s_m1993
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Okay so I understand the whole concept on co-ownerships and trusts, however, a little bit confused on how they exist in equity?! Someone please explain in simple terms!
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Cutmeloose
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Well, easiest way to explain it is that beneficial interests have to be equitable. They cannot be legal. They exist in equity because they do not relate to the legal title.

Think back to the core reasons for equity being used alongside common law. It's used for fairness purposes and because it would be unconscionable to prevent the person in question having their beneficial interest. That's why they exist in equity, because it enables them to have access to rights which the law would not recognise.
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s_m1993
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Okay so what you mean is a beneficial interest is one that can arise from say for example, a trust in land? In a joint tenancy, only 4 people can have the legal title who are of age and the rest would therefore have a beneficial interest in equity?

If this arose in an exam, how would I tackle the issue?

(Original post by Cutmeloose)
Well, easiest way to explain it is that beneficial interests have to be equitable. They cannot be legal. They exist in equity because they do not relate to the legal title.

Think back to the core reasons for equity being used alongside common law. It's used for fairness purposes and because it would be unconscionable to prevent the person in question having their beneficial interest. That's why they exist in equity, because it enables them to have access to rights which the law would not recognise.
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Cutmeloose
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(Original post by s_m1993)
Okay so what you mean is a beneficial interest is one that can arise from say for example, a trust in land? In a joint tenancy, only 4 people can have the legal title who are of age and the rest would therefore have a beneficial interest in equity?

If this arose in an exam, how would I tackle the issue?
It's hard to say without an actual question. You would however initially follow the doctrine that 'equity follows the law' So the first assumption would be that those holding the legal title also hold the beneficial title.

If it's a problem question, you'd probably be required to show whether or not it has shifted from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common. You'd go through the four unities to show whether there is a joint tenancy. For example, if one of the legal owners severs their shares or acts upon their share/lease it out.

A Beneficial interest exists only in equity, and the legal owners won't change. So if A severs his joint tenancy, he is still a legal owner, but his beneficial interest changes to a tenancy in common, whilst the rest remain as joint tenants.
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s_m1993
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Right that makes sense to me now! Thank you!
Land Law is just becoming the bane of my life especially the whole registered and unregistered malarkey.

(Original post by Cutmeloose)
It's hard to say without an actual question. You would however initially follow the doctrine that 'equity follows the law' So the first assumption would be that those holding the legal title also hold the beneficial title.

If it's a problem question, you'd probably be required to show whether or not it has shifted from a joint tenancy to a tenancy in common. You'd go through the four unities to show whether there is a joint tenancy. For example, if one of the legal owners severs their shares or acts upon their share/lease it out.

A Beneficial interest exists only in equity, and the legal owners won't change. So if A severs his joint tenancy, he is still a legal owner, but his beneficial interest changes to a tenancy in common, whilst the rest remain as joint tenants.
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