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The Economic Structure of TrustsTowards a Property-based Approach$
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M. W. Lau

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199602407

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199602407.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Economic Structure of Trusts

M. W. Lau

Oxford University Press

The Introduction traces the history and origins of trusts. It observes that although trust practices have evolved significantly with society and the economy, trust law has lagged behind. It argues that trust law's inability to adapt creates analytical problems and removes it further from its property roots. Not surprisingly, alternative accounts of trusts, based on corporations or contracts, have come to dominate the intellectual discourse. At the same time, many jurisdictions have pursued trust developments that, although attractive in the short term, are ultimately detrimental to their legal systems and economies. The Introduction argues that these alternative accounts and developments are wrong and offers a property-based account of trusts. It argues that the trust is a functional extension of property and trust law is about the trust property and the principal parties' relationships with it. It outlines the organization of the remainder of the book.

Keywords:   history of trusts, trusteeship, offshore trusts, contracts, entities, property

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