Chapter

Conspiracy of Silence: Secret Trusts

DAVID JOHNSTON

in The Roman Law of Trusts

Published in print December 1988 | ISBN: 9780198252160
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681356 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198252160.003.0003
Conspiracy of Silence: Secret Trusts

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The tacit fideicommissum or the secret trust served as one of the initial hints that a new legal institution was being established during the time of Trajan. For those who were disabled by the law of succession, the tacit fideicommisum served as a useful instrument for secretly leaving property. While the previous chapter examined people who could not hold property under Roman law and how trusts enabled such people with benefits, this chapter focuses more on the legislative restrictions imposed by Vespasian and Augustus in the late Empire. Although limits on testamentary capacity may have already been commonplace, Augustus provided such with a different purpose as they were introduced to fulfill certain social engineering purposes. This chapter illustrates how the childless, the unmarried, the orbi and the caelibes benefited from trusts after Vespasian introduced the SC Pegasianum.

Keywords: tacit fideicommissum; secret trust; property; Vespasian; Augustus; social engineering; testamentary capacity; SC Pegasianum

Chapter.  14008 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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