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History of Land Trusts

Throughout history, the owners of real property have had to submit to the demands of their government and those who object to accumulations of land. A case in point is feudal England: the actions of a property owner, if displeasing to the ruler (Kings, Dukes, etc.), resulted in immediate punishment, usually the seizure of the land. This caused the owners of property to develop ways of protecting their ownership in land. From this came the concept of uses: a form of equitable ownership wherein the owner enjoys the profits of the land while the legal title is vested in another.

The owner would place title to the property in a "trusted" friend having an arrangement wherein the friend (trustee) would manage the property as directed by the owner (grantor). This arrangement, better known as a "Trust," has materialized, prospered and become a familiar part of our law.


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