trust estates as business companies

A practice originating in Massachusetts of vesting a business or certain real estate in a group of trustees, who manage it for the benefit of the beneficial owners; the ownership of the latter is evidenced by negotiable (or transferable) shares. The trustees are elected by the shareholders, or, in case of a vacancy, by the board of trustees. Provision is made in the agreement and declaration of trust to the effect that when new trustees are elected, the trust estate shall vest in them without further conveyance. The declaration of trust specifies the powers of the trustees. They have a common seal; the board is organized with the usual officers of a board of trustees; it is governed by by-laws; the officers have the usual powers of like corporate officers; so far as practicable, the trustees in their collective capacity, are to carry on the business under a specified name. The trustees may also hold shares as beneficiaries. Provision may be made for the alteration or amendment of the agreement or declaration in a specified manner.
In Eliot v. Freeman, 220 U.S. 178, 31 S.Ct. 360, 55 L.Ed. 424, it was held that such a trust was not within the corporation tax provisions of the tariff act of Aug. 5, 1909.
See also Zonne v. Minneapolis Syndicate, 220 U.S. 187, 31 S.Ct. 361, 55 L.Ed. 428.

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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