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Updated: May 8, 2023

When taking notes, jot down all you need to remember in several single lengthy paragraph. When students do this, they will know precisely how many pages they needed to review. This makes it much simpler to organise your revision, since you do not have to estimate how long it will take to memorise each subject. Instead, you might try dividing the total amount of pages you need to learn by the number of days you have allotted to yourself to learn them. This can help you better manage your time. See an example of how to compose revision notes further down the page. This seems very bizarre when considered in isolation.

Do not let yourself get overwhelmed to the point that you believe that this tactic is not for you. This may not be the most effective method for students who are more visual or creative in their learning style. In spite of this, I believe that you should give it a go since you could discover that it is a far more effective approach of learning big amounts of knowledge, as the vast majority of students undoubtedly do. If this is not the case, you are free to revert to the method of revision that you normally use without incurring any consequences.

Although you may need to go back to this after you have had a look at it, I believe that some explanation of this form of note taking is essential before you view them. To begin, you should compose your notes by first condensing all you believe you need to know about the topic into organised text.

There are spaces in between parts that are formatted as paragraphs, and the page is packed with content. Separate sections are devoted to each subject covered in a module. When making a note of academic criticism, you should start by writing the name of the academic, and then follow it with the year in which the piece was written (for example, Hayton (1994). Then, write all of your notes for all of your courses in this fashion; as a result, you will able to fit all your notes for an entire module into around 12 sides of A4 paper.

You are going to find that it is to your advantage since it indicates that you will be able to see precisely how much material there was to memorise, and you will also be aware of the amount of time it will take you to memorise each subject. In another post, I will go into more depth on how you may utilise your notes to help you memorise the information that is included inside the modules.

You can find a copy of an example of equity & trusts notes farther down on this page. It covers the the "certainty" topic. The following are the main elements that will be shown by this example: 1) important general principles of the law; 2) the cases that are relevant to these principles; 3) application of the case 4) scholarly commentary; and 4) names of judges and courts.


  1. Certainty of intention

  2. Certainty of subject matter

  3. Certainty of objects

Certainty of intention

1. General Principle: Intention to create a trust does not require the adoption of formal words. Authority: Paul v Constance [1977] 1 WLR 527, CA

2. General Principle: Intention to create a trust must be assessed objectively by reference to the wording used by the settlor. Authority: Shah v Shah [2011] 1 P. & C.R. DG19, CA

Precatory Words

3. General Principle: The use of precatory words does not create a trust. When someone leaves something in a will and says ‘I hope and pray it will be used for a stated purpose’, this cannot be said to be a trust. Authority: Mugsoorie Bank v Raynor (1882) 7 App Cas 321

4. General Principle: There has been a gradual hardening of attitude by the courts as to how precatory words are to be construed. Authority: Lamb v Eames (1871) LR 6 Ch App 597

5. General Principle: Beneficiaries are not to be made trustees unless intended to be so by the testator. Authority: Re Adams and Kensington Vestry (1884) 27 Ch D 394

6. General Principle: The court will look at the meaning of the words, their true effect and at the intention of the testator as expressed in the will. Authority: Comisky v Bowring-Hanbury [1905] AC 84, HL

Failed gift

7. General Principle: If the attempt to make a gift fails, the court will not rescue the gift by making it a trust. Authority: Jones v Lock (1865) 1 Ch App 25

Certainty of subject matter

8. General Principle: There is no trust when a person failed in designing the subject of the trust properly. Authority: Palmer v Simmonds [1854] 2 Drew 221

9. General Principle: The property that is subject to the trust must be capable of satisfying the test for certainty. The main factor to look at is the description given by the settlor in order to identify the property. Authority: Sprange v Barnard (1789) 2 Bro CC 585

10. General Principle: Where the trust property is certain, but the interest to be acquired by the beneficiaries is uncertain, the trust fails. Authority: Boyce v Boyce (1849) 16 Sim

11. 476

Discussion of Re Kolb and Re Golay

12. General Principle: The certainties must at least be respected so as to define the basic parameters of the trust. If the settlor adopts a term that has not specific technical meaning, the trust may fail. Authority: Re Kolb's Will Trusts [1962] Ch. 531

13. General Principle: A gift of a reasonable income for life may be valid. Authority: Re Golay’s Will Trusts [1965] 1 WLR 969

14. General Principle: A different approach was adopted in the modern case of Ottaway v Norman [1972] Ch 698 where the court was willing to adopt a different interpretation, under which a similar type of situation could be valid. Authority: Ottaway v Norman [1972] Ch 698

Uncertainty of property cases

15. General Principle: There is no trust when the property cannot be identified in a mass of similar property. The absence of proper means to identify the trust property from a mass of similar properties may render the trust invalid. Authority: Re London Wine Co Ltd [1986] PCC 121; Authority: Re GoldcorpExchange Ltd [1995] 1 AC 74

16. General Principle: When the trust property consists of shares, the identification of them only requires the quantification of the interest on its own. Authority: Hunter v Moss [1994] 1 WLR 452; Authority: Re Harvard Securities [1998] BCC 567

Certainty of object - Who are the actors of the trust?

Fixed trust

17. General Principle: It is possible to attribute the equal shares expected only by knowing exactly how many beneficiaries are involved. It is essential to know who the beneficiaries are. Authority: Inland Revenue Commissioners v Broadway Cottages Trust [1955] Ch. 20.

Mere Powers

18. General Principle: The test is that a power would be valid if it could be said with certainty whether any given individual is or is not a member of the class. Authority: Re Gulbenkian’s Settlements[1970] AC 508

Discretionary trust

19. General Principle: The modern test for certainty of object for discretionary trusts is called ‘individual ascertainability test’. The power to appoint the beneficiaries is valid if it can be said with certainty whether any given individual is or is not a member of the class and does not fail simply because it is impossible to ascertain every member of the class. Authority: McPhail v Doulton [1971] AC 424

20. General Principle: A trust, like a power, is valid if it can be said with certainty that any given individual is or is not a member of the class of beneficiaries. Authority: Re Baden Deed Trusts(No 2) [1973] Ch 9

Aspects of certainty

Conceptual Certainty,

Evidently Certainty,

Administrative Workability, or


21. General Principle: In order for a trust to be enforced, it must be administratively unworkable. A too large number of beneficiaries may result in the invalidation of the trust. Authority: R v District Auditor, ex p West Yorks MCC (1986) 26 RVR 24, noted [1986] CLJ 391

Resolution of uncertainty

22. General Principle: A settlor may validly empower his trustees to add to a class of beneficiaries of the settlement. A power is not void for uncertainty merely because wide in ambit. Authority: Re Manisty's ST [1974] Ch 17

23. General Principle: If an expression is uncertain, the trust will fail. Authority: Re Coxen [1948] Ch 747

24. General Principle: Where a trust gives rise to a power coupled with a duty and it is not possible to predict that the donee knows all persons who might be objects of the power (since such objects include any person whom the donee considers to have a moral claim) the trust will be void for uncertainty. Authority: Re Leek [1969] 1 Ch 563

25. General Principle: An ambiguous condition precedent may be valid by way of a benevolent construction of the condition. Authority: Re Tuck’s Settlement Trust [1978] Ch 49

26. General Principle: When the words used by the settlor are contained in a condition of defeasance, the court may hear extrinsic evidence of the surrounding circumstances to show the meaning attributed by the testator. Authority: Re Tepper's WT [1987] Ch 358

You can have a look at the full chapter in the book they have been provided here.



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