and the so-called ‘NHS trust’. The diversity of functions performed by trusts explains why there is diversity within the law of trusts. This chapter provides an overview of trusts, including their usefulness, how they differ from other legal concepts (contracts, debt, powers, agency), the different trust types, the role of trusts in asset protection and the social significance of trusts. It looks at special categories of trusts and trustees, including bare trusts, protective trusts, pension fund trusts and asset protection trusts.