Dyer v Dyer (1788)

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Last modified: 12/10/18 Author: In-house law team

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Dyer v Dyer (1788) 2 Cox Eq Cas 92

Presumed resulting trust; contribution to purchase price; equitable ownership.


Mr Dyer paid the full purchase monies for certain properties in Wiltshire, and the properties were placed in the names of himself, his wife and eldest son jointly. His wife predeceased him and then Mr Dyer died, bequeathing all his interests in these properties to the claimant, his youngest son. The youngest son sought to take possession of the properties on the basis that his father had paid the purchase price in its entirety, and there was, therefore, a resulting trust in his favour.


The eldest son’s name was inserted in the grant as the joint legal owner of the properties in Wiltshire and, as such, he argued that the land had been advanced to him by his father, and he was beneficially entitled to the estates in their entirety. His younger brother argued that since his father had advanced the whole of the purchase price of the properties, he remained beneficially entitled to the entire equitable interests in the properties and, as such, the bequest to the younger son took effect and the properties would pass to him.


Where a party provides the purchase price of property in its entirety, then there is a presumption that he retains the beneficial interest in the property in its entirety, by virtue of a resulting trust, if there is no other evidence to rebut this presumption.  The father had paid the full purchase price and, therefore, he retained the full equitable title and the eldest son held the legal title on trust for his father.

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