… The focus of this article is on the latter method of constitution, typically called a ‘self-declaration’ of trust. In such cases the settlor does not convey legal title to trust property to a third party, but ‘declares’ that they themselves hold it for the beneficiary. The leading case is Paul v Constance, where the deceased partner of the defendant had frequently said to the defendant, in respect of a sum of money: ‘This money is as much yours as mine’. In finding that this amounted to a self-declaration of trust, Scarman LJ stated the principle: ‘there must be a clear declaration of trust and that means there must be clear evidence from what is said or done of an intention to create a trust’. In this article we attempt to explore the central role played by the ‘declaration’ in such trusts. Despite it being crucial to the conceptual coherence of this category of trusts, it is difficult to pin down precisely what is meant by the declaration requirement. We seek to explain this, and in doing so, to offer some possible explanations as to why the courts recognise and enforce self-declared trusts …
Sinéad Agnew and Simon Douglas, ‘Self-declarations of trust’ (2019) 135 Law Quarterly Review 67.