Trust Act, 1882

Trust Act, 1882 (Act XI of 1882) enacted with the objective of defining and amending the law relating to private trusts. It does not affect the rule of Muslim law relating to the waqf or mutual relations of members of an undivided family. A trust has been defined in the Act as 'an obligation annexed to the ownership of property and arising out of confidence reposed in or accepted by the owner or declared and accepted by him for the benefit of another person or himself'. The person who reposes or creates the obligation is called the 'author of the trust'; the person who accepts the obligation is called the 'trustee'; the person for whose benefit the trust is created is called the 'beneficiary'; and the subject matter of the trust is called the 'trust property'.

A trust may be created for any lawful purpose, and all trusts involving immovable property must be created by a declaration made in an instrument in writing signed by the author of the trust and registered under the registration act, 1908. Trust in relation to movable property is created by, and becomes valid on, the transfer of the property to the trustee. The essential elements of a valid trust are: (a) a clear declaration by words or acts of intention to create a trust; (b) identification of the purpose, the beneficiary, and the trust property and (c) transfer of the trust property to the trustee. In case of a trust to be created by or on behalf of a minor, the prior permission of the district judge will be necessary.

A trustee may sell the trust property where he is empowered to do so by public auction or private sale as directed in the trust instrument. A trustee may apply to the district judge to be relieved of his office. In case a trustee is discharged by the district judge or, in the opinion of the district judge he becomes unfit or personally incapable of acting as a trustee, a new trustee may be appointed in his place. The Trust Act is a general law, and any dispute arising out of any act of the parties under this Act can only be decided by the civil court. [Aminul Huq]