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Resulting, Implied, Constructive Trusts

All trusts are not express trusts. There are circumstances in which a court may construct and impose an “implied” or “resulting” trust as a way to remedy legal injuries. These types of trust arise out of implication of law and are imposed in a trial court’s sound discretion when weighing the particular circumstances of a case. North v. Norton, 43 S.W.2d 1024, 1031 (Mo. 1931). They are generally effectuated to meet the requirement of justice that a legal status be given to meet the clear intention of the parties. In application, they may arise where a person makes a disposition of property under circumstances which raise an inference that he does not intend that the person taking or holding the property should have a beneficial interest. Ferguson v. Stokes, 269 S.W.2d 655, 658-89 (Mo. 1954).

To give an example, say you and I are co-partners in a business. If I give you $500 for use in the business and you use it for personal investments and make a return of $100, the Court may impose a constructive trust and order that the entire $600 be returned to the business and/or me. A court could specifically treat that transfer of $500 as a trust relationship where you are holding and using it in my and/or the business’s best interests. Keep in mind that with this example that are also several other liabilities and remedies that would potentially be available, but a resulting trust may be appropriate.

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