Equity and trusts
In the scenario, Tom was appointed by Vito as "trustee" over a "general legacy" worth 100,000. As defined, a trustee is someone who has nominal title over a property that he/she holds for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. He/she must show a high standard of care towards her/his beneficiaries and must never permit his/her own interests to conflict with those of the beneficiaries. this person must not profit from whatever that was entrusted to him/her (Martin, 2002). Based on the definition of the word, Tom can’t keep the money for himself.
It must be noted that there was no overt manifestation (verbal acceptance or rejection) from Tom at the time Vito conveyed his intentions which might be construed as non-acceptance of the responsibility, however, the law only requires the presence of three "certainties" for a trust to exist – certainty of intention (Vito worries about his mistress and illegitimate son so he’s leaving some money for them), certainty of subject matter (100,000) and certainty of objects (mistress Lucy and son Santino). In the scenario, these three were explicitly present, therefore, Tom must shoulder this obligation.
(2) Fredo wants to know what he should do with the shares in Transit Ltd, as he finds clause of the will very confusing
There is nothing confusing in the provision of the will as far as the shares in Transit Ltd are concerned or who should benefit from the company’s income. It was evidently declared that Fredo, aside from being one of Vito’s estate executors, was also to act as trustee of Transit Ltd for the benefit of any of the family members within the period of ten (10) years. Likewise, he is to distribute income from the shares among residents of West Midlands whomever he sees is fit to get…
There were facts that have been established before Vito’s death. First, there was an expressed declaration that 5,000 shares of Lucrative Plc will go to Connie, Vito’s daughter. Although Vito was no longer able to execute an actual share transfer in favour of Connie, such intention was manifested in a card wherein it was explicitly written that such number of stock shares be given to his daughter. In addition to the written note, was the fact that he occasionally emailed statistics to her in order to keep her informed as to the performance of the shares on the stock market, another manifestation that indeed he was bent on letting his daughter be aware of stock market circumstances in preparation for her coming into possession of a substantial amount of stock shares. Second, Michael has been held as the sole beneficiary of the London penthouse, it was expressedly given to him as a gift during his 16th birthday. Since according to the law, those under 18 could not yet enjoy the fruits or income of whatever trusts that have been left to them, Fredo is there, the brother and executor to see to it that Michael gets the penthouse when he gets to the age of maturity.