Trust

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A trust is a legal device used to manage real or personal property, established by one person (granter or settlor) for the benefit of another (beneficiary). See also trustee.

The trust is the most important innovation of equity. A trust is an arrangement whereby one person (the trustee) may hold the legal title to property on behalf of another person (the beneficiary) who holds the equitable title. A trust does not interfere with the legal position; at law the title is held by the trustee in the normal way. However, equity recognizes that the trustee does not hold the title for his or her own benefit and the benefits of the ownership will accrue to the beneficiary.

In the United States a trust is also defined as any sort of business dealing in which the end result in a total monopoly of a single industry. These types of trusts arose around the mid-19th century and proceeded to strangle the U.S. economy for approximately fifty years before serious federal laws (now referred to as antitrust laws) were enacted to fight them. Corporations broken up or fined under antitrust laws include U.S. Steel, AT&T, and Microsoft.

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