Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Settlor Definition:

The person who actually creates a trust by donating property to be managed and administered by a trustee but from which all profits would go to a beneficiary.

Related Terms: Beneficiary, Trust, Donor, Trustee

Scott defines the settlor as:

"... the person who creates a trust, whether by a transaction inter vivos or by will...."

The law books of some countries refer to this person as a donor and according to Scott, the word "trustor" has even been used as has "author of the trust."

The most common example of a settlor is the testator who, in writing a will, necessarily creates a trust as between the moment of death and distribution of his or her estate, the deceased's assets will be held by a trustee to be collected and distributed in accordance with the terms of the will.


  • Scott, A., The Law of Trusts, 4th Edition (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1987).

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