The Anglo-Saxon legal institution of a trust is generally regarded as unique because of the simultaneous existence of a legal and equitable title. Legal systems based on Roman law recognize only the unity of ownership, which acts as the chief impediment to the introduction of trusts. Legislators in civil law and mixed jurisdiction countries discovered the relevant advantages of trusts in the economy and in the private sphere, therefore they tried to create similar institutions that could fulfil the same function.
The aim of this study is to present a view and a comparative law analysis of the trust-like devices of civil law and mixed jurisdictions, with special emphasis on the regulation of trust property. The comparison will take into account characteristics such as ownership of the trust fund, asset partitioning, the nature of the parties involved in the legal relationship, and the possibility of tracing. The functionality of institutions in civil law countries is more or less adequate to serve the purposes of a trust, but several important details and relevant differences should be highlighted.European Review of Private Law