History Of The Trust
The current Nexxess Trust, as it is today, having its roots hundreds of years ago in the 1200s, was known as the English Common Law Trust, and later named the “Spendthrift Trust.” Even before the early 1200s, it was known as the Anglo-Saxon Trust, as the Saxons brought the idea to England from earlier Roman culture. The legal system of England, as it developed between the 12th century and the 16th century, set the structure and methods of our current (modern) civil law in England, and later with the United States and other countries as well.
Common law, the law applied in England’s Central Royal Courts, was the dominant structure of this legal system in the early 1200s to the 1600s. During these early times, most royal families, politicians and rich businessmen were known to operate “in-trust.” It was likely more common back then than it is today. Trusts were basically used back then to help maintain one’s land and property, and to help keep the unjust trustees, tyrants and thieves from taking over one’s land when a person died or left for war or extended absences.
Many times, when a person left for war or died back then, the property died with them, and people simply resettled their land, unless they had a common-law trust. However, even if the person left their lands in a trust to be managed by a trustee, sometimes an unjust steward would not return the land as it was intended. It was in the early 1200s that the Law of Trusts was first developed under the jurisdiction of the King of England. The "Common Law" regarded property as an indivisible entity, as it had been done in earlier times through Roman law and the continental version of civil law. Where it seemed "inequitable" (i.e. unfair) to let someone with legal title hold onto it, the King's representative, the Lord Chancellor who established the Courts of Chancery, had the discretion to declare that the real owner "in equity" (i.e. in all fairness) was another person.
When a landowner left England to fight in the Crusades or other wars, he conveyed ownership of his lands in his absence to manage the estate and pay and receive feudal dues, on the understanding that the ownership would be conveyed back on his return. However, Crusaders often encountered refusal to hand over the property upon their return. Unfortunately for the Crusader, English Common Law did not recognize the claim. As far as the King's courts were concerned, the land belonged to the trustee, who was under no obligation to return it. The Crusader had no legal claim if they voluntarily gave the land to the Trust and into the control of another Trustee. The disgruntled Crusader would then petition the king, who would refer the matter to his Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor could decide a case according to his conscience. At this time, the “principle of equity” was born. The Lord Chancellor would consider it "unconscionable" that the legal owner could go back on his word and deny the claims of the Crusader (the "true" owner). Therefore, he would find in favor of the returning Crusader. Over time, it became known that the Lord Chancellor's court (the Court of Chancery) would continually recognize the claim of a returning Crusader. The legal owner would hold the land for the benefit of the original owner and would be compelled to convey it back to him when requested. The Crusader was the "beneficiary" and the steward or acquaintance the "trustee.” The term "use of land" was coined, and in time, through the common law courts, developed into what we now know as a "trust.”
Many of the trusts from back then are still in existence today. One famous trust many know of today is the Windsor Trust, which still holds the Windsor Castle in it today. The Windsor Trust was a trust of a royal family that began in the 1500s, and it still gives “Beneficial Interest” to its beneficiaries today. Not only does hundreds of these trusts still exists from those times, but they are also some of the wealthiest entities in existence today.
The Nexxess Trust we use today has as its structure, the same framework as used back then with several modifications. The first Nexxess [type] Trust was known to be originated from an area called Staffordshire, in England (UK). Staffordshire is a place also called the “West Midlands of England.” It is surrounded by Cheshire to the Northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the East, Warwickshire to the Southeast, Worcestershire to the South, and Shropshire to the West.
From the 1200s to the 1700s, Staffordshire was largely uncultivated lands, farms and very wealthy farm owners. The land was excellent pasturage for sheep, and in the 14th century, Wolverhampton was a staple town for wool. The main businesses in the 15th century here were coal, lead, copper, marble and millstones, while the rich meadows maintained great dairies; the woodlands of the south supplied timber, salt, black marble, alabaster and hemp. These industries in Staffordshire created wealthy businessmen who would commonly set up trusts to protect their farms and businesses.
The wealthy businessmen from the lands of Staffordshire often would operate their farms and wealthy estates “in-trust” and not from a position of personal ownership. It was a trending practice in those times, to not personally own assets. However, the prudent form of trust was not a simple trust, such as a Testamentary Trust (established upon the death of someone) or an Inter-Vivos Trust (meaning while a person is living) that was used. The trusts used then were more complex in practice, giving more benefits than just bypassing an estate court or passing on land to beneficiaries. These Common Law Trusts also helped landowners also avoid taxation, and later had rights of asset protection with an updated version of the English Common Law Trust called a “Spendthrift” Trust. Even though trusts were actually more common back then as a practice then they are today, the common person back then didn’t understand the true power of the trust, as it was largely a trend of wealthy people and not the common person.
THE LAW OF TRUSTS: ENGLAND’S FINEST EXPORT
The Law of Trusts was first developed in the 12th century from the time of the Crusades under the jurisdiction of the King of England. The "Common Law" regarded property as an indivisible entity, as it had been done through Roman Law and the continental version of civil law. When a landowner left England to fight in the Crusades, he conveyed ownership of his lands in his absence to manage the estate and to pay and receive feudal dues, on the understanding that the ownership would be conveyed back to him on his return, hence the idea “in-trust.” Around the 12th century, trusts were first used to save tax (avoid the payment of feudal taxation). If a person died, the law stated a landlord was entitled to money before the land passed to an heir, and the landlord got all of the property if there were no heirs (under the doctrine of escheat). By transferring a property’s title to a group of people (trustees) for common use (i.e. establishing a trust), this tax was avoided. This was because It was highly unlikely all the trustees would die at the same time, and if a trustee died they could be replaced. The original owner was putting trust in the person to have and to hold his property in good stewardship until such a time that he returns. However, Crusaders often returned home to learn they owned nothing. The trustee may have died or had a change of heart. Nevertheless, the property was not so easily returned to the original owner in most cases. The English Common Law of Trusts did not allow anyone but the Trustee to make all final decisions. Being a Trustee was a very power position in the common law structure. Therefore, unfortunately for the Crusader, English Common Law did not recognize his claim, as a rule. As far as the King's courts were concerned, the management of the land was under the complete mercy of the Trustee, and the trustee was under no obligation to return it. The disgruntled Crusader would then petition the king for relief from the injustice. Knowing that trustees were often not honest about their oath to stewardship of the property, the King and his courts had a remedy in place. The King would refer the matter to his Lord Chancellor. The Lord Chancellor was given all authority to decide a case according to his conscience. At this time, the principle of equity was born. Where it seemed "inequitable" (i.e. unfair) to let someone with legal title hold onto it, the King's representative, the Lord Chancellor who established the Courts of Chancery, was given the “discretion” to declare that the real owner "in equity" (i.e. in all fairness) was another person, namely the original owner who left it “in-trust” to another person. The Lord Chancellor would consider it "unconscionable" that the legal owner could go back on his word and deny the claims of the Crusader (the "true" owner), especially when there was papers and oaths supporting the claims of the Crusader. Even though the Courts of Chancery overruled thousands of cases, it became noteworthy how powerful the Common Law of Trusts was able to protect the rights of the beneficiaries. It was exactly this part of the Common Law of Trusts that would ultimately become the number one most valuable export that England has ever known. Today, over 180 countries now recognize the Law of Trusts, allowing a separate entity to control assets in a fiduciary capacity, on behalf of another party. The sacred value of gaining “control from the grave” still operates around the world, thanks to the early adoption of what was then referred to The Common Law of Trusts.
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