The Three Certainties in the Creation of Express Trusts in Malaysia: Interdependent or Independent Requirements?

John Chuah Chong Oon


The three certainties have long been judicially accepted as necessary in the creation of private trusts. They are the certainty of intention, certainty of subject matter and certainty of objects. Lately, it has been argued that the requirement of subject matter is so strongly influenced by the intention to create trusts that it no longer stands as an independent requirement. When there is an intention to create trusts, the requirement of subject matter should be deemed satisfied. This is particularly true when the purported trust property consists of interchangeable intangible property. The findings suggest that the certainty of subject matter is not in any way dependent on the intention to create trusts. As a result, the failure of certainty of subject matter will defeat the creation of a valid trust. The Malaysian and English cases support such contention whether the trust property in question consists of tangibles or intangibles.


Influence of Intention to Create Trusts, Certainty of Subject Matter, Tangible and Intangible Property

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