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HMRC internal manual

Trusts, Settlements and Estates Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Ownership and income tax - express trusts

An express trust is usually created by a declaration of trust which is made by the legal owner. This declaration can be written or oral (sometimes called ‘parol’) except in the case of land where the trust needs to be evidenced in writing under S53(1)(b) Law of Property Act 1925.

In a claim that an express trust exists, the first thing to ask is whether there is a written trust.

A written trust is usually made by deed, but it does not have to be. It may be made by a declaration. TSEM9520 explains written declarations of trust, and TSEM9530 explains deeds.