1, A trust is a legal device by which ownership and benefits are separated.

A trustee is the legal owner of assets but he is not entitled to benefit from them.

The beneficiaries under the trust - known as the "beneficial owners" of the assets - are entitled to share in the benefits of the trust in accordance with the terms of the trust.

Trusts may be "express" which means they are in writing, usually in a trust deed, or they may be created by the conduct or words of the parties.

The study of trust law is a highly complex area. Trusts have been used for a long time to "hide" assets from revenue authorities or from creditors or, even, spouses in divorce proceedings.

2. A second, much less used definition is in the sense of "breach of trust" which is where someone "trusts" someone else to do something and that trust is broken - a director of a company embezzling funds for his own purposes, for example.