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Entitlements to Property

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When two or more people own a property together, the law assumes the creation of a trust of land. Each owner is considered a trustee and to hold his or her beneficial interest in the land subject to a trust for their co-owner and beneficiary under the trust. This ‘automatic’ creation of a trust presents no difficulty when each owner has the same interests and aspirations, but when they differ problems will arise. Often, one owner will wish to sell the property in order to take his or her share of the equity, whilst the other for one reason or another wishes to retain the property, usually for their sole occupation. This Guide explains how the Law deals with such matters.

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